Summer Outdoor Adventures Program is Live!

The Outdoor Learning Service 2019 Summer program delivered in partnership with Venturing Out CIC is now open for bookings. You have 3 weeks to choose from, spread through the Summer holidays.  Each week has the same format, each day runs from 9:30 until 3:30 with drop-off and pick-up from the meeting points below:

  • Monday –  Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding – Meet at Outdoor Learning Service, Balcarres Road, Musselburgh, EH2 7SR (behind the racecourse)
  • Tuesday  – Survival/ Bushcraft Skills  – Meet at Yellowcraig Beach car-park
  • Wednesday – Coasteering –  Meet at Outdoor Learning Service
  • Thursday – Rock-climbing  – Meet at North Berwick Law car-park
  • Friday – Outdoor Problem Solving & Orienteering – Meet at Outdoor Learning Service

For prices, dates and to book online please visit



Winter Adventures Weekend Residential – Cairngorms National Park

This year we are back at the fine facilities of Badaguish in the Cairngorms National Park.

Why attend … The Scottish winter mountains can be a challenging environment.  They are an excellent place to help you gain skills and confidence. We will help you experience some amazing conditions and hopefully learn some new winter skills – such as using an ice-axe and crampons, or for those that can already ski, maybe some touring off-piste on skis.  And as at least two of us teach Geography there’ll be plenty of glacial features and processes explored and discussed.

Who can attend …We run two weekends one for S3-4 and another for S5-6. Max group size is 12 per trip.

Dates … This years dates can be found here

Logistics … we will leave after school on the first day of each trip from the Outdoor Learning Service in Musselburgh, returning on the evening of the last day.

Activities will be dependent on the conditions and the group, they will include …
Planning your winter day  – weather forecast, snow-pack, route-choice, what to take?
Winter navigation
Winter technical skills – use of winter boots, ice-axe, crampons
Snow craft – building emergency shelters, snow holes
Avalanche awareness and emergency response.
Winter hill-walking
Snowshoeing – dependent on conditions
Ski-touring – very dependent on participants prior experience and conditions. We can discuss when you arrive

What’s included …
Self-catering accommodation in 4, 6 or 8 bed dorms
Instruction and coaching from ELC OLS staff
All technical and safety equipment, including shell clothing and winter boots.

What to bring …
See here for a kit-list
Linen for bedding is provided but you need so bring a towel!
Enthusiasm and a smile

Cost  …
£95 fully inclusive of equipment, food, instruction and transport

Interested … Book and pay online here at

The Tour of Mont Blanc – A challenging adventure for Geography and Modern Language Pupils in Summer 2019


Passing through France, Italy and Switzerland The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is a 170km trek around the Mont Blanc massif, with a total ascent of over 10,000m – that’s more than climbing Everest! The reward; stunning scenery, the chance to improve your foreign language skills, learn about the Geography of the areas – and meet other trekkers from all over the world while staying in mountain huts and refuges.

The trip is being run by the ELC Outdoor Learning Service and led by our own qualified International Mountain Leaders.  It will take place in the last week of the 2019 Summer Term and the first week of the Summer holidays . The trip is open to any pupils across the current S3 – S6 years in an ELC school who are up for the challenge.

While this is an adventurous and challenging trek  in it’s own right with many benefits in terms of Health & Well-being and Personal & Social development, we are also very keen to include Geography and Modern Language outcomes in it’s objectives.

In brief …

  • Curricular focus: Human & Physical Geography and Modern Languages (French and Italian)
  • Open to:  Current S3 – S6 across all ELC schools
  • When: Last week of the Summer Term , first week of the Holidays – 14 nights, 13 days walking.
  • Group size : Min 8 – Max 12
  • Leaders; Andy Duff plus 1
  • Cost:   Dependent on numbers but approximately £1000 for all staff, equipment, food, hut accommodation and insurance. Plus Easyjet flights c£120.
  • Funding – Pupils will be strongly encouraged to organize fund-raising events and apply for sources of funding
  • DofE: This would qualify as a Gold DofE residential (but not exped)
  • The process  : Expression of interest (Dec) , Parents evening (Jan) ,  selection / training session (Feb), the trip (Jun/Jul)

If you have pupils in your school/community group who you think are interested in an adventure and want to improve their Geography and Modern Languages then please get them to Click Here to express and interest and add get more information.

If you work in a school and have some walking experience please email me on let me know if you are interested in accompanying your group as an assistant leader?


The Adventure Academy … the story so far.

On Ben Vrackie

For 2017-18 The Outdoor Learning Service launched the Adventure Academy.  A county wide outdoor activities ‘club’ for S2.  Pupils from Tranent, Musselburgh and Dunbar secondary schools have just completed their first term’s programme of activities.  These included watersports, indoor climbing (working toward their NICAS award) and some outdoor cooking.  Then at the beginning of the month the group planned and then climbed Ben Vrackie a Corbett  in the southern highlands above Pitlochry.

Next term they will progress through their NICAS levels at the local climbing wall, gain a first-aid qualification and we have some more winter adventures planned including a residential to the Cairngorms where the pupils will get to grips with some of the highest and wildest mountains in Scotland.

We still have spaces on this programme for Term 2 joiners. So if you have any S2 at your school who could benefit learning new skills, growing in confidence and resilience then please contact

The summit shot

The East Lothian Adventure Academy needs you!


What is the Adventure Academy… A group of pupils from across East Lothian Council  schools who will meet and work together on a range of outdoor adventurous activities including rock-climbing, orienteering, canoeing, kayaking and mountain sports.

When and where  … From September 2017  on regular Tuesday evenings 4:30 – 6:30 pm at the Outdoor Learning Service base in Musselburgh.  Monthly and fortnightly Friday afternoons,  occasional weekend days and a Summer expedition in the last week of the year.

Who is it for … Any S2 pupil who wants to be inspired, stretched and challenged by outdoor adventures. It’s for anyone who’s interested in outdoor pursuits as a hobby, or  maybe even considering a future working in the outdoors.

What will it cost …  A nominal charge will be made for transport, entry fees and any residential costs incurred.   We do not anticipate these being more than a couple of pounds per session. The residential will be approximately £100 dependent on the accommodation required.  There is no cost for staff time or equipment.

What will I get out of it … learn new skills,  maybe gain some awards, work as a team, build your resilience and confidence. Have adventures!

How do I apply … download the application form from here and return to Including the words ‘Adventure Academy’ in the subject. Numbers are limited!

I look forward to hearing from you.