Nearly 700 adults from the Wigan area took part in a survey we carried out looking at the long term impact of residential trips to Low Bank Ground and Hinning House, both outdoor centres owned by Wigan Council and managed by us.
School trips certainly count for something in childhood - that's if the memories of those who responded are anything to go by.
Since the 1970s over 2,000 pupils from the Wigan area have visited either Low Bank Ground, on the shores of Coniston Water, or Hinning House, set in the heart of the Duddon Valley, close to Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain.
They were asked about what they most remembered; what they felt they learnt, and what has been the long-term impact. Most important of all, the findings showed that field trips play a positive part during any childhood - the high response rate alone suggesting that people had happy memories and enjoyed recalling them.
Respondents mostly wrote about the activities (95%), followed by time spent with friends (64%), being away from home (62%) and the food (32%).
Chris Jeffs, Deputy Head of Centre, said one typical response was from a woman who wrote: “I was able to excel in areas that formal education failed me; I learnt that a girl from a poor background could become successful in the outdoor education field, and be believed in by the amazing teams at both venues.’'
Another person who came with their primary school reported that it left them with a lifelong fascination with canoeing, abseiling, rock climbing and walking up and down big hills.
The 691 responses covered visits made between 1973 and 2017, with an equal split between venues. A small number of responses came from staff who accompanied pupils. Some had visited as a student and then as an adult accompanying a school party. But most of those who took part, 77%, came with their primary school.