Ridgway Adventure · "Stretch, don't cruise"
Adventure courses for senior schools
The wild natural environment that surrounds Ridgway Adventure provides the perfect setting for ‘real’ adventure and exploration. Our six day courses are designed to stretch and challenge pupils, helping them overcome fears and succeed, individually and as a team.
Individuals grow through their experiences, gaining self-confidence, self-esteem and self-awareness through our ‘can do’ ethos, whilst developing a sense of ownership and responsibility amongst their peers. Qualities such as initiative and speed of thought are encouraged. Self-reliance and self-discipline are often called upon. New challenges are faced, skills developed and friendships forged building a life long resilience.
A Case Study: St John's School Leatherhead
St John's School Leatherhead have come to us for 11 consecutive years with a mixed group of 3rd, 4th and Lower 5th pupils (13-15 year olds). Their course is designed to stretch the pupils, drawing out inner strengths and skills and giving opportunity for peer leadership.
Over the six days we undertake a challenging two day mountain expedition into remote terrain with two nights of wild camping; spend a full day sea kayaking from the adventure school, exploring Loch Laxford towards the open Atlantic coastline; rock climb and abseil; learn survival skills, focused on fire lighting and wild cooking; raft build and raft race; wild swim; survive overnight on an uninhabited island as an independent group and relax and reflect on a strip of white sand beach on the final day before returning home.
The experiences on the mountain and on 'survival island' are reviewed as a team with Mark and Rebecca. Lessons learned in this environment are applicable in any walk of life and the school staff who come with the pupils see it as no coincidence that the young people who come to us go on to hold positions of responsibility in later years at the school.
» See a news page story from St John's trip to Ardmore in 2016
John Muir Award
Pupils can take part in The John Muir Discovery Award, an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment and is a great way for pupils to review their experiences focusing on ‘discovery, exploration, conservation and sharing’. They write and draw in a record book and receive a certificate at the end of the course. We promote conservation of water and power, as we supply our own and encourage students to reuse plastics not to waste food.
‘My association with Ardmore goes back a number of years. Apart from the wilderness and unique beauty of the place, every person who has been there has returned a changed person. Why? Because there is a breadth of experience offered, which allows young people to learn in a few days what might normally take many years, a few days, a week, perhaps a month defines a person for life. Once you have been, you are compelled to return again and again.’
Nick Haddock MBE MA, former Headmaster, St. John’s, Leatherhead
During their course, pupils complete the John Muir ‘Discovery’ Award. For more details, see the JMA website.