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This is the Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Logo

Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Inc.

PO Box 403
Nowra NSW 2541

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Leader Responsibilities

Prior to the Walk

  • When planning your walk, if you notice that the walk will cross private property, get permission from the relevant landowner prior to the walk.
  • When giving your walk details to your walks coordinator, be sure to include as much relevant information as possible, ie. length of walk, difficulty, ascents and descents, maps used etc. Also include a grid reference or some other unambiguous description of the parking area you will use for the walk. These references will provide a start point in the unlikely event that a search for a walking group becomes necessary.
  • If you are changing or cancelling an advertised walk, advise your walks coordinator and arrange to have the changes made to the on-line program and offer an alternate walk or date if at all possible.
  • You have the discretion to limit the number of people who may participate in the activity you are leading and to set the standard of fitness and experience which may be required. You have the right to refuse to allow a person to participate in an activity. This should be done in advance of the day to allow walkers to register for an alternative walk.
  • Determine the experience, fitness and any relevant medical conditions of any new members to ensure that the walk is appropriate for them.
  • Advise meeting points and times when walkers register for the walk. Organise car pooling directly or advise walkers of other participants living nearby so they can organize for themselves. The Bridge Street car park is a good meeting point for those starting in Nowra.
  • Ensure registered walkers have your mobile phone number in case they are delayed or cannot find a meeting spot.
  • Text the check in person (currently Mary Furness) the night before the walk advising approximate numbers, the starting point and intended route, especially for off track walks.

Immediately before the Walk

  • Ensure you have packed all the items you will need as a leader - attendance sheet, incident form, mobile phone (charged), PLB, well stocked first aid kit, maps, compass, walk-related information.
  • Ensure that you have the Emergency Plus app on your phone as well as phone numbers of at least a few committee members
  • At the start of the walk ensure all participants (including yourself) sign the attendance sheet / waiver form.
  • Ensure everybody knows everybody else's name - do a "circle" where each participant calls out their own name.
  • Show everyone the route of the walk, where you intend taking breaks, what time you anticipate getting back.
  • Make sure all walkers are carrying the required equipment.
  • Take note of how many people you have on the walk.
  • Ensure that you have a designated and experienced walker at the front and at the rear (Tail-end Charlie). Walkers should be reminded to keep between these two leaders and to call out if they lose sight of the walker in front. Ask walkers to leave their pack on the track when they take a nature break.

During the Walk

  • Be aware of the physical condition of people in your group and potential problems.
  • A walker may not wish to proceed and believes he / she can make it out alone or will be able to hitch a ride from their present position. You cannot accept this offer, but must ensure that the walker is delivered into safety before continuing with the walk. You are ultimately responsible for the safety of all the people who begin the walk.
  • Count walker numbers at regular intervals, especially at intersections, stops and breaks.
  • Remember the 7Ts - Take Time To Talk To The Troops.
  • Be prepared to change / shorten / stop the walk because of personnel or environmental problems. If some walkers are lagging, take more frequent breaks and ensure that they are well hydrated.
  • You are ultimately responsible for the safety of all the people who begin the walk but you need to delegate jobs to other walkers to assist when someone is injured or needs extra help.

After the Walk

  • On completion of the walk, check numbers again.
  • Make sure that everybody has transport home, and that all cars start their homeward journey.
  • Breathe a sigh of relief that your responsibilities are almost over.
  • When you get home (or earlier) phone the check in person (currently Mary Furness) to report the successful completion of your Wednesday walk, or John Souter (4443-7555) to report the successful completion of your Weekend walk, and to advise them of the number of walkers you had on your walk.
  • If there has been any kind of incident* on your walk, fill in an Incident Report* as soon as practicable. Where there has been a significant incident, especially an injury, call the President or Vice President ASAP and discuss further action that may be required.
  • Return the attendance form and any incident reports to the club archivist (Brett Davis) as soon as practicable, scan/photo and email is fine.
  • In the days after the walk, try to follow up with any new members to determine if they enjoyed the walk and encourage them to do another walk if appropriate.
  • If the walk is likely to be repeated in the future, consider filling in a track notes form or writing a walk description and sending it to the Track Notes committee member (Brett Davis). Include a datalogger track wherever possible.

* Definition of Incident:

Any unusual occurrence that the club should be informed about, which includes but is not limited to: accidents and / or injuries to people on the activity; damage to property (i.e. car accidents, vandalism, fire); relevant dealings with private property owners and / or officials from government agencies such as the police, council, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Rural Fire Service. It is particularly important that any accidents or injuries to people on the walk be recorded in the event that the injured person needs to make a claim against the Club's insurance.