As part of my MSc in Outdoor Environmental & Sustainability Education at Edinburgh Uni, I was lucky enough to take part in a ‘4-week’ work placement with the Green Team… from mid-January until the end of May! Yes, I enjoyed it so much that I stayed on a bit longer and did a just few of extra days!
So what exactly was I doing for all that time?
Well, I was fortunate enough to work with all members of staff at some point and participated in a wide range of different programmes:
Green Volunteers, Green Angels, Green Shoots and a special 8 week programme with Enable, as well as an overnight ‘indoor’ residential in Capercleugh village hall, and a really great overnight ‘outdoor’ residential (camping) in Bonaly country park, which was a Green Shoots, special request direct from the kids – and we made it happen.
I’m not from Edinburgh (or even Scotland), so I didn’t know of the Green Team before, but I love what they do. I discovered that it’s actually a lot more about the people than the conservation tasks (although they are important too, of course), and working with such a variety of young people, with different abilities and needs, was a whole new experience for me.
It was loads of fun and gave me the chance to learn from the experienced Green Team staff, as well as build my confidence in assisting and leading groups, plus I’ve learned, amongst other things, how to:
- light a fire (many times and even in the rain!)
- carve a hobo fishing rod
- weave a dream-catcher out of willow.
The Green Team also offer some fantastic training for their volunteers, so I attended a weekend residential for volunteers in Ratho and took part in both the ‘Sensory Activities’ and ‘Wellbeing in Nature’ CPD workshops, which were hugely enjoyable and very inspiring.
Another highlight has been visiting so many different, lovely green sites around Edinburgh, like Hopetoun House, Capielaw wood, Penicuik House, Aberlady Bay, Almondell Country Park, Butterdean Woods and even Edinburgh Zoo! So there have been some great sight-seeing opportunities in beautiful parts of the countryside.
And, last but not least, I was delighted to receive my very own John Muir Discovery Award, thanks to all the Discovering, Exploring, Conserving and Sharing that I’ve done with the team.
Next stop Explorer!