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Home : Trip Organisers and Leaders

Trip Organisers and Leaders

Introduction to Trip Leaders and training

The Club is always in need of new leaders at all levels. The courses cater for a wide variety of experience and what you want to do; please ask the Trip and Safety Coordinator (trip.safetyouwc.org) if you're not sure what's for you! (For leading on Local Walks you only need to have been on a Local Walk before - see the Local Walks information page.)

N.B. The leader requirements were amended at the Hilary Term 2008 TGM to relax some of the course requirements.

Pathways to becoming an OUWC trip leader — click image to enlarge (PDF)

To lead trips (Weekend Trips and Minibus Day Trips) for the club you have to have done a suitable 16 hour First Aid Course within the last three years.

You're then, by default, a 'Level 1' leader and so can help lead trips to 'non-challenging terrain' such as the Forest of Dean, New Forest, Malverns and Stonehenge.

You can be approved by the Club's Committee to become a 'Level 2' leader, this adds locations such as the Mendip Hills, Quantock Hills, Bodmin Moor and coastal paths (e.g. Cornwall, Gower, South Coast and Pembrokeshire). Approval by Committee is based on previous walking experience in the relevant sort of areas and evidence of this -- get in touch with the Trip and Safety Coordinator if you're interested or want more information.

To become a 'Level 3' leader you can either take a three day 'Walking Group Leader' (WGL) training course, OR you can complete a two day 'Club Leader' course AND be approved by the Club's Committee. This adds most other areas that aren't mountainous or remote, such as Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Yorkshire Dales. Both courses cover the skills you'll need to take groups out on the hills, including navigation, safety, weather, access... The 'Club Leader' course is a great introduction to group leading and only takes a weekend! WGL training course is a longer course and so there's more time to cover the topics; this is also the first step towards a nationally recognised qualification. It's great for those who would like to lead but don't fancy ropework or anything too mountainous! You should have some experience of walking in areas like the above.

To become a 'Level 4' leader you can either do a six day 'Mountain Leader' (ML) training course, OR complete a two day Club Leader course (as for Level 3) AND a two day 'Club Leader' course for Level 4 terrain AND be approved by the Club's Committee. You can then lead trips to mountainous or remote areas, such as Snowdonia, the Lake District, the Brecon Beacons and Scotland. The ML course covers the whole range of skills including ropework, steep ground and river crossings -- it's best for those with a reasonable level of hillwalking experience. The Club Leader courses allow you to start off leading in lower level terrain and then progress to more remote and mountainous areas.

The club is always in need of new leaders at all levels. The courses cater for a wide variety of experience and what you want to do; please ask if you're not sure what's for you! The Club Leader and WGL courses are great ways of starting off, and don't require so much time and money as ML! However, we usually subsidise all these courses to an extent, so we can bring down the cost quite a bit.

Leading Trips is a rewarding experience, and, of course, all of these qualifications/experience count for something in the real world. If you're interested in taking any of the courses mentioned above or would like some more information, please contact the Trip and Safety Coordinator (trip.safetyouwc.org).

Further information may be found in the Trip Leader Safety Document.

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