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

Windy Winter Walking – A Breeze for Musselburgh Grammar Girls

Based at Badaguish, staff began the week with an Avalanche Awareness CPD day and were joined on Wednesday by seven S2 and S3 students from Musselburgh Grammar. The unusual lack of snow cover in the area meant that skiing was off the cards, but students good-naturedly overcame their disappointment and took to hillwalking in difficult conditions with gust-o!

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On Thursday they battled their way against the wind along the Sugarbowl path, climbed icy boulders through Chalamain Gap and summited Creag a’Chalamain. Having determinedly found one of the few areas of snow, they practiced creating snow steps with winter boots and ice-axes and of course some snow sliding! After stopping for refreshment Cairngorm-style, the girls breezed back to the bus with the wind behind them.

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On Thursday evening, in the darkness of the forest at Badaguish, the students went hunting… for us! Practicing the use of transceivers (ordinarily used for avalanche rescue) and working in teams, they successfully tracked and found the unfortunate staff being hunted through the trees. Adrenaline was certainly flowing and great fun was had on both sides.

In contrast, Friday was a beautiful sunny day. A brief scramble up a steep slope was followed by leisurely walk among the ancient Caledonian pines, emerging at the magical Green Lake – An Lochan Uaine. From there we headed up to Ryvoan bothy for lunch, a fire and smores – hopefully worth carrying a share of firewood for!

After lunch four of the group with a taste for an amazing view climbed Meall a’ Buachaille. The other three students wound their way through the pine forest on the far side of the Lochan to try their hand at slacklining between the trees. Their advice: “Focus on the furry pompom of the hat ahead!”

Thanks to Mr Brown for all his work, for making this trip possible and for recruiting such a great group of winter walking women!


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 outdoorlearning@elcschool.org.uk

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

Winter wonderland

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Last weekend a hardy group of s5/6 pupils from a variety of secondary schools across East Lothian took part in a winter journeying weekend in the Cairngorms.

winter skills 2014

The weekend led by Outdoor Learning staff looked at extending their previous hillwalking experiences into the winter hills.

winter skills solo

Preparedness; resilience; confidence; responsibility were the main thrusts of the weekend. The pupils were encouraged to develop independance not only on the hill but also in looking after themselves within their accommodation helping to cook their own meals and planning their routes.

winter skills topping out

It was great to share this wonderful experience in fantastic conditions not only with pupils from a variety of East Lothian Schools but pupils also from Midlothian – great to work across authorities. (Click here to view a post and further photos from Midlothian)

Thank you also to all the volunteer staff from the school that came along to work alongside outdoor learning staff.

For even more pictures see here. (TBC)

Coming up soon is our adult winter weekend – now fully booked


This is snow joke

Last weekend eight students from Musselburgh and Dunbar Grammar Schools attended a two day Winter Skills course delivered by East Lothian Council Outdoor Learning Service. The group were based at Lagganlia Outdoor Centre and spent two days in the Northern Cairngorms.

Saturday was a ‘mountain journey’ from the top-car park at Cairngorm Mountain up into Corrie an Sneachda. During the day the group learned to use boots and ice-axes to cut steps in hard-packed snow, and then how to use crampons to travel on on the ice that covers the upper corrie. The weather was ‘challenging’ and gave the group ample opportunities to practice low-visibility navigation using map and compass in near white-out conditions.

Sunday was a snow-craft and skills day in the Alt Mor area near the ‘Sugar Bowl’ car-park. The recent heavy snow gave plenty of areas to progress movement on steep ground and to practice ice-axe braking to arrest falls.

The weekend gave these these 5th and 6th year pupils from East Lothian schools an opportunity to start to learn the basic skills needed to safely experience the beautiful and hostile Scottish mountains in winter. And maybe for some this may inspire them to progress their mountaineering adventures after they leave school. Thanks to Mr Brown from Musselburgh who helped organise the MGS pupils and for his assistance with the smooth running of the weekend.