Bushwalk Leadership Training | A Weekend Club Training Program

A Bushwalk Leaders weekend held at least once a year is essential so that all Club walk leaders can fulfill their duty of care. Aspiring leaders and those who have let their skills get a little rusty, will all benefit.

SESSION 1: Map Reading

SESSION 2:  Navigation

The following two sessions could be held on the  second day, basing it on the Adventure Activity Standards (AAS)

SESSION 3: Trip Planning (2-3 hours)

Prerequisites: knowledge of bearings and how to use a compass to plot a route

This could follow the outline given in the AAS p13-15,

1.1 Considerations for developing an activity plan …13
1.2 Pre-trip documentation …………………………………14
1.3 Risk management…………………………………………14
1.4 Emergency strategy……………………………………..15
1.5 Restriction to participation ……………………………15

but could be  supplemented by local examples, templates and a hands-on trial using a well known area. Online resources and access by blog (preferred option), phone and email to mentors willing to provide assistance on specific topics would be provided. Participants, working together in pairs, would need to be provided with maps and compasses.

SESSION 4: Role of Leader (1-2 hours)

This would largely follow AAS pp 15-21,

2 Responsibilities of the trip leader/assistant  (1-2 hrs) p15

2.1 Skills expected of a leader p16

2.1.1 Bushwalking Leader on ‘Urban walks’ p16
2.1.2 Bushwalking Leader on Tracked or Easy Untracked (Easy) p16
2.1.3 Bushwalking Leader on Difficult and Trackless (Intermediate) p17
2.1.4 Bushwalking Leader on Unmodified landscapes (Advanced) p18

2.2 First aid p18
2.3 Specific responsibilities of the trip leader  p19
2.4 Assistant to the trip leader  p19
2.5 Communication p20
2.6 Ratios of trip leader and assistant/s to participants p20
2.7 Group size  p21

but would be modified to suit your Club based on your knowledge of current practices and be developed in consultation with several senior club members, who have some empathy for the AAS. Online resources and access by blog (preferred option), phone and email to mentors willing to provide assistance on specific topics would provided.

The third session would work better if it were in a well lit environment where maps could be laid flat eg tables and chairs.

Additional Sessions

  1. Suitable for either day, a session on what to do if lost, from both the lost and the searcher’s perspective would be useful. This seems to be under emphasized or missing from the pre-walk briefing given by most walk leaders. Perhaps a few preventative measures could be presented. With the tendency for Club walks to have a long tail which is often out of contact with the leader, this is an obvious danger.
  2. With an aging Club membership,  you might like to include  a session dealing with heart attacks and managing your group after a serious incident such as this.

View other relevant posts in this Bushwalk Leadership Series

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