sam ridgway

L&E Scholarship: Michael

18 February 2023

“When Michael was first adopted I struggled with his behaviour. He was shy, introverted & unwilling to engage. He thrived with Learn & Experience!”

We are delighted to announce that one of our World Camp scholarship recipients, Michael has been accepted on a funded place to Durham School as a Full-time Boarder.

Michael first attended L&E World Camps in 2016. His adopted mother, Laura writes how this has influenced his life…

Can you tell us about Michael before he came to L&E World Camps?

Before L&E Michael was very shy, introverted and usually unwilling to engage in sports or physical activities. It certainly brought him out of his shell with the encouragement of the staff.

Would you have been able to send Michael to L&E without the scholarship?

Without the scholarship I wouldn’t have been able to afford to send Michael to L&E.

What has Michael gained from attending L&E World Camps?

Michael gained confidence and friendship.  I don’t think Michael would be as accepting of learning new skills if he hadn’t attended L&E. He speaks fondly of making new friends from around the world. 

It’s also helped Michael grow into a stronger character of himself after coming through many adversities in his younger life being an adopted child.

What are some of Michael’s (and your) favourite memories of L&E?

His favourite memory was when he learnt canoeing and because of this he joined the rowing team at Durham School and is loving it.   

My favourite memory was opening up the L&E Facebook page every morning to see all the photographs taken the previous day of their activities. I downloaded every photo with Michael in it so he could explain to me, when he got home, what they were doing in the photo’s so I could share his memories.

Has L&E made a difference to Michael’s life?

Without a doubt, if he hadn’t spent the past 5 years attending L&E World Camps we wouldn’t have been able to show how well Michael would settle into life in a boarding school environment. The way Michael has settled into boarding school is a testament of how well he took to staying away from home for 2 weeks at a time with Learn & Experience.

Would you recommend Learn & Experience?

I would recommend Sam and his organisation in a heart beat.

When Michael was first adopted I struggled with his behaviour. Not once did you!! Speaks volumes for how well you give children with difficult backgrounds an amazing experience! 

30 Day Challenge Blog

30 November 2020

What is the 30 Day Challenge for ALL?

Sam Ridgway, the founder of L&E, was challenged to 10 Adventures, 10 Life Skills and 10 Languages in 30 Days…Simple!

There were 2 main aims of the challenge:

  1. Raise vital funds and awareness for Save the Children who exist to help every child to reach their full potential. 

2. To inspire young people from all backgrounds and cultures to broaden their horizons, step out of their comfort zone and try something new.

30 Day Schedule

Day 1: Yoga

Completed my first life-skill challenge today! YOGA!! The lovely Harriet was my expert instructor and put me through my paces. Made me realise how un-flexible I am! A little stiff now but actually may try to keep it going as I’m not getting any younger!! 😜

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Day 2: Wild Swimming

This wasn’t planned at all! Having a lovely dog walk with Rosie on the beach getting myself prepared for my language lesson later in the afternoon when an idea struck me! WILD SWIM! Only problem was…I didn’t have any trunks or a towel!. Oh well…I managed to protect my modesty and went for it! Very invigorating but very, very, very cold!! Literally took my breath away! First adventure completed! Language lesson delayed till another day!

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Day 3: Spanish

Today was an incredibly wet & rainy day so the perfect day for an indoor activity. My lovely 82 year old Father used to be a French and Spanish teacher but for some reason I have never learnt any Spanish my whole life. He agreed to give me a Spanish lesson and it was amazing. I am so lucky to have such a great Dad who embraces all challenges including modern technology!! Only a few glitches…😂

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Day 4: Ukulele

Enjoyed today’s session. It was very frustrating and I will certainly blame the quality of my my instrument but all in all I definitely learnt some chords and will be able to bring out the ukulele at campfires etc. (if only to pass it very quickly to someone who can actually play!!) Thank you Andy for the tutorial! 👍 (ps. remember to tune your ukulele and to know whether you’re doing it for left handed or right handed! 🤦‍♂️)

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Day 5: GPS Art Run

An interesting challenge today. A friend mentioned the idea of GPS Art and how you can draw shapes with the route you run with your running app. It was fun planning the shape and putting it into action. It was an early start but worth it in the end. Pacific Spirit Park is an incredible temperate Rainforest near where we will live and was the perfect setting!! 🏃🌲 Day 5 done…what’s in store tomorrow!!? 🤔 Ps. I have some quite exciting challenges planned in the coming days/weeks but still need some more ideas to fill my schedule!?🤔

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Day 6: Arabic

Today I had the privilege of learning Arabic from my wife, Randa’s mum. She was very patient and very kind. There’s some very difficult pronunciations and I apologise for some of the inaccuracies!😂 Enjoy! PS. Keep the ideas coming…really enjoyed some of the ideas so far! 👍

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Day 7: Singing

What an amazing opportunity to have a singing lesson with an amazing professional like Kathy! (However I think I may have blown it!!😂) Thank you so much to Kathy for giving your time to teach me. I will have definitely been one of the harder students to get a note out of but, nonetheless I really enjoyed it and feel that now I have a technique I have no excuse for the sounds coming out of my mouth! 🤦‍♂️😂 

I really recommend everyone to get a voice/singing teacher. It really makes you concentrate on certain things that will help throughout your life.

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Day 8: Boating

I had a lot of fun today. My friend Mark treated me to a ride in his boat and even luckier I got to drive it! It’s a very different feeling to driving a car and the waves were certainly causing a few bumps! So much fun!

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Day 9: Roller Blading

Oh my Gosh! I am NOT a natural skater/blader! Coupled with my tallness and fear of falling there is an incredible awkwardness when I have wheels or blades on my feet! However, I didn’t do as badly as I thought and really enjoyed the sunshine along the famous Vancouver Sea Wall!

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Day 10: Sign Language

Sign Language has been on the list of things to learn for a long time. I was very lucky for Katie to agree to teach my some BSL (British Sign Language). The expressive(ness) of the language is so fantastic. I loved Katie’s passion for it and I have promised myself that I must carry on learning and if nothing else try to remember the alphabet by heart.

Katie mentions the Alphabet cards you can download from the National Children’s Deaf Society website

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Day 11: Tree Climbing

Find a tree, climb a tree, have a coffee up a tree – simple huh!?

Who’d have thought it would be so hard to find a tree to climb IN A FOREST!!?? Well it was! Try as I might I could find an appropriate tree to climb for a long time but eventually found one on my next outing with outstanding view. All in all it was a successful challenge but just reminded me that even the best laid plans can come unstuck sometimes! 😂

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Day 12: Japanese

Thank you so much to Mitsue for giving me her time to teach me some Japanese. It’s such a beautiful and polite language. I know I didn’t do it quite the justice it deserved but nonetheless I enjoyed learning and certainly will try to remember the basics!

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Day 13: Cooking

Very fortunate to have Dan from Nourish Cookery School give me a lesson on how to make Japanese dumplings, gyoza! They were very yummy! 😋🥟

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Day 14: Snow Day

Yesterday I heard the exciting news that our local mountain (Cypress) was due open early for the ski season. Every year I get incredibly excited by this news and this year (with everything that has gone on) I was even more excited than normal! Just being in the mountains with snow and trees around me is my special place! I decided not to go up the lifts as it was pretty busy and the season is long but I had a lovely hike and ski down and even made myself a coffee with my little stove! Fantastic day!

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Day 15: Malay

Can’t quite believe I’m halfway through! 5 adventures, 5 life skills and 5 languages completed!

Loved learning Malay with Heng. He had gone to some effort to prepare and make it as easy as possible for me to learn and so I’m ever so grateful. Terima kasih, Heng!

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Day 16: Turkish

Thank you so much to Eylem for teaching me some Turkish. I visited Istanbul a few years ago and had the most wonderful time. I would even go as far as to say it’s one of my most favourite cities. Where East meets West! So, I’m excited to go back and be able to use my new found skills. It’s a very interesting language and quite phonetic which makes it easier than other languages. I also loved the body language that is unique to Turkey.

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Day 17: Card Skills

Who could imagine shuffling cards could be so difficult!? I’ve always loved magic tricks and playing card games but been slightly embarrassed by the fact I can’t even do a basic shuffle never mind anything fancy!

I decided to something about it! 🤦‍♂️

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Day 18: Den Building

🌲🏕🌲A great life-skill preparing for my adventure in a couple of days when I get to sleep out in my construction! 

⚠️Beware of the coyotes!!🐕😱😜

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Day 19: Norwegian

 This was quite a special language lesson. 

Randa and I met a lovely couple (Hans, from Norway and Zoe from Canada) 15 years ago in South Africa on a wine tasting tour. We hit it off straight away and had a really fun day together but haven’t seen them since. 

Through the power of social media we’ve stayed in touch and amazingly Hans got in touch to offer to give me a Norwegian lesson. They now actually live in Canada as well so we will definitely see more of them sooner or later. Thank you again to Hans! 🙏

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Day 20: Sleep Out

This was a tough one for lots of reasons. As well as to Save the Children please consider donating to Covenant House Vancouver who help young people who experience homelessness.

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Day 21: Pig Latin (Kids Secret Language)

Pig Latin (Kids Secret Language). What a brilliant teacher 9 year old Libby is! I learnt so much! She is sooo amazing at Pig Latin! Wow! 😃👏

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Day 22: Foraging (for mushrooms)

I was incredibly fortunate today. Chef Robin Kort from Swallow Tail Culinary Adventures gave me a personal guide to foraging mushrooms. Her knowledge and passion is so infectious and I learnt so much! 🌲🍄

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Day 23: Kayaking

I took a trip down False Creek, Vancouver. 🛶

Loved seeing things that I hadn’t noticed before. I think waterways are such a great way to travel and see things from a different perspective. Also, it’s so quiet in a kayak so you have a great chance to see cool wildlife…I got lucky with a little friend!🦭

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Day 24: Art Class

Day 24: Art Class (with my amazing Mum!).She taught me some cool watercolour techniques and produced an amazing snowy scene in minutes! 🤗Thanks to Dad for his stellar video work (not wobbly at all!! 😳😅)

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Day 25: Skate Skiing

I’m definitely not a natural Skate Skier!! ⛸⛷😩 Thought it would be similar to downhill skiing but it isn’t! Ended up having quite a bit of fun though! 😜😃👍

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Day 26: Welsh

Thank you to my very good friend, Aled for teaching me some Welsh.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 I even got to hear the proper pronunciation of the longest place name in Europe – Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch!!😅

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Day 27: Ice Hockey

Thank you so much to Coach Emily and Norbert for taking me to try out ice hockey for the first time. 🏒 It’s the national sport and obsession of Canada so it’s an essential life skill to have and I can tell you I was a little nervous! 😅

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Day 28: Mountain Biking

North Shore Mountain Biking is famous worldwide and having lived here now for over 3 years I decided it was time to try it out…I wasn’t dissapointed! Awesome!😃 Thank you, James for being my guide!🏔 🚵‍♀️ 🏔

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Day 29: Luganda 

Thank you so much to Phyllis Kisa from Kampala, Uganda. Phyllis is a surgeon who we met during her year in BC Children’s Hospital. It was also lovely to meet little Adrien – what a sweetie! 🤗

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Day 30: Sea to Sky Triathlon


From my home to the “Peak of Vancouver” Grouse Mountain by Kayak, Bike and Foot! Thank you to Dave for being expert guide up the BCMC! 🙏

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Spring Newsletter

12 April 2017

This year certainly seems to be zooming by.  The longer evenings and blossom on the trees are always nice indicators that summer is not far away.

We’ve been very busy here at L&E.  Julie, Sarah and I (Sam) have been travelling around meeting parents in Paris and Milan (see below).  Mike has been meeting MFL teachers from across the UK talking about our exciting Spanish camps.  Mike & I also visited France to view some new venues in the Loire Valley which was a really fruitful trip.

Sam Ridgway & Julie Dickson

Mike Dewar & Sarah Carneil

Paris & Milan

Julie, Sarah and I really enjoyed our visits to Paris and Milan in January and February.  What wonderful cities they are.  We were made to feel really welcome and spoke to some wonderful families about our camps and teen travel programmes.  It’s always nice to see familiar faces who are able to give first hand accounts of our Summer Camps and Teen Travel Tours.  However much you market your camps and personally believe they’re the best thing since sliced bread, word of mouth is always the best way so I’m eternally grateful to all families who go out of their way to spread the word of L&E! Thank you.

Paris:Milan Photo Postcard

Visit to France

Mike and I flew into Nantes Atlantique at the beginning of April to visit 3 venues close to Angers in the Loire Valley.  Angers has beautiful rolling countryside with a lot of outdoor adventure possibilities.  It is easily accessible by air, less than 2 hours from Brittany & Normandy ferries and just over an hour from Paris on the TGV.  Our friend and local girl, Cecile, was the most outstanding host and guided us around this wonderful area.  We visited 3 very different venues all with their own charm.  The idea will be to offer an English and French experience for all children who have an interest learning and improving these languages.  We would hope to guarantee a high proportion of both English and French children for an authentic language and cultural experience. We would also hope to replicate our special atmosphere from our UK Camps.  Let us know if this may be of interest. We’ll keep you posted!

Angers Postcard

L&E Ski & Board

L&E Ski & Board is starting to take form and we’re hoping to be able to give more information on this soon.

In February we had some staff training and a photo shoot which was great fun.  Again, we’ll keep you posted!

L&E Ski Postcard

Teen Travel UK Tour

Our Teen Travel programme has been our hottest property for a while now and this summer looks set to be another truly awesome summer for our intrepid travellers.

Teens are in charge of their own experience.  They will explore the UK in groups of 6-8 with other teens from across the world and the UK.  They will be accompanied by 2 L&E Travel Mentors but are in control of:

•Their own Budget

•Their own Itinerary

•Their own Accommodation

•Their own Transport

•Their own Food

L&E Teen Travel will give teens and parents the skills and peace of mind for any travelling they do in the future.

Also, even if you’re from the UK don’t think that this wont be a valuable experience.  These tours will be like no other and teens will get to see the UK in a complete different light.

We still have availability on the following tours and have scholarships available for UK Residents.

•9th – 23rd July (Start & End at L&E North)

•2nd Tour: 6th – 20th August (Start & End at L&E South)

Teen Tours

L&E Madrid Camp

We’re delighted to welcome 2 schools from the UK to our Madrid Camp this summer – Hammersmith Academy and St Brigid’s from Denbigh.  It will mean that we have over 30 native English speaking children that Spanish children and other nationalities will be able to be immersed with.  Our camp is in the centre of Madrid and we can guarantee an authentic English Language experience.  We still have availability for 1 week or 2 weeks stays.

•Week 1: 25th June – 1st July

•Week 2: 2nd – 8th July

Madrid English Camp

L&E North Camp

We are again gearing up for a special summer at Aysgarth School, North Yorkshire.  Places have nearly sold out on our first 2 weeks but currently have some availability on our final 2 weeks.  1, 2, 3 or 4 week options are available.

•1st Week: 9th – 15th July

•2nd Week: 16th – 22nd July

•3rd Week: 23rd – 29th July

•4th Week: 30th July – 5th August

Make sure you don’t miss out on your place as it looks like we’ll be sold out before the end of May.

Aysgarth School

L&E South Camp

This will be our first summer at FSM School in the New Forest and we are so excited.  So many new adventures are planned and we have been overwhelmed how well supported we’ve been.  Places are still available but not for long.  The London Excursion on the middle weekend has been a big draw this summer.


  • 30th July – 12th August

Forres Sandle Manor

Facebook Review

We ask families after every programme to complete a feedback form and are always so grateful for the amazing response which keeps us reassured that  we are still doing the right things.  However, with Social media being so powerful these days we’d very much appreciate it if you’d also be able to complete a review on our Facebook Page.  It doesn’t need to be detailed but a star rating would be gratefully received.


Visit down Memory Lane

27 January 2017

I visited FSM School in the New Forest this week. FSM will host L&E South this summer for the first time and holds a very special place in my heart. FSM gave me my first teaching job and I shall be forever grateful. It inspired me to go on and begin L&E which keeps many core values that I took from this magical place. I was meeting Roger the Bursar to go through the details of the summer but saw so many familiar and welcoming faces. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to be welcomed back with such affection. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to bring L&E back to the place where really, it all began.  #specialplace #happymemories

A New Member of the team!

22 March 2013

Introducing the L&E Land Rover….

We are delighted to welcome “Lenny” to the team! He will be involved in many aspects of Learn & Experience from Airport Transfers, Adventure, Activities and Weekend Excursions. Please wave or hoot your horn if you see him around!!

Only a few places left!

12 March 2013

If you are interested in your children attending our Residential Camps this year then you may have to book sooner than you think!
We only have limited places left and we’re pretty sure that these will go in the next month.  There will be no last minute places available this year as the demand has been amazing.  We’re already two thirds full!

L&E @ Malsis School – Summer 2013

Week 1: 14th – 20th July (13 Places available – UK ONLY!)

Week 2: 21st – 27th July (12 Places available – UK ONLY!)

Week 3: 28th July – 3rd August (18 Places – UK & INTERNATIONAL)

Week 4: 4th – 10th August (17 Places available – UK & INTERNATIONAL)

Week 5: 11th – 17th August (14 Places available – UK & INTERNATIONAL)

Week 6: 18th – 24th August (13 Places available – UK & INTERNATIONAL)

A Week in the Life of a Pro Footballer

We only have 5 places left for 11, 12 & 13 year olds on Week 5 (11th – 17th August).  For details of the course please click here

Pro-Coach Yorkshire Cricket Coaching

We have places available on Week 3 (28th July – 3rd August) and Week 4 (4th – 10th August).  For details of the course please click here

L&E Horse Riding

Places still available on all weeks.  For details of the course please click here

Yorkshire Challenge

23 January 2013

Sam & Randa have a series of Yorkshire Challenges ahead of them this year. They’re hoping to raise funds to offer more children opportunities of amazing experiences with the L&E Scholarships.
• Sunday 10th March – Keighley BigK: 10K Run (Yorkshire Triathlon Run Stage)
• Sunday 14th April – Skipton Triathlon
• Sunday 12th May – Leeds Half Marathon
• Sunday 28th July – Bronte Sportive: 43 mile Ride (Yorkshire Triathlon Bike Stage)
• Saturday 3rd August – Dip in the Dales: 1mile Swim (Yorkshire Triathlon Swim Stage)
• Saturday 7th/8th September – Yorkshire Tough Mudder
• Sunday 20th October – Yorkshire Marathon

L&E Summer Camp Exhibitions

14 January 2013

L&E will be attending 5 Summer Camp Exhibitions in Milan and Paris this February!

  • Collegio San Carlo, Milan – Feb 4th
  • Sir James Henderson, Milan – Feb 5th
  • Franco-American Community Center, Paris – Feb 9th
  • Bilingual School EAB, Paris – Feb 11th
  • Bilingual School Jeannine Manual, Paris – Feb 12th

A new L&E team member!

29 May 2012

Maddie and Baby Dottie

Maddie and Baby Dottie

Our Directors, Sam and Randa have some wonderful news……..a new edition to the Ridgway family. Maddie now has a little sister, Dottie Ridgway. Both are looking forward to seeing everyone at camp in the Summer!!

Visit from Friends from Spain

14 May 2012

On Monday, our Directors Sam & Randa had a lovely day meeting some old L&E friends.  Lucas and Clara from La Coruna, Spain attended a week at our Aysgarth camp in Summer, 2011.  They are actually currently attending a full term at Malsis School (organised by L&E). As they are on an exeat weekend their family came to visit them. (Mum-Sarah, Father – Luis and Grandfather – Gabbi)   They all had a fantastic meal at The Fountaine Inn, Linton and then lovely walk around Bolton Abbey.

Luis, Sam, Maddie, Sarah, Clara, Lucas & Gabbi