Training commences at the end of March and runs every Tuesday evening from 7.30pm to 9.00pm for approx 9 weeks in Portrush and commences in Ballymena on a Wednesday evening from 6.30pm to 9.00pm from April. The ventures themselves are scheduled according to the groups availability. To enrol - contact Jane or Michael ideally by December. If there is sufficient demand further ventures may be organised.
The award conditions require you to plan for, train for and undertake a two day expedition, with at least six hours of planned activity per day (at least 3 of which must be spent journeying).
Over the space of three months you will attend training for roughly 2 hours per week. In that time you will meet the other team members, learn skills of navigation, how to put up a tent, how to use camping stoves safely, basic first aid etc.
Then you will undertake two expeditions (one training venture and one assessment)
The expeditions usually take place at a weekend, departing on a Saturday morning.
You will be carrying everything you need in a rucksack on your back - so packing light is a good idea !
For the first (training) venture, you will be remotely supervised by an instructor who will be on hand to guide you. However on the second trip you will not need the instructor at all and will be assessed by an assessor instead. The assessor will not have been involved in your training, but will most likely be someone known to you from the Open Award Unit.
Once the assessment venture is complete, you then have to write a report or do a presentation about the trip as well.