What to expect
Grass sledges aren’t too different from the kinds of sledges you’d use in the snow – the main difference is that they have tracks underneath to help them race down grassy hills. They also have handles to hold on to. Grass sledging is a perfect summer activity, but you can try it any time of year as long as the ground’s firm and dry. The sledges aren’t that big, so the activity’s best for younger members (think Beavers and Cubs).
What you’ll learn
Grass sledging’s a fun way to try something a little bit different. It’s also important to work as a team to get people off to a good start (and get the sledges back up the hill).
Grass sledging is sometimes referred as the tobogganing of the summer. It has become more popular over the years and are found in some of the outdoor centres across the United Kingdom.
- Practice in your meeting place. You’ll need to keep your arms and legs inside the sledge during the activity. It may be helpful for people to practice sitting in a sledge so they know what to expect – you could use a sledge designed for the snow to practice.
- Don’t forget your camera. Getting action shots of people zooming down the hill is a great way to capture memories, so remember to take your camera.
- Get ready to move. Running (or walking) back up the hill can be hard work. Encourage people to take a break at the top before they race back down, and think about whether you want to warm up before you begin. You could even complete a sports based activity badge before you try grass sledging to get everyone prepared.
You must always:
Be safe outdoors:
- Check the weather forecast
Joint activities with other organisations:
This activity can be led by you or someone else in Scouts
You can go to a centre or use an activity leader who is not part of Scouting:You must find a suitable provider who meets the following requirements:
The provider must have public liability insurance.
Grass sledging needed everyone to work as a team. How did people make sure that everyone had a fair number of turns? How did people communicate about how they’d like to get started? Some people may have wanted a big push, while others may have wanted to get stuck in more gently, at least at first. Did anyone share tips, such as bumps and dips to watch out for, or how to get the sledge back uphill? How did it feel to race down the hill? Did people enjoy spending time outside with their friends? Was it fun to watch other people taking part in an adventure?
- Grass sledging can often be adapted so more people can give it a go. Many outdoor centres have facilities that cater for people with additional needs and experienced instructors to help everyone achieve their goals. Get in touch with your local provider to chat through the needs of people in your group – make sure you give them plenty of notice.
- It may be helpful to practice things like getting in and out of the sledge in your meeting place, so people know what to expect. It’s OK for people to take things at their own pace too – it’s up to them whether their friends give them a big push, or whether they trundle slowly down the hill. There’s no pressure to run back up to the top – slow and steady is perfectly fine.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.