Canoeing and Kayaking at Musselburgh Lagoons

Post from one of our associate members of staff – Ed

A great day with some really fantastic young people from Macmerry Primary School and Elphinstone Primary School.

We even saw the sun while we did silly things in kayaks.
We even saw the sun while we did silly things in kayaks.

 

The P5s from Macmerry began the day with Canoeing and Kayaking sessions where the hope was they would achieve their Paddlepower Start Award. This involved them entering and exiting the craft, paddling forwards and backwards, and playing some really fun games. The Canoeists were spurred on to do their best to some wonderful singing from Bob (or maybe the motivation was to get away from it).  Meawhile the Kayakers were inspired to adopt the practices of the Eskimo and greet their craft by rubbing noses with it.

You want me to do what?
You want me to do what?
An Eskimo greeting their Kayak
An Eskimo greeting their Kayak

At the end of the session and once they had dried off, it was clear they had all done more than enough to achieve their Paddlepower Start Award. On top of this they had also managed to obtain their East Lothian Adventure Award Certificate.

Fancy a Tow?
Fancy a Tow?
That looks like some great paddling.
That looks like some great paddling.
I think you're supposed to be inside the boat.
I think you’re supposed to be inside the boat.
Are those sails big enough?
Are those sails big enough?

In the afternoon we were really pleased to be joined by the P3/P4s from Elphinstone Primary School. This was a great introduction to Canoeing and Watersports which the young people were so enthusiastic about. The laughter and screams of excitment resounded across the water leaving passers by to wonder what was going on.

Excitement and nerves at the start of the session.
Excitement and nerves at the start of the session.
Confidence soon began to grow.
Confidence soon began to grow.

The Pond Weed Spash Monster did his best to get the group wet but they just screamed for more. Eventually he realised that they were too good at splashing and ran away.

THE POND WEED SPLASH MONSTER!
THE POND WEED SPLASH MONSTER!
I think someone likes to Splash :D
I think someone likes to Splash 😀

This was a great session where the young people were given a brilliant chance to become familiar with an unknown environment, and to get used to the canoes. This type of water confidence is best gained at a young age and it will be really exciting to see how they approach the activities when they get the chance again in a couple of years time. On top of this they obtained their East Lothian Adventure Award in Canoeing.

Hitching a ride
Hitching a ride
I think that confidence has grown alot judging by the standing up :P
I think that confidence has grown alot judging by the standing up 😛

 

Brilliant day had by all. From THE POND WEED SPLASH MONSTER!!!!!

Great day had by all
Great day had by all

 

Getting Schooled in UK Trainings – What is LLA?!?

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Six ambitious educators and their fearless leader atop Traprain Law
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Route planning under blue sky along the River Tyne

Starting my first week on placement as a post-graduate student in Outdoor Education from the University of Edinburgh, I had the pleasure of joining six educators out on their Lowland Leader Award Training. Being an outdoor educator from the US, I have been fascinated and impressed by the variety and quality of outdoor trainings available to educators around the UK in the name of safety and quality.

These educators spent much of the day studying their maps and keeping us located and safe. Discussions about risk management and route planning dominated much of the day, but there was also time spent identifying the flora and fauna of the area.

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Snowdrops blooming along the River Tyne
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Resident ponies on Traprain Law keeping the grass low

 

 

 

 

 

As the group made their way from East Linton to Traprain Law, by way of Hailes Castle, the weather changed over from blue sky to sleet and snow. It was a great opportunity for the group to talk about quick changing conditions and thoughts on group management in such weather.

LLA - January 2015 023All in all, I was thoroughly impressed by the amount of knowledge that each of the participants brought to the course and their strong commitment to get their students learning outside the classroom.

For my first week on placement, it has opened my eyes to  the great opportunities available to Scottish educators.  The training allows a variety of teachers, not just Outdoor Educators, to become comfortable and confident in making the outdoors accessible to the student’s of this country. Keep up the great work and I hope all days end with great stories and blue skies!

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Dunbar Primary P6 Kayaking Day

The sun was out and the pupils from Dunbar Primary P6 class were keen and eager to use the fantastic weather to their advantage. They had heard loads about what they would be doing from their classmates who had attended on previous days. It was clear from their questions that these young people were not going to be staying dry. “Will we get to jump in?” and “When will we get to jump in?” were asked with enthusiasm.


What followed were two receptive and enthusiastic groups learning the basic skills of kayaking. Forward paddling, back paddling, turning their boats and capsizing were accomplished without any problems. Games which put these new skills to the test were then undertaken.

The groups took responsibility for themselves and the equipment they were using and each participant recievied their Paddlepower Start Achievement Certificate. A brilliant (and soggy) day was had by all, including the OL staff member facilitating the day.

Great day team 😛

More photos below.