Skip to main content

John Muir saved our Summer

Remote delivery of the Family Discovery Award at Pendle

After months of Lockdown and enforced homeschooling, families in the Pendle Hill area were given an opportunity for some ‘real life’ outdoor learning, thanks to the efforts of Alison Cross, our Outdoor Learning Officer at Pendle Hill, working in collaboration with Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership’s Community Engagement Officer.

Together, they established ways to deliver the John Muir Family Discovery Award remotely, allowing activities to safely go ahead within the confines of COVID restrictions.

Families were invited to take part in the Summer Adventure Challenge over the six-week school holiday period, completing 25 hours of discovery, exploration and conservation in their own gardens, local parks or on day trips further afield where possible.

There was a strong response to the offer, with over 20 families completing the Award. More families chose to engage with the programme without completing all the elements.

Remote delivery of the Award involved producing a bespoke Newsletter, emailed to each family at the beginning of each week. This offered guidance and suggestions for activities on a variety of nature and heritage themes. Downloadable activity sheets and links to useful websites were also provided to inspire and equip each family.

A private Facebook group proved very popular, enabling families to share their discoveries and experiences with each other. Alison and her colleague at PHLP supported the families through phone calls and emails, hosting a virtual celebration on Zoom at the end of the summer.

Over the six weeks, families amassed a wealth of photography, videos and scrapbook entries recording their many adventures and discoveries. This also served as useful evidence, a required part of the John Muir Discovery Award.

Our family really enjoyed having a weekly focus to help us achieve something and for my children to return to school with many stories to tell and the scrapbook we created.

Find out more about the John Muir Award on their website: