The first weekend of training for the Lowland Expedition Leadership qualification came to an end with another day of training for the women at Newburn Activity Centre. The day shone bright, but we couldn’t enjoy it, as we were stuck inside all day working out the details of our first day expedition as a group planned for June.
It was only at this point, while learning how to create route maps for the course we would walk did the realisation sync in that we are actually doing this. Each woman comes to this programme with their different personal and professional experiences, and we are more than capable in completing this qualification and passing. But the reality of us doing this together, to achieve this as a group of Black women is truly amazing and gratifying. This training not only provides the practical skills and knowledge to become expedition leaders of groups into the surrounding natural heritage but also legitimatises, builds our confidence and belief in ourselves that yes we can and should be doing this, we can and should be out their enjoying this green and pleasant at land and introducing more and more people like us to it too.
This journey is empowering and a privilege and honour to be part of.
Nazia is obviously enjoying the benefits of this training when she said:
I found yesterday’s and today’s training so interesting and engaging. I’ve learnt so much in these two days and I can’t wait to learn more from the trainer as aswell as from the women in the group. I felt so welcomed and supported throughout the training. Today’s training just amazed me as much as I’ve finally learnt how to use a compass. I can’t wait to get out there and start exploring!!
What you wear and what you carry with you is important for any walking taking place in the countryside. You have to feel comfortable, dry and confident knowing you can walk for miles and have all you need on your person and in your rucksack. There were a few lists created today on what we’ll need to wear and carry for our first day expedition.
This whole process is about finding our bearings, in more ways than one. And yes, as a group and as individuals we can now find our bearings while out there in the landscape by using a map and a compass. And that’s an amazing feeling and sense of achievement. We’re going to keep testing each other over the next couple of weeks through our WhatsApp group chat so we don’t forget these new skills and tools.
At the end of the weekend, Niveen shared her thoughts on the weekend’s training:
Thank you for a very exciting and informative two- day training course shared with wonderful women. And a very BIG THANK YOU Sheree for feeding our minds and hearts and deepening us in the beautiful mystery of the outdoors. Exploring maps and experimenting with compasses today has nurtured my inner child curiosity. I am grateful to be part of this project and I look forward to our forthcoming expedition!