Training Weekend in the Wombat Forest, November 2011

Seventy participants took part in BSAR’s annual training weekend held on 19-20 November 2011 in the Wombat Forest.  It was our largest training event in a long time.  Thirteen BWV Clubs were represented, plus a number of BWV individual members.  It was especially pleasing to welcome 25 new and prospective members on their first BSAR training event.

The program was a mix of workshops and field exercises, built around a new activity that developed fine map reading and GPS skills in a rogaine style navigation exercise.  This was very successful, with impressive levels of skill with the GPS shown by members.  The program also included new sessions in observation and tracking, the group leader role, and “sound and light” night searching.

The FO’s, GPS rogaine

Observation training

First Aid workshop

A specific program was provided for our new and prospective members.

Some heavy rain periods on Saturday provoked the inevitable “typical search weather” comments and caused some curtailment of the afternoon program.

With the large number of participants and the streamed program, lots of assistance was required in roles ranging from planning to session organisers and presenters to Field Organisers.  Special thanks to the 18 experienced members who contributed in one way or another – and sometimes in several ways – to the planning and conduct of the weekend.  Thanks also to our expert visitors for their sessions.

Thank you to Acting Sergeant Jason Ball for his participation and assistance, and to the Victoria Police Search and Rescue Squad for organising the bus transport, radios, shelter tents, maps and handouts.

And finally, to the new and prospective members, welcome again to BSAR and we hope to see you on a search bus.

Duncan Brookes for the Organising Team