Outdoor & Adventure Conference: Lochgoilhead 2023

Outdoor & Adventure Conference: Lochgoilhead 2023

13 March 2023

The last weekend of February may be a bit chilly for some, but over 160 members rucked up at our Outdoor Education Conference at Scout Adventures Lochgoilhead. Set in the idyllic surroundings of Loch Goil in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, the weekend gives volunteers a chance to develop their outdoor skills and meet other leaders with an interest in outdoor skills. The weekend catered for both experienced and newbies, with a variety of courses from Bushcraft to stand up paddleboarding, mountain biking and orienteering.

Angie, from 25th Braid, said, “I really enjoyed going to the Outdoor Learning Conference at Lochgoilhead. We are given an itinerary for the weekend, but there is also plenty of time to explore the area – as Lochgoilhead is such a stunning area! I took part in the advanced bushcraft sessions so that I could improve on skills I already had and also learn from other leaders to see how they use these skills in their sections. It’s an excellent opportunity to practice new skills with instructors who have so much to offer us as learners. The instructors were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about making sure that we were confident in our abilities and also that we would also be able to pass on these skills. This is the second conference I have attended and can't wait to attend again next year.”

After the event 90% of the participants told us they felt confident delivering skills – up from just 45% before the conference. All of the attendees told us they thought the conference helped them develop new skills as well.

As each leader is able to pass these skills on to the young people in their groups, as a movement we’ll be able to share these skills with over 5,000 young people across Scotland.

Frazer from Dalgety Bay, a volunteer and Scouts Scotland staff member said, “events like these are great as it develops skills that our leaders can pass on to our youth members. Every leader who is upskilled can make an even bigger impact in the community, with Scouts gaining the advantage from these new-found skills.”

Nikki from Edinburgh said, “I took part in the bushcraft sessions led by Kenny and Craig who both do (and teach) bushcraft full-time for a living. They had so much enthusiasm, knowledge and experience so we came away with loads of new ideas to share with our Scouts. I really liked that they also shared lots of environmental knowledge, such as which natural materials to use for firelighting (instead of relying on cotton wool), so that we can teach our young people to do bushcraft in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way.”

Between the activities there were chances to catch up with friends old and new at meals and the evening events. Friday Night’s Quiz and the Ceilidh on Saturday were particular highlights. “The Conference provides a great opportunity for networking and as a social weekend. It's a great place to meet other leaders with a common interest in the outdoors and to share ideas for how to get young people engaged in the outdoors too,” Nikki added.

Scouts Scotland wants to make sure even more young people get the chance to benefit from our volunteers’ skills and knowledge. We run a number of skills-building courses and events throughout the year. Check out our events page to find out more.