Guide Training 2012
embrace creativity - facilitate change
This two-week training program for outdoor guides, educators and sustainability practitioners is unique in Europe. It combines an introduction to cutting edge learning theory and philosophy with the technical and creative skills needed to guide and facilitate powerful outdoor-programs for transformative learning. A blend of theory, creative group work and dialogue unfolds meaningfully as participants explore the wild and beautiful Sant Aniol valley in Spain. At successful completion you will obtain an Active Earth Certificate - a document outlining contents covered. The programme is a two-week long residential based at our house in Spain. Programme fee is 1000,- €.
Who is this programme for?
Outdoor educators, physical education students, teachers, facilitators, coaches and sustainability practitioners have all visited this course in the past. Participants will usually have a strong interest in deep learning processes, nature and adventure sports, and a readiness to be challenged intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. The recommended minimum age for this course is 21. Traditionally this course has been a primary pathway for Active Earth to find future members for our team. Join the guide training and become part of our small but strong and growing community of sustainability practitioners, guides and facilitators.
How fit do I need to be to participate?
The course is NOT a contest of fitness and endurance! However, a good physically fitness is recommended since it will help you to concentrate on the course content rather than the outdoor journeys involved. Some previous outdoor experience is paramount but does not have to be extensive. If you have any doubts or questions please do not hesitate to contact us! In any case, your needs and safety are of greatest importance to us.
This two-week training program for outdoor guides and educators is unique in Europe. It combines an introduction to cutting edge learning theory and philosophy with the technical and creative skills needed to guide and facilitate powerful outdoor-programs for transformative learning.
Learning something new doesn’t always mean we will behave according to that new information. We know a great deal about the world’s problems but how many of us are actually compelled to do something about them? People often change their behaviour as a result of significant life experiences rather than simply as a result of acquired knowledge. One widely accepted trigger for significant life experiences is outdoor adventure – journeys of uncertain outcome.
The training is based at the Sant Aniol Valley in the Spanish Pyrenees. Its various training sessions provide insights into the psychology of outdoor activities and explore educational philosophy, techniques and materials. The course is a training pathway towards responsible, creative and independent outdoor leadership. It creates a safe environment for participants to improve their professional practice while enjoying support by individual coaching and mentoring throughout the course.
A primary objective for running this course is to share knowledge and experiences related to the Active Earth approach to transformative learning with other professionals in the field and to recruit new staff into the Active Earth/Easy Day team. This course also aims to support other organisations training their staff in the design and facilitation of cutting-edge adventure education or tourism. After successful completion participants are awarded with an Active Earth Certificate outlining the course content.
The follow-up of this guide training program is mentored work experience, which we may offer to participants who have successfully completed weeks one and two.
Please note: Although the guide training program teaches and improves technical guiding skills in various disciplines it does not replace more traditional guiding qualifications such as national governing body (NGB) awards.
Schedule and Content
Phase One: The Role of Culture, Community and Personal Practice
The first two days frame the entire two-week course by introducing participants to the program, by getting to know each other and by exploring the significance of personal and community practice as the foundation to transformative outdoor facilitation. Here we will look at contemplative techniques, the practice of dialogue and the deliberate creation of positive learning atmosphere. The first days also serve to familiarise ourselves with the surroundings – its mountains, rocks, and canyons.
Phase Two: Exploring Theory and Practice for Sustainability and Responsibility
On days three, four and five participants will explore and experience Active Earths' framework for deep learning processes. The course will develop a grounded understanding of themes such as emotional development, interconnectivity, mindfulness and meditation practice as a basis for the creative design of transformative learning programs. These are delivered in theory sessions, small group work and reflection during excursions into the surrounding mountains and canyons and will help us to improve techniques for rock climbing, canyoning and via ferrata.
Phase Three: Wilderness Solo
The weekend will be spent on ‘solo’ - the highlight of the week for many participants. This is a rare chance to spend time alone in a beautiful and unspoiled mountain valley. The solo is not about survival or a test of endurance and courage. It’s a time to reflect and connect with the more-than-human world and to experience its soothing power, in a real and personally meaningful way. On Sunday we will share the experiences of our solo time. This will lead participants naturally to explore ideas, concepts and ways in which they might use solo experiences in their own work.
Phase Four: Creative Facilitation Practice, Technical Training and Guiding Skills
Building upon the skills and knowledge acquired, the second week is devoted to outdoor skills training (with the aim of guiding outdoor activities Rock Climbing, Adventure Trail and Canyoning on EasyDay Undergraduate programs) and the creative and resourceful design and integration of transformative learning sessions on outdoor adventures. Particular attention will be given to safety and risk management considering both emotional and physical risks in a systematic and professional way. During this week we may also spend a day or two at the Costa Brava to experience the contrast of the Sea.
The program concludes with an extensive review and evaluation session that documents participant’s personal development, identifying strengths and weaknesses and serves to outline paths for further development.
Accommodation and Catering
The course is fully residential at our house in Tortellá near the Sant Aniol valley and occasional stays camping on the land of the future Active Earth Centre in the valley. The fees include all meals, which are sourced locally and organic where possible. Preparing the meals and eating together is an integral part of the learning experience. We believe that this helps us grow closer as a group. Cleaning our own rooms and spending some time every day on communal house keeping tasks are also expected to keep the price of this comprehensive course low.
Applicants will usually have a university degree and must hold a first aid certificate not older than 2 years (minimum 8-hour). Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.
Course Fee is 1000,- €
This includes all teaching materials, food and accommodation, transfers, special outdoor equipment. Excluded are pick-ups from train station or airport and extra excursions we may decide to undertake as a group such as a snorkel trip to the Islas Medas Marine Nature Park. Also excluded in the price are alcoholic drinks.
Applying and Booking your Place
The maximum number of participants on this course is limited to eight. Please email korbi@ActiveEarth.net to book your place and to clarify any further questions you may have. We will then email you a registration pack with all necessary information. Your place is reserved once we received your payment in full.
Follow-up Phase: Work Experience on EasyDay University Program
The follow-up phase consists of joining a full university program at EasyDay. Participation as a trainee guide is on an invitation-only basis. We are very selective in who joins our team but wish to offer this learning opportunity to some guide training participants.
Working as assistant guides, participants may be presented with the opportunity to consolidate their understanding by shadowing experienced EasyDay guides throughout the EasyDay student camps. After an introduction to EasyDay safety and risk management systems, participants will help with the handling of outdoor equipment. They will also engage in project organisation, project communication and other important aspects of the work.
The course’s final week is reserved for co-facilitation. Individually mentored and supported by an EasyDay guide, participants will co-lead outdoor activities and theory sessions. Their progress will be discussed in daily debriefing meetings.
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