The Journey Programme

What is the Journey Programme?

The Journey Programme is a 3-stage outdoor-based programme delivered over 6 months, which includes weekly group-based activities across Scotland, like gorge walking, canoeing, and climbing, 3-to-5-day long residentials and sessions exploring important psychological theories around how we understand and experience the world.  

What will I do on the Journey Programme?

During each of our programmes, you will have the opportunity to take part in challenging and fun outdoor sessions that include activities such as:

hill walking


Rock climbing


gorge walking



Team Building

Stand up Paddling

Alongside the activity days, you will also spend time in local green spaces in local communities making an environmental impact such as tree-planting or litter picking.

Beyond the outdoor activities, you will also spend time exploring important psychological theories that help us understand and experience the world. And on top of this, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in Wellbeing Days which will cover topics like sleep, mindfulness, our relationship with technology and much more!

How will the Programme help me?

At Venture Scotland, we’re all about personal growth and development! Each stage of our programme is designed to help you build essential skills like confidence, effective communication, and managing positive relationships. We also understand that change can be hard, which is why we offer you personalised 1-to-1 support every step of the way. 

When you join our programme, your journey will go beyond the outdoors. You’ll not only traverse landscapes and paddle rivers but also embark on a journey to discover who you really are and build on your strengths and capabilities.  

You can look forward to building skills such as:  

  • Confidence
  • Communication
  • Trust
  • Teambuilding
  • Leadership
  • Planning skills
  • Positive relationships
  • Community awareness
  • Experiential learning

But that’s not all! We’re here to help you set your own goals and guide you in achieving those milestones. And as we always say, it’s not just about the canoes or the destination but about your incredible journey of self-discovery and growth. 

Why does the Programme Work?


A small team of dedicated staff members who really care.


Trained volunteers from a variety of backgrounds who are able to bring a range of unique skill sets and life experiences to the table.


You can build trusting, caring relationships with staff, volunteers and your peers in an environment where we set consistent and safe boundaries.


Lots and lots of time. Young people who complete all four programmes spend a minimum of 724 hours in contact with staff and volunteers.


Where all the good stuff happens. Proven by researchers to be a great environment to improve mental health, physical health, well-being and learn new skills.

To learn more about The Journey, check out the following stages Challenge, Discover, Explore, Leadership, and the Ambassador programme.


The programme is for anyone between the ages of 16-30 who is struggling and looking for the support to make some positive changes in their lives. It’s ideal for anyone who would like to improve their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

The Journey Programme is all about personal development, so what you get out depends on how much you put in. Each of our progressive programmes is designed to help develop certain skills. We all have skills that are continually growing, so whether you’d like to improve your ability to communicate, be part of a team, trust others, be a team player or a leader, you can work on developing all of those and more during the programme.

We also offer the opportunity to get some qualifications, such as a John Muir Award, Canoe Association awards, and SQA qualifications up to a level 4.

You don’t need anything except for comfortable clothes that you’re able to move in. We’ll provide the rest including full outdoor kit and special equipment.

You need no previous skills or outdoors experience to participate in the programme. We will provide all instructions and support on the activities. You don’t need to be ‘fit’ to participate in our activities, but they can be physically demanding, so you should be up for a challenge!

Being nervous on the first day of the programme is completely normal – even staff and volunteers get nervous for the first day! Just know you’re not alone and have staff to support you throughout the programme, from before your first day, through the end of your journey with us.

Each group is normally between 8-12 young people. A great part of the programme is how diverse it is! Young people from all different backgrounds and walks of life sign up. If you join, you can expect to meet a diverse group of people who are all working together in a respectful environment to develop themselves.

The programme offers the most if you attend it from day 1 all the way to the last day of leadership. Sometimes, though, the full programme isn’t right for everyone, or people have commitments that pop up during the programme. We support you to do as much as is right for you.

Everything we do at Venture Scotland is about personal development. But what does personal development mean to us?
“To Venture Scotland, personal development is about taking the opportunity to learn more about yourself and those around you. It is about accepting help. It is about taking a leap out of your comfort zone and trying something new. New places, new people, new behaviours, new thoughts, and a new you”