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

Further Orienteering Success

On Friday the 2nd June some 17 youngsters from East Lothian competed with other athletes from across Scotland at the 2017 Scottish Schools Orienteering Competition.

All results are available to view here  However a summary is given below of our outstanding athletes here in East Lothian

1st place – Scottish Schools Champion – for Maja Robertson in P5/6 girls  Longniddry PS
1st place – Scottish Schools Champion – for Angus Wright in P7 boys  Law PS

2nd place to Colin Riley in p5/6 boys, of Pencaitland PS
3rd place to Joel Atkinson also Pencaitland PS (only 2 seconds behind Colin)
11th place to Innes Wright also in P5/6 boys Law PS – and that is out of 80 boys.

P7 boys
19th Mackenzie and Josh from Whitecraig PS
33rd Alex and Ross  Macmerry PS
35th James from Athelstaneford PS
36th  Findlay and Emily also from Athelstaneford PS

P7 girls
19th Maja  from Athelstaneford PS
23rd Emberlee and Erin from Macmerry PS
33rd Sammy and Mia from Whitecraig PS

For more photos please click on photo above.

Many thanks to Hanne Robertson for all her hard work as A Pe Teacher embedding Orienteering as part of school sport across East Lothian and thanks for parents who supported their child to partake.

See below for comment from one of the athletes on the day

Thank you for arranging to take us to the Scottish Schools Orienteering Festival in Drumpellier Country Park in Glasgow. It was great fun meeting other P6s and P7s from other schools in East Lothian who like to go orienteering and we had lots of laughs travelling together on the bus and chumming each other when we got there.  I felt kind of nervous when we got there and there were lots of big buses with kids from schools all over Scotland.  It was good to feel part of a team from East Lothian as I was the only one there from my school. It was good doing a warm-up together cheering each other in and afterwards playing football and having our packed lunches. I hope next year there might be some more friends from my school with me.
It was really funny when we were all standing at the start, feeling a bit nervous watching what to do and one of the boys shouted, “You’ve got to be kidding me, he is never a P7, that is not right!”,  pointing at a really tall guy at the start and my teacher said, “No, no, he will be a 5th or 6th year!”  We couldn’t stop laughing! We all thought it was only for primary school kids, but the competition is for P5/6/7 all the way up to 6th at High School.
I would still like to do this when I get to High School and I hope I meet these guys again and they keep going from all the different High Schools they will be going to.
Thanks again,

Best wishes,


Next years Scottish Schools event – usually first Friday in June – save the date!


Summer Fun right on Target

Transition group 3rd to 7th August

Transition Grp BushcraftDuring the summer holidays I have been fortunate enough to deliver a week of activities to a very deserving group of youngsters from Whitecraig and Wallyford. Prior to the holidays Wallyford Community Centre, helped by school teachers, identified 8 young people who would reap great benefits from a week of outdoor activities based around personal and social development. The criteria for selection was that the children were transitioning from primary to high school, had low self-confidence, self-esteem and perhaps social interaction issues.

During the week the children took part in a wide range of activities which they chose from an extensive list. The following are what they chose; Bushcraft, Rock Climbing & Abseiling, Canoeing, Kayaking and Raft Build, Coasteering and Trail Cycling.

Transition Grp ClimbingThroughout the activities the children never stopped amazing us with their ability to push boundaries and invest in their own development. They constantly strived to go one step further and were jubilant with their achievements, not only for themselves but for others also.

By the end of the week every participant had demonstrated a notable improvement in both self-confidence and self-esteem.

When dropping their children off in a morning some of the parents commented that they were amazed at the achievements, confidence and motivation from day to day.


A few things the children said they never knew they could do:

  • Cycle so far
  • Build a den
  • Jump off a cliff
  • Climb a mountain
  • Build a raft
  • Swim to an island

Transition Grp Cycle

These were some of their highlights:


  • The whole week
  • Water Activities
  • Climb to top of North Berwick Law
  • Cliff Jump
  • Everything
  • Getting a chance to try lots of activities
  • Bus journeys


The children agreed that the following aims and objectives were met:


  • Building self-confidence
  • Building self-esteem
  • Had a chance to try lots of new activities
  • Got to meet new people
  • Were challenged
  • Built resilience


We have received some fantastic feedback from both the children and their parents, all of whom see a great worth in this kind of group work and hope to see more of it in the future.

Transition Grp Raft

To end I would personally like to thank Stuart from Wallyford community centre for his help throughout these activities and for giving up his time to benefit the children from his local community. Myself and Stu found this a very fulfilling week. It was fantastic to watch these unsure, anxious children who arrived looking cautious on day one turn around on day five asking for more having pushed themselves beyond their usual boundaries.

Antony Stone – Associate Instructor

Ross High Rock and Water

A write up of 3 wonderful days with Ross High Merit pupils from Ed (Outdoor Learning Associate staff)

Three days of fun with the pupil from Ross High who were awarded the most merits throughout the year.

Tuesday 23rd June, Canoeing (Musselburgh Lagoons / River Tyne Haddington)

When I met the group for the first time in the morning I asked them how they were feeling about the idea of going Canoeing. There were a few hands raised to say that they were quite nervous. I was so pleased that by the end of the day though as everyone was saying that they had all had a brilliant time and that they would all like to do it again.

We started by heading to Musselburgh lagoons where we practiced a variety of strokes that would allow the boat to be steered. This is also a great location to build up some confidence about the equipment they would be using and how it will keep them safe. So with some games played, a short journey undertaken and a few people getting a bit wet (everyone fell in) we packed up and travelled on to our next location, The River Tyne in Haddington.

We arrived at the River Tyne and by now everyone worked as a well-oiled machine to get the equipment ready for the session. We were on the water in no time at all. We then went for a journey upstream until we could not get our boats any higher. Along the way there was a bit of splashing and some fun little challenges to undertake (like the limbo under low branches). They even managed to stay clear of the weir that they all thought they would go down if they weren’t careful.

Wednesday 24th June, Gorge Walking (Soutra Gorge)

The second day of the merit pupil’s activities was to do some gorge walking and then some kayaking. Unfortunately time was not on our side so we had to leave the kayaking for the afternoon and just undertake the gorge walk instead.

The group were fantastic and undertook the activity with huge enthusiasm. In my initial brief to the group I always emphasise about the importance of working together to get through the gorge safely and effectively. I was so impressed with the way they took my advice and supported each other. There were some really strong characters within the group which made a huge difference as moral can drop quite a bit when you are sitting in a cold pool of water waiting for your turn to climb a waterfall.

When it came to the two waterfalls where the harnesses are required the group were patient, supportive of everyone and really keen to give it a go. They completed the gorge really well but unknown to us was that we were going to have our toughest challenge of the day when we got out of the gorge on the return walk. Unfortunately an existing injury to one of our group meant as a team we had to help her back to the bus. Again the group were fantastic in trying helping and after trying a few different assisted carries (involving making a rope stretcher) we managed to all get back to the bus and finish the day. We may have been a little bit late but we had a great time along the way.

Thursday 25th June, Gorge Walking (Soutra Gorge)

With the same activity the day before I had a fairly good idea about how much time we would be able to have and was quite aware that we probably not going to be able to do the Kayaking again. I made this known to the group and unfortunately this was the case but again this was not down to a lack of enthusiasm and motivation from the group.

The gorge is a very special place. Unfortunately (or fortunately! – ed) one of the things that make this such a special place is how inaccessible it is. The walk to the gorge is probably the toughest part of the day. There is then the challenge of walking up stream to where it gets steeper and ropes are required. Finally once this truly beautiful location has been conquered you then have a bit of a slog to get back to the bus.

There were many different occasions where the group helped each other with either verbal encouragement or hands on physical support. However my personal highlight was when once each of them reached the top of the first waterfall climb they then began creating a human dam to try and cause the waterfall strength to increase when they all stood up. Not very supportive but very funny at the same time.

By the end of each day every participant on all the activities worked really hard and had succeeded in completing some very tough challenges. They had to overcome physical obstacles while managing their feelings effectively. However it should not be forgotten the hard work and effort that went on throughout the year for them to earn this reward. Well done to everyone.

Only … 24 hours from ‘staneford

Athelstaneford Primary School P4-7 had a full day and overnight adventure with assistance from ELC Outdoor Learning Service.
After preparing for 24 hours in the wilderness the class was transported up to the foothills of the Lammermuirs at Longyester.

A full day walk into a strong southerly breeze resulted in finally reaching the summit of Lammerlaw for well deserved far reaching views in all directions.

After a much quicker descent (wind and gravity assisted) the class then arrived at Blinkbonny Wood and set up camp (some tents; some hammocks and tarps; some teepees)

Dinner was duly cooked on an open fire and devoured with some relish; fun was had at the composting toilet!; marshmallows were toasted (burnt); exploring the woods in the gathering gloom of the evening.

Much resilience was required by all in getting to sleep in an unfamiliar environment – whether in hammock, tent or teepee. Well done to the boys who managed to stay asleep whilst their tent blew down! A couple of minutes later and they were installed in another more stable tent.

A big thanks to Mr Devereux and all the pupils from P4-7 at Athelstaneford.

A photo slideshow is available on the school P4-7 website