The Journey Programme

In a nut shell: We offer up to a year-long personal development programme for 16-30 year olds, based in the outdoors. It is completely free to you. We provide all of the transport, accommodation, food and outdoor clothing – all you have to do is turn up!  We can even help you with bus fare to get you to our front door.

Your Journey begins with a friendly, no obligation chat to one of our staff members. This could be at our offices 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.

Then the adventure begins

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.

On all stages of your Journey you will have support and assistance when you need it. We understand that changing your life and your behaviours can be tough!  To aid your progression through the programme, we will have a 1:1 session at the end of each stage to check in on your support plan and chart your development.

Programme Outcomes

The Journey Programme can help you:

  • Build Self Esteem: see yourself in a more positive light.
  • Improve your confidence: being able to try new things and mix with new people.
  • Achieve: overcome challenges and solve problems.
  • Be Assertive: being able to express yourself and have your needs met appropriately.
  • Improve Relationships: being able to work with others and talk through problems.
  • Develop a positive attitude: having the resilience to keep going and stay motivated.
  • Create a Positive Future: we can help you think through and set up opportunities after the programme finishes.


  • Each stage is accredited by the Scottish Qualification Framework. This means that by just completing the Challenge stage of you gain a National 3 Certificate, and for Leadership you achieve a National 6 Certificate.
  • Venture Scotland also offers The John Muir Award plus The British Canoe Union’s one and two star awards for canoeing.

Positive futures

  • Venture Scotland will work with you to transfer the learning and growth into a positive future for yourself. We work with Corporate and Charity partners that can help you get into employment, education, training and volunteering. This could be brushing up your CV and interview skills or doing a supported work placement, it is your bright future – tell us what you need to follow your dreams!

Sound good? Get in touch!

Give us a call

If your are working with a young person that you think would benefit from involvement with Venture Scotland, please give us a call on on 0131 661 6786 for Edinburgh and 0141 552 8173 for Glasgow to discuss next steps. 

Step out of your comfort zone

If you feel like you’re ready to make a change in your life and feel like Venture Scotland could be the place to start, we would love to hear from you. All you need to do is give us a call on 0131 661 6786 for Edinburgh and 0141 552 8173 for Glasgow and have a chat with one of our friendly staff. They can arrange for you to come along and see if the journey is right for you.

Alternatively, why not have a look at our Facebook page to find out more. You can message us there too!

"I've came such a long way since the beginning of the course until now. I really couldn't have done anything without the support I received from all the volunteers and staff. Venture Scotland is the family I never had. I owe so much to them. I've gained skills such as respect for the environment and for people, how to trust people, how to solve problems. My anger is now very much under control and I now have a positive outlet for my problems. Venture Scotland was my first experience of being happy. I never thought something like this would make such a difference and impact on me and my life."
24 years old