CHMAS Bronze Qualifying Expedition

Forest Friends at the overnight camp

Working on any DofE Qualifying Expedition is for me, such a privilege! Watching the teams you have trained putting it all together and successfully completing their qualifying expedition is pretty special.

The teams completed a two day expedition in Llangollen and despite a few mishaps, unplanned events and a bird crowing at 05:00 at the overnight campsite all three teams successfully completed their expeditions.  I was especially proud of the Forest Friends team as they had a bit of a disaster on the practice expedition with the navigation. On the qualifying expedition they smashed it and coped with one or two little incidents along the way too. They took this all in their stride and were extremely proud of their achievements and to be honest so was I.

If you would like CHMAS to facilitate your expedition for you and your group then please take a look at our DofE Page to find out more.

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Instructing For Arthog Outreach

Rafted canoes at Simpsons Pool

Working for Arthog Outreach is always fun and this my first real week back was an absolute pleasure! I took a group of Year 3’s canoeing and a Group of Year 5’s hillwalking and there was much laughter all around.

Canoeing at Simpsons Pool With Year 3’s
A lovely day out in rafted canoes at Simpsons Pool. We played lots of games, raced each other and a little bit of exploring to shrieks of laughter as the teams got to grips with manoeuvring the canoes. A fine refinements to the session for the next group and we should have even more fun.

Hill Waking On the Wrekin With Year 5’s
We managed to dodge the worst of the weather for a lovely ‘off the beaten track’ ascent of the mighty Wrekin. While we took single track paths up we discussed how it was formed, who lived hill fort and what life would have been like as well as sampling elderberries, blackberries and blueberries. If that wasn’t enough we found a rope swing and visited the remain of the Roman Village at Wroxeter. It was an action packed day and enjoyed by all the group who were keen to do more in the outdoors. However, all good things must come to an end so they left with smiley faces and I hope lots of found memories.

If you would like CHMAS to provide this type of activity for you and your group then please take a look at our Group Programmes page to find out more

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NCS Course Leading (Week3)

NCS Objective – Social Action Project

During the first week of August, I was course leading a National Citizen Service Activity Residential for Condover Hall and it proved to be quite a challenging week. We had over 200 NCS participants plus staff engaged in various activities throughout the week plus their NCS team exercises to prepare the participants for their University Residential and Social Action Project.

This week went extremely well and I was pleasantly surprised to be presented with some gifts and some flowers for Senior Management from the NCS Leaders  (to put up with me being away from home), which she thought was quite amusing.

I hope all goes well with the rest of the programme and I would like to wish everyone the best of luck as you work your way to the graduation ceremony at the end of your NCS Programme

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NCS Courese Leading (Week 2)

NCS – Reflection on your activities

At the end of July, I was course leading a National Citizen Service Activity Residential for Condover Hall and it proved to be quite a challenging week. We had 350 NCS participants plus staff engaged in various activities throughout the week plus their NCS team exercises to prepare the participants for their University Residential and Social Action Project.

I hope all goes well with the rest of the programme and I would like to wish everyone the best of luck as you work your way to the graduation ceremony at the end of your NCS Programme.

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CHMAS – Navigation Training

Navigational Strategy

A cracking day teaching fundamental navigation skills to a DofE group, who needed a little top up after their practice expedition. The day was based on the 5D’s navigational strategy and by the end of the day all the group were navigating with ease and felt a lot more confident in their ability. The highlight for the day for me was when the started discussing how they could use the skills in their qualifying expedition.

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ML Training Course

ML Navigation on the Mini Break

Last week, I had a thoroughly enjoyable time working alongside Paul Poole on an Mountain Leader (ML) training course. The week broadly speaking was broken down as follows.

Day 1 – Introduction to navigation, navigational strategies & micro navigation
Day 2 – Mountain journey using macro navigation & weather talk
Day 3 – Security on steep ground without the rope & leader responsibilities
Day 4 – Security on steep ground (rope techniques) & leader equipment
Day 5 – Expedition (mini break & Route planning exercise
Day 6 – Expedition (mini break) & Debrief

Despite the rain, we used ‘Tactical Faff’ to make the best of the weather windows and a there was much banter, laughter and learning throughout the course and I hope all the candidates go on to have a successful assessment in the future.

To see a few pictures from the course please click here.

If you would like to do your ML training then I can certainly recommend Paul Poole Mountaineering, you won’t be disappointed.

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CHMAS Canoe Trip on the River Severn

Happy on the water

Today, CHMAS was running a canoe trip on the River Severn for the Shropshire Wildlife Trust as part of their Growing Confidence Initiative and a lovely trip it turned out to be too. We had 9 young people and 2 staff on the water who paddled from Melverley to Montford Bridge in the sunshine and despite an ‘unplanned event’ for one boat the trip passed without incident and everyone wanted to d more so a trip well done in my opinion.

If you would like CHMAS to provide this activity for you and your group then please take a look at our group page to find out more.

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NCS Course Leading

One of the NCS Pillars – Challenge

Last week, I was course leading a National Citizen Service Activity Residential for Condover Hall and a mighty fine week it was too. I would even go as far as to say this week was the best of the all the NCS activity weeks that I’ve been involved in. The young people were motivated, polite and supportive of each other and the team leaders input lots of energy to the team.

We had 150 NCS participants plus staff engaged in various activities throughout the week (including a talent show) plus their NCS team exercises to prepare the participants for their University Residential and Social Action Project. You all did well and I wish you well as you work your way to the graduation ceremony at the end of your NCS Programme.

Now starting to prepare for the next wave of NCS next week with 350 participants and hoping all goes as well as last week.

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Final Week of the Summer Term For Arthog Outreach

Climbing at Grinshill

A nice end of term week for me at Arthog Outreach and in my opinion just as it should be! My week consisted of my regular environmental learning session, a spot of caving and then for the finale a climbing session.

Environmental Session
I have been working with this group in four week blocks throughout the year and the difference in the group over that time has been immense. For their final session, we did a quiz based on the topic covered throughout the year (Kenya, Anglo Saxons & Theatre) and then we finished of with shelter building with embellishments and the creativity of the young people was simply awesome

Caving at Ogof Llanymynech
I haven’t been caving for some time and it was nice to be out of the warm weather for a while. The young people really engaged with the geology of the cave, its industrial past and of course exploring the caves many passages. All squeezed in and out of Five Ways Chamber and were keen to explore more so we visited Mandible Chamber. Still with spare time, we visited the nearby Hoffman Lime Kiln which is only one in the UK with a chimney. The young people had a great time exploring and asked many questions about the industrial artefacts.

Climbing at Grinshill
This proved to be a lovely final session for this Year 5 Group with everyone achieving new heights. It was a gentle start to the session with lots of encouragement and before long the group were taking charge of the belaying and giving each other lots of encouragement.

A lovely end to the summer term before, I start my NCS Course Leading for Condover Hall.

 

 

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Course Directing For The Adventure Ropes Course

Crate Stack in Progress

On Tuesday, I was a course directing an activity session for the Adventure Ropes Course for 100 Year 8 students and despite the damp weather a good time was had by all. We had all the elements of the Ropes Course in action and judging by the feedback a good time was had bay all.

‘Thank you so much for a fantastic day! The girls had a great time; your staff were fantastic at getting them involved and encouraging them to have a go. The activities were well organised and the afternoon ran so smoothly, I was impressed by your efficiency as I am well acquainted by the challenges of organising 100 year 8 girls.’

 

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