Pupil Adventure Events 2017/18

Adventure Award Days

  • Below is a table of scheduled ‘Adventure Award Days’ and other pupils events including Secondary Challenges.
  • These opportunities are mostly free and open to all age ranges.
  • This list is not exhaustive of the offers from your Outdoor Learning Service. If your class/school has ideas on how to embed outdoor learning opportunities and require some specialist help from an Outdoor Learning Teacher then please get in touch.
  • Please don’t miss: the Festivals – Orienteering and Watersports; Residential – fieldwork and winter/summer adventures
  • Bookings for the scheduled dates below to be made through Keith Christie (outdoorlearning@elcschool.org.uk)

Happy planning for adventures 17/18

New Paddlesport Leader Award

From the 3rd April 2017 your Outdoor Learning Service will be able to deliver quality training and assessment leading to Paddlesport Leader Award.

The Paddlesport Leader is aimed at paddlers taking on formal leadership responsibilities in benign, sheltered water environments and aims to support Leaders to run safe, quality, enjoyable trips based on their group’s needs and aspirations.

The assessment is one day (plus a meeting prior). East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning (ELCOL) are able to run this assessment from 3rd April. ELCOL will also run endorsed Paddlesport Leader Training. Costs can be reduced for those operating within East Lothian – please contact us for more details

For more info and further details please click on image below and/or contact Martyn on 0131 6535217 or email outdoorlearning@elcschool.org.uk


For UKCC Level 1 coaches thinking if the course is for them – please read these wise words from SCA
Link to the Level 1 Coach Award
We believe that a Paddlesport Leader who also holds the Level 1 Coach award is well placed to fulfil their coaching duties with more autonomy. The Paddlesport Leader award requires a higher level of personal skills and safety/rescue skills than the Level 1 Coach award; providing further assurance that they have the skills to make, and fulfil, sound leadership decisions whilst out on the water.

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.

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


Adventure Award Days

Adventure Award Days from Outdoor Learning. Foundation or Progression sessions. All open for booking. Develop your class through the outdoors. For more information concerning Adventure Award Days click here

The sessions listed below are open to all schools in East Lothian – unlimited days – will not affect any other allocation with Outdoor Learning. First to book a day chooses venue. Watersports (Kayak;Canoe;SUP;Sail), Climbing (Indoor and Outdoor), Orienteering all available.

Contact Andy or Martyn to book – aduff@elcschool.org.uk or mpegg@elcschool.org.uk

Primary School late summer paddlesport

Here at East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning Service we are fortuitous to have some wonderful associate staff who often get the opportunity to deliver to our great pupils across East Lothian. Ed has written about 3 recent days he has enjoyed on the water.

These days were run as Adventure Award Days. There are unlimited numbers of these days to all schools across East Lothian.


Mon 29th Sept, Canoeing Adventure, Haddington River Tyne, Yester PS

With the weather forecast looking like it would be very much in our favor I packed up the canoes and equipment I would need and went to meet the group. Upon arrival and meeting I knew that these young people were going to be enjoying themselves and that they would be brilliant at the session. They were fun, engaging and enthusiastic (some were even a bit keen to get very wet also).

Before everything we began with identifying three things that we would try and do during the session. This was going to be how we would decide if the session had been a success or not.

1. We were going to stay safe! This meant that we would have to listen really carefully and follow all the instructions. Being responsible for our own actions would be really important with this.
2. We were going to try and have an increased awareness of the environment that we were in.
3. To have fun. This was really important as we need to enjoy not only the activity we were taking art in but also the environment we were using (e.g the river)

The group were fantastic and we had a really enjoyable time exploring the river. I felt that the group managed to achieve each of the goals we outlined at the start. I was particularly impressed with the effort that they applied to moving the equipment around (the canoes). This is not an easy task and it has been known for participants to not really engage with this side of the session. Not with this team though.

We got on the water and set off on our trip. We went quite high up the river until it became too shallow to continue. We saw lots of wildlife and identified different reasons why the river is the shape it is.

Once we had figured out how to prevent the canoes from going in circles we were able to really move quick over the water. The group found that canoeing is not about the individual but working with your partner if you want the boat to go in the right direction.

All in all I have to say that I was very impressed with every participant who attended the sessions. Hopefully this will have sparked a bit more of an understanding of the environment and the fun that can take place in it.

Tue 30th Sept, Canoeing / Kayaking, Musselburgh Lagoons, Prestonpans PS

Turning up at the Musselburgh Lagoons it was clear that this wasn’t going to be the easiest day to do some canoeing and kayaking. There was a strong wind blowing over the lagoon and when you are sat in a boat on top of the flat water you make quite a large target to be blown away from where you need to go.

This was a day when developing resilience was going to be paramount. It was not the best day to learn the basics of paddlesport. Nonetheless the group gave everything they had. I was really impressed with how they undertook each of the challenges they were given. I set them all goals at the start of the day to achieve and they managed to achieve these goals. First and foremost to have fun and I think that everyone went away happy (and maybe a bit soggy).

With adverse weather conditions the group managed to follow all the instructions and to have an enjoyable time. Great work team.

Tue 7th Oct, Canoeing / Kayaking, Musselburgh Lagoons, Prestonpans PS

This was my second day working with the young persons from Prestonpans PS and they were just as enthusiastic and keen to take part as the previous group. The conditions we a little better than before however there was still a slight breeze which made it a little tricky when you needed to stay in one place. The group really dealt with this well though and they worked hard to overcome all the challenges that were set to them.

It was much the same as the session before, to develop skills so they could control their craft and play games. To listen and follow instructions, thereby staying safe and being respectful of the instructors and equipment. Finally to have fun.

They were all super keen to get into the water also which I thought was particularly brave. Though we were not far away from the summer, the water temperature had dropped considerably. I think that once in the water they maybe were reconsidering the enjoyment they would receive from jumping in. Fortunately they all came prepared for the day to be a bit wet and as such had their own change of clothes so they could get changed and warm quickly.
Brilliant effort everyone. I hope that you will all continue using the outdoor environment to enjoy yourselves in a responsible way.

If you would like the opportunity to volunteer or become an associate with ELC Outdoor Learning and enjoy your days as much as Ed then please get in touch with Liz outdoorlearning@elcschool.org.uk