Become a Paddlesport Instructor

Enjoyed being on the water over summer? Enamoured with Stand Up Paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing, sit on top kayaking etc? Make your passion part of your work and become a Paddlesport Instructor. Ready to take the plunge?

Coming up on 3 consecutive Fridays – by the end of these successful 3 days you will achieve the status of British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor.

Friday 30 September 2022 – Foundation Safety and Rescue Course – essential learning for all prior to undertaking Paddlesport Instructor.

Friday 7 October and Friday 14 October – Paddlesport Instructor Course

To book please follow this link

The Paddlesport Instructor qualification is designed for instructors running
paddlesport taster/starter sessions within the safety management systems of clubs,
centres or other organisations in:
 ‘Very Sheltered Water’ environments;
 craft deemed suitable for a first time experience.
The primary role of the Paddlesport Instructor is to deliver safe and enjoyable
taster/starter sessions based on their group’s needs and aspirations. 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.
We anticipate that the qualification is likely to be used by instructors in clubs,
centres, schools, Duke of Edinburgh, Youth Groups, Uniformed Groups, etc.
Instructors who are involved in running taster/starter sessions for:
 children and young people as part of a wider educational experience;
 people as part of a leisure, activity, social or holiday experience;
 people wanting ‘to have a go’ at the sport; maybe as a potential new
regular participant.

Further information regarding this British Canoeing course on the Scottish Canoe Association website

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.

Ski-touring-tastic for ELC teachers


For the first time the Winter CPD weekend at Badaguish in the Cairngorms last weekend included a ski touring taster for ELC teachers. The purpose of this session was to let teachers experience ski touring in order to help the Outdoor Learning Service deliver this to pupils of East Lothian schools.

On-piste skiing,  foreign trips and lift passes can be expensive, and so are not accessible to all. By contrast for ski touring all you need is equipment and qualified staff (both of which we now have), some snowy Scottish mountains and a bit of leg power!

We  can now offer amazing ski adventures to pupils across East Lothian schools.  In particular we intend to target pupils who get to learn to ski at Hillend but do not have the opportunity to progress further.  Please contact us if you want to know more, or have a group of pupils you would like us to support you with.

Click here for a slideshow of all the photos.

Staff Winter Skills CLPL – Weekend of 4th-6th March 2016

winter skills

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

Why attend?
Whether  a novice or an experienced hill-walker the Scottish winter mountains can be a challenging environment.  They are an excellent place to help you gain the skills and confidence to better manage and inspire groups in the outdoors.

When …
Meeting , then leaving from  Outdoor Learning Service in Musselburgh,  at 4pm on Friday 4th March, returning evening of Sunday 6th March.

Activities will be dependent on the conditions and the group, they 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.
Snowshoeing – dependent on conditions
Ski-touring – very dependent on participants prior experience and conditions

What’s included …
Self-catering accommodation in 4 bed dorms
Instruction and coaching from ELC OLS staff
All technical and safety equipment, including shell clothing and winter boots.
BF, pack-lunch and dinner on the Sat, BF and pack-lunch on the Sun

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

How to book …
Cost is £95 for East Lothian and Midlothian council staff, community group leaders and volunteers (£150 for external delegates) . To confirm your place please fill out a CPD booking form located here , and email in to

Not sure, or want to know more?  Email me … Andy Duff

Duke Of Edinburgh Award Scheme Support

We were delighted to run two courses for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme over the last couple of weeks.

  • DofE Expedition Accredited Assessor Scheme
  • DofE Expedition Supervisor Training Course

Both courses were well received by all participants and will mean an increase in young people accessing the outdoors with appropriate supervision and quality assessors for the Award Scheme.

“…excellent tutor – easy going and informative”

Supervisor courseThe next of these courses are on in March 2016.

More information and booking – click here