Page 24 - Chiron Calling Spring 2019
P. 24

 In the weeks leading up to the departure of Ex Chiron Snowball, I was inundated with reports of major snowfall in Austria to the point it was a danger and ski resorts were being closed due to the risk to life, and with this in mind I was absolutely enthralled to oversee the entire nine-day exercise to train twelve soldiers in the fine art of descending or ascending a slope gracefully without losing control of speed or line.
With my fears buried and happy in the knowledge 10 months of planning had prepared me for every eventuality, we arrived safely in Austria after a relatively pain free 21hr journey. It was snowing very heavily on arrival and soon the minibuses were a distant memory due to being buried by snow, luckily there was a free ski bus we could use daily to get to the slopes.
Everyone was accommodated in self-catering apartments and expected to cook for themselves throughout the exercise so having been to the local spar to stock up on supplies, a chef was nominated for each apartment. I must admit LCpl Berresford is in the wrong job and I highly recommended that he applies for MasterChef as I am sure his flat mates would agree, the meals he managed to produce were nothing short of outstanding. I cannot say the same for the flat occupants opposite as after Pte Colwell set off the fire alarm for the entire complex cooking they opted to eat out for a fair few meals that week – a boost for the local economy I’m sure.
The exercise was to focus on the discipline of alpine skiing and ski touring which correlates skills learnt for ski touring with those required for operations, leadership, followship and the contribution to the moral component. In support of the physical and conceptual elements of fighting power, preparing for and then touring on skis is remarkably like the activities required to launch and conduct a military patrol.
On day one of skiing it was snowing heavily, high winds and
approx. -15 degrees, I knew a challenging first day was ahead for the students so after 6 hours of personnel turning into snowballs and with their thighs burning we called it a day with twelve smiling faces. Luckily for the remainder of the week the weather dramatically improved with us being spoilt to three days of blue skies and a warming sun on our backs and I am also happy to report the skiing improved along with the weather.
Throughout the week the students were challenged on a daily basis not only in alpine skiing / ski touring but with all the theory elements that go hand in hand with working in the mountains and by the end of the week each and every student had an expanded comfort zone to be proud of along with wet clothes from spending too much time in the powder and not floating on top of it.
Due to the nature of skiing on a glacier we had the opportunity during the week to conduct a walk through a crevasse approximately 120ft underneath red run 5. This walk was not only interesting for all participants but gave them the knowledge of the dangers associated with skiing on glaciated terrain and I am hoping this knowledge will ultimately make someone think twice when skiing off piste on a glacier – unfortunately there were no volunteers for the other activity I offered for them to do under the glacier – ice swimming!
By the end of the week all students were thoroughly tested in resilience, self-confidence, courage, leadership, followship and a whole host of other skills that will undoubtedly develop their fighting power whilst having gained a qualification in skiing of either Ski Foundation 1 or 2. Whilst the training has a serious undertone I am assured by all the participants they thoroughly enjoyed the exercise and they returned to work with a renewed vigour having participated in some quality training for very little contribution monetary wise.
By SSgt Kerry Alford
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Welcome to your handy guide covering all types of schooling, from pre-school to adult education and eveything inbetween.
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subject to discuss with your
Although your child might have little interest in social media, online gaming
can lead to talking to strangers online. If possible, disconnect your child’s games console from the internet so that they cannot play with people they do not know.
children, but online safety is essential in this technology driven era. When discussing online safety, you should aim to inform your children rather than scare them with stories we hear in the press. A good place to start
is to ask them which social networks they use/would like to use and if they know how to make their profiles private. It is important to ensure that your child’s social profiles are private so that strangers cannot see pictures of them or what they post about. Most social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Tumblr have an age restriction in place so your child must be at least 13 to join.
A lot of information is requested on sites such as Facebook and they ask for details such as your hometown, school, mobile number, Birthday, nicknames and films/tv series that you want to watch. Filling out this information is not essential so try to discourage your children from filling this out as it makes it easier for someone to create a fake account with, what seems like, the same things in common.
You should also make certain that your child is not friends with people that they do
While it may seem tempting to ban your child from social media completely, it is not a viable option as your child may be pressured into creating a profile when with friends etc. It is better to have an open discussion with your children about social media as they
are more likely to come to you with any problems they incur online than if they know they will get in trouble for having a profile
as they are more likely to keep problems to themselves. You should also discuss with your children how to block people or report pictures/comments that people post if they feel they are harmful. This should make
them feel more comfortable and that they do not need to see things that are upsetting to them.
Web safe? discussing online safety with your child
It may seem a daunting
not know on social media. Even if they have a friend that is talking to someone online, this does not mean that they are your child’s friend and should be avoided.
For more advice on discussing online safety, information can be found at www. children-safe/online-safety/
Beth Cowan

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