2nd Pembury Rainbows decided to earn a wonderful dolphin challenge badge this summer. In order to achieve it, they had to meet a certain number of targets, which allowed them to show that they had a greater understanding and experience of underwater life and the problems faced by it.

We designed our programme over 2 sessions. The first, we listened to some fun facts about dolphins, whales and porpoises, then in smaller groups worked on a challenge about ‘dolphin descriptions’. We began ‘measuring giants’! It was brilliant fun and the girls were truly surprised at how many of their horizontal bodies it took to measure out creatures such as the bottle-nosed dolphin, orca and humpback whale. We used the “blubber glove”! In truth, most of my adult leaders weren’t too keen to take part in plunging their hand into a bag, surrounded by another bag full of moulded lard! But the rainbows were fearless and were able to see how effective blubber is when it comes to being immersed in icy waters, as one of their hands went into a bowl of iced water and the other went into the blubber glove, also immersed in the same bowl of iced water!

Our second session was wholly set up around activities to raise funds for orca. The girls had worked towards finding sponsorship for a set of challenging activities i had set for them.

The first relay was to show them the pressures of animals that are kept in captivity for tourism. Each rainbow had to complete a set of obstacles while balancing a beanbag on their head. The second event was to decipher a different form of communication. In small groups, the rainbows with the help of a leader, translated a set of morse code given to them via whistle, using the morse alphabet. All the girls correctly identified the sounds as “rainbows have fun”.

The final task was a relay involving the perils faced by our underwater life. The girls had to crawl under a scramble net, which represented the hazards of fishing nets in the oceans. They then had to collect a plastic cup of water and finish the rest of the obstacle course of ‘rubbish’, which included tyres, metal crates and more plastic, to fill a container of coloured water, representing toxic waste also prevalent in our seas.

The girls were brilliant. I am so proud of them all and i hope that all that they learned and experienced, will make them better and more aware little humans in the future, who will protect and respect their environment, and those that share this world with them.