2021 – Kayak & Canoe Sessions & Courses 

Date: Early May to September (each Year)

Suitable for: Cubs and Up

Venue: Sutton Bingham Reservoir, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 9QP.

Cost Range: £3 per one off session

We are very excited to bring Scout Kayak, Canoe & Paddle Board training back to Sutton Bingham Reservoir. Due to the loss of a whole year’s worth of paddling and the prediction that demand will be even higher than previous years (which are always over booked), Groups will only be allowed to initially book a one-off session. Sessions will still qualify for ‘Time on the Water’ and work towards the Scout Paddle Sports awards.

Sessions will start back on the 4th of May running on Tuesday evenings 6pm to 8pm up to September. All boats, paddles and safety equipment are provided (including buoyancy aids). Sessions are run by coaches, covered by Scout Association Adventurous Activity Permits scheme.

Whilst we are in Amber conditions parents are not permitted to attend sessions and watch from the bank area at the launch site, only group leaders. This is to keep the number of people to a minimum and reduce the risk of transmission in line with COVID guidance.

All groups will be expected to bring completed Health forms for everyone who is going on the water. Everyone must inform the instructors at the start of each session if they cannot swim at least 25m. The coaches can then set up the session to accommodate this.

DBS cleared leaders and adult helpers are welcome to join in on the sessions (numbers permitting) but must abide by the same rules as the scouts and join in with the session.


Session options and costs (costs are per person):

 One off Kayak / Canoe session (1 week) £3

  • The aim of the session will be to cover all sections of the Paddle Sports – Stage 1 award.
  • Groups can help to achieve this by covering sections 1 and 2 in advance of the session.

One off Paddleboard session (1 week) £3

  • Maximum group size of 10
  • Option for ½ Paddleboard and ½ Kayak is available for groups of 20

Maximum Group Size

While every precaution will be taken to safeguard against the risk of COVID (specific COVID risk assessment are available on request), we have taken the decision to reduce our numbers per session to a maximum of 20, split into two groups. Groups will be able to request which type of session they would like (Kayak, Canoe or Paddleboard). Unfortunately, groups will not be able to switch half way through a session as done in previous years.

Please list as many dates as possible and please completely fill out the booking form as any gaps may result in the inability to fit you in. We are always over booked and the more options you give us the more chance we can fit you in.



Booking Form

  • Numbers to go onto the water

    Please fill out one form per request
  • Preferred Dates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Kit & Equipment:

Kit List for Canoeing / Kayaking:

  • Old shoes or beach shoes (Mandatory)
  • Wet suit (or old clothes (not Jeans), long sleeves)
  • A light weight windproof top (if you get wet even a light breeze will quickly cool the body).
  • If you wear glasses and need them for paddling they will need to be tied on.
  • If it is very sunny, sun cream and a hat are a good idea.
  • If young people do not come correctly dressed they will not be able to complete any of the awards

After paddling:

  • Change of Clothes / Towel / Drink & snack
  • A bag for your wet gear (just in case you get wet!)

Paddling equipment:

We will provide the following

Kayaks, Canoes, Paddle Boards, Paddles, Spray decks (if appropriate), buoyancy aids.

Don’t forget your health form!! – No Form, No paddling, No exception.

Parking and Access:

Although there is a pull in next to the site access gate, it is not to be used for drop off or collection of young people. This is due to the risk of traffic highlight by Wessex Water and part of the agreement to use the reservoir.

Please ensure that your group meet in the car park with enough time to walk to the hut without delaying your start time.

Things to Know:

Operating Procedure for Canoeing and Kayaking activities at Sutton Bingham Reservoir (2021)

The following procedures apply to ALL people taking part in Canoeing and /or Kayaking (Canoeing) activities with SSCA (East Somerset Scouts) at Sutton Bingham Reservoir. This includes people on the bank and those bringing people to the site and collecting them.

The facility is operated in conjunction with Sutton Bingham and District Canoe Club, who hold the Licence from Wessex Water to run Canoeing activities on the reservoir. The club is affiliated to the British Canoe Union and has achieved the Top Club and Club Mark accreditations for standards of coaching, development and operation. This operating procedure has been defined in conjunction with the club operating procedures.

Please note: The canoe club are actively seeking to improve the facilities for canoeing and Kayaking at this site, including improved access and parking facilities. As an associated group we need to help the club in achieving these goals. Please be aware of this, in particular in complying with the parking arrangements to avoid issues with cars in the road near the site.

 Site Access: Vehicle access to the site is restricted due to the risk from people moving equipment around the restricted area, children running about and the limited visibility at the site entrance.  Access is restricted to canoe coaches. Other vehicles must be parked at the picnic site car park and the boat store accessed by walking along the path at the back of the car park along the edge of the reservoir (250m) Note: The nearest toilet facilities are located in the car park.

Water Access: Anyone entering the water or assisting with boat launching or recovery MUST be wearing a correctly fitted buoyancy aid. No one may enter the water without the permission of a coach.

Risk Assessment: An assessment has been prepared to minimise the risks during this adventurous activity.

 Appropriate behaviour: The reservoir is a public access area and courteous behaviour is expected at all times.

As a source of drinking water Wessex Water do not permit any dogs on the site.

Care of Equipment: Care of equipment is a key part of the activity and all persons taking part in the activity are expected to help in the removal and replacement of equipment into the boat store.

All boats are to be emptied before returning them to the boat store and boats.

All buoyancy aids and spray decks are to be returned to the storage racks and hung up correctly to ensure that they dry properly. Correct lifting and carrying (as taught by the coaches) is to be used at all times (Teamwork). 

What the coach says goes – The coaches’ decision is Final.

This is a Fun Adventurous Activity. Play by the rules and have FUN.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls