Outward Bound 2020

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, four more of our Explorer Scouts will have the opportunity to attend an Outward Bound "Skills for Life" course in August 2020, 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 2020, 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_105534We aim to select up to four Explorer Scouts who will not only be able to cope with the physical and mental demands of the Skills for Life course, but who most importantly will 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 be one of the four Explorer Scouts, you will need to attend an event which consists of a team building and leadership challenges, a hike and an interview, with an option to camp the previous night, all based at Moor House Adventure Centre.

We will use an objective scoring system (designed in accordance with the county selection policy) to identify the most suitable candidates i.e. those who will gain the most in terms of personal development. 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 3rd August 2020 (the minimum age for the course is 15),
  • Be available for the selection event on Saturday 14th March 2020 (09:30 to 16:30, with optional camping the night before)
  • Be available for the 'Skills for Life' course, from 3rd to 21st August 2020 (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 to the event (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 1st March 2020

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 Saturday, you will be expected to help plan the route and walk at your own pace in a small group, carrying equipment for a day hike with you.

Camping: You may choose to camp at Moor House over the Friday evening but this is option and is not part of the process.

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

Meals: You will need to bring food and drinks for lunch which you will cook for yourselves while on the hike. This should be suitable for cooking expedition style (e.g. on suitable expedition stoves which you will need to bring with you. Please select menus suitable for expedition use, with sufficient calories for a day out in the open.

Equipment: Everything you choose to bring with you should fit in a well packed expedition rucksack. Remember to bring equipment to help you navigate, cook your food, wash your pans etc. Please be sure to bring suitable clothing and footwear for an day hike and a day in the British outdoors, which may be 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 16:30 hours on the Saturday.


We will provide you with a full kit list, but if you have any questions or concerns please get in touch at explorers@durhamscouts.org.uk