By: Blonde One

One of the Two Blondes best skills is our ability to plan. It has to be because we are both so busy that our worlds would probably crash around our ears without good plans.

We are very good at long term plans: we are considering what to do with Dartmoor Prison when it closes as a prison and we are left in charge of its future.

We are quite comfortable with medium term plans (although these tend to be neglected until they become short term plans): we have the outline idea of what we are doing in July (Gold DofE expedition with participants on Dartmoor and Exmoor, Navigation workshop with Dartmoor National Park, our own Gold style expedition in the Peak district).

We are great at short term plans: often we go from no plan to a fully functional, all encompassing plan within about half an hour, ready for an event in a few days time.

But what we are masters as is dynamic planning! This is planning that you didn’t know you had to do until you are in that situation. And there was lots of it going on on the recent Bronze DofE practice expedition. Lots of the jobs that normally are done at the short term planning stage were not done because there was so much going on. I had to plan one step at a time with certain things. For instance I didn’t quite know how my car would get to the end point so I could take staff back to school until the last minute. I wasn’t sure how I would get all of the kit returned to the stores at the end of the day. I had no idea how the young leaders would get back home after packing up camp. The list was endless but luckily I had a fantastic team with me who were very patient while I worked things out!

This trip seemed to include far more elements of dynamic planning than normal. Here’s an idea of some of our issues:

  • Participant illness at 1am with one parent not picking up phone call and the other away on business
  • Completely broken rucksack within 2 hours of start of expedition
  • Illness not listed on medical consent forms
  • A more diverse skill level than we’ve ever had before

It took all our skill and expertise to deal with these issues (and lots more). Some were quick to sort out and some took a little longer!