Alpine Club of Canada

Summer2016Gazette

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Twice a year, ACC sec ons from across the country send their leaders to The North Face – ACC Leadership Course Applica on Deadline: November, 2016 Lake Louise Hostel | Feb. 2017 | $995 Winter Leadership Course for ACC Volunteers www.alpineclubofcanada.ca/tnf Photo: Nathalie Roulin facebook.com/alpineclubofcanada twitter.com/alpineclubcan 22 The Alpine Club of Canada Gazette Summer 2016 by sandy Walker T he Alpine Club of Canada is fortunate to have a deep bench of dedicated leaders willing to give their time to lead trips that provide mem‑ bers with opportunities to participate in a variety of outdoor adventures. e ACC was also fortunate this March when 152 leaders from eight sections across the country completed a survey that would help the Sections and the Leadership Development Committee find out what makes them tick. When asked what motivates them to begin and continue leading trips, the most frequent responses were around "paying it forward/giving back" to the ACC, "meeting other people to do things with", and "sharing knowledge with others". is was not a multiple choice type of question—leaders were free to use any words they wanted to describe their motivations; and yet, 47 used the words "paying it forward" or "giving back". For those unfamiliar with the term "paying it forward", it refers to situations where it's not possible to repay those who have helped you, so instead you do a similar Leaders, we heard you! kindness for someone else. Notably, these top three reasons had nothing to do with rewards or recognition; they simply represent an opportunity to help other people and continue to enjoy activities with new people. ere were many memorable quotes that could have been taken from the 62 pages of responses, but the following two capture the essence of most of them: "Taking newer climbers to places they haven't been and seeing the excitement in their eyes re‑enthuses me to spend time in the mountains", and "Being part of the experience of someone summiting a peak for the first time is incredible". Responses were similar when asked what makes leaders feel good about leading—enabling other people, sharing knowledge, and meeting like‑minded people. Where do these leaders come from— are they born or bred? ree quarters of the leaders surveyed developed through the ranks of the ACC with varying degrees of confidence: they learned to become leaders via ACC courses. is also means that 25 per cent of ACC leaders already had the experience needed to start leading trips right away. Either way, an overwhelming majority (91 per cent) said that they felt welcomed and supported as new leaders. e majority of leaders are happy with the training they receive at the Section and National levels with e North Face summer and winter leadership courses being the most highly valued, followed by Wilderness First Aid and AST 1 and 2 courses. A small majority would like to see more training related to soft skills including people management. We specifically asked leaders what incentives would motivate them to lead trips. Once again, this was not a multiple choice question, but an open one in which leaders could answer any way they chose. Almost half responded "none". Slightly fewer responded "courses". is means that the majority either don't need incentives, or they want incentives that will make them better leaders. If this doesn't make you feel great about being part of the ACC, nothing will! We also wanted to get a handle on how many trips most leaders lead in any given year. Of those who responded, most ACC Women's Leadership course participants lead the approach route to Bow Hut. photo: sandy Walker

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