Campie pupils journey up Death Valley

Wednesday and Thursday Outdoor Ed were helping run the sessions of the Lammermuir hillwalks being delivered to Campie Primary’s P7s by Fiona Stark.

The group started from Hopes farm and walked up Sting Bank Burn at the end of the reservoir. Due to the large number of dead sheep, weasle traps and fox snares seen there this area is now affectionately known to the pupils as Death Valley. A snack at the top , a swift march , a roll down the hills and a quick paddle had the group back at the mini-bus after an adventurous day out.

Post-script … Thursday’s group showed excellent teamwork by helping one of their less mobile classmates make it all the way up and round the dam … look in the pictures for the ‘human dog-sled team’ helping to pull the buggy up the dam track.

Click here to see a full screen slideshow …

Lammermuir crossing

Gifford’s Duke of Edinburgh group Bronze exped was treated to some of best weather this year while walking from the Whitadder back to Gifford. On Monday the group started at Penshiel and walked round and camped near Fasany Water. Next day they bagged the highest hill in East Lothian (the mighty Miekle Says Law) before descending through The Hopes to Gifford via the Goblin Ha’.

Click on the following image for a slideshow.

Click here, or on the image for a slide-show.

Thanks to Dave Habgood and Jennifer Purves for helping make this trip happen. A special mention to Kim White who runs this community DofE group. Undaunted by the steep learning curve, she is allowing these Knox pupils to achieve their Bronze Award.

And then the horses ate our sausages!

Last week’s Outdoor Education adventure was the chosen activity for a group of S3s and an S2 from Knox. Ltttle did they know it when they signed up … a mini-expedition and wild-camp in the Cairngorm mountains. Click on the following picture for a slide show.

Click here, or on the image for a slide-show.

Day 1 – Mon 10th … was spent getting kit ready and a short walk at Tyningham to practice putting up tents and using the stoves – and generally let the group get to know each other.

Day 2 – Tues 11th … once packed the we set off for the Cairngorms. After a brief lunch stop at the Hermitage to marvel at what is supposedly ‘one of the country’s tallest trees’, we parked the bus and luckily managing to dodge the snow/hail showers in the 4 km walk to the campsite. Not so lucky later though as it snowed while we were putting up the tents. May eh? We were caming near a bothy so after putting up the tents the group cooked inside … and toasted ourselves by the fire. Mmmmm cous-cous.

Day 3 – Wed 12th … after a very cold , but dry night , the group woke to a fine bright day. We spent most of the day exploring the woods and mountains above the bothy. Followed by games … then an outside feast in the evening sun … and a fine campfire and more games.

Day 4 – Thu 13th . Another fine and dry day … cleared up camp … walked back out to the mini-bus … and drove back to Haddington.

All of the the pupils did very well in some quite testing conditions, especially as many of then had never walked up a hill, or slept out before – and they all have stories to tell. Including what happended to the sausages. A really big thanks to PE Teacher Ms Dickson from Knox who (was) volunteered at the last minute, did brilliantly and really mucked in.

And where exactly did we go? … sorry all the best bothies are well kept secrets.

If you go down to the woods…

Last Friday 12 brave souls from all across the council survived a whole day in Butterdean Woods with the oracle of the woods – Leigh Shearer –  and Richard English (two of East Lothian Ranger Service’s finest)
The course consisted of: poo identification (a big hit with many); woodland sensory games; tracks and trails; shelter building; traditional fire lighting skills and carrying fire (horseshoe fungus in case you were wondering how).
High Tea, made from scratch by course participants, consisted of 3 different types of Bannock and Sorrell Tea. The shelters that were designed and built on the day had to withstand the ‘Monsoon Challenge’ – Leigh with a watering can!

Much fun was had by all. There are now many ideas and inspiration for using a woodland environment with young people.

For more ideas on woodland activities and what other schools have been doing with groups please join the Edubuzz Learning Network Group ‘Forest Schools

The 2010/11 Outdoor Education Program is out now!

Want to make the best use of the outdoors to deliver excellence in your teaching? Undertake some CPD to gain a nationally recognised outdoor adventure qualification? Or just have some fun and learn some new skills? Well … next year’s Outdoor Education Service program is out, and this time it’s all online.

If you’re a Teacher wanting to book next year’s Outdoor Teaching days or adventure activity sessions then see the For Schools pages.

If you are an ELC member of staff, or a member of the public, then see the new Staff Development pages.

Or, browse the program by the updated Calendar.