IT’S a new year and there are lots of new challenges on the Scouting horizon.
On what could possibly the coldest night of 2020 Scouts will be under canvas.
The annual Brass Monkey camp is scheduled to take place on the weekend of January 25 and 26.
Participants will complete a walk on Saturday before having a night at the movies, prior to hunkering down for, fingers crossed, a snow-free night at the Barrwood. The camp starts at 10am on Saturday and ends at noon 26 hours later.
DURING the same weekend leaders will be put through their paces at a 45 hour training course.
The course aims to introduce participants to the personal skills required to walk safely in Scottish winter conditions. It should be noted that it is not an award to lead others in winter conditions.
The training, which begins at 7pm on Friday, January 24, and ends at 4pm on Sunday, January 26, is aimed at people with summer hillwalking experience who wish to progress into winter hillwalking. Scotland’s winter mountains can be hard work, so all participants need to have a reasonable level of fitness.
The course will be based at Scout Adventures Lochgoilhead. The centre is close to the “Arrochar Alps” which is the likely venue for the skills sessions.
Scottish winters are notorious for their ever-changing conditions and it is possible participants may travel further afield to get the best training conditions. Transport will be provided if needed. Training includes personal movement skills on snow, including kicking steps and using the ice axe for walking, self-belay, cutting steps and self-arrest; use of crampons in ascent/descent; emergency procedures; avalanche awareness and safe route choice and core techniques of winter navigation.
Accommodation will be shared with other participants, lodges have bedding provided but you will need to take your wash kit and a towel.
Breakfast, dinner and pack lunches will be provided by the centre. Allergies should be flagged up when booking. A full kit list and a booking form is available from: https://www.scouts.scot/newsevents/events/winter-skills-weekend-january/.