The following post was written by Woodlore Fundamental Instructor and Quartermaster, Keith Whitehead:
Last week saw the members of Woodlore’s field staff gathering in East Sussex for their annual training week. After a winter apart, this was an opportunity to meet once again, share stories, reaffirm friendships and get down to the serious business of preparation for the coming year. Every member of the team is expected to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to the subject that inspires us all and we were not left disappointed by the level of professionalism, leadership and skill that is the mark of our team.
Each year sees us focus on the specifics in which we feel that we can push ourselves further and this year the theme was that most vital of wilderness skills: first aid. This skill, which is often overlooked in the world of Bushcraft, should always be at the top of the list for those wishing to travel in wild places. As important as being able to navigate and having the ability to light fire, proficiency in the skills to manage a medical emergency and care for those around you is both empowering and essential.
All members of the field staff already have a high degree of first aid training and this week we were joined again by Woodlore specialist instructor: Jamie Cooke, who took us to the next level of wilderness medical training. In-depth classroom sessions were backed up with the use of realistic scenarios to train the team in the more complex diagnostic techniques necessary to build an accurate medical profile. The need to be able to give an accurate diagnosis and quickly plan the action necessary to deal with it, is obvious when help is far away. In reality though, the depth of knowledge obtained from going further in your learning, feeds back into your core skills and reinforces the foundations. It is the same principal with which we approach everything that we do.
At the end of the week, Woodlore came together, as members of the office team joined outdoor staff for a lunch around the campfire. We reflected on a successful and thoroughly inspiring week which left us feeling eager and ready for the coming season. We intend to make the most of every minute that we spend outdoors during the coming year and we encourage you to do the same.