Outdoor management development in the UK

Loynes, Christopher (1998) Outdoor management development in the UK. In: Priest, Simon, (ed.) Corporate adventure training. Association of Experiential Education (AEE), Boulder, CO, US.

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Abstract

The chapter summarises the origins and development of outdoor management development in the UK.

The first outdoor course deliberately designed for people in work to run in the UK, and therefore possibly in the world, was at the Brathay Hall Trust in 1946. Brathay was founded as a charity by the owner of an insurance company to provide one month long courses for apprentices from the urban areas of northern England. The intention was to enrich their lives and broaden their horizons. It is true to say that having more interesting young people in work perhaps led to better workers. However, the purpose as it was envisioned by the founder of Brathay, Peter Scott, was more in the Quaker business tradition of doing something of value for the people who work for you for its own sake as part of the wider responsibilities of business in the community. From the start the course was not exclusively outdoor oriented combining drama and the creative arts in its programme. Brathay still has a drama theatre, pottery kiln and screen printing workshops within its facilities. In other respects the programme was similar to the early Outward Bound courses started a year later at Aberdovey. Groups were taught the skills for water and land based journeys culminating in a final, self reliant expedition in the Lake District fells. Over the years this programme broadened out, as did OB's, to encompass personal development for young adults. Some of the themes of today were established at this point: the ability to work together; leadership skills; communications and problem solving abilities; all leading to an enterprising and responsible citizen. It is not clear exactly how the next steps were taken but a partnership between Brathay and some of their clients, especially Securicor, led to the introduction of programmes for graduates recruited for management positions. These courses were shorter and more sophisticated. Trainers from the companies involved introduced group work and reviewing skills into the programme. The early involvement of John Adair, writing at the time on Action Centred Leadership, introduced a foundation of theoretical models including the idea of presenting a conceptual framework with which to explore and reflect on practice during the activities. Creative minds invented or imported the command tasks of Army officer training now called variously dynamics or initiatives to illustrate points of theory or practice.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Association of Experiential Education (AEE)
Departments: Outdoor Studies
Depositing User: Christopher Loynes
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2019 10:50
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2019 10:57
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4818

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