Enjoying the outdoors in the city…

In previous years, we’ve neglected to make good use of the summer term to tick off things for our ‘Out of Doors’ octant. Last summer, the girls came up with loads of great ideas of things they wanted to do and then we realised that by the time the Autumn term came, it was getting dark and perhaps wouldn’t be the best idea!

So this year we were on the ball. I’d kept the massive roll of paper containing their ideas, and brought it out for this term’s planning and it served as a good reminder. Some ideas got ditched, others got added, others changed.

Edinburgh is the city of seven hills, so we went for a walk up one of them. We got great views and came across lots of cool little hidden gems, including a walled garden. The girls noted the garden looks for volunteers in the summer months and said ‘maybe we could help out with that’. Why not?


Another night the girls decided they wanted to go to Cramond Island. We met up at the beach, and the girls said they’d like to have a barbecue. The deal was that we would provide a disposable barbecue if they brought the food they wanted (which for the most part turned out to be marshmallows!)

I couldn’t find the tidal timings for the causeway to know if we could go across to the island, but when we arrived we discovered the tide was out so a decision was made to walk across to the island


By the time we got there, we didn’t have too much time left so we just had marshmallows after I got the BBQ going which was difficult as it was a little breezy so our matches kept going out while trying to light it (we had carried a bottle of water to put out the barbecue and then I got the fun job of carrying the soggy cool barbecue back from the island after).

We’ve gotten really lucky too as May has been a very wintery month for Scotland (there’s even been hailstorms!) and the two nights we had outdoor activities it’s been relatively mild and even sunny (though not warm). I can’t imagine it would have been as fun if we’d been trudging through the rain.

Our final ‘outdoor’ activity will be our annual end of term campfire, and this year we hope to join with another Senior Section unit in the city. Any ideas for some outdoor ‘getting to know you’ games? I’ve realised that my outdoor game knowledge has disappeared as I’m the only leader who did lots of outdoor camping as a younger Guide and Ranger so I’m usually building a campfire while everyone else is running games.


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