Wallaby hunting

Ross High School Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award practice expedition took place this last week over three days. As a group paddling sea kayaks they went exploring Loch Lomond. In some particularly tricky weather conditions all pupils equipped themselves very well.

On this expedition the Outdoor Learning Service were fortunate to have the support of two staff members of Preston Lodge High School – Brian and Anne. The pupils marvelled at how well they packed their boats and realised how important all those little luxuries that can be taken sea kayaking are.

No trip to Loch Lomond is complete without a visit tro Inchconnachan where a fair few Wallabies live and thrive. There were some unbelievers amongst the group initially until we went Wallaby spotting on one of our evening camps.

Well sone to all pupils and they now have time to plan and prepare for their assessed expedition in June 2011

Gifford DofE get Bronzed-Off

Last Monday and Tuesday Gifford Community Duke of Edinburgh Group completed their Bronze assessed expedition in blustery and wild weather in the Pentlands. The two groups started form Bonally on monday, camped overnight below Scald Law then journeyed through to finish near Balerno on Tuesday.

En route the boys had to find time to gather data for their project on land-use to support their expedition project.

Despite the wild weather the girls group filmed some great footage of a range of flora and fauna to be made into a movie on the local wildlife.

This is the end of the Bronze Award for this community Duke of Edinbugh group. Well done to all, and thanks again to Kim White for helping these youngsters to succeed (and for these pictures). Now what about going for Silver ….?

Duke of Hazard

Ross High Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition training. This year, pupils are training for an expedition by sea kayak, Their training continues apace with lots of evening sessions straight after school and last night a quick paddle off the East Lothian coastline and camp – all completed within the time frame from the end of school on Wednesday 1540 to start of school on Thursday – 0845. All pupils were thrilled that they could undergo this training without missing any time at school(!).
A great evening was had by all paddling in quite a large sea and a wonderful camp just up from the beach. The puupils had a chance to experience some risk management and hazard awareness in action – personal and group. Just how powerful are those small waves? – how dry will our launching and landing really be? – how do we keep track of each other’s positions when we keep disappearing behind large swell?
Technonlogy came into play in the form of Mr Laud’s phone (Google Sky Map) which we used to distinguish many a star and planet.

No photos from this trip as hands were quite full looking after group on water and we came off the water as the sun went down. It was very beautiful though – let your imagination conjure up some pictures of large waves with the evening sun dancing off each crest!

In Awe of Ross High and their Bull

This years cohort of Silver level DofE students from Ross High have just completed their expedition by sea kayak, The aim of the expedition was to paddle the length of Loch Awe over three days and on the way document and clean up old fire/ camp sites. The images below show some of the sites they came across and their efforts to Leave No Trace of others. (More images coming soon)

Students completed their expedition and at the very end of their trip discovered a bull stuck in the mud right up to it’s neck. After a call to the local landowner the students got to watch: tractor; 3 fire engines; control unit; quad bike; landrover; police car. With all these resources thrown at him the Bull has survived to sire again!

Congratulations to all students who now need to complete their expedition report in order for this section of their Award to be signed off as finished.
FTAO Ross students. For video content that you can download for use in a presentation please click here
The pictures above can be downloaded for use in your projects also.

Lammermuir crossing

Gifford’s Duke of Edinburgh group Bronze exped was treated to some of best weather this year while walking from the Whitadder back to Gifford. On Monday the group started at Penshiel and walked round and camped near Fasany Water. Next day they bagged the highest hill in East Lothian (the mighty Miekle Says Law) before descending through The Hopes to Gifford via the Goblin Ha’.

Click on the following image for a slideshow.

Click here, or on the image for a slide-show.

Thanks to Dave Habgood and Jennifer Purves for helping make this trip happen. A special mention to Kim White who runs this community DofE group. Undaunted by the steep learning curve, she is allowing these Knox pupils to achieve their Bronze Award.