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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

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(Published Jan 2018, last reviewed with no updates March 2022)

What are Rowing and Sculling?

Rowing and Sculling are both the acts of propelling an open craft through the use of oars, where the seat is designed to move. There can be a number of oarsmen and women in each boat and it can be done with or without a coxswain to keep them on course and in time. When each person has a single oar it is known as Rowing, while when each person uses two oars (one on each side of the boat), it is known as Sculling.

What is a Rowing and Sculling Permit?

The adventurous activity permit scheme is designed to ensure that only people with the relevant skills and experience lead adventurous activities for the young people. Therefore all activities classed as adventurous can only be lead by someone holding the appropriate permit. Additionally young people (under 18) can take part in adventurous activities for themselves with personal activity permits.

A Rowing and Sculling permit is required for all Rowing or Sculling taking place, except in class C water. Definitions of water classifications can be found in POR.

Levels of Permit

Rowing and Sculling permits can be issued for any class of water. Each class of permit can be further restricted (such as through non-tidal etc) to end up with an individual permit to the level of the competence and requirements of any person.

Types of Permit

There are three types of permit available for Rowing and Sculling. These are:

Personal – Allows a young person (under 18) to take part in Rowing and Sculling with others with a personal Rowing and Sculling permit.

Leadership – Allows the permit holder to lead Rowing and Sculling for a single boat.

Supervisory – Allows the permit holder to remotely supervise more than one Rowing and Sculling boat.

Permit Limitations

Personal – If you hold a personal Rowing and Sculling permit you can go Rowing and Sculling with others who hold a personal Rowing and Sculling permit. It does not allow you to go Rowing and Sculling with anyone not holding a Rowing and Sculling permit.

Leadership – If you have permit to lead Rowing and Sculling then you can look after only one boat at a time, and need to remain on the water whenever the activity is taking place.

Supervisory – If you hold a permit to supervise Rowing and Sculling then you can supervise up to three boats. All supervised boats should be within communication range of the permit holder who will need to be in or have immediate access to a rescue craft. You remain responsible for all the groups you are supervising, but can designate someone with the appropriate skills to be the leader of each boat.


When supervising other boats the holder of a Rowing and Sculling supervisor permit needs to designate a leader for each boat. This designation lasts only for the current activity while the permit holder is supervising.

People designated as boat leaders should hold the skills and be responsible enough control the boat safely in the waters that they are in. There is no problem with making young people boat leaders if they are up to the role, and it can be used as a useful development tool.

Rules relating to rowing and sculling

Rule 9.7 Adventurous Activities Permit Scheme

Rule 9.8 Adult groups undertaking activities

Rule 9.13.1 All water activities

Rule 9.13.2 Life Jackets and Buoyancy Aids

Rule 9.13.3 Classification of Waters

Rule 9.13.4 Activities on class c waters

Rule 9.13.5 Boats

Rule 9.13.6 Charter Vessels

General activity rules

Rule 9.1 All Activities

Rule 9.6 Use of External Centres and Instructors