Guidelines for Pack Leaders
Pack Leaders perform an important role. With experience, a leader will gain the confidence and respect of members, which will no doubt bring personal satisfaction and pride for those who accept leadership.
Pack Leaders should encourage a friendly spirit within the group, so that the outing can be conducted not only safely, but with cheerfulness and good humour. The following are guidelines only, as conditions and circumstances change from time to time:
You should be familiar with the proposed route and know where the rest stops, water stops and shelter areas are.
Prior to departure, always state clearly:
- Where you are going, what route you will be following and the type of terrain.
- The full distance in kilometres.
- The total expected time.
- The intended pace.
- Any shortcuts and drop-offs that can be taken.
You should be fully familiar with the proposed route and know where the rest stops, water stops and shelter areas are.
Always run the full distance with the group. Do not allow some to go on a greater distance than you, otherwise you may not know whether they have returned safetly.
You should give advice on clothing to be worn, according to the weather conditions to be expected.
Learn the names of all the members of you group and encourage all members to know each others names. A few minutes spent talking with your group before departure could save misunderstanding or confusion later on. Let members know that they are expected to follow your instructions.
You may arrange for some to drop off at varying distances on the outward journey.
When you return, endeavour to find out if all members have returned safely.
Endeavour to run as much of the distance as possible in a pack/group. Do not allow slow ones to fall too far behind the group. Do not allow front runner/walkers to get too far ahead. Ideally, you should be leading the group – unless you delegate some other runner/walker at that time to lead the group on your behalf.
In your absence, you should arrange for some other person to lead your group. You should know that such person is responsible and is familiar with these guidlines.
It is a good idea to train someone else from your group to become a leader. You may then allow him/her to lead your group sometime when you are not present so that you can supervise and assess his/her capabilities for future leadership.
Make sure everyone in your group takes some water stops.