Loch Lomond Silver DofE Expedition

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Congratulations to Jake Mills, Ailsa Hepburn, Emily Sullivan, Rachel Crane and Lewis Taylor who canoed Loch Lomond from Balloch to Ardlui for their Silver DofE assessment.  They paddled 50k, spent ’72 hours without technology’ as their aim and handled everything the wind and weather could throw at them with great teamwork and unfailingly positive morale. They had two nights wild camping on the loch and their assessor said their team spirit was ‘unrivalled by any other DofE group he had assessed.’  Well done.

JMA Change of dates

There are a couple of changes to the John Muir Award programme that was posted on the website yesterday.

The changes only affect 1RY and 2RY.

1RY – new date for CANOEING – Thursday 17 September.

2RY – BIKE/BUSHCRAFT day on 24 September will now be 12 November.

2RY – HILLWALKING day on 12 November will now be 19 November.

Ocean Youth Trust Scotland – Highland Voyage

Alexandra and Ailsa


Ten young people from all over the Highlands took part in a week long voyage from Oban in the last week of July. Two of the young people were from Grantown Grammar School. They were nominated by Dawn Horsburgh, High Life Highlands Active Schools Coordinator for the Grantown Cluster, who said “Ailsa and Alexandra were a credit to themselves, their families and our community. They embraced every task with enthusiasm and learned so much about sailing and every dimension of living on a yacht. All ten sailors got on so well together. They all achieved their RYA competent crew certificates and the SQA’s Level 3 Speaking and Listening qualification. Several of the young people have also put themselves forward to be Ocean Youth Trust Scotland volunteers and are looking forward to taking part in training to be staff members on future voyages. The youth workers and Active Schools coordinators who nominated the young people would have been proud of them all”.

Alisa Hepburn said, “The week away sailing with OYT Scotland was one of the most amazing weeks of my life. Everyone was so friendly and I learned so many new skills. I would love to go back on board one day.”

Alexandra McAuly Brand said “An amazing 5 days away with Ocean Youth Trust Scotland. Met some lovely people and saw views of Scotland I never knew existed. Would recommend this to anyone who is debating going. Had a fantastic time. It’s an experience that is unforgettable.” Her mum, Catherine McAuly Brand let us know that Alexandra had an absolutely amazing time on the sailing trip and said “it has made a big impact on her. I have never seen her so elated and truly excited as she was when we picked her up on Friday evening; she was full of genuine enthusiasm and clearly had very much enjoyed every minute of the trip and could not wait to share her experiences with us. It has been such a valuable few days for her to have this time away, to make new friends, to work as a team, to push herself, to reflect on what is important to her, to know that she can rise to challenges and hopefully succeed, or at least to come away positive if things don’t work out. These are all such significant ‘life lessons’ and I am sure will stand her in good stead over the coming years.”

The CashBack ‘New Horizons’ Voyage took place on Alba Explorer, a 72ft ocean-going racing yacht with 6 Sea Staff and our crew of 12. The crew spent time in a confined environment with unpredictable weather conditions, they were required to work hard – participating fully and at all times in sailing the vessel and taking their turn in cooking and other domestic chores. The sailors slept in bunks on the boat and did not set foot on land till the end of the voyage. We sailed through the infamous Corryvreckan whirlpool, saw some amazing views, anchored in gorgeous remote bays, dolphins surfed on our bow wave and all of this in world class sailing conditions. It truly was a uniquely powerful and extremely effective environment for personal development of the young people from a diverse range of backgrounds throughout Highland region, an experience this charity aims to provide for people all around Scotland.

GGS Parent Council Raffle

Total raised from Raffle Tickets and Figgot Fair stall – £2849.58p. A brilliant job! Special thanks to Mrs Elaine Cullen for all her organising and for all those who helped on the stall and distributed tickets. Thanks too, for the generous donations of prizes.
Main prizewinners – P Murphy (Bike), the Barnett family (Woodcarving), the Baikie family (Landmark voucher). Other prizewinners – T Williamson, H Sinclair, the MacLean family, D&B Green, Beth (Carrbridge), G Greenlees, the Sellars family, A Hepburn, I Smith, E Grant, Mrs P (Grantown) and Mr R Ross.