For Craggers providing fun and adventure is central to everything we do. What people might not be aware of is the extensive training volunteers receive to ensure that what we do is not just exciting but safe too.
Volunteer training focussing on various skills takes place throughout the year. The July training is specifically for volunteers who will be running sessions at the Annual Adventure Camp and as such it makes sense to do it at Blackland Farm.
We camped for two nights which allowed us almost three days for training, enough time to cover what would be required. Even if the volunteers have run sessions before we require them to attend this training to ensure that procedures are refreshed, skills are topped up, and current best practice is emphasised.
There were five sessions over the three days;
Abseil and Zip Wire, where volunteers learned how to set up the equipment, how to operate the equipment, keeping themselves safe, managing participants safely and effectively, taking the equipment down and what to do if things go wrong (prevention, rescue etc.).
Rock climbing, where volunteers learn how to choose suitable climbs, set up and use the equipment correctly, how to manage groups safely and how to deal with any problems.
Tree activities, volunteers are shown how to select the most suitable areas to set up and run the various types of games in the trees including stirruping, prussiking, caving ladders, climbing etc.
Rescue and problem solving; volunteers are given the opportunity to use the abseil tower to learn and practice skills which can be used in real life situations on rock and ice climbs, including multi pitch routes, to rescue themselves or others. This is always exciting, if rather uncomfortable when it is your turn to simulate a casualty.
It was a very successful session and people went away with various new and reinforced skills to benefit both Craggers and to make their own climbing exploits safer.