Students organise armchair adventure sessions
Students at West Highland College UHI’s School of Adventure Studies haven’t let lockdown affect their studies or their determination to widen their experience of adventure.
They have created online sessions – known as “Adventure Talks”–where once a month a student, alumnus, or staff member gives a short talk/slideshow about an adventure they’ve been part of. These range from micro-adventures during lockdown to ambitious international expeditions, each reflecting on the idea of adventure in a different way.
Ciaran Gibson, the Highlands and Islands Students Association Depute President for the college worked with lecturer Lara Hinde to get the sessions started. Ciaran explained:
“The talks began as a way to do a bit of ‘armchair adventuring’ to help us through coronavirus restrictions, but we hope they’ll carry on being a useful and inspiring part of our college community for as long as people enjoy them. Adventures don’t always have to be grand or international – this year we have all found value in even the smallest of micro-adventures through a new hobby or insight so we have plenty of adventures to share!”
The sessions got off to a great start in November with a talk from Arran Goddard helping his audience vicariously experience man-hauling sledges over an ice floe and the necessity of having a polar bear watch at night during his amazing experiences with the Polar Academy in Greenland, and we’re looking forward to hearing about wild camping and honing our foraging and bushcraft skills in the hills of northern Sweden in the next session
Lara Hinde explains the value of the sessions:
Our students have had a very different experience from the one they expected coming to college and university this year. Whilst we are very fortunate that we have been able to ensure that they have still been able to access all the relevant practical aspects of their courses, we have all missed the community camaraderie that more sociable events across centres as far flung as Broadford on the Isle of Skye and Fort William would have given. We hope these sessions will go a little way to put that back the element of shared experience and a feeling of aspiration and awareness of future opportunities. They have been welcomed by students from our degree programmes and our Outdoor Adventure and Adventure Leadership courses - and our lecturers are also finding them both enjoyable and inspirational”
The sessions have already proved so popular that a programme for 2021 is being prepared now and Ciaran and Lara are collecting potential adventure stories from all teams throughout the college and beyond. So anyone with an adventure to share with our students please get in touch!
Adventure Talks take place on the second Thursday of every month, on Webex, from 6:30 – 7:00pm – anyone at WHC, staff or students, is welcome to register.