Young people are being invited to go wild in local woodland thanks to a unique project which will see participants build a range of personal skills and develop a deeper connection with the environment.
The Wild Woodland Youth Quest is being made possible with a Big Lottery Fund grant of £7,920 and will see teenagers from Fife enjoy a series of fun, challenging activities and camps over a 12-month period starting at the end of August 2017.
The project and funding application has been made possible by a local enthusiast of outdoor education, Paula Millwood.
Paula, who volunteers at a monthly woodland group for youngsters in Letham woods, wanted to expand the benefits of engaging with nature and the outdoors for teenagers.
She said: “This project fills a gap in what is available for teenagers locally and nationally. There is evidence to show that a lack of exposure to nature, particularly for young people, contributes to increased obesity, attention disorders and depression. With no significant cultural models for supporting teenagers transitioning to adulthood, the aim of the project is to give local teens experience of being outdoors, learning to connect with their surroundings, and others, to build personal skills which will help them develop and thrive in natural and wider social settings – boosting confidence, creativity and self-awareness are critical for transition to healthy adulthood.
“The weekends and camp will be led by Douglas McKay – a storyteller and passionate advocate of outdoor learning – he has a wealth of experience as a youth worker, mentoring and helping individuals to realise their full potential. He will be supported in this role by Amy Clarkson, an M.Litt student in Environment, Culture and Communication at Glasgow University.
“We’d love to hear from local teenagers who are interested in getting involved and taking part in this exciting project.”
The Woodland Youth Quest is free to attend and open to 13 to 17 year-olds, participants will take part in five outdoor residential weekends and one longer five-day camp over a 12-month period. Activities will include: bush craft, storytelling, team building and survival skills. For more information about the project and to apply email Douglas MacKay and Paula Millwood at firstname.lastname@example.org