Well its been a busy few days running a Walking Group Leader (WGL) Training course based in Windermere in the Lake District. The course was attended by 7 candidates of mixed abilities and experiences...not always the easiest to deal with but as it happened even those with the lowest level of skills at the beginning left with new found confidence and a skip in their step by the end.
Helping me on this course was Chris Conley, a true Yorkshire-man! Chris can often be the classic example of people 'judging the book by the cover!' Standing at 7 foot tall I'm not sure why he can be seen as intimidating ;-). One thing that is for sure is that our contrasting styles of teaching make for an entertaining course for the candidates and its strange how we seem to be tuned in to what each other is thinking. We were also joined on the last day by John Cameron, a very knowledgeable charismatic instructor. What a TEAM!!!
The weather proved to be challenging throughout this course both in terms of what the synoptic charts were suggesting and what we actually experienced. Choosing the right locations to teach in is of paramount importance but experiencing challenging weather is also important...and we certainly did that.
As most of you may know the WGL is a 'Summer' leadership award within bounded (roads etc) areas of upland hilly terrain, however, during training it is not unreasonable to push the bounds both in terms of weather and areas to highlight exactly what is within remit of the award. Following day one of looking for small features using 1:25k maps we moved onto journeying on day 2 in the area affectionately known as the Howgills using 1:50k maps. This day certainly pushed the bounds and challenged each candidate both in terms of navigation and looking after themselves and the rest of the group. The forecast for the day said the windchill would be -16 degrees! Following evening meal that night we then went out for 3 hours of limited visibility (night) navigation. We had a beautiful evening to once again be out on the hills and all the candidates did really well in an activity the majority had limited experience in.
Day three is all about dealing with hazards and campcrafty type stuff as well as the all important individual debriefs.
An excellent course!
If you would like more information relating to the WGL or any of Roxcool courses just drop me a line or give me a call.