We have started our FOLM programme in Ireland again. We are now running a new format in keeping with COVID guidelines by bringing people outdoors in their local area during a five-day Outdoor Learning Week. It was great to see how the six participants developed different skills, gained more self-confidence and discovered their own strengths throughout the week. We were based on the LIT campus with access to a large outdoor space where we could develop practical skills like outdoor cooking, setting up tents, foraging and navigation using a map and compass. At the same time the personal development aspects were woven into the activities and led to great outdoor abilities being realised by the participants. With this bag of new skills and confidence we climbed the local mountain the “Devil’s bit” on our fourth day.
Each participant got the chance to take on leadership and navigate the group up the mountain. It was great to see the personal growth of each individual and to see how the participants took on ownership over the route and responsibility for the community. On the last day, we started transferring those skills learned outdoors into their everyday situations. This was done by creating action plans for the future and getting ready for the positive beginnings ahead. This was celebrated with a pizza-meal made on a Leave No Trace fire and the hand-over of individual postcards with positive thoughts from the other participants. A great Outdoor Learning week full of positive sparks and learning experiences.