News 2012

Title: VEC Activity Instructors Alps work placement
Date: 27/01/2012
VEC Activity Instructors Alps work placement

27 January 2012

20 Irish Outdoor Activity instructors have returned home after spending two weeks in the Alps, working and living alongside their French counterparts gaining a valuable insight into the way adventure centres are run in France.

The successful applicants competed in a selection process that began in September and was narrowed down to 20 candidates from 11 VEC Outdoor Education Centres around Ireland. The candidates represented Killary, Petersburg, Shielbaggan, Achill, Gartan, Kinsale, the Burren, Cappanalea, Coláiste Uisce, ULAC and Oysterhaven.

The group worked in six separate ski centres around the famous Chamonix valley at the foot of Mont Blanc from 7–22 January 2012.

The participating Irish instructors are skilled not alone in the technical delivery of outdoor activities such as kayaking, hillwalking and rock climbing but also in the delivery of education through the activity. They specialise in developing life skills through adventure activities, and very often work not just with outdoor activity enthusiasts but with youth-at-risk groups, groups with disabilities or addiction, and in some cases elite athletes.

As well as increasing levels of spoken French and their technical skills, participants have returned with systems and techniques which can improve their work in Ireland. One of the key aims of this placement was to help develop relationships between the Irish and French centres. In addition to observing French work practices, participants spent periods of each day developing their skiing & snowboarding skills.

The placement was funded through the Leonardo Da Vinci aspect of the Life Long Learning program. Leonardo Da Vinci allowed for the funding for all participants flights, transfers, accommodation, lessons and subsistence, as well as equipment for the harsh Alpine environment. Participants also received a FETAC Level 3 two-day language training in preparation for their trip.

When asked about the success of the programme, Mark Toner, MD of Landon Carver, the Organising body behind CARVE 2012, said:

“It’s good to finally have a good news story, and we are delighted to be involved. We had an exceptional group of people travelling out on this programme and we would like to pay tribute to them for all their hard work over the years, and for their input on the programme. We would also like to pay tribute to Léargas for all their assistance in the CARVE 2012 programme. "