In the summer half term we ran our first week long (6 Day) course in Basic Expedition leadership (AKA BEL). We have run this course previously over a series of weekends but this was the first time we ran it as an intensive 6 days. The 5 participants had a range of experience from 'I went on a walk once' to 'I do lots of DofE work for my school' and they came from a variety of work settings working with young people in Schools, community based youth offenders and prisons. We were based at Malham Tarn Field Studies Centre, the field centre put us up, provided us with a classroom, a bar and fed us well for the week.
It is a long course and to fit it all into 6 days was not an easy task for this tutor or the participants but we all held it together remarkably well. The structure of the course is 3 days based at the field centre, 2 on an expedition and then the last day back at the field centre. The days at the field centre were generally spent in the class room in the morning and outside in the afternoon.
The course is excellent and takes the participants through everything they need to know to take people walking and camping in the 'lowland' countryside. Some of the areas covered include:
- Governing bodies and legislation
- Risk assessments
- Route planning
- Leadership styles
- Food and fitness
- Camping and hiking equipment and care
- How to teach / instruct
- The country code
- Self evaluation
We had beautiful weather throughout the week even though the forecast for the last day of the expedition was appalling. The very last day was by far my favourite when we covered very technical navigation looking for Mines, shake holes and ponds on the hills to the north of the Field Centre.
Feedback from the course
- 'Andy was a very good instructor, he took the time to explain things and communicated brilliantly with the group'
- 'Excellent course, really enjoyed'
- 'Thank you for an enjoyable 6 days'
- 'Good mix of classroom and outside, final day of navigation was brill'
- 'Works brilliant as a six day course. Tiring but great fun'
- 'Enjoyable with a good group and helpful and knowledgeable tutor'
- 'The best part of the course was improving and practicing skills in a non-threatening environment'
We run these courses every autumn and summer half term (October and June) for the next courses and for a bit more info on the course please take a look at our Basic Expedition Leadership page