Instructor Development Scheme: Halfway Update

By Glenmore Lodge

With this year’s Instructor Development Scheme cohort now 6 months into their time at Glenmore Lodge, and with a change of seasons approaching, we caught up with Bee, Cammy, Naomi, & Graeme to ask how things have been going and what they’re looking forward to achieving in the second half of their year.


What have the first six months of the Instructor Development Scheme been like?

They’ve been many things; incredibly fun, insanely busy, exhausting, and a lot of things in between those extremes. It has been amazing to meet so many likeminded people, spend so much time doing the sports that we love, and live with some of the coolest beans I know. Getting to know the other people that make up the Glenmore Lodge community has been truly excellent and inventing adventures with them is a privilege.

Do you have a favourite course or adventure that you’ve been on since starting here in April?

I did my MCI training last month and it was probably my best course. It was 9 days long and I learnt so much about how to take people climbing and mountaineering. I shared the course with 6 other students and a variety of staff members, spent three days out west and laughed a lot about the ridiculousness of ham sandwiches.

Are you planning on learning anything new this winter?

I love skiing and want to do some more touring; I’ve done a fair few tours before but I’m really keen to do more of that this year. I’d also really like to do my Winter Mountain Leader; Training is a dead cert, we’ll see about an assessment!


How have you found life living and learning at Glenmore Lodge?

I have loved every minute living and learning at Glenmore Lodge. Every day you’re exposed to learning opportunities and living in the heart of the Cairngorms is fantastic. From my doorstep I have access to all the environments I need to develop; lochs, rivers, mountains and forests.

What has been the highlight of the Instructor Development Scheme so far?

My highlight of the Instructor Development Scheme so far has been passing my Summer Mountain Leader Assessment. This was my primary goal during my year at the Lodge, so to complete this successfully has really motivated me to pursue further professional development awards. I now plan to do my Winter Mountain Leader Training this coming season.

What is something new you want to try this winter?

I have only skied once, and I never got very far! Learning to ski this winter will be great fun!


Tell us a bit about what the Instructor Development Scheme has involved over the last few months:

The last few months have been wild. I always thought I was good at cramming my life full to the brim before IDS, but I’ve reached a new level of busy and learning. I’ve upskilled in biking, climbing, and kayaking. I’ve done a few assessments; MBLA Level 2, Velotech Bronze, Summer ML, Paddlesports Instructor

What has it been like being part of the IDS team?

Our team of IDS have really pulled together the last few months to help each other through assessments, training, work, highs and lows. It has been an extremely positive experience to work alongside three of the most driven individuals and I am learning so much from the all. Graeme has almost taught me how to roll a kayak, Bee has helped me understand multi-pitch climbing, and Cammy has helped me find my love of mountain biking again.

What are you looking forward to most about winter?

I’ve tried to factor into my schedule time to consolidate skills I’ve been learning on courses, which has involved some amazing adventures like traversing the south Cuillin Ridge, bivvy nights on Gairloch, bothy-ing at Kinbreak, lots of climbing and biking, and shadowing at Abernethy (one of our local outdoor centres).


Has the Instructor Development Scheme been what you expected?

There are more opportunities to jump on courses than I would have expected, which is great. We’ve had loads of support from Instructors and encouragement to get out as much as possible! We also have more free time than I expected, allowing us to get out for ourselves and put new skills into practice.

What skills have you been developing since coming to Glenmore Lodge?

Before starting IDS I was mostly a paddler and hillwalker, so I’ve taken the chance to focus on learning to climb, I had very little prior experience but over the last few months I’ve learned to lead climb and have even led some of my first multi-pitch routes, which has been an awesome achievement! I’ve also gotten through my ML assessment which has meant focussing on honing my navigation and leadership skills which I’m sure will set me up well for winter.

Any goals you’re looking to achieve this winter?

I’m looking forward to Winter ML Training and hopefully completing all the winter QMDs I need to go for the assessment. Transferring my ski skills from resort to backcountry is also a big ambition for the winter and one which should offer some great days out. Otherwise, I’m hoping to see some amazing sunrises in the snow!

About the Instructor Development Scheme

The Instructor Development Scheme (IDS) is a year-long programme for motivated individuals committed to developing a career in the outdoors. Each year the IDS team spend their time living, working, and learning at Glenmore Lodge, and experience an amazing range and quantity of opportunities for skills training, NGB qualifications, personal development, and outdoor adventures.

Find out more about the Instructor Development Scheme HERE