Duke Of Edinburgh’s Award:
Base Camp and Wild Camping in the Scottish West Highlands
Rugged Wilderness Awaits
From its towering mountains to its legendary lochs, Western Scotland has some of the most spectacular scenery in the British Isles. Situated on Europe’s Atlantic edge, the windswept Hebrides islands give way to ancient weathered fjords, where volcanic mountains rise out of the restless waters below. At 1,345 m above sea level, the fabled Ben Nevis towers above the jagged highlands which stretch as far as the eye can see. The Scottish West Highlands is the site of this wilderness camping excursion where participants will hone outdoor skills, work as a team, and tackle this outdoor challenge. “Freedom to Roam” is set in Scottish law and we invite you to roam the wilderness and achieve your personal GOLD Adventurous Journey goal!
Glasgow, West Highlands
August 14-24, 2020
Parent & Student Information Meeting
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Click here to RSVP
(electronic instructions will be emailed out closer to the date)
Thursday, September 19th 2019
Click here to RSVP
Why Choose This Program
- Led by experienced UIMLA International Mountain Leader guides
- Approved for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Adventurous Journey Project
- Experience the incredible beauty of the Scottish wilderness
- Full training and preparation programme
- Expand your core life skills and build self-confidence
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners
- Campsite logistics, maps, tents and camping gear
- Support groups and peer teaching
- Route maps, GPS tracking, emergency prepardness plans
- Duke of Ed assessor sign-off
What Can I Gain From This Experience?
Youth are growing up in a fast-paced world of highly regulated activities and interactions. In order to mature and grow, learning to overcome adversity and build resilience is key. The Scottish Highlands Wilderness Camp Adventure brings participants into an environment that places core life skills in the foreground, requiring you to expand your mind, build self-confidence and self-reliance, and develop respect and appreciation for the natural world.
This program is available to youth across Canada, the USA and Europe. The aim of this program is to help foster international friendships.
Working together in small teams, you will be presented with challenges that require you to organize, cooperate, and find strengths in order to master an ever-changing environment with limited resources while learning self-management and the value of teamwork. The value of these skills will translate into success in post-secondary college, university, and careers.
What Can I Expect From This Journey?
The heart of the journey is the exploration of the great outdoors and the undertaking of a purposeful experience with new companions, working toward common goals. As you find your path in an unfamiliar environment in the company of new friends, facing minute-by-minute challenges along the way, you will be rewarded with a sense of personal achievement that builds with every day of the adventure. This results in an enhanced sense of self, improved social connections, and a truly life-changing experience.
TEAMWORK: Working as a team, in collaboration with their mentors, you will create your own journey. By taking charge of the daily planning, you will learn to manage time, budgets, navigation and safety issues.
RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL: Through peer teaching, discussions and activities, you will become conscious of the environmental, cultural and economic impacts of your actions.
SELF-CARE AND MUTUAL RESPONSIBILITY: These are critical components of any outdoor adventure. You will be responsible for maintaining (personal) hygiene, using outdoor gear, handling and preparing food, and taking care of team members. With the help of mentors, you will practice taking charge of mutual team responsibilities.
APPRECIATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY: By experiencing a new country with its particular climate, fauna, flora and cultural traditions, you will come to understand that culture is often closely tied to the environment and that there is beauty in diversity.
ADDING AN EXPLORATION COMPONENT TO THE JOURNEY: The two main ways of completing the Adventurous Journey stage of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award are via the Expedition or the Exploration. Exploration puts a greater emphasis on studying a local topic, be it geology, wildlife, history, culture etc. We support you by helping to generate ideas, select an appropriate topic, and identify sites to focus on when in the field.
August 14 – Board overnight fight to Glasgow.
August 15 – Morning arrival to Glasgow International Airport. Upon arrival, you will be met by qualified guides who will lead us on a historical tour of Glasgow by coach. From the Neo-Gothic University of Glasgow, rumored to be the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, to Buchanan Street, the city’s main pedestrian boulevard and shopping hub, to lively neighbourhoods where traditional bagpipe music can be heard, participants will experience the rich cultural life and innovative architecture of this world-class city. Following the tour, the group will continue on to base camp to set up camp and spend the night.
August 16 – Training day and preparation for Practice Journey
August 17 & 18 – Practice Journey (instructors will be with groups and use these days for teaching as well as journeying)
August 19 – Rest and preparation for Qualifying Journey
August 20, 21, 22, 23 – Qualifying Journey
August 24 – Coach transfer to the airport for flight home (or city extension in Edinburgh or London)
What Is Included
- Qualified Mountain Leaders (1:8 supervision ratio). Our guides are UIMLA International Mountain leaders. This is worldwide reference for mountain & wilderness leadership with a high emphasis on environmental and cultural education. Our guides are first-aid trained. Your son/daughter will be in very capable hands.
- Full Training Program: The full training program will cover all core skills of independent wilderness travel: Navigation with map & compass, first aid, mountain weather, route choice and mountain hazards, basic ropework, food & water safety, sleeping in impromptu bivouac sites, personal & group hygiene and interpretation of local fauna & flora. In addition, students will practise how to effectively lead each other in small teams.
- Breakfast, lunch & dinner daily (students will receive a budget to purchase and plan meals. Food will be made at the campsite)
- All transport within Scotland
- Tent rental (1 tent for every 2/3 students of the same gender)
- Campsite logistics and fees + Maps of the local area.
- Cooking fuel and stoves with pots/pans.
- Support for groups in preparation areas such as sourcing food, choosing a project topic, info on local history. Classroom materials & support in group work topics such as peer teaching on local fauna/flora/culture/history/skills, budgeting & planning.
- Detailed kit list + explanations
- First aid cover
- GPS tracking of groups for safety
- Emergency planning for Journeys
- Rental of sheltered areas for teaching
- Full Assessor sign-off at the end of the Qualifying Journey
- Final celebratory meal for all students and staff at the end of the Qualifying Journey
Fee does not include:
- Airfare: Approximately $1025.00 (Air Canada Airlines)*
- Optional insurance
- Anything not mentioned in the itinerary above
- Edinburgh or London extension (extend your stay and spend 3 nights in Edinburgh or London. Please enquire for details)
- Personal outdoor equipment (a detailed packing list will be sent to you)
Fun Facts About the West Highlands
- The West Highland Way is 154 km long and is the most popular long distance hiking route in the UK
- At 4409 feet Ben Nevis is Britain’s highest mountain
- The West Highland’s most famous hero is the 17th century outlaw Rob Roy
There is one bursary opportunity available. Priority will be given to a candidate who can prove financial need and is First Nations, Metis or Inuit.
Note: This trour is based on 16 paying participants and 2 mountain leaders/guides and land tarrifs as of June 8, 2019. Please note there is that price is subject to change. Please read the full Terms and Conditions here.
Fine Print: It is the responsibility of all participants to ensure that they have a valid passport and that no additional travel documents are necessary. Georgia Hardy Tours Inc. is not responsible for inadequate travel documents. Georgia Hardy Tours reserves the right to make changes in the itinerary when necessary for the convenience and safety of tour participants. Any extra cost in the unlikely event of itinerary changes must be borne by the individual participant.
Responsibility and Jurisdiction: Georgia Hardy Tours and their agents act only as agents for the passengers with respect to services supplied to passengers by others, including but not limited to transportation, hotel and restaurant services, on the express condition that they are not liable for any failure in such services, or injury, loss or damage, delay or inconvenience arising out of or in connection with any defect in any vehicle or any act, omission, accident or error in providing such transportation, hotel, restaurant or other services. There is no refund for unused portions of the tour. In case of an accident occurring during the land portion of any tour, the passenger must submit any claim therefore only to the competent judicial authorities of the jurisdiction where such accident occurred, to be determined exclusively in accordance with the laws of such jurisdiction. By accepting the coupons and tickets and utilizing the services, the passenger agrees that Georgia Hardy Tours nor any affiliated or subsidiary companies or representatives shall be liable for any loss, injury or damage to the passenger or belongings or otherwise in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services or resulting directly from any occurrences beyond its control including breakdown in equipment, strikes, theft, delay or cancellation or changes in itinerary or schedules, etc. Georgia Hardy Tours and its agents reserve the right to refuse to accept or retain any person as a member of this tour. The right is reserved to withdraw any or all of the tour or portions thereof. All tour services including, but not limited to hotel accommodations, restaurants, guide services and transportation are furnished by independent contractors.
We Would Love to Hear from You!
Do you have travel questions or would like to know more about how GHT can help you plan a group trip?