Instructing For Arthog Outreach

Canoe session in progress at Simpsons Pool

Last week my sessions for Arthog Outreach were climbing and canoeing and both were very enjoyable sessions indeed.

Climbing At Grinshill
This is the second day of a multi day programme for this group of Year 5’s and they were quite excited about going climbing. Despite the initial excitement, they were a little apprehensive about climbing to the top but with the right ethos ‘Challenge By Choice’ they soon reached new heights and as their confidence grew almost all reached the top of the climbs. A really positive experience for all involved.

Canoeing At Simpsons Pool
As part of their instructor development programme, all instructors are expected to deliver a mentored session and I was assigned to watch Jamie deliver a canoe session. The session went very well indeed and through feedback and self reflection, there will be an improved session for next week.

If you would like CHMAS to provide this type of session for you and your group then please take a look at our activity page to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you.


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Yr Hafod – Terrain 2 Permit Assesssment

Last weekend, I was at Yr Hafod running a Scout Association Terrain 2 Permit Assessment and a mighty fine weekend it was too. I had two candidates who were extremely well prepared and it was an absolute blast working with them.

Cantilver – Glyder Fach

Day 1 – A Walk on The Glyders
Our venue for the day took in the summits of Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach via various contour features and obscure locations. We descended through the Devil’s Kitchen in darkness, guiding a couple of folk safely down before undertaking a bit of poor visibility navigation in Cwm Idwal. Along the way, we chatted about emergency procedures, mountain facts and top tips to keep your group motivated and engaged when in the mountains.

Candidates enjoying the view

Day 2 – Security on Step Ground
We ventured in to Cwm Idwal and made our way into Cwm Cneifion via a top secret meander adjacent to the Idwal Slabs to look at route finding, spotting and group management on steep ground. We played with ropes on the Gribin Facet before making our way to Yr Hafod for the final debrief.

I pleased to say that both candidates passed the technical competency for a Terrain 2 Permit and went away understandably proud of their achievements. Perhaps, the best bit of feedback from them was the assessment just felt like a walk on the hill – a job very well done in my opinion.

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CHMAS – First Aid Training

Charlie looking after the resources

On Friday, CHMAS was delivered a workshop on how to recognise and effectively treat a choking casualty to staff at a local school. The event was well intended with 40 staff involved, which meant running two sessions. The workshop was well received, lots of questions, fun and of course putting the choking protocols in practice.

If you would like CHMAS to provide a first aid workshop for your staff then please take a look at our first aid page to find out more.

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Canoeing for Arthog Outreach

All good canoe games involve a pumpkin!

This week at Arthog Outreach was possibly the wettest canoes session I have ever run! Not through people falling it but in terms of the weather. Despite it being the first session out of  four, the group didn’t complain too much about the weather and really got stuck into the canoeing.

We played lots of games to get everyone’s spirits up and to keep warm. The group loved playing pirates and I got left on the rocks again by my crew but this time they did come back to rescue me after they had retrieved the pumpkin. The final part of the session involved throwing and retrieving the pumpkin before the other teams! A real bit of stealth learning as the crews made the canoes go backwards, forwards and turn to the left and right. All thoroughly enjoyed their time on the water and wanted to do more.

For the next session the group have asked to go climbing so weather permitting we’ll be off to Grinshill.

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CHMAS – Bronze DofE Presentations

Diary from team ‘Hopeless’

Its always nice to be invited to your teams presentations following their qualifying expedition and as with previous years this years presentations for the Bronze DofE Expedition didn’t disappoint.

There was a wide range of topics and lots of laughter as they the memories came flooding back about their achievement (walking up the steep hill, going the wrong way, the views, walking with your friends and cake at the end of the expedition).

I was particularly, touched by one group, who kept a diary for the qualifying expedition and after their presentation they handed it over to me to show to other groups who were doing their expedition.

I’m now working with the school to prepare for next years expedition and hopefully it will be as successful as this years.

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Mountain Leader – Navigation Refresher

Checking out the route before setting off

Last Saturday, I was working for Paul Poole Mountaineering providing an ML Navigation Refresher, which judging by the feedback received was very well received by the participants. We met at Siabod Café around midday to make plans before heading off to Cwmffynnon for a mini adventure that would end in darkness.

The first part of the walk, was spent getting the fundamentals right through the 5D’s navigational strategy (I have used quite a few and find this works really well). Along the way there was lots of discussion on the ML scheme, environmental issues and top tips of the assessment. With a big tick in box for the  fundamentals darkness was soon to engulf us and I was really pleased by how well the candidates performed in the dark with only one minor error each throughout the exercise, which with a carefully worded question they soon put right.

We were back to Siabod Café for 20:00, just before a torrential and wild snow shower arrived, which seemed a very fitting end to a successful adventure. If you would like CHMAS to provide this type of training for you and your friends, then please take a look at our Hill Walking page to find out more.

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Mountain Training – Lowland Leader Induction




Last week, I attended a Mountain Training Lowland Leader Induction expertly delivered by Bryn Williams, Guy Jarvis, Nicola Jasieniecka and Kate Worthington. The course was a mix of indoor and outdoor sessions and proved to be a really useful and thought provoking course.

I’m now really looking forward to providing the Lowland Leader Scheme and courses will soon be posted soon for 2018.

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CHMAS – REC Emergency First Aid Course

Adult, Child & Infant CPR on our courses

Last week CHMAS ran a REC Emergency First Aid Course for Arthog Outreach and judging by the feedback a mighty fine course it was too. The course is a 16 hour course delivered over two days in an outdoor environment so it’s very much the industry standard first aid course.

Although, we are obliged to follow a syllabus these courses are tailored to your requirements and there’s lots of practical content too. If you would like CHMAS to deliver this course fro you and your group then please take a look at our first aid page to find out more.

To see a few more photographs from the course please click here.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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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 it turned out to be quite a challenging week but one in which I learnt the subtle art of conflict resolution.

We had 110 participants onsite plus staff plus staff engaged in various activities throughout the week including a talent show which was pretty awesome.  On top of that there were NCS team exercises to prepare the participants for their University Residential and Social Action Project.

Despite, the personal challenges, all the groups did well and I was especially impressed by the Orange Team who despite their additional support needs were also laughing and getting stuck into the activities. I would like to wish you all well as you work your way to the graduation ceremony at the end of your NCS Programme.

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Another Week At Arthog Outreach

The group deciding on the way forward

This week’s work for Arthog Outreach has seen me doing some centre admin, kayak rescue training and caving sessions and a mighty fine week it was too.

Centre Admin
In a past life, I was a Highway Engineer, responsible for amongst other things risk assessments and safe working practices so I was tasked to write up a risk assessment for Bushcraft – Foraging & Cooking, a new venue for canoeing and then complete a COSHH Assessment. A bit of change from outdoor instruction

Canoe Rescue Training
A local college, w=is preparing its students for canoe / kayak module and I was asked to introduce canoe rescues to them in the swimming pool before they did them for real outside. We looked at bank based rescues, swimmer rescues, emptying boats, getting people back in and self rescue. The group were really enthusiastic and all wanted to do more so a a job well done in my opinion.

Caving at Ogof Llanymynech
It was nice to be back at the cave for a return visit with another Year 5. Like the group the previous week they were a little anxious about caving first but with a few stories about how the cave was firmed, the previous uses of the cave and a few stories about how I got into caving they soon overcame their fear and were keen to go on explore. All the group made it into the Shaft Chamber and then most went into Fiveways Chamber and on to face the puddle of truth. A very enjoyable day indeed.

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

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