I passionately believe in the benefits to providing opportunities for young people to be challenged by an outdoor experience. For outdoor education and the related search for adventure has been part of my way of life since being a Scout in my home village. This length of experience also means that I am appreciate the benefits of risk assessment and have experienced the demands of being responsible for the safety of a large group when in a remote location. To support this I do presently hold an Emergency First Response certification. The student outcome for all these outdoor experiences for me is empowerment. I want the students to be supported just enough for them to take on a greater responsibility. So that when they can take on new challenges they can really feel their own achievement.
Over the last few years I have led a number of International Award for Young People trips and also provided advanced training in key skills such as map reading and camp cooking.
These have included several bronze award hiking expeditions in Khao Yai National Park which has involved trekking through the jungle, walking past elephants and overnight camping, in some memorably wet conditions.
I have led a 3 day/2 night white water rafting expedition on Thailand’s “Best” White Water River -the Name Wa. Those students that successfully navigated all of the 56 named rapids, during the 50kms descent used it as the expedition component of their silver award.
I have also cycled across Thailand. This was done by twice being the responsible teacher for gold award expeditions. Once travelling from Phuket to Phang Nga town and the following year going from Phang Nga town to Surat Thani.
Most recently I took part in a special forces training weekend with a group of other likeminded teachers. I don’t expect to have to eat fresh snake or forward repel or complete another “Special Forces” obstacle course anytime in the near future. However, I was yet again, reminded why challenging yourself can be so richly rewarding, especially when with friends.