Our last minute decision to return home was a welcomed break, albeit brief. The opportunity came about as we were given 4 days off but ‘off’ from what? As much as we have received wonderful support from friends and family for our reasons why, it has come to light that there has been confusion as to what exactly it is we are doing. Some descriptions have been ‘they are doing outdoor stuff’, ‘they are training to become outdoor instructors’, ‘they are working at an adventure centre in Devon’ or ‘they are always jetting off on adventures. All of the above are true, however, it is the finer details of what is involved in this year that I would like to share with you.
This year is fully funded from our savings, we will not be earning but we will be working; running sessions in exchange for the subsidised cost of the course. First and foremost it is a training course and therefore the main objective is to be trained, gain experience and obtain a number of qualifications within the outdoor industry. These are as follows;
Mountain Leader (ML)
Climbing Wall Award with Abseil (CWAA)
Outdoor Climbing Single Pitch Award (SPA)
Duke of Edinburgh Assessors Certificate
Mountain-Bike Instructors Award Scheme (MIAS)
Kayak & Canoe Flat Water Coach (Level 1)
Kayak & Canoe Personal Skills Award (2-3 star)
High Ropes and Zip Line (site specific certificate)
However, these qualifications only make up a third of what we have paid for, the other two thirds are for our accommodation and trips. These trips can either be as part of our individual development (climbing in Mallorca for example) or they could be for a school or corporate group; Dynamic Adventures run a number of trips ranging from Duke of Edinburgh expeditions to school residentials in the UK and beyond. We, as part of our training programme will be involved in the assisting and the running of sessions on site, guiding and teaching Duke of Edinburgh groups and joining schools wherever their adventures take them. After all qualifications are only useful if you have the experience to back them up.
We have now been in Devon for nearly 3 months and have we been busy. Amongst learning all the basic skills for canoe, kayak, climbing and navigation, we have also been out on our own adventures so we can gain the required number of mountain days for our Mountain Leader Training Course. In order to take part in the official training we need to have accumulated 20 ‘quality mountain’ days. The only areas where ‘quality’ days can be achieved are Scotland, the Lakes and North and South Wales (not so easy when we are based in the South West). We will be documenting and updating you on these outings, as our Christmas break will be taken up with excursions to Snowdonia and the North Lakes. Brave move in the winter months!