Planning your programme

Thinking about our experiences allows us to develop our skills and understanding. Sharing our thoughts and feelings about experiences with other people can help us to understand each other and ourselves more. It also creates opportunities to improve skills and can give outdoor learning a real purpose.

Groups taking part in Natural Connections are involved in planning their activities right from the start. The ‘journeying’ and ‘helping the environment’ elements require groups to submit plans for approval. Involvement in planning Natural Connections allows them to make their experiences relevant to their own lives and communities.

‘Making connections’ is a vital part of the programme and includes an award for successful participants, Looking back on all their Natural Connections experiences individually or as a group should help them see links between these experiences and other areas of life.

Making it Relevant

Natural Connections should be a memorable experience for those taking part. To make sure that it has personal meaning and real value we encourage groups to choose their own activities for each element.

The flexibility of Natural Connections allows groups to pursue a single project using the different elements to cover all aspects of their project.

For example you could choose a theme, such as water, to link all the experiences. You could also obtain other awards while taking part in Natural Connections.

Age Groups

Natural Connections is available to people from a wide range of age groups. Commitment and enthusiasm are more important than ability. The requirements for time to be spent on Natural Connections vary according to age group.

Age Group Time per element Total Time
Level 1 – 11 years and under 5 hours minimum 30 hours minimum*
Level 2 – 12 years and over 10 hours minimum 60 hours
Level 3  – 12 years and over 20 hours minimum 60 hours for 3 elements Adventuring Skills Journeying Helping the environment

*plus time for ‘Making Connections’