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Supported by Trinity House

Seafaring scenes

Create nautical narratives from your aquatic adventure kit as we learn how to be safe at sea!

You will need

  • Scissors
  • Pens or pencils
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • String
  • Clean items of recycling
  • Camera or phone
  • Life jacket
  • Tarpaulin (blue is best)
  • Mocked up adventure photos (digital or copies)
  • Rope (optional)
  • Buoyancy aid
  • Camera accessories (optional)
  • Aquatic adventure kit (activity specific)

Before you begin

  • Try to schedule this activity at a time when people in the group are taking part in watersports or other activities on the water.
  • In the previous session, talk with everyone about the kit they’d wear or bring along on nautical adventures. These can be ones they’re currently taking part in or those planned for future sessions. Have everyone bring along to this session the kit that they have, and let them know what you have available to lend for this activity if they don’t have everything. Remind them to label any personal property with the owner’s name.
  • Bring along a few examples of life jackets and buoyancy aids to the session. If you don’t have any, local sailing or boating clubs may be able to lend you some, or people in the group might have their own if they’re keen on watersports.

Life jacket

A photograph of a life jacket.

Buoyancy aid

A photograph of a buoyancy aid.
  • Bring along a camera that you or a leader/helper is familiar with and knows how to adjust. Your camera expert should be comfortable helping the group out taking photos. A parent or carer with a penchant for photography may be just the person to ask! Make sure you know who in your group is happy to be photographed.
  • During the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown period, adventurers everywhere have shared pictures of themselves dressing up in their kit and pretending to take part in adventures from the comfort of their own homes. Travel agents ‘Much Better Adventures’ shared pictures of an employee kayaking in a bathtub and camping in their living room, while euronews journalist Rodrigo Barbosa shared snaps of his family canyoning in their bathroom and heading up a ski lift in their sitting room. Print or download these and other, similar photos to show to the group for inspiration.

Run the activity

  1. Clear some space in the activity area. There will need to be enough space for everyone to lay out their aquatic adventure kit for the scenes they’ll be shooting.
  2. Then, split into small groups. Each person should have the kit that they’ve brought along, or that they borrowed for this activity.
  1. Display the pictures of mocked-up adventures prepared earlier. These might be photos taken at home by people pretending to be out on an adventure.
  2. Using the pictures as inspiration, groups should begin to discuss how each person could use their kit to recreate on land the activity it’d be used for on water. Give each group a sheet of blue tarpaulin to represent water, and any other bits and bobs lying around, such as recycled goods, that could be used as props.
  1. As the group are preparing their scenes, the person leading the activity should bring forward a life jacket and buoyancy aid. See if anyone can explain the difference between the two. Make sure that each photo taken features the person with the kit wearing the correct floatation device.
  1. Check out the Bedsheet backdrops activity if anyone would like to get extra creative with their scenes and there’s some time spare.
  2. When taking their shots, each groupshould make sure they understand how to use the camera properly and be sure that they handle it with care. For best results, they should set up each scene somewhere light enough to capture all the detail.
  3. Continue until each person in the group has shot their scene re-enacting the adventure in their kit. For each piece of kit used, the person using it should explain to their group what it’s for and how it helps them with the activity being demonstrated.
  4. When everyone’s got a picture they’re happy with, tidy away the props and tarpaulin sheets, and give personal property back to owners. Before everyone leaves, take some time to discuss whether everyone thinks they have everything they need for the adventure they’re taking part in or preparing for. Talk about where items that someone needs might be found.


Turning up to your activity with the correct clothing and equipment makes a big difference to how much you’ll enjoy taking part. Sometimes, it helps to run through things beforehand with someone to make sure you have everything you need. Why is it important for everyone in the group, not just yourself, that you take part with the right kit?

Everyone should have a chat about other ways you can help one another prepare and be responsible when spending time out on the water. Checklists, posters, mnemonics and other resources could be prepared to make sure that everyone remembers to bring everything and enjoys their experience. Why might these be more helpful than simply telling someone to bring the kit?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Phones and cameras

Make sure parents and carers are aware and have given consent for photography.

Rubbish and recycling

All items should be clean and suitable for this activity.


Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.