My journey to outdoor education
Today as thousands of young people receive their school results and start to make decisions about their future, we wanted to highlight that you don’t always end up where you expected to be. Liam, one of the senior instructors at Scout Adventures Lochgoilhead told us about his journey.
If you asked anyone at my high school if they thought I would be in this job now doing the things like presenting videos on Scouts Scotland social media and website; or delivering and teaching both young people and adults; or regularly presenting to over 150 people at events like Scouts Scotland’s Outdoors Conference, they would have told you absolutely no way. You see I was that quiet shy lad at school who just got on with his work.
I wouldn’t class myself as naturally academic, I had to work really hard in school. I went to University because it felt like I was at a school where that was really the only option. I knew I wanted to work with young people but didn’t really know how, so one of my teachers suggested going into teaching.
I went to University and it was great, well everything apart from the work. As a person I grew and grew over those 3 years. It might sound cheesy but I found myself and this was the start of the Liam we see today at our centers. Another positive was being at a University in North Wales my passion for the outdoors reignited once more. This coupled with summers working as a group leader on summer camps, I now knew where I wanted to be, outdoor education.
My enthusiasm for my degree dried up and my results plummeted so much so I ended up failing my final year. I had to had a serious conversation with myself and I deciding to try and retake the modules that I had failed as a part time student. Looking back on this now in some ways this only slowed down doing what I wanted to do anyway.
I’ve now worked across the UK in the outdoor education sector and had the opportunity to have some fantastic experiences and trip around the world. I have presented and spoken about the outdoors at national events and am now a provider of national governing body awards to train other instructors. In November I am going to be the first person in Scotland to undertake a brand new qualification too in my discipline.
Remember "There is no right or wrong path. There is only the path that you choose. Whatever you choose, there will be many opportunities for you to grow and expand." - Kuan Yin