Scottish Waterways

Yesterday the Path Skillz team travelled to Camelon to work with a new group of eager students who are attending the Green action volunteer group run by Scottish Waterways.

To readers familiar with the blog, the day started with an introduction to Path Skillz.ย  The group were very interested to learn more about the five day course and about the skills and knowledge they will gain to plan, manage and deliver a path project.ย  The group were also pleased to find out that they would also gain a Dynamic Youth Award and Paths for All certificate for their endeavours.

The group, which has just been recently formed, looked forward to getting to know each other by participating in the fun games that the first day of the Path Skillz course is famed for. ๐Ÿ™‚

rolling a four
Drew rolling a four ๐Ÿ™‚

Like so many of the other groups that have attended the Paths Skillz course, the favourite yet again, was the Path problem game in which students roll a large inflatable dice and then answer questions on the ‘path problem’ they land on.ย  The group found this game fun but did ask the Path Skillz team if the dice was ‘loaded’ after five people in succession rolled a four.ย  The close fought game game was eventually won by Callum (rolling a three to win to get to the finish) ๐Ÿ™‚

daniel path game
Daniel studying the ‘path problem’ before giving an excellent answer

The games in the morning bonded the group and during lunchtime the students enjoyed a laugh discussing the dietary merits of the popular local delicacy, the deep fried Mars bar.ย  The staff and students had quite a lively debate about this culinary phenomenon, which resulted in Roxanne from the Path Skillz team promising to buy everyone a deep fried Mars bar next week if they had never tried one. (She really does like deep fried mars bars) ๐Ÿ™‚

owen and ryan
Owen and Ryan identifying the survey tools that they will use to survey next week

After lunch, the group got back to the serious business of preparing their visitor survey and learning how to use the survey tools.ย  The three small groups in the class each identified questions they would like to ask the public next week when they travel to their path site at Callander Park.ย  The group took into consideration all of the activities and different user groups at this well known site in the heart of Falkirk and the results will be very useful for the local rangers to develop the area.

Drew clinometer
Hugh and Daniel learn how to use the clinometer gun and ranging poles

The students also showed a lot of interest in learning how to use some of the equipment that was unfamiliar to them.ย  The group could easily identify the spirit level, trundle wheel and tape measure but the use of ranging poles and the clinometer gun was a new experience for them.ย  The group were very interested in learning how to use this equipment to measure the gradient of a slope and look forward to putting this new knowledge into action next week when they will sketch a survey of the area next week.

larbert boys spirit level
Roxanne showing the ‘Larbert Boys’ how to read the angle finder on the spirit level to measure for a crossfall

The group finished the session by playing the ‘plate game’ (the fun bit) after completing the last of the paperwork for the day (the boring bit). This game was also won by Calum,ย  but this was debated by the group as it was claimed he had cleverly used a mirror he was facing to see what he was drawing. After a stewards enquiry it was deemed he was a worthy winner and his reputation remained intact. ๐Ÿ™‚

group photo plate game
Tallying up the points for the plate game

Before finishing, the group thanked the Path Skillz staff for a very enjoyable and fun day and even forgave us for the boring writing bits stating that they knew it was a necessary evil ๐Ÿ™‚

DYA form
Calum still smiling even though it was ‘the paperwork’ bit

The Paths Skillz team would like to return the compliment and say a big thank you for being such a brilliant group.ย  Below is the blogs written by the group about their experience of the day:

” We talked and learned about the survey tools we are going to use next week.

We enjoyed being out of school, using our imagination our imagination with the drawing challenge.

We are going to ask the public questions on the area when we go to Callander Park next week.

We didn’t enjoy the paper work but it was necessary”

Eco Team – Daniel, Drew and Matthew

” What we enjoyed the most: The dice game.

Our group is looking forward to going out to see the site next week.

We enjoyed learning about the new tools we are going to use but we thought the writing was a bit of a challenge”

Green Path – Adam, Ewan, Ryan and Owen

“We are the Larbert Boys, on top non stop. ย 

We enjoyed learning about the equipment we will be using next week although we wondered why the Path Skillz team had brought in javelins ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a good laugh with all of the games but didn’t enjoy the bits were we had to write in our booklets.

Next week we are going to look at the path and do two different types of surveys”

Larbert Boys – Calum, Greg and Hugh


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