ESSA Water Activities Centre
Registered Charity No: 1025713

Groups

Groups & Parties

Youth groups

Guiding, Scouting, Cadets, Brigades and more. We can cater for all ages of youth groups.

Schools

During school time, after school or during the holidays, we can create a training programme for your students.

Parties

Whether it’s a children’s birthday party, big birthday, hen or stag party, it’ll be a day to remember.

Youth groups

Whatever the age of your group, there’s always a way to get them out on the water. Find out here what activities are appropriate for the age range.
Once you’ve chosen an activity, read more about it on our activity pages and choose which session is right for you.

As young people get older, they are more capable. Taster sessions are great fun, but also think about completing qualifications to challenge them, and to add to their CV.
Activities at ESSA can also count for their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Queen’s Scout/Guide Awards.

Beavers / Rainbows

Ages 6-8 and 5-7
  • Sailing
  • Wobble Boarding
  • Katakanuing
  • Traditional Rafting

Cubs / Brownies

Ages 8-10 and 7-10
  • Sailing
  • Wobble Boarding
  • Dragon Boating
  • Katakanuing
  • Traditional Rafting
  • Canoeing

Scouts / Guides

Ages 10-14
  • Sailing
  • Wobble Boarding
  • Dragon Boating
  • Katakanuing
  • Traditional Rafting
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing

Explorers / Rangers

Ages 14-18
  • Sailing
  • Powerboating
  • Wobble Boarding
  • Dragon Boating
  • Katakanuing
  • Traditional Rafting
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing

Leaders / Adults

Ages 18+
  • Sailing
  • Powerboating
  • Wobble Boarding
  • Dragon Boating
  • Katakanuing
  • Traditional Rafting
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing

Badges and Leadership qualifications

 

Unusual/ large group ideas

Barnet District Cub Raft Day

Teams of up to 6 cubs per raft. Each team has their own leader to help build.

Build rafts all morning, race against others in the afternoon.

Herts Paddle Team Cardboard Canoe Race

Teams collect cardboard at home and bring to the event.

Build in the morning, one timed race in the afternoon.

Multi-activity days

3 activities of your choice

Dragon Boat competition

Get your leaders trained, run a group-led competition.

Large group days are a lot of fun all round. When planning, please think about these things:

  • Weather/shelter – sun or rain, extra shelter is beneficial. We only have the one main building but you can use our empty powerboat containers for extra storage for kit/shelter. When sunny, a gazebo for leaders means you’re able to watch the water all day without getting too hot.
  • Drinks – we have a water fountain on site, please make sure the groups are hydrated.
  • Car parking – we have on site parking but if there are lots of drop-offs the access track can get busy. Walking down from the top of the lake is an option. You may want a leader to coordinate this.

Schools

Enhancing personal development, supporting academic learning

An ongoing programme gives young people the opportunity to gain an extensive range of skills and benefits through learning to sail in a safe and structured environment.

The RYA qualifications compliments the national curriculum and provides a variety of valuable life skills that help to build confidence and shape personal development. This represents a tremendous opportunity for schools, colleges and youth groups to get their pupils or members involved. This is open to anyone aged 8-18 and, whether it’s a small group or a large class, we can help you get started.

Academic benefits

  • Sailing covers many areas of the Key Stage 2 curriculum, delivering practical application of academic subjects including geography, maths, science and working with angles when turning a boat, identifying the effects of air and water resistance, and understanding forces in relation to working with pulleys and levers on a boat are just some examples of this. 
  • Sailing engages childrens key areas of PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) including building personal identities, improving communication and learning to form good relationships, as well as covering a variety of cross-curricular learning areas.
  • Many aspects of physical education are covered within sessions. Sailing helps develop physical strength, flexibility, control, balance and spacial awareness, offering both individual and team challenges to those taking part.  They also teach important elements of water safety.
  • Collaboration and competition are essential elements of the programme, as are evaluating performance and recognising success.
  • English is also covered, with spoken language and effective communication being essential elements of learning to sail. And of course, there is endless creative inspiration to be gained from being on the water and out in the great outdoors.

Life skills

  • Teamwork and communication are important aspects and participants will gain new skills and greater confidence in these areas.
  • Sailing increases independence and many children benefit from this, being able to spend time on their own on the water. This also encourages greater levels of responsibility, with participants having to anticipate and address new situations and challenges.
  • Many also find that sailing increases their levels of confidence, through mastering an exciting activity that they had perhaps never considered doing before.
  • Sailing presents challenges to be overcome and problems to be solved. Determination and resilience are required to meet these and this is another focus of the learning.
  • Social skills and empathy are also developed through meeting, working with and having fun with other young people of different ages and backgrounds.

Parties

Make it a memorable one – have a unique celebration by having a session out on the water in any of our activities.

What you get on the day

  • Taster session on the water in the activity of your choice

Ways to make it extra special