On Tuesday the 15th September 2015, the TasTAFE Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation and Cert IV in Guiding students joined forces for a day of learning and instructing. The session was focused on teaching the Certificate IV in Guiding group some useful river crossing techniques with all instruction delivered by the Certificate IV Outdoor Recreation class.
Participants arrived early in the morning at a section of the Derwent River just up from New Norfolk where they covered some very important river safety and theory sessions prior to getting their feet wet and wading out into some small, yet powerful rapids. The section of river chosen was ideal for the learning activity which provided channels and rapids of varying depths, widths and current strengths to challenge the skills and abilities of participants.
At the commencement of the session’s practical component, students were introduced to crossing techniques in a fairly shallow section of swift water before progressing to a deeper and much faster flowing rapid. Each individual trialled a number of methods including assisted crossings using a pole for support and wearing a full multi-day backpack for an added challenge and real-life simulation.
A ‘strainer’ obstacle was set up downstream for students to negotiate, practice in white water defensive and aggressive swimming was also covered.
All students rose to the challenge and achieved a high level of competency and confidence in an activity that can prove quite intimidating upon first contemplation.