Party members expect the leader of an activity to be experienced and to competently handle any situation that arises. The group’s confidence in the leadership displayed will depend on how the leader copes. If the leader has confidence in his or her own abilities, this will be transmitted to the party. Often members do not relax and enjoy what they are doing until they feel reassured that the leader knows what he is doing. The leader’s ability to inspire confidence in group members starts with the leader’s ability to communicate effectively with the group.
Group Leaders Responsibilities
- Learn all about the area you are hiking in. Plan the route to be followed and have alternatives to fall back on in the event of trouble.
- Know your group. Be sure they are capable of doing the planned hike.
- See that transport is arranged for every member.
- Ensure that all members are fully informed on details of meeting places, times and any special requirements regarding clothing, food or water.
- Count and make a written list of party members, including visitors before moving off and make numerical checks along the track. Retain the list for insurance purposes.
- Introduce new members, encourage inexperienced members. Make sure you get to talk to all members of the group during the hike.
- Appoint a “Whip”. If there are more than 18 members then appoint a deputy leader as well.
- Establishing basic rules to ensure everyone can see the person in front and the person behind helps to keep the group together.
- Control the pace of the group – keep it slow at first until the members have warmed up, then settle on the speed of the slowest member.
- Have regular rest periods.
- Keep the party together – keep slow hikers well up the line – not dragging in the rear.
- Constantly check the health and wellbeing of all members of the group throughout the hike.
- If faced with difficulties, discuss the situation with other experienced members.
- Point out features of interest along the track.
- Demonstrate map position and progress along the way.
- Final participation on a hike rests with leader evaluation. Leaders have the responsibility to refuse to take inadequately equipped (food clothing water) walkers on any trip. Group safety and enjoyment is paramount.
- Implementing sun safe strategies for all hikes.
- Recording all incidents – including near misses – on the Incident Notification Form and / or patient Care Report and advising the Captain.
- Do not walk off the Tracks.
- Always walk behind the LEADER and in front of the WHIP (person assigned to the rear of the group. NO – ONE is to walk in front of the Leader & NO-ONE is to walk behind the Whip
- If you need a rest, food, water or to tie up your shoe lace – let the Leader know & we will stop the entire group.