Outdoor Volunteers

Volunteers are fundamental to our programme and work in partnership with professional youth workers to lead our residential programmes and day activities, which include outdoor activities, conservation and group work. Residentials are based at isolated mountain huts (bothies) in the Highlands and in the Scottish Borders.

Apply here!

  • What will a volunteer be doing?
    • Attending a planning meeting in advance of each residential so that you are aware of trip logistics and so that you can start to get to know the young people attending.
    • Being aware of key health and safety requirements and ensuring that young people are well cared for over the course of each activity and residential.
    • Getting to know participants and supporting them by listening to what they have to say and showing empathy towards them.
    • Encouraging young people to participate in activities, praising them for their achievements and challenging any unhelpful attitudes or behaviour that they may display.
    • Participating in and, when confident and competent to do so, leading fun and engaging group work, conservation and outdoor activities.
    • Undertaking your share of cooking, cleaning and management of the bothy.
    • Contributing to the evaluation of each trip by taking part in a review meeting with the staff/volunteer team at the end of each trip.
    • Checking participant and group equipment in and out at the start and finish of each activity and residential.
  • What skills will I need?

    • Enthusiasm and energy for running activities and encouraging young people to get involved and try new things.
    • A flexible and determined approach for dealing with unexpected or difficult situations such as poor weather or demotivated participants.
    • An awareness of the needs of others and a commitment to keeping the group safe at all times.
    • A tolerant and non-judgemental attitude.
    • An interest in personal development, conservation and/or outdoor activities.
    • The ability to work as part of a team with staff and other volunteers.
    • A reasonable level of stamina and physical fitness. The journey to our bothy in Glen Etive involves a 3½ hour drive followed by an hours walk through rough terrain. To reach the bothies we use in the Borders, involves a 1½ hour drive and a short walk.
    • National Governing Body Awards in outdoor activities (e.g. Summer Mountain Leader Award or canoeing awards) are useful but not essential.
    • The ability to drive a car and/or minibus would be useful but is not essential.
  • How much time do I need to commit?
    • You will need to commit to attending an individual induction session, training evening and a residential training events in advance of volunteering.Please note that this usually involves a long weekend.
    • A minimum of 10 days over a year. It is up to you how you would like to make up these days e.g. two 5 day residential or 10 day activities?
    • Trips last between 3 and 5 days depending on which one you volunteer for.
    • You need to attend a planning meeting in advance of each trip you are going on.
    • Please note that our residentials straddle weekends and need volunteer availability on Fridays to Sunday for the three day residential and Fridays to Tuesdays for the five day residential.Therefore volunteers who work office hours Monday to Friday will need to consider use of flexi leave or annual leave to enable participation on residential activities.
  • What support will I be given?
    • An individual induction session.
    • Basic training through 2 evening sessions and residential training.
    • You will have the opportunity to progress to completing leader training after volunteering during the programmes.
    • The chance to access relevant external training e.g. John Muir and/or Youth Achievement Awards and be offered support in achieving National Governing Body Awards in outdoor activities if that interests you.
    • One to one support from a designated staff member as and when you need it.
    • You will be reimbursed for travel and other relevant expenses.
  • What benefits can I expect?
    • To be part of a dynamic, motivated and outdoor-loving team.
    • Satisfaction of making our residential activities happen and from seeing young people progress.
    • The chance to visit the beautiful sites at which Venture Scotland operates.
    • The chance to develop skills, experience and confidence in areas including youth work, conservation, outdoor education and general leadership.
    • Opportunity to complete the John Muir Awards in conservation.
    • A whole lot of fun!

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