The centre is a registered charity that provides a wide variety of courses and clubs enabling teenagers to access many wonderful aspects of the outdoors.
Ardwhallan has released its 2013 programme of after-school clubs, courses and expeditions, both on and off the Island. These range from sailing and paddlesports clubs, run on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings respectively for a 10-week period, to a five-week sea paddling course. Participants on these courses can go on to access kayak expeditions.
This year Ardwhallan is running a weekend sea kayak trip on the Isle of Man and a two-week expedition in the Isle of Skye. In addition, it will be running a trip to the Lake District for those with an interest in white water kayaking. Also available during the school summer holidays is a locally based, two-day outdoor rock climbing course. This caters for beginners and improvers alike. The course is followed a month later by a weekend trip to the Peak District, where participants will build on the skills they gained during the local course. These two courses are designed to complement each other but you do not have to attend one to be able to go on the other.
Many of the courses run at Ardwhallan have nationally recognised accredited end goals for those wishing to pursue qualifications in the outdoors.
Jenny Lantry, Chief Instructor, said:
‘Measurement of achievement and goal-setting is important in any activity and many of the kayaking, canoeing and sailing courses are run in conjunction with national governing body schemes. These can lead to students gaining qualifications but, above all, we aim to ensure that participants have fun in a safe and suitably challenging environment.’
Paul Melling, Head of Centre, said:
‘There is an outdoor sport for everybody and our courses are aimed at all different abilities. The activities have developed over the years and we have introduced many young people to lifelong hobbies and a means of keeping fit and healthy. We’re looking forward to another year and hope to see some new faces among those that are returning to get involved again.’
For the second year running, Ardwhallan will also be running open expeditions for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at all levels as well as a residential activity week in August for gold level. These open expeditions enable students who cannot fulfil dates offered by their DofE centre or school to access an expedition while remaining with the centre or school for the reminder of the award. It is also an opportunity for those completing the award independently to do the expedition element with like-minded people.
Schools can use Ardwhallan for bespoke programmes, including personal and social development, GCSE PE and alternative games sessions and creative learning in the outdoors to enhance the curriculum.
A full list of what’s on offer is available via the website or via the facebook group Ardwhallan Outdoor Education Centre.