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Venture Scotland Etive Award: Venture Scotland - The Journey

Why this award?

We support young people aged 16-30 to develop new life skills and build their confidence, improve their mental and physical health and increase their access to employment, training, education and volunteering. We do this by providing a 12-month intensive outdoor based personal development programme known as “The Journey”. Completion of each stage of The Journey provides the opportunity to gain recognised Etive Award qualifications at SCQF Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6.

Your Journey begins with a friendly, no obligation chat to one of our staff members. This could be at our offices in Glasgow or Edinburgh or at a location more local to you. This is an opportunity to tell you more about the programme and answer any of those questions like “where do you go outdoors?” “what outdoor activities do you do?” or “do I have to wear that!?”

If you like us and what we offer, we invite you in for a kit fitting (we supply all of the outdoor clothing and equipment you will need) and a Support Plan that will help us provide you with the right sort of support to you on the Programme.

Who is it for?

The Venture Scotland programme supports young people aged 16 to 30 facing complex and difficult challenges to transform their lives. 

Individuals wishing to participate in the programme can make a self-referral. Referrals can also be made by others who are working with a young person that they think would benefit from involvement with Venture Scotland.

What time commitment is required?

Venture Scotland offers a year-long personal development programme for 16-30 year olds, based in the outdoors. Key elements of the programme include

Challenge Stage: This is a fun filled five-day introduction to the journey. You and your fellow programme participants all meet at our offices and the first two days are spent getting to know each other, stepping outside of your comfort zones while playing some silly games and participating in an outdoor activity. The next three days are spent at a bothy (an old Sheppard’s cottage) in the borders, getting to know each other better and building a team.

Discover Stage: For the next seven weeks you will join us for a day and a half each week for fun and character-building activities that help you grow your confidence and develop your communication skills. After activities such as gorge walking and canoeing, this stage finishes with a challenging five-day wilderness trip to our remote bothy in Glen Etive, in the Highlands.

Explore Stage: A further seven weeks of outdoor activities and a demanding five-day canoe trip up Loch Etive into our bothy. This section is all about building on your learning in Discover and working as team to problem solve tricky challenges.

Leadership Stage: This is where you and your team take the lead by planning and leading the activity days (with Venture Scotland’s support). This will prepare you for a practice expedition and a final expedition, which you and your team decide on, plan for and complete.

Is the award externally accredited?

Each stage is accredited on the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) enabling participants to gain a recognised Etive Award qualifications at SCQF level 3 for completion of the Challenge stage, progressing through SCQF 4 for Discover, SCQF 5 for Explore and achieve a qualification at SCQF level 6 for the Leadership stage.

Venture Scotland also offers The John Muir Award plus The British Canoe Union’s one and two star awards for canoeing.

Provider: Venture Scotland

Website: Click here

Budget: Free

For Ages: 16 - 26+

Time to Complete: 1 Years


  • Nature
  • Get Outdoors
  • Making friends
  • Adventure
  • Achievement
  • Develop my CV
  • Gain new skills
  • Physical Activity

Type of Involvement:

  • Overnight
  • With Others
  • Away from home

Award Recognition:

  • Certificate of Achievement
  • To build skills and experience
  • SCQF Credit rated

Meeting Frequency: Weekly


Contact 07956 158 281, or send an email.