I was recently invited to attend the Mountain Safety Council Northern Regional Annual Training and Meeting. I have recently become more involved in the MSC, first as a participant on a range of their courses, and now as the official photographer.
My involvement with the MSC began when I decided to attend a Basic Bushcraft Course. I had been trying to get out into the bush a bit more for a while, and the course was a good motivation, as well as an opportunity to up-skill myself in the process. I have attended the Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Bushcraft Courses, the Outdoors First Aid, River Safety and Risk Management Course. All of which I throughly enjoyed, and would highly recommend.
At the River Safety course I took along my camera equipment, and tried to spend some time taking some shots of the participants. Photography, and the outdoors sit as two of my favorite past times, so the opportunity to combine them was always something I was going to lean towards.
Some of those photo’s ended up down at the MSC HQ in Wellington and I was then asked if some could be used for a press release. Since then, I have been regularly sending photos down for their use on the website, brochures and other marketing material.
The Regional Meeting was a chance to meet some of the Instructors, as well as take some more shots of the proceedings.
The weekend was a change for the MSC to spend some time upskilling their instructors. With so much new information and changes to ‘best practice’ happening with the industry – it is a good way to try and disseminate the information to a large group of people.
First Aid, River Safety, Navigation and more were on the agenda, with relevant experts from within the organisation sharing their knowledge on their specialist subjects.
Also notable was the Saturday Night cook-off, where everyone brought along and cooked a gourmet outdoor meal. Lots of dehydrated meals, a surprising amount of deserts, and even a Supplejack Salad!
An interesting theme throughout the weekend was the increasing amount of attention the Outdoors Recreational Community needs to place on the Health & Safety aspects of the ‘industry’ - especially because, even over the weekend, we were hearing reports of more members of the public getting into strife in the outdoors, and the increasing call for operators and providers to take responsibility and guide the way.
Unfortunately, as it is often the case, if people can’t, or don’t, self regulate, then legislation and government involvement comes more into play – and I can see that this is an area that is about to become much more regulated and controlled.
This gives groups like the Mountain Safety Council the opportunity the show the way, through educating the public.
I met heaps of new people on the weekend, all with a genuine love of the outdoors and keeping people safe. I look forward to working helping them out by providing them heaps of new photo’s to utilise in their work.
[box_red]Who is the MSC?
(copied from – www.mountainsafety.org.nz)
The New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) is a national organisation and incorporated society with a mandate from our member organisations to encourage safe participation in land-based outdoor activities. The organisation operates from the high tide mark to the peak of Aoraki/Mount Cook and is principally focused on abseil techniques, alpine skills, avalanche awareness, bushcraft (walking, camping, tramping and survival), firearms safety, outdoor and workplace first aid, 0utdoor safety, risk management and river safety.
The Council currently consists of 25 member organisations and 1 Associate Member organisation with a vested interest in safety including Government agencies, national youth organisations and industry associations; an Executive Committee whose role is to provide governance; a National Office with full and part-time staff; a number of technical advisory and standing committees as well as 28 regional branches supporting more than 1500 instructors.[/box_red]