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Highland Fling – A Venture Trust and British Exploring Society partnership

A Highland fling – A Venture Trust and British Exploring Society partnership

Scotland's spectacular wild places are inherently challenging. This setting - far removed from young peoples' everyday environments – will give a group of “Young Explorers” the chance to tackle physical, emotional and social challenges this week.

These challenges are carefully designed to encourage learning and development, to help participants increase their aspirations, confidence and motivation, and to develop a range of skills for life, learning and work.

The wilderness is at the heart of Venture Trust’s programmes of intensive personal development. This ethos and belief in the power of the outdoors is shared with British Exploring Society and has led to the historic charity teaming up with Venture Trust to deliver its first ever Scottish expedition with ‘UK Explorers’, after delivering expeditions across the globe for 87 years.

Both organisations deliver programmes which allow young people to begin to discover that there are strengths that they didn't think they had, aspects of their background and personality that they can draw on to solve problems whether traversing a high ropes course with Venture Trust, or practiced on a canoeing expedition with British Exploring Society. Other key skills include communication, time management, accountability, establishing trust, dealing with challenging situations, and giving and receiving feedback. Every aspect of the wilderness journey is designed with the introduction and development of these concepts in mind.

The Venture Trust approach aligns itself with British Exploring Society – an organisation that prepares and takes young people (between the ages of 14 and 25) on expeditions to remote locations where they face challenges, gain skills and learn about themselves. The transformative programmes have always included a strong focus on adventure, acquiring knowledge and personal development and impart a new-found confidence and self-belief which is carried forward in life.

Venture Trust operations manager Simon White said the partnership aims to help support British Exploring Society and its leaders in delivering great personal development journeys – as Venture Trust has been doing for more than 20 years.

“They have huge experience in delivering wilderness expeditions all around the world and many of them of five-week duration in remote and inhospitable places. We’re delighted that they want to add the knowledge and enthusiasm of Venture Trust to their expeditions,” Simon said.

“Ahead of British Exploring Society’s first Scottish expedition, Venture Trust delivered training to their leadership team for the UK Explorers programme. In addition, we have supported them with the logistics and planning. Collaboration between third sector partners can make a difference to the lives of young people. And it is a testament to Venture Trust that a respected charity like British Exploring Society – running since 1932 – recognises the value and skills we share.”

In keeping with all British Exploring Society programmes, whether in the Himalaya or the Amazon, 40 Young Explorers – working with 12 Leaders – have planned their own expedition and are completely self-sufficient in the remote and rugged Scottish Highlands. They will only have the equipment and supplies they carry on their backs and will need to plan their routes, their trekking objectives and their science projects to ensure they can collect water from streams for drinking and cooking and be able to locate remote campsites.

The collaboration between two organisations – both harnessing the transformative powers of the outdoors – means even more young people will benefit from acquiring and developing the skills to face life’s challenges head on.

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