How To Make A Good Ice Block.....

For many Groups, Ice Blocking has become a traditional end of year event that brings Sections together for a great 'adventurous' activity.

Ice Blocking is like tobogganing, but done on a (steep) grassy slope during warmer months. It involves pulling an icy sled (over-sized ice block) to the top of a grassy hill, and sliding down it sitting on an old towel..

Fantastic Fun for Scouts of all ages!

So what goes in to a good ice-block?

  • cardboard box,
  • rope,
  • plastic liner,
  • water,
  • old towel (to sit on)
Size The ice block needs to have a surface area of (at least) an A2 Document (40cm x 60cm) and a depth of 30cm (min). These dimensions are variable and would be determined by the freezer space available.
Handle To be able to pull the ice block to the top of the hill, as well as hold on to when sliding down, the rope handle needs to stick out about 1.5m from the ice surface. This can either be a single length of rope, or a loop that has its ends securely embedded in the ice block

Preparation (at least 4 days before the activity)

Look out for a good size box that will fit in your freezer (or someone else’s!). Line this box with plastic and 1/3 fill it with water, freeze overnight.

Making the Handle

Tie a figure 8 knot in (each) end of the rope that's being put into the ice block and place the end(s) of the rope on the frozen 1/3rd. Add the remaining 2/3rds of water, keeping the 'handle' out of the prospective ice. There is now a lot of water in the box, so it will take a few days to freeze - best to leave for 2-3 days to solidify properly

Traps for new players

Ensure the rope handle does not extend through to the bottom of the ice block... There's no better way of preventing sliding than rope friction between the ice and grass

Scout Safe Checklist

  • Are there any rocks/ logs etc. on the slope being used?
  • does the slope have good run off at the bottom (no bike/foot paths, rocks etc.)?
  • have you got the Group first aid kit (with cold/ice packs)? - Anticipate a few bumps and bruises
  • Bike helmets and or other safety gear should be considered.