The John Muir Award at CnaG allows young people to take part in an exciting programme through the medium of Gàidhlig and achieve a recognised award. The award is based upon young people choosing a wild place and then exploring, conserving and sharing that place with others.
With CnaG's award, each local group chooses an area and then visits that area over a period of months. They take part in workshops and sessions on environmental themes, the landscape, activities, place-names, bush craft and sharing their knowledge. It's a lot of fun!
In 2013 we intend to offer the Gaelic John Muir Award in Glasgow, Islay, Lochaber, Skye and Inverness.
Our award is split into two parts:
Local Programme - Each group has their own, local, wild place which they can visit and interact with over the months of the award.This could be a piece of land close to them or some distance away. The group takes ownership of it, learning about that piece of land and its natural qualities. Depending on the practical situation, each local group visits their wild area twice a month taking part in workshops and sessions on different themes. With CnaG, the sessions are usually on wildlife, place-names, bush craft, conservation, trees, the general environment and also a short tour of the area which the young people themselves deliver. Gaelic speaking primary pupils are invited to this short tour which provides additional personal development opportunities.
We use camera traps in each area so that we can conduct an audit of the wildlife in the area. It's great fun and interesting to take the cameras in each week and see what pictures they have recorded! To date, we have seen otters, deer, foxes, slugs, pine martens, lots of bird life, bats, rats, mice, eagles, buzzards and a few other things....
In addition to learning about these subjects, we also aim to deliver significant personal development and enhance skills such as leadership and presenting. The CnaG team is committed to supporting the young people at every stage.
The Residential Event - Once the local programmes are complete, each group travels to the national event at an outdoor centre or hostel. In 2012 we were at Tulloch in Lochaber and in 2013 we will be at Rothiemurchus Lodge in the CairnGorms. Each groups presents their local achievements to the other groups as well as taking part in workshops and environmental themed sessions. We also have a challenge day where each group competes against the others. It's all great fun! There is also a non-John Muir Award fun event just to mix it all up.
On completion of the programme each participant is awarded the John Muir Award- an award recognised by schools, universities, employers and other groups.
We place some emphasis on the Scottish Wildcat. They are rare and real need of active support. Some would say that there are similarities between the wildcat and the situation of Gaelic.