Outward Bound 2019

Skills for Life

Fancy a Low Cost, 3 week, Life Changing Adventure?

This year, mainly thanks to the Sir John Priestman Charity Trust and the Outward Bound Trust, more of our Explorer Scouts will have the opportunity to attend an Outward Bound "Skills for Life" course in July/August, held at Outward Bound's Ullswater Centre. Each course is worth more than £1,700 and is recognised as one of the world's best outdoor development courses.

Note that for 2019, each selected participant will be required to contribute (ideally by way of fundraising) £250.00 towards the cost of the course.

Each course includes:

  • Camping
  • Two mini expeditions
  • Gorge scrambling
  • Rock climbing
  • Kayaking
  • Sessions to help develop planning and problem solving skills,
  • Sessions to help you development leadership and team-working skills etc
  • Much, much more (so much more! See the Outward Bound Skills for Life page, download the Outward Bound Skills for Life itinerary or watch the video below for more details)

IMG_20160416_105534To earn your place, you will need to take part in a selection event which consists of a 10-15 km night hike, an overnight bivouac, personal & team challenges and an interview, all based at Moor House Adventure Centre.

We aim to select up to six Explorer Scouts who will not only be able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the Skills for Life course, but who will most importantly gain the most in terms of personal development. The places may not necessarily go to the Explorer Scouts who are currently the most ‘outdoorsy’ but to those who, in the opinion of the selection team, will benefit the most from going on a Skills for Life adventure and who will give the most back to Scouting and their communities.

To do this we will ask you to participate in a number of activities and will use an objective scoring system (designed in accordance with the county selection policy) to identify the most suitable candidates. We also hope that the selection process will be an enjoyable time and that any candidates who are not selected will still gain something from the experience.

To apply, you must:

  • Currently be an Explorer Scout in Durham Scout County,
  • Be aged 15 or over on 29th July 2019 (the minimum age for the course is 15),
  • Be available for the selection event on the evening of Friday 8th March (from 7pm), until the afternoon on Saturday 9th March 2019,
  • Be available for the 'Skills for Life' course, from 29th July to 16th August 2019 (yes, this really is three weeks of your life!)
  • Fill in the application form below (note that you will need to think about why you want to go on the Skills for Life course and you should set aside at least 15-20 minutes to complete your application - have a good read of the form first)
  • Send a signed consent form (Durham Scouts Medical and Consent Form (Under 18)) to Moor House, or bring a signed copy on the Friday evening (note that if you do not have a signed consent form you will not be allowed to take part in the selection)

Note that applications close 5th March 2019

We will send you, your leader and parent/carer an acknowledgement once we receive your application and we will send you details of the selection event one week before the event. This is to allow you time for final preparations and make sure that you have the appropriate equipment.


The following information will help you prepare for the selection process:

Hike: Although only a short rural hike on the Friday evening, you will be expected to plan and navigate your own route and walk at your own pace in a small group, carrying all your equipment and food with you. We will email you details of the route 5 - 7 days ahead of time (including the starting location) and you should allow time between 4th and 7th March for route planning. You will leave one copy of your route plan with us when you set out – please make sure you put your name on it.

Bivouac: Although you may choose to sleep in a light weight expedition tent, the ideal accommodation will be an outdoor bivouac which you will construct using a shelter/tarpaulin, hammock, roll mat, sleeping bag etc. Available natural materials may also be used and you will be expected to leave your sleeping / cooking area in the condition in which you find it.

Note that use of the site toilet block / showers is allowed.

Meals: You will need to bring food and drinks for your evening meal (supper) and breakfast which you will cook for yourselves (we will provide lunch on Saturday). This should be suitable for cooking expedition style (e.g. on suitable expedition stoves) or over an open fire. If you choose to use an open fire you will be expected to light your own fire. Please select menus suitable for expedition use, with sufficient calories for a night out in the open followed by a long morning of activities.

Equipment: Everything you choose to bring with you should fit in a well packed expedition rucksack. Remember to bring equipment to help you navigate, construct your bivouac, cook your food, wash your pans etc. Please be sure to bring suitable clothing and footwear for an evening hike and a day in the British outdoors, which may be dark, wet, cold and muddy.

Consent Form: If you do not post your consent form to Moor House you MUST bring a copy of the signed medical / consent form with you

Note that the selection event ends at 14.15 hours on the Saturday.


We are deliberately not providing you with a full kit list - part of the selection criteria will be based upon your selection of menu and equipment, but if you have any questions or concerns please get in touch at explorers@durhamscouts.org.uk