October 1, 2014
Chapter to Run First Sequel of Outing Leadership Training Course November 1
The Laurentian Chapter’s outing schedule depends on our volunteer leaders. We are always happy to add new leaders - it leads to new ideas, new destinations, new leadership styles, and a dynamic program. We’ve never had a training course on how to lead trips. Instead people observed and learned, sometimes with mentorship, and then tried it out - but we’re soon to offer our first trip leadership course.
The impetus came out of the Educational Affiliate Program. One of the goals the ADK set for that program is leadership development among student members. It is a mandatory requirement that, as a prerequisite to leading any ADK event, an EAP student member must take the EAP trip leadership course, developed and taught by John Gilewicz of the Niagara Frontier Chapter and newly-elected president of the ADK. In November 2013, John Gilewicz, Marianne Hebert, and I ran the EAP course for six new student leaders. In evaluating the results, it occurred to Marianne and me that the course would be valuable in our regular program as well.
We made a significant modification to last November’s course by adding to the classroom component a model hike, held at Higley Flow State Park, that would illustrate many of the concepts. Participants ran through the whole cycle of leading a trip, including: thinking up a destination and developing a publicity entry; answering questions from potential participants and signing them up; coordinating getting to the trailhead; running the outing on trail; getting back home; and writing a Backtrack report for the North Wind afterward.
Those of us who’ve led many trips over the years have inevitably had things go awry to some extent during a trip. Solving these problems can be viewed as a challenge and part of the fun of being a leader. What we’ve done is incorporated simulations of a number of these situations into the model hike. We hope that solving them in a simulated environment will give participants the confidence to handle them on an actual event out in the wilds.
Although miscues in the outdoors can have major consequences and should always be taken seriously, quite a few of our real-life experiences can be viewed with hindsight as having a certain element of the comical as well. So we find that the simulation can often raise a smile. Experienced chapter leaders are very welcome on this event - we’re sure their knowledge will add extra dimension to the experience.
This first sequel of our trip leadership course will take place on Saturday, November 1; see the entry in the Outings schedule. We hope for a good turnout of both new and experienced leaders.
Oct 1, 2014: Chapter Offers Outing Leadership Training Course