Working the weekend shouldn’t be this much fun but it really is!
Our 2016 UK School Expeditions are approaching quickly! Before we know it teams will be packing their rucksacks and heading off across the world to various destinations to enjoy a summer of hard work, personal challenges, amazing memories and life-long friends. Accompanying the students and teachers from the UK will be some of our most valuable assets – our Expedition Leaders.
In preparation for meeting their teams and supporting them through the expedition, we gathered our team of Expedition Leaders together in the beautiful setting of Tile Barn Outdoor Centre in the heart of the New Forest for our annual Leader Training Weekend. They came from places nearby, and as far as the Middle-East to meet with the Camps International team and fellow Expedition Leaders to update their knowledge, share ideas, experiences and wisdom and to fuel the excitement of their impending trips. Preparing for the weekend meant a car full of food, Leader Manuals and example med kits!
Saturday’s sessions covered a range of topics from the nitty gritty of managing communications, emergency procedures and different adventure activities to specific camps and the all important med kit briefing. Plenty of tea, coffee and biscuits kept everyone going. As more than one team are likely to share a camp for at least some of their expedition it was a chance for leaders to meet those they might bump into in our camps and get to know them (this included putting up and sharing tents in true Camps style). It was also a chance for new leaders to meet the wider Camps International team including our Technical Advisor and Medical Advisor who were kept busy with lots of questions from excited leaders.
To end the day we enjoyed traditional fare of Spaghetti Bolognese (the only meal in my repertoire) before we embarked on a short night hike to explore the nearby village and made an effort to engage with the local community’s Saturday night cultural activities. Sunday morning everyone was up bright and early for bacon butties, a few crazy games and sessions about making the most of every learning opportunity and dealing with some of the more tricky situations. After some essential admin guidance the leaders did a grand job of helping clear the centre, leaving it nice and tidy before heading home.
It was a genuine pleasure having such awesome folk all in one place, sharing a wealth of knowledge and experience. Our leaders are an integral part of the Camps International family and a vital ingredient in the success of an expedition. We’re really excited for the teams they will be working with and know they’ll do their best to provide opportunities, shape learning and inspire their team members while working closely with the teams overseas to make sure teams are well looked after and have the best experience possible.