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Welcome To Rob Roy Country - A Place For All Seasons

BLiSS Future Legacy 2019 

LETi is delighted to be working with the children of Anna Be All You Can Be in conjunction with teachers, assistants and headmistress Bernadette McDonald. 

Kim Proven of Briar Cottages and LETi Chair -at Strathyre Primary School  Andrea Hudspeth -Aquila Ecology with  Strathyre Primary School

 

LETi believes that it is important to introduce the concept and benefits of tourism and related businesses in the community.to children from primary school age.  It is hoped that some children will remain in the community to work in the tourism industry full time, part time or as vclunteers whether in business, retail, accommodation, hospitality, events, transport or in our tourism group. We hope to change the mindset of "having" to go to a city to contribute to the workplace.. .

It is hoped that those who leave for further education or to work elsehere in the UK and abroad,  will have an understanding of tourism skills and how tourism helps to drive the local economy. It is hoped that they will become ambassadors for the BLS area regardless of where they end up living and working..

LETi has committed to a Partnership with Strathyre Primary School, working with the children on aspects of their Curriculam Map over a three year period. Relevant key themes include

Enterprise Education

  •  Mathematics life skills linked to business e.g. profit and loss activities, budgeting
  •  Working within a team – qualities and attributes
  •  Market research and designing feasible ideas for a business

Functions of businesses in the local area and skills required to work within them

Farm to Fork / Working within the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park / Social Studies:

  • Skills and roles related to local jobs, importance of work experience and qualifications

 Strathyre Forest Cabins with Strathyre Primary SchoolMathew Cooper of Cooper Cottgaes with Strathyre PrimaryAlan Sneddon LETi at Strathyre Primary 

LETi members attended a business fair in April 2019, where children of all ages interviewed a varierty of tourism business members in turn. The pupils discussed and prepared a number of questions and wrote down LETi members answers to further discuss with teachers . 

In attrendance for LETi were

  • Andrea Hudspeth - Aquila Ecology - St Fillans. wildlife and flora educational walks and bat surveys.
  • Kim Proven -Briar Cottages self catering cottages Lochearnhead and Chair of Loch Earn Tourism Information
  • Alan Sneddon - Hidden Glen Safaris Landrover tours Balquhidder + deer management at Monachyle Mhor (farm to fork)
  • Matthew Duncan and Diane Watsojn Lochearn House B&B, Lochearnhead -  also trained chef and award winning quilter 
  • Matthew Cooper, Coooer Cottages - Holiday Cottage Mnagement Services
  • Pauline and Tom  Rangers at Strathyre Forest Cabins -  holiday cabins, cafe, outdoor education, wildlife, survival, bike hire
  • Leslet Lindsay-  Award winning Broch Cafe Strathyre -  running a cafe, baking, hospitality, customer service, 
  • Graeme Courtney - Kingshouse Travel and transport  owner- local taxi, ,school bus, airport, coach and mini bus hire service

The next phase of our partnership will be to present individual tourism business subjects in class, or for pupils to request visits to tourism establishments to experience and learn on site -For example, working in a hotel, managing a golf club, marketing and running a holiday cottage business, earning a living through wildlife tourism -  in keeping with the key themes on the curriculum map.

We look forward to sharing with and learning from the tourism influencers of our future.

Enterprise: LETi members are pleased to attend coffee mornings actioned by the pupils once a month.  Pupils experience and practice communication with guests, order taking and customer service.   With this level of confidence they may benefit from a morning in one of our local cafes or  hotels communicating with and serving the public.

 

Catch up on our YOYP2018 stories about and by young children in the BLS community 
  1. Creative Writing: Midnight Meadows by 9 yearl Old Iona Clark from St Fillans
  2. Art and Adventure: Ruby Ruby Ruby Adventures of Strathyre Primary pupil Ruby Skye Douglas
  3. Sports for Health: Mini Stuc' 2018 - Annual race featuring 1km club primary school children from rural Stirling schools that surround Strathyre Primary School
  4. Robotics Technology - EEP Tomorrows Engineers -  Matthews logical mind helps the team of 4 win the UK trophy
  5. Storytelling -   School Girls Tell BLiSS stories on the new GPS enabled Geotourist world tour app -available to download on a smart phone
  6. Outdoor adventure -Kays Winter Wonderland in Glen Ogle  - The great outdoors are good for the body, mind and soul.
  7. Golf heroine -  Eva, A Young Golfer With Drive - inspiring young lady golfers
  8. Careers and hobbies -Anna, Be All You Can Be -experience, learn, question and enjoy life and learning

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Anna - Be All You Can Be

 

Forward - by Kim Proven,  LETi Chair

Thank you Anna for the three articles below.

Children learn,  discover and practice skills while at school and experience many other aspects of life that they enjoy. Surely it is as important and useful to experience subjects or tasks that they are not so fond of. You could argue that all experiences are positive and useful as they help us to choose future paths for life at work and play and to build relationships with other people.   Adults are living proof that early  education and experiences for young people can lead to future careers as well as life time hobbies and friendships.

We applaud Strathyre pupil Anna Mchedliani for sharing examples of her talents, experiences and interests in robotics,  drama, singing and writing.

Anna's artices were written in Year of Young People 2018 for "The Villagers"  community news for Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St Fillans.   One of  Anna's articles  caught the attention of a  regional politician who was inspired to write an encouraging letter of his appreciation.

While asking Anna for permission to share her stories,  I took the opportunity to ask if she had any thoughts about a future path. "Do you think that you might follow on to become a scientist, engineer, journalist, or actress?" I asked.  Anna replied immediately.  "I want to be a lawyer", she said without hesitation.

Well, it's early days and Anna has much to experience on her life's journey but there is no doubt that a clever girl,  who is able to write well and perform in public is already learning,  improving skils and gaining experiences that will be useful should she decide to pursue a carreer in the legal profession.

Thank you to Anna for her enthusiasm in supporting joint requests for #YOYP2018 stories from Loch Earn Tourism Information in collaboration with "The Villagers" news.  I am proud of our village communities and local schools, where young people learn from and teach adults!

 

Rock Bottom by Anna Mchedliani 

My name is Anna and I took part in Strathyre Primary School’s Summer Show. It was called Rock Bottom and was about a stone age boy called Bobby Cobblestone (“BC” for short!) who wanted to be an inventor.

In the story he met a caveman celebrity called Lady Lava, but he later found out she was an evil villain who just wanted to stay young forever. In the end, she learned her lesson as she was turned into a baby!

My part in the school show was as the character Juan One, who was a Mexican caveman, one of three amigos. My brother was a “growler”,  a type of caveman who only could growl instead of talk.

There were a lot of things I liked in the school play. I liked the silly jokes and funny phrases. My favourite part in the play was when we had to pull silly expressions on stage. There were lots of songs and my favourite song was called “Spell on You” which we sang at the very end. I also liked dressing up as a caveman with a sombrero, and I thought everyone else’s costumes looked amazing too!

Overall it was a very funny play and I can’t wait till our next school show!

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STEM - Robotics Competition by Anna Mchedliani  

My name is Anna and I go to Strathyre Primary School.  A few weeks ago our school entered a robotics competition at McLaren High School for the STEM festival.  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. My team was made up of five people.

For the festival our teachers taught us how to do coding in school.  At the STEM festival the tasks we had to do were to build a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot that could complete five tasks. We managed to programme four tasks and our team came in 3rd place!

There was an extra challenge which was to programme our robot to go up 3 different steep ramps. Our robot managed to go up every ramp perfectly and so for that we came in 2nd place!

Overall it was a fun day. We got to see lots of stalls which were showing the projects of different McLaren High School pupils. We even got to go into an escape room based on the design of an ancient Egyptian tomb.

There was also a poster competition for robot designs, and two of Strathyre Primary School’s pupils came in 1st and 2nd place.

Everyone really enjoyed the festival and I hope we can take part in it next time!

I  received this letter after my last contribution to The Villagers (our local newspaper for Balquidder Lochearnhead Strathyre and St Fillans community villages)  and that has inspired me to continue to write reports!

 

Annas letter

 

 Choir Occasional by Anna Mchedliani  

My name is Anna and I go to Strathyre Primary School. I go to choir on a Thursday night with my grandmother Maida. I go to choir because I really love singing. The choir is held in Balquhidder Village Hall at 7:30 and the person who teaches us the songs and leads the choir is called Gill.

We sit in a semicircle, going from low voices to high voices. Sometimes we sing different parts of a song, and I sing in the descant. I like the first part of the session because we do humming and it’s quite calm, quiet and shallow music. We do this to warm up our singing voices. Then, after we warm up we sing actual songs.

We are always learning new songs. My favourite calm song is Walking in the Air by Howard David Blake. Most people know the song because it’s in The Snowman. I like it because it makes me feel excited about Christmas. I also can’t wait to make a snowman this winter as soon as it snows! My favourite upbeat song which we sing in the other half of the session is called Love and Freedom by Mary Brooksbank.

Sometimes we have a visiting teacher who does fun singing exercises with us. We also learn quite traditional Scottish songs, even in Scots! One of the old Scots songs we have sung is Hushaba Ma Bairnie, which is about fishing. Sometimes I find songs like these quite difficult to pronounce, but we all manage it in the end.

Another thing that I love about choir is that, as a treat, in the middle of the session we have a little break where the adults can have tea and coffee and we can all have some yummy scrummy cake and biscuits!

~

NB:  Anna is the granddaughter of Maida and Clan Chief Donald MacLaren of MacLaren. Read more about the ancient history of Anna's family here http://www.robroycountry.com/daniel-maclaurin.html  

 YOYP2018 
  1. Creative Writing: Midnight Meadows by 9 yearl Old Iona Clark from St Fillans
  2. Art and Adventure: Ruby Ruby Ruby Adventures of Strathyre Primary pupil Ruby Skye Douglas
  3. Sports for Health: Mini Stuc' 2018 - Annual race featuring 1km club primary school children from rural Stirling schools that surround Strathyre Primary School
  4. Robotics Technology - EEP Tomorrows Engineers -  Matthews logical mind helps the team of 4 win the UK trophy
  5. Storytelling -   School Girls Tell BLiSS stories on the new GPS enabled Geotourist world tour app -available to download on a smart phone
  6. Outdoor adventure -Kays Winter Wonderland in Glen Ogle  - The great outdoors are good for the body, mind and soul.
  7. Golf heroine -  Eva, A Young Golfer With Drive - inspiring young lady golfers

 

Eva, A Young Golfer With Drive

My name is Eva Woodward. I am 12 years old.

My Gran and Papa live in Balquhidder Station. My Papa (Trevor Woodward) is a member at St Fillans Golf Club and so am I.

Our family have a golf outing every year and I wanted to play in that for as long as I can remember. I played in my first at Bamburgh GC in 2016 and played again at Crieff GC last year. I'm determined to be the youngest winner of the Cup.

I got my first 2 golf clubs when I was nearly 4 years old, in 2009 - a putter and a 9 iron. I started getting group lessons a couple of years later.

My first coach in Newcastle, Nikki Hunter, was brilliant and she gave out lollies for the best effort every week. Later, I was coached by Sally Hinton at Close House - another great role model. Under Sally I qualified for the Footjoy Skills Challenge Regional Finals in 2014 and the same year also earned a place on the Northumberland County Golf Partnership Academy Programme.

We moved to Scotland in 2015 and I started playing the Stephen Gallacher Foundation flag events. I won the first one that I played in and that was great. It made me want to play in more and more. These are a brilliant way into golf competitions for young golfers. If he isn't on tour, Stephen is at the events and is really encouraging to all of us.

Stephen's team that run the events are awesome and provide tips and coaching. Jane Connachan is one of the coaches and I also get lessons from Jane. She is my third great female golf coach, a Curtis Cup player at age 16! Lots of clubs don't have many girl members but there are always girls to play with at these events. I played my first Stephen Gallacher Finals Day in 2015.

I got my full competitive handicap last year and this year I have played in lots of Junior Open competitions including at St Fillans where I finished second in the handicap competition.

I am loving my golf this year. As well as St Fillans, I am a member at Linlithgow and have joined the Stirling & Clackmannan County Ladies' Golf Association and was reserve with the junior team. I have also joined the East of Scotland Girls Golfing Association and played in their competitions this year.

I am in S2 now and have also just started on the West Lothian Excellence in School Sport Golf Programme and get coaching and practice sessions twice a week.

I am still playing in the Stephen Gallacher Foundation events but it is stroke play now. I will be at finals day again this year and I qualified for the Race to Dunbar finals which is based on finishing in the top ten order of merit for the season.

I stay with my Gran and Papa quite often during school holidays and it is great to be able to golf with Papa at St Fillans. I also like cycling with Papa along the cycle paths to Lochearnhead and Strathyre and trying to beat my big cousins on the putting green at Callander.

We stayed at Crieff Hydro a couple of times last year and as well as the golf I really enjoyed horse riding and messing about in the pool and on the trampolines.

Eva Woodward

Inspire Next Generation Players

What an inspiring Year of Young People 2018 story from Eva, a young lady to look out for in the future as she continues to develop her handicap and enter competitions. Her passion, dedication, skill, continuous learning and enjoyment for the game comes across, whether she is competing to win or having fun with her family.

There could be someone who was born to enjoy golf in your family. How will they know without experiencing the game? Are you aware that St Fillans Golf Club invites under 18's to play free of charge with an accompanying, paying adult? The club will even lend you a half set of clubs if you phone to book in advance.

St Fillans GC hosted Junior Coaching with PGA Pro Ryan Scott this year on September 1st, and it is encouraging to hear that 11 juniors took part. Who knows, the next Carly Booth, Sandy Lyle or Eva Woodward could be living under your roof.

Come on mum's and dad's - let your young ones experience a round of golf. They might even be lucky enough to bump into Eva at St Fillans or other Perthshire Golf Courses to ask for some helpful tips or invest in her autograph. www.st-fillans-golf.com/ Tel: 01764 685312

  1. Creative Writing: Midnight Meadows by 9 yearl Old Iona Clark from St Fillans
  2. Art and Adventure: Ruby Ruby Ruby Adventures of Strathyre Primary pupil Ruby Skye Douglas
  3. Sports for Health: Mini Stuc' 2018 - Annual race featuring 1km club primary school children from rural Stirling schools that surround Strathyre Primary School
  4. Robotics Technology - EEP Tomorrows Engineers -  Matthews logical mind helps the team of 4 win the UK trophy
  5. Storytelling -   School Girls Tell BLiSS stories on the new GPS enabled Geotourist world tour app -available to download on a smart phone
  6. Outdoor adventure -Kays Winter Wonderland in Glen Ogle  - The great outdoors are good for the body, mind and soul.

 

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Kay in Winter Wonderland

Enjoying The Great Glen Ogle Outdoors

Kay in winter wonderlandDon't panic!  This is not the September forecast, though these photographs of 12 year old Lochearnhead resident Kay Drysdale, are a reminder of the dramatic winter past. 

LETi is celebrating Year of Young People 2018, so thank you, to Morrisons Academy pupil Kay, for letting us share these images of her enjoying the incredible wonders that nature can create during a cold spell. Who would have guessed that these impressive stalactites were on our doorstep along the old Glen Ogle railway line, which is now Sustrans National Cycle Route 7 and part of The Rob Roy Way.  

Humans have a tendency to mutter when they "can't" get outside due to inclement weather.  I bet Kay's pet dog would never complain at the opportunity for an outdoor adventure.  If we wear warm protective clothing and are able to get out, what is stopping us?  Look what we might be missing.  

The snow is picturesque and enables great; photography, sledging, skiing, snow sculpture, snow ball fights and more.  The rain ensures different sounds and smells and waterfalls are even more dramatic. The landscape and resident wildlife changes, as does the light. The wind is often invigorating and can leave us with that rosy glow of contentment.

Kay's picture is a timely reminder for locals and holiday makers, that the outdoors can be enjoyed all year round and shared with family and friends.  You could employ the skills of our local experts.  Alan Sneddon, offers Hidden Glen Landrover Safaris around Balquhidder and Andrea Hudspeth of Aquila Ecology in St Fillans can organise a bespoke walking tour in search of flora and fauna in any season. 

Kay in winter wonderland

This is a good time for tourists and family friends to book a winter break in our villages, from September 2018 through to April 2019.  Please share our 4 village accommodation website www.robroycountry.com.  One email reaches all LETi accommodation owners direct and saves users time hunting for availability. 

There are many reasons to enjoy digital technology in winter in the warmth and safety of our homes. Some of us might be missing out though, if we don't use our phones and tablets to capture precious family moments as Kay and her family have done whilst enjoying the great outdoors together.  

Thanks to Kay and parents Joanna and Andrew Drysdale for allowing us to share these photographs.  Just looking at the images would have helped us all to cool down during the recent hot spell. Keep them handy in case of an Indian Summer! 

It's well documented that fresh air and exercise can be good for the body, mind and soul. So, a big thank you to Kay, for helping to inspire the next generation of outdoor fun and health enthusiasts.

 

 

 

 

Other local  YOYP2018 stories

  1. Creative Writing: Midnight Meadows by 9 yearl Old Iona Clark from St Fillans
  2. Art and Adventure: Ruby Ruby Ruby Adventures of Strathyre Primary pupil Ruby Skye Douglas
  3. Sports for Health: Mini Stuc' 2018 - Annual race featuring 1km club primary school children from rural Stirling schools that surround Strathyre Primary School
  4. Robotics Technology - EEP Tomorrows Engineers -  Matthews logical mind helps the team of 4 win the UK trophy
  5. Storytelling -   School Girls Tell BLiSS stories on the new GPS enabled Geotourist world tour app -available to download on a smart phone
  6. Golf heroine -  Eva, A Young Golfer With Drive - inspiring young lady golfers
  7. Careers and hobbies -Anna Be All You Can Be -experience, learn, question and enjoy life and learning

School Girls Tell BLiSS Stories on LETi's Geotourist Smartphone Audio Tour

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Abby from McLaren High SchoolRuby adventurer

A new audio tour has brought BLiSS trail art and architecture to life including contributions from young villagers Abby Todd (14) and Ruby Douglas (7) during this Year of Young People 2018

BLiSS trail has won three awards for working together and innovation, including the coveted Scottish National Thistle Award. 

Building a reputation as a forward thinking and collaborative holiday destination group, LETi's latest partnership is with Geotourist, a GPS based travel app enabler for audio tours on smartphones. 

McLaren high school pupil Abby Todd tells the story of the Miniature Mill house in her home village Strathyre. Lochearnhead based Ruby Douglas who goes to Strathyre primary school,  tells the story of Thistle The Heilan Coo at the Broch Cafe, encouraged by her mum Sarah and by the promise of a Mentos sweetie for completing the task! 

Year of Young People 2018 represents young talent under the age of 26. LETi also recorded the voice of 22 year old art degree student Shayna McLean from Perth College UHI for The Three Sisters sculpture on Loch Earn as well as stories from two young architects.

The community is represented by Andrea Hudspeth of Aquila Ecology,, Alan Sneddon of Hidden Glen Safaris,  Graeme Courtney of Kingshouse Travel, , Gus Cameron of Lochside Cottages Lochearnhead,, Emma Richards of Strathyre Village Shop and Post Office, , Sheridan Adams of Airlie House BandB and ice cram parlour, b and, me (Kim Proven) of Briar Cottages.  Also "The Villagers" design talent - Gill Waugh.   

Other partners include artists Kev Paxton, June McEwen and Lynne Schroder. Also, Cosmo Blake and Laura White on behalf of Sustrans Scotland Cycle Charity and Charlie Croft, - Tourism Advisor at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.  

VisitScotland hopes that the Geotourist global audio tour will encourage even more visitors to explore and spend time in the region by following the innovative trail in the heart of Rob Roy Country.

Kim Proven,  Chair of the Loch Earn Tourist Information Group said: "Loch Earn Tourism Information (LETi) businesses and communities are incredibly proud of their regional and national Scottish Thistle Awards for BLiSS trail innovation and working together. Our latest collaboration with Geotourist has been fun in the making and it enhances the BLiSS trail story further.  The new audio tour helps LETi to improve its BLiSS trail attraction, plot the trail's naturally beautiful location on the world map and talk to global audiences via mobile app and GPS technology. Geotourist - an innovative audio guide enabler - has given us the opportunity to collaborate with sculptors, students, business members and other partners who have recorded unique stories surrounding the art installations. 

Listen to a range of speakers including pupils and students aged 7 to 26 who volunteered to contribute in celebration of this tourism Year of Young People 2018.  We look forward to welcoming more visitors to see our award winning innovative art trail and now to hear a variety of fascinating BLiSS trail stories too." 

Shaon Talukder, CEO at Geotourist said: “"The celebrated BLiSS trail tour is an important addition to the Geotourist map. The Geotourist BLiSS trail tour underpins the opportunities that exist when communities with a common goal come together - and as this is how the BLiSS trail came into being, we're delighted to see the trail tour extend across the Loch Earn region and Rob Roy Country, taking in the communities of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, St. Fillans and Strathyre. 

“Driven by the inimitable Kim Proven, Kim intuitively understands how individuals and small businesses can work together to create something where there was nothing. A true gift from the community that brings smiles to locals and visitors alike. In this case, the BLiSS trail and physically draws visitors through the region ensuring that they can access all the sculpture and public art as a whole piece, while the Geotourist trail tour means that people can digitally immerse themselves in the tour, whether they are right in front of any of the pieces or on the other side of the world and listen to the stories in many cases shared by the artists themselves or local community members involved in the project. We are delighted that BLiSS won the Thistle and truly enjoy working with Kim, as we do with all the regional Thistle winners. Making great things happen is worthwhile and always easier through collaboration and we are proud to share all of their stories."  

Neil Christison Regional Director at VisitScotland, said: “The BLiSS trail is a fantastic asset to tourism in the area and we hope this complimentary audio trail will inspire visitors to enjoy the fun and exciting installations along the trail as well as explore the surrounding area.

“Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment and innovation, which is celebrated by the Scottish Thistle Awards, and trails such as this will only strengthen our world-class visitor experience.”

To follow and hear the BLiSS trail tour on your smartphone download https://itunes.apple.com/ua/app/geotourist/id948290494 for Apple and https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mlsdev.geotourist for Android then open the BLiSS trail tour. Each recording lasts from 1 to 3 minutes. To listen from a computer go to https://geotourist.com/tours/2040.

Try the free app on your local BLiSS trail installations and hear what guest speakers like Abby and Ruby have to say. Please share this information with friends and family around the world.

Ruby on the BLiSS trail with Drovers Bho

Other local YOYP2018 Stories

  1. Creative Writing: Midnight Meadows by 9 yearl Old Iona Clark from St Fillans
  2. Art and Adventure: Ruby Ruby Ruby Adventures of Strathyre Primary pupil Ruby Skye Douglas
  3. Sports for Health: Mini Stuc' 2018 - Annual race featuring 1km club primary school children from rural Stirling schools that surround Strathyre Primary School
  4. Robotics Technology - EEP Tomorrows Engineers -  Matthews logical mind helps the team of 4 win the UK trophy
  5. Outdoor adventure -Kays Winter Wonderland in Glen Ogle  - The great outdoors are good for the body, mind and soul
  6. Golf heroine -  Eva, A Young Golfer With Drive - inspiring young lady golfers
  7. Careers and hobbies -Anna Be All You Can Be -experience, learn, question and enjoy life and learning

 

Local Directory

Where to stay, eat and things to do in Strathyre, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and St Fillans. A useful leaflet of tourism business contacts around four villages, four...

Local Guesthouses / B&Bs

Rob Roy Country

Hotels and Inns, Guest Houses, Bed & Breakfast, Self-Catering, Camping and Campsites in Perthshire
& The Trossachs 

(Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, St Fillans & Strathyre)