Paddlesport Instructor

Expand your learning environment. Become qualified to take the young people you work with on the water this summer and beyond.

Friday 3 May and Friday 17 May – both dates must be attended. FREE – Only registration costs (to governing body – £45) and full membership of Scottish Canoe Association, SCA (£38)  need to be paid by ELC employees and volunteers.
Commercial costs of £200+, not including membership and registration fees
Not an ELC employee or volunteer? Please call for external costs.

As a member of ELC staff or a volunteer within East Lothian you have the opportunity to become qualified and ready to take to the water with a group utilising the council’s fleet of paddlesport craft (kayaks, Canoes, SUP’s) at Musselburgh Lagoons.


The NEW Paddlesport Instructor is aimed at those taster/starter sessions and short journeys in very sheltered water environments, within the safety management systems of clubs/centres or other organisations.

The qualification will support the instructor with practical skills such as kitting up a group and getting afloat, initial familiarisation activities, games and activities to support learning and how to use mini journeys to support learning, inspire adventure and exploration.  This will be enhanced with support on how these sessions can be delivered in a way that is enjoyable, safe and rewarding.  

More details regarding the course can be found at the British Canoeing website

Success with this qualification will mean that you can use a range of stable paddlesport craft within very sheltered water environments. In East Lothian these are Musselburgh Lagoons and River Tyne, Haddington (extra 1:1 training and sign off required for river)

Registration for the Paddlesport Instructor is open to persons aged 14 and above. All candidates registering for the Paddlesport Instructor course will need to be a full member of the Scottish Canoe Association (£38 for adults)

All candidates are required to have completed:

  • Foundation Safety and Rescue Training prior to attending this training course.
    This FSRT course is offered FREE (excluding certification costs of  £5) to all ELC employees and volunteers and is scheduled to happen on Friday 26th April 2019

To be able to get the most out of your course, we would recommend that you can paddle to the standard of one of the following Personal Performance Awards: Touring Award, Canoe Award, SUP Sheltered Water Award, Sea Kayak Award, White Water Award, Surf Kayak Award, Racing Explore Award, Flat Water Freestyle Award, Polo Explore Award, Slalom Explore Award or the Wild Water Explore Award. 

Once weather is suitable (water rather than ice!) there will be open afternoons every Friday at Musselburgh Lagoons in order to hone your paddling skills. Please get in touch with Martyn – to book

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Mountain Bike Trail Leader

ELC Outdoor Learning Service are pleased to be a provider of CyclingUK Mountain Bike Trail Leader.


Cycling UK’s Mountain Bike Leader course enables you to lead groups on gentle terrain less than 600m above sea level and without the need for riders to steer a path around obstacles.


The course includes tuition for your own off-road skills, and assessment of your new-found skills.

  • Lead groups of adults, young people and children on rides
  • Manage groups with a range of riding experience
  • Prepare for rides, anticipate and minimise safety factors
  • Develop and apply risk assessments, operating procedures and dynamic risk management
  • Provide fun, engaging and developmental sessions for your participants
  • Understand access rights across the UK and beyond
  • Complete and review rides, using self-reflective principles

Success at this level of course will open up the whole of East Lothian to being explored by bike for groups.

Mountain Bike Trail Leader course will happen on the following dates in 2019. Please note the dates below are all one course and all dates must be attended. The base venue will be Musselburgh Outdoor Learning Service – EH21 7SR.

12 (1 till 5pm) and 13 (8.30am to 5pm) March
19 (1 till 5pm) and 20 March(8.30am to 5pm) March

Registration is direct with CyclingUK at the following link

Booking code – Please call Keith or Martyn on 01315635217

Cost to ELC staff and volunteers £50. Normal cost of course £360

Please book on as soon as possible provided you are happy with the pre-requisites

Payment of £50 to CyclingUK must be made at time of booking. This is registration fee with CyclingUK. There are no other costs associated with this course to staff and volunteers within East Lothian Council.

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Pupil Winter Skills Residentials – Cairngorms Feb and Mar 2019

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 will priorities S4 – S6 pupils, but will make it available to all years if number permit. Max group size is 12 per trip.

Dates … We still have spaces on 2 trips. Wed 6th – Fri 8th Feb and Fri 15th – Sun 17th Mar

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 … We’re in the process of setting up on-line payments, until then please click on the dates below to leave your details  …

Wed 6th – Fri 8th Feb

Fri 15th – Sun 17th Mar

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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?


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British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor Award

A fantastic CLPL opportunity for all, happening through your Outdoor Learning Service at Musselburgh on 29/30 March and 19/20 April 2018

Course is 4 days. Prerequisites and registration available at Canoe Scotland website

For many coaches the British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor Award (previously known as Level 1) is the first step on the coaching pathway. The qualification introduces the fundamentals of safe, ethical and effective coaching.  Candidates are trained to coach basic skills to paddlers in any type of paddlesprt craft in a flat-water environment.  A range of coaching tips, tricks games and activities are built into the course, along with time spent developing technical and tactical understanding of these skills. The Level 1 Coach can plan, deliver, and review short coaching sessions; normally with the support of a more qualified coach. They can work with paddlers at any stage of development; receiving specific training to coach paddlers in their first year of activity and to run taster sessions.
[Canoe Scotland website]

Please call 0131 6535217 for an informal discussion and complete a booking form

If you are require help to achieve the pre-requisites then please get in touch with Martyn at Outdoor Learning

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