John Muir by John Byrne

This afternoon I was at the Lochgilphead Joint Campus (which I opened in 2008 and where my election count took place last May) to launch the Curriculum For Excellence guidance for the John Muir Awards.

The first part of the visit was a photo shoot, held with some S2 pupils who had been on an "Outward Bound" resedential at Loch Eil in order to get their John Muir award. We could have qualified for another one together, as we stood in the driving rain trying to look as if we were enthusiastic !

But they then went on to make a great presentation about their activities and they richly deserved their framed certificates. I spoke about speaking to a meeting of the Sierra Club in San Fransisco two years ago, and visiting Glacier Bay - both events bringing home to me how improtant John Muir was and still is internationally, and how Scotland is seen as one of the world's great environments which we have to protect and nurture.

At the end I was touched and grateful to be presented (by the John Muir Trust) with a framed and signed copy of John Byrne's drawing of John Muir. A lovely present at the end of a hard working week - though tomorrow morning I am in Edinburgh presenting (again) the Scottish Qaulfiicaton for Headship Diplomas, and then will be at the SNP Spring Conference until Sunday.

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