The John Muir Award

Circle of Life Rediscovery have been offering the John Muir Award at Discovery and Explorer Level since 2006 – the first organisation in Sussex to offer this prestigious national environmental award.

Since then hundreds of young people have achieved the Award which at it’s heart recognised young people’s connection with, enjoyment of and care for wild places.

John Muir Award Logo

The John Muir Award

We can offer this Award alongside our camps, woodland programmes and Forest School programmes

Click here to find out more how the John Muir Award can support experiential learning outside the classroom.

Participants should show enthusiasm and commitment, and have an awareness about John Muir.

There are 3 levels of the Award, encouraging a progressive involvement. The same 4 challenges are repeated for each level, with increased involvement in time, activity and ownership.

1. Discovery Award (introductory level) minimum 4 days
2. Explorer Award (intermediate level) minimum 8 days
3. Conserver Award (advanced level) minimum 20 days over 6 months

What is it?

The John Muir Award is a national environmental award that encourages people of all backgrounds to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places through a structured yet adaptable scheme. The Award isn’t competitive but should challenge each participant. It encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.

The Award is open to all, and is the educational initiative of the John Muir Trust.

What does it involve?

ThFour Challenges are at the heart of each John Muir Award. To achieve an Award each participant must:

  • Discover a wild place
  • Explore its wildness
  • Conserve – take personal responsibility
  • Share experiences

e woodland environment is a great “leveller” for clients referred by ADCAMHS. Benefits include improved physical, psychological and social well-being, as well as reduced stress levels and social isolation.

Clients’ self-worth and sense of belonging is increased through an understanding of their own place within the natural environment. Self-reflection around feelings of being “lost” and misunderstood is encouraged and supported.


How can the John Muir Award be used in schools?

The Award can be used as a framework for learning on a one-off basis, or as a progressive scheme over a year or more. There are three levels, each based on meeting the same Four Challenges (see above). Schools have used the Award:

  • In experiential studies of a specific subject area such as geography, science, social studies, art, music, English, maths and IT.
  • To help ‘join up’ cross curricular learning.
  • To give focus and structure to a residential course, field trip or visit and help provide links between remote and school-based activity.
  • To support wider themes across learning – such as personal learning and thinking skills, global citizenship and sustainability – by providing an experiential context.
  • To recognise achievement.
  • To develop and support links between pupils, families and the wider community.
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