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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, try to get permission from the relevant landowner prior to the walk.
  • When giving your walk details to your walks co-ordinator, 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.
  • Ring and inform co-ordinator if you are changing a planned walk.
  • 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.

Immediately before the Walk

  • Ensure you have packed all the items you will need as a leader - attendance sheet, incident form, emergency numbers, mobile phone (charged), PLB, GPS, first aid kit, maps, compass, walk-related information.
  • At First or Second Meeting Point talk to new walkers to ascertain their walking experience, fitness, medical history.
  • At First or Second Meeting Point ensure all of your walkers have transport, and that all of the drivers know where they are going next.
  • If necessary, refuse participation to people you believe are not capable of doing the walk.
  • 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.
  • If leading from the front, have an experienced walker at the rear to keep the group together (Tail-end Charlie).
  • Remind people to turn on their dataloggers if they have one.

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.
  • Be resourceful and reliable.
  • 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.

After the Walk

  • On completion of the walk, check numbers again.
  • Tell everyone to turn off their dataloggers.
  • 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 Dennis Gray (4421-0195) 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 an incident* on your walk, fill in an Incident Report* as soon as practicable.
  • Return the attendance form and any incident reports to the club archivist (Brett Davis) as soon as practicable.
  • 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 (Brett Davis).
  • If you have a datalogger track of the route, please send it to the Webmaster (Brett Davis).

* 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.