School of Hard Knox

Start of the new academic year and ELOLS supported two DofE expeditions in week one.

Silver Qulaifying Paddling Expedition along the Great Glen – Gairlochy to Dores – 70 km by sea kayak

Utilising the new trailblazer campsites set up as part of the Great Glen Canoe Trail the group of boys camped at Leiterfearn and Foyers on their journey between Gairlochy and Dores. Arduous? – definitely. Rewarding? – absolutely. Congratulations to a very mature and resilient group of paddlers. Once their presentation is complete the group will have successfully completed the Expedition section of their Dof E Silver award.
This group all attend Knox Academy but they are doing the DofE award as a community youth group

Bronze Training Walking Expedition from Carfraemill to Haddington

We have some beautiful countryside in East Lothian and this training expedition run through the school made the best use of it with  a two day walking route starting/ finishing at the school. The woodland just outside Gifford and the Lammermuir hills made for a fine challenge for two groups. The woods proved navigationally challenging for one group in particular – but often the best learning comes from making mistakes!


More photos from the Silver qualifying and training below

D of E Expedition Supervisor Training

Our first of many Expedition Supervisor Training Courses was delivered last week on behalf of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

The course provides participants with an understanding and consistent interpretation of their roles and responsibilities within the DofE, ensuring a high quality and safe experience for all young people undertaking the Expedition section of their DofE programme

The course was very well received by all who attended and the chat surrounding appropriate levels of supervision (remote. close and direct) was of particular interest to all. The formulation of a supervision and training plan for exped’s proved very popular.


“A great course – really well presented and very interesting scenarios. It has given me much more confidence in my supervisory role for DofE expeds.”

The dates of the next course run by EL Outdoor Learning Service on behalf of DofE Scotland can be found here 

Silver DofE-ers are SPOT on

Last weekend saw the Haddington and Gifford community DofE group off on their Silver practice expedition in the Borders. As well as all the normal equipment the group were piloting using a SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger.

This allowed the group to send back their exact location using satellite communications; it does not need a mobile phone signal and will work anywhere you can see the sky. The locations and tracks are visible live in Google Maps and alerts can be sent to configured email and mobile phones as texts.

Using a SPOT did not detract from the groups own independence and navigational challenges – but it was an assistance for the supervisors managing the group, allowed the parents to track their progress, and will be useful for the group diagnosing some of those ‘unintended detours’ while navigating. Now here is the proof of where you went wrong!

The following is a download of the locations in an embedded live Google Map. If you would like to know more about using a SPOT Satellite Messenger or would like to borrow one to use with your group in East Lothian please contact the East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning Service.

View H&G Silver Practice in a larger map

Duke of Edinburgh – Supervisor and Assessor Training Jan 2013

Two courses for those interested in organising and assessing Duke of Edinburgh award courses in East Lothian will be run in January 2013. Courses will be based at the East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning Service. These DofE accredited courses are essential learning for those embarking on D of E programmes.

Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Supervisor training, Thursday 17th January 2013, 09.30am – 3.30pm

Aimed at ELC staff and volunteers. This course covers understanding the role of the Expedition Supervisor, Assessor and other adults involved in the delivery of the Expedition section. Attendance will develop Expedition Supervisors with an understanding and consistent interpretation of their role and responsibilities within the DofE, ensuring a high quality expedition experience for all young people.

(Cost Free – ELC Staff/Volunteers – External Staff/Volunteers £40.00)

Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Assessor training, Wednesday 30th January 2013, 09.30am – 3.30pm

For ELC staff and volunteers. This course provides the opportunity for new Expedition Assessors to have their training, skills and learning accredited by the DofE and nationally recognised. The programme has been designed to provide Expedition Assessors with a clear and consistent understanding of their role and responsibilities.

(Cost Free – ELC Staff/Volunteers – External Staff/Volunteers £40.00)

To book please contact the Outdoor Learning Service 0131 653 5217

More CPD opportunities at the Outdoor Learning Website – or visit our online brochure.

MGS Cairngorm Gold

Congratulations to Musselburgh Grammar’s Colin, Fraser, Cameron, Andrew, Nicola, Cali, Calum and Emma for completing their Gold Duke of Edinburgh qualifying expedition this week.

The 2 groups had a range of conditions from pretty dreich, to almost Summer, as they travelled for 4 days and 3 nights through the wilds of the southern Cairngorms. Despite previous nervousness that the final 20km day over Jock’s Road would be horrendous the groups both finished ahead of time and in great spirtis – including a quick unschedueld nip up a Munro on the way past for some.

Well done to all, and a really big thanks to Ms Bonnar for assisting with the remote supervision and to Ms Orsi for all of her efforts getting them here.