Hostelling Scotland: Providing much more children a taste of adventure


This is an short article I wrote lately for ThenScotsman newspaper revealing the operate of the charity, Hostelling Scotland, to give much more youngsters beneficial breaks away from property and their parents. See pdf.

Youngsters make adventures for themselves

Arriving at a trampoline park in Inverness, a group of 10 and 11-year-old youngsters buzz with excitement.

But this is no ordinary
outing, for the pupils from a key college in East Ayrshire have planned it
all themselves.

No one particular has told them exactly where
to go or how to get there. In reality, the youngsters have never ever been to
Scotland’s most northerly city just before.

One particular youngster sums it up for all
the other people when he remarks with unbridled surprise: “We have basically produced it.”

This is one particular of a lot of
heart-warming episodes in a two-evening trip taken by 22 youngsters from Muirkirk Key
College to Inverness Youth Hostel, supported  by Hostelling Scotland’s Explorer Fund.

The revolutionary programme
aims to encourage college and youth groups from deprived regions of Scotland to
organise residential breaks.

Lois Marshall is Hostelling
Scotland’s Youth and Volunteer Engagement Manager, a post that was designed two
years ago to increase the numbers and variety of persons accessing the charity’s
youth initiatives.

Explaining the aim of the Hostelling
Scotland Explorer Fund, Lois, 35, of Glasgow, says: “The fund, launched in
2018, supplies funded residential trips for disadvantaged young persons aged
eight to 25, to keep at one particular of our youth hostels for up to 3 nights at a

“They can select exactly where to
keep, no matter if a rural or urban hostel, and are encouraged to program their personal
trip away, such as organising and arranging activities, meals, excursions, games
and much more.  

“We will also give
facts about regional activities, as effectively as facts on factors to take into consideration.”

The youth hostel expertise
is often a young person’s initially time spending a evening away from property.

Lois says: “Many of the
young persons will have hardly ever had the chance to travel, even out of their
regional location, and most have never ever stayed a evening away from their parents, let
alone two or 3.

“These residential breaks are an remarkable expertise for the young persons.”

Added benefits of residential trips

Study by campaign group Finding out
Away shows the advantages of residential understanding experiences. The group is a
driving force of a UK-wide consortium of 18 organisations, which includes Hostelling
Scotland, that aims to make “high good quality residentials a reality for each and every

Kim Somerville, the chief executive officer of the Council for
Finding out Outdoors the Classroom, says: “Our study shows clearly that
residentials give possibilities and benefits that can’t be accomplished in any
other educational context or setting for youngsters and young persons of all ages,
enhancing their resilience, achievement, relationships and engagement with

Natalie White, an Outside
Finding out and Improvement Leader with East Ayrshire Council has observed a lot of of
the advantages initially-hand even though playing a supporting part in the Muirkirk college

She says: “These youngsters
come from one particular of the most deprived regions in our area and devoid of the Explorer
Fund they would not have been in a position to make the trip to Inverness Youth Hostel.

“The youngsters have been extremely
involved in the organizing, ordering meals, booking transport and arranging the

“They discovered so a lot, which includes simple life capabilities, communication and group operate. It was terrific to see their self-confidence develop and to think in themselves to make factors come about, such as the trip to the trampoline activity.”

Explorer Fund &amp Mini Explorers

To date, the Explorer Fund
has supported much more than 50 youth and college groups to have residential breaks (and
continues on from the Give Us a Break fund which Hostelling Scotland ran for
more than 10 years)

This year, funding has been
widened by Hostelling Scotland to consist of younger youngsters.

A Mini Explorers Fund was
piloted final year, and in 2019 it is supporting 3 additional groups to get
away functioning with each Early Years Centres and charities, which help parents

Lois mentioned: “The Mini Explorers
Fund supports Early Years outside understanding residentials and is aimed at
disadvantaged nursery aged youngsters and their households or carers.

“Five households from Woodburn
Nursery in Falkirk along with the Nursery leaders took component in the pilot
enjoying a two-evening keep at our Rowardennan Youth Hostel on the shores of Loch

“They managed to match in a
boat trip on the loch, a hike, singsongs about the campfire, seeing bats in
the dark, toasting marshmallows, paddling in the loch’s waters and a forest
stroll. It was all rounded off with tasty meals, board games and a sleepover for
two nights in the youth hostel.” 

There are advantages for the
young youngsters, as effectively as other members of the loved ones.

Lois says: “Woodburn Nursery
employees had discovered that the majority of the youngsters attending did not generally access
the outdoors with their households, due to a variety of barriers.

“Through the trip they aimed
to make a programme of activities to assistance the youngsters and households
expertise the outdoors with each other – and to show them the great entertaining and
advantages that this can present.

“The trip also constructed on the
relationships involving the nursery employees and parents and guardians, so that they
would be keen to take component in future outside understanding sessions planned by the

For the young youngsters, the
residential presented initially experiences and designed terrific memories.

Lois says: “After the trip,
they talked excitedly about the boat trip, the walks, the campfire and exactly where
they stayed. One particular youngster saw sheep for the initially time.

“For the parents, the influence
was remarkable. It gave them entertaining instances away with their youngsters and helped to
enhance relationships and increase self-self-confidence. It also showed them what they
may possibly be in a position to do in the future on their personal as a loved ones

“In a lot of situations, a lack of
self-confidence and perceived expertise, as effectively as
monetary issues, cease households from enjoying a quick break away from property.”

Whilst a lot of young persons in
Scotland take it for granted that they will get pleasure from a variety of travel experiences
with their loved ones and the key college “right of passage” residential trip, there
are nevertheless a important quantity that do not.

Lois says: “Hostelling
Scotland believes it is essential that Scotland is accessible to everybody – and
everybody has the opportunity to see some of the a lot of remarkable areas and areas we
are fortunate sufficient to have right here.

“As a charity we want to
allow much more of these initially experiences and assistance young persons to make life-lengthy memories.

“My operate is extremely rewarding
and one particular of the finest bits is the stick to-up sessions when I hear from the
youngsters and households about all they have observed, discovered and enjoyed on a
residential break.

“People usually do not realise
the worth of time away from the ordinary routine to go to new areas till they
basically do it. The advantage to these young persons and households is extraordinary.”

A concentrate on young persons

Hostelling Scotland, which
was founded just about 90 years ago, is a not-for-profit charity with much more than 60
youth and affiliate hostels.

Aspect of the organisation’s
charitable aims is a variety of youth initiatives to give young persons and
households, who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance, the opportunity to expertise
Scotland and create their capabilities for life, understanding and operate.

consist of the Explorer Fund
and the Mini Explorer Fund.

Scotspirit Programme, which is run by VisitScotland in partnership with the
Loved ones Vacation Association, sees Hostelling Scotland give quick holidays with
accommodation and catering for households.

Scotland also operates with partners, such as Shared Care Scotland to help the
Scottish Government backed Respitality
Programme. The programme supplies respite breaks for unpaid carers
functioning straight with the Scottish Hospitality Business. Hostelling Scotland
donates quick breaks in their hostels for each young carers and adult carers.  

addition, Hostelling Scotland set up the Braw Buildings initiative in partnership with The Scottish
Civil Trust.

Scotland run the project and give totally free accommodation in a variety of areas
more than the Doors Open Days weekends for each households and young persons aged 16 to
25 enabling them to go to new areas, discover Scotland’s distinctive buildings and
expertise Hostelling

Other projects have integrated
partnership with New College Lanarkshire

For a “hostel take over” by
students studying travel and tourism. This was followed up with students
undertaking placements in 3 youth hostels in Glasgow, Stirling and

Young persons have been also
invited to design and style and program GlenFest as component of the Year of Young Persons 2018
celebrating the opening of the newly refurbished
Glen Nevis Youth Hostel.

Locate out much more at

Assistance the charity

Hostelling Scotland is hunting for persons to join its board of trustees. They are keen to hear from hugely motivated people across all age groups, backgrounds and experiences to join the board of trustees.

If you are hunting to do anything terrific and think you have the enthusiasm, capabilities and expertise to assistance shape the future of hostelling in Scotland, they would really like to hear from you.

To express an interest and discover out much more, e mail: [email protected]

A formal nomination type is expected to be completed by 30th November 2019.


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