How to get more adventure into your programme
Outdoor adventure is an important part of the Scouting programme, so we asked Natalie, our SHQ Commissioner (Outdoors and Adventure), to tell us what support is available to Leaders who want to deliver more adventurous activities.
As Leaders we all see first-hand the positive effects that outdoor adventure can have upon young people, and there is a wealth of evidence to back our observations up. Studies show that exposure to outdoors environments can help young people develop personal and social skills, such as leadership, communication and confidence, that will hold them in good stead for the future.
However, as volunteers we are already juggling many different responsibilities, so fitting in the planning and delivery of high-quality outdoor experiences can sometimes seem daunting, particularly to those of us who joined Scouts later in our lives. If you do need help, the good news is there is plenty of support available.
Scotland’s Scout Adventures centres, Lochgoilhead, Fordell Firs and Meggernie, have highly experienced teams who can offer guidance and advice on the delivery of adventurous activities and in some cases may even be able to offer permit training for your Leaders or advise you on upcoming training courses. At Lochgoilhead your Leaders can train for permits in some activities, while your young people are enjoying activities at camp, or you can organise a weekend training camp just for Leaders.
Go to an organised camp
Look out for organised camps, where the activities are delivered by trained professionals or volunteers. The Scottish Scout Adventures centres offer camps for all Sections all year round. Coming up in the summer will be ScotJAM at Lochgoilhead, which offers a wide range of outdoors activities for both the Cub and Scout Sections. Even if there isn’t an event on, our Scout Adventures centres can organise and deliver a camp programme full of adventure.
Use our online resources
The UK Scout Association hosts a wealth of information for supporting programme planning, so visit the Members section to browse resources and information. The Nights Away Manual is also a valuable tool for planning a camp and can be purchased from the Scout Shop. You might also find our summer camp planning resources and blogs useful too.
Attend our Outdoors Conference
If you are keen to develop the skills to lead adventurous activities, come along to our first ever Outdoors Conference in March next year. There will be the opportunity to take part in a wide range of training sessions and activities.
Do you need financial support to give your young people opportunities to access adventurous activities? Scouts Scotland may have some funding available to provide outdoors experiences to Scout Troops, Explorer Units and Scout Network Members who live in areas of deprivation, typically the 20% most deprived in each local authority area.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Making it happen weekly
Outdoors and adventure activities can be part of the weekly meet. Activities such as cycling, orienteering, walking, bushcraft, and many more can easily be offered at an introductory level near or at your meeting place. This can add significant value to your programme for the young people who can look forward to an exciting range of experiences each week and for parents who can enjoy listening to weekly tales of adventure!