Posted: Wed 14 Feb 2024

Detailed FAQ's for parents are below. We know it's a big deal to send your loved ones away for the week, and have tried to provide answers to the main questions you may have. These will be updated periodically.

When you're ready to fill out your consent form, click on your child's school below which will take you to a new form.

Wick High School
Tain Royal Academy
Dingwall Academy
Dornoch Academy
Inverness Royal Academy
Golspie High School

What will my child be doing?

Your child will be taking part in a unique residential programme based in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. The programme runs from Monday until Friday. Each day he/she will be doing different outdoor-based activities such as mountain-biking, bushcraft, hill-walking, fun team-building games and learn about Alladale’s exciting rewilding work.

Your child will be in smaller groups during the day, while out on activities. In the evenings he/she takes turns with other group members and share (outdoor) cooking tasks.

What will my child be doing at night?

There will be campfires, a night walk, movie night, craft workshops and other fun activities waiting for your child in the evenings.

What does my child need to bring?

Click on the link to view our Alladale Kit List.

What will my child eat?

Breakfast: Each day starts with a big breakfast buffet with a selection of cereals, fruit, sandwiches and warm drinks.

Lunch: Sandwiches and snacks.

Dinner: Your child will take turns with other group members and share (outdoor) cooking tasks. We’ll provide them with recipes, ingredients and cooking utensils then help them to turn the ingredients into a delicious meal. Please let us know what food/meals your child likes in the consent form, and we’ll come up with a menu for the week.

Dessert: There will be opportunities to cook dessert on the fire. Did you know that you can cook delicious apple crumble, popcorn and orange brownie on the fire?

What if my child has allergies/intolerances or additional needs?

It is important that you inform us about your child’s allergies and additional needs in the consent form. We’ll take your child’s allergies/intolerances into account when creating the menu and make sure that there are suitable options for everyone.

Our outdoor leaders are highly experienced and flexible and everyone’s main priority is to support participants as much as possible. Please let us know in the consent form if your child requires any additional support during the programme.

Does my child need pocket money?

The closest shop is about 20 miles down the road…

Where will my child sleep?

During the first three nights your child will be sharing a big tent with up to five other pupils, just outside our main lodge. Most adults will be sleeping inside the lodge but there will always be at least one outdoor leader sleeping in a separate tent, not far from your child’s, who he/she can contact anytime. The final night will be spent hammocking up in the trees.

Can my child call home?

There is no phone reception at Alladale. In case of any emergencies the Aban team will be able to contact you from a landline phone in the lodge.

What if my child is scared?

No doubt, it can be a scary thought to be away from home and out in nature for such a long period of time. However, your child is in safe and very experienced hands, and we will make each day fun and exciting. Our outdoor leaders are all qualified and nobody will force your child to do anything he/she doesn’t want to do, although, they will be encouraged to push themselves and try new things. Our outdoor leaders always have an open ear – please encourage your child to talk to a member of staff if she/he is scared or not quite sure about specific activities.

Is it safe?

All our activities are carefully put together and assessed before we take out any groups. Our outdoor leaders are fully qualified for any activities they run and bring many years of experience working with young people in the outdoors. We will provide your child with well maintained and good quality equipment. However, outdoor activities do involve a certain amount of risk and it is important that your child always follows instructions. Your child will be directly supervised throughout the programme, led by our experienced staff.

Àban is an independent Scottish outdoor education charity based in Inverness. We are:

Can I contact my child whilst they’re away?

Your child’s school will provide you with an emergency contact number, usually a senior member of staff at school.

What if my child wants to do the activities they tried when they get back home?

Àban is based in Inverness and runs weekly afterschool programmes such as Girls’ Bike Club, a Mountaineering Club and an Outdoor Swimming Academy for only £1 per session. We also run Duke of Edinburgh programmes and expeditions. Have a look on our website for more information. We’d love to see your child again after their time at Alladale!

What about ticks?

There's no getting away from the presence of ticks in the outdoors. It's something we are very aware of during the Alladale Wilderness Experience, and we'd encourage all parents & pupils to educate themselves about ticks in advance. We follow official guidance from Forestry & Land Scotland and Mountaineering Scotland.