Field Leader – Hiking & Winter Leader Course Mar. 27-29, Chester Basin

2013-02-05-Rogers HillA Field Leader – Hiking & Winter Leader Course will be offered in Chester Basin on Mar. 27-29, 2015. It will provide participants with Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) national certification in Field Leader – Hiking and Winter Leadership. This includes skills to organize and lead others in a one day, educational or activity based experience in a natural environment. The program is suitable for hiking club leaders, trail groups, recreation department staff, teachers, 4H leaders, Scout leaders, Girl Guide leaders, parents or individuals interested in leading hikes. Courses are taught by OCC certified instructors. The course is two and a half days in length and will provide successful candidates with the necessary skills to be a confident hiking leader. The cost is $112 ($102 for current Hike NS members). The course is offered through the Nova Scotia Chapter of the OCC in partnership with Hike Nova Scotia and the Municipality of the District of Chester and supported by the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Outdoor Leadership Development Program. For more information, go here.

Field Leader – Hiking Course Feb. 21-22, Dartmouth

A Field Leader – Hiking Course (formerly Leadership Level 1 – Hiking) will be offered in Dartmouth on February 21-22, 2015. It will provide participants with Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) ???????????????????????????????national certification in Field Leader – Hiking. This includes skills to organize and lead others in a one day, educational or activity based experience in a natural environment. The program is suitable for hiking club leaders, trail groups, recreation department staff, teachers, 4H leaders, Scout leaders, Girl Guide leaders, parents or individuals interested in leading hikes. Courses are taught by OCC certified instructors. The course is two full days in length and will provide successful candidates with the necessary skills to be a confident hiking leader. The cost is $90 ($80 for current Hike NS members). The course is offered through the Nova Scotia Chapter of the OCC in partnership with Hike Nova Scotia and supported by the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Outdoor Leadership Development Program. For more information, go here.

Leadership Level 1 – Hiking Course Nov. 29-30, Halifax

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA Leadership Level 1 – Hiking Course will be offered in Halifax on November 29-30, 2014. It will provide participants with Outdoor Council of Canada (OCC) national certification in Leadership Level 1 – Hiking. This includes skills to organize and lead others in a one day, educational or activity based experience in a natural environment. The program is suitable for hiking club leaders, trail groups, recreation department staff, teachers, 4H leaders, Scout leaders, Girl Guide leaders, parents or individuals interested in leading hikes. Courses are taught by OCC certified instructors. The course is two full days in length and will provide successful candidates with the necessary skills to be a confident hiking leader. The cost is $90 ($80 for current Hike NS members). The course is offered through the Nova Scotia Chapter of the OCC in partnership with Hike Nova Scotia and supported by the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Outdoor Leadership Development Program. Click here for more information.

Host a Safe Hiker Course

What: Hike Nova Scotia’s Safe Hiker Course aims to teach new and inexperienced hikers how to have safe, low-impact and enjoyable hiking experiences.
Why: Hike NS envisions more Nova Scotians and visitors enjoying a broad network of places for hiking, walking and snowshoeing and doing so in a responsible manner. To realize this, we need to give hikers the skills and knowledge to do it safely, with minimal impact and with confidence.
Who
: The course targets new and inexperienced hikers, especially youth (13 to 18) and seniors (55 and up). The minimum age for participants is 13 years old. Hike NS offers the course to organizations that can recruit between 10 and 20 participants. Course hosts may include schools, scouting/guiding groups, youth-serving organizations, seniors groups, trail groups, hiking/walking clubs, naturalist clubs and others. The course is a resource for such groups to build skills, knowledge and capacity in encouraging healthy and safe physical activity among their target audiences.
When & Where
:Courses will take place in the fall of 2011 (Sept. to Dec.). There are a limited number of courses available, so potential course host organizations are encouraged to contact Hike Nova Scotia as soon as possible. It is a half-day course (3.5 hours).
Cost
: $20 per participant, including a manual and certificate of completion. The fee may be paid by individual participants or covered by the host organization. Host organizations must recruit between 10 and 20 participants in order to run a course.

Find more details about the course here.  Contact Hike Nova Scotia for more information at info@hikenovascotia.ca.

Leave No Trace Tips: Plan Ahead and Prepare

As part of our regular feature on the seven Leave No Trace Principles, we’re featuring Principle #1: Plan Ahead and Prepare.

Adequate trip planning and preparation helps backcountry travelers accomplish trip goals safely and enjoyably, while simultaneously minimizing damage to the land. Poor planning often results in miserable campers and damage to natural and cultural resources. Rangers often tell stories of campers they have encountered who, because of poor planning and unexpected conditions, degrade backcountry resources and put themselves at risk. Why is trip planning important?

  • It helps ensure the safety of groups and individuals.
  • It prepares you to Leave No Trace and minimizes resource damage.
  • It contributes to accomplishing trip goals safely and enjoyably.
  • It increases self-confidence and opportunities for learning more about nature.

There are seven elements to consider when planning a trip:

  1. Identify and record the goals (expectations) of your trip.
  2. Identify the skill and ability of trip participants.
  3. Select destinations that match your goals, skills, and abilities
  4. Gain knowledge of the area you plan to visit from land managers, maps, and literature.
  5. Choose equipment and clothing for comfort, safety, and Leave No Trace qualities.
  6. Plan trip activities to match your goals, skills, and abilities.
  7. Evaluate your trip upon return and note changes you will make next time.

Learn more at Leave No Trace Canada.

BAM: Be Coyote Smart

The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources recently launched its Be Coyote Smart  campaign designed to increase public awareness about the Eastern coyote. Campaign materials include revised content and video clips on the DNR website www.gov.ns.ca/natr as well as brochures and cautionary trail signage.

Samples of the brochures and signs can be viewed online at http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/living-with-wildlife/support-educators.asp Anyone wanting to obtain quantities of the brochures, or signs (limited number available) for posting along trails where coyotes may be present, can do so by contacting wildlife@gov.ns.ca.

Hike Smart Tips

On  April 21, 2010 , Ms. Debra Ryan, President,  Hike Nova Scotia issued a press release – Groups says listen to Science on Coyotes and Hike Smart  …. She stress the importance of enjoying the outdoors with safety in mind. To have a safe hiking experience, here is what Hike Nova Scotia recommends

1) Never hike alone … there is safety in numbers
2) Develop a hike plan and leave with someone who will follow it up if you are late.
3) Take a map or compass or GPS unit with extra batteries and knowhow to use them .
4) Be prepared and take the right gear with you. Hiking or trekking poles will help you with difficult terrain and can be usefull in emergency situations such as fending off aggressive animals.
5) Never feed wild animals and always take back your garbage.

Further information on safe hiking can be found in the December 2009 Hike Nova Scotia Newsletter  as well on Cape Breton Highlands Natonal Park website – Coyotes and Hiking Safety.