Basic Materials Leaders Week 1

Module 1 - Sunday 7th February

Here are the slides used for the two breakout sessions on 7 February – both in the same file:

    1. Choosing a campsite
    2. Introduction to Maps
We suggest that, for most people. this will work best in the PowerPoint version, which also contains some notes for the presenter.
The PDF version is also provided, but it would be best to check that you can use that with your system

PowerPoint slides

PDF slides


Many thanks for offering to help us train the Explorers to prepare them for their first DofE expeditions.

The process is described in the table.  Note that 5 minutes is allowed for slippage.



Week 1 Topics & materials


Leaders use the link to log on to Zoom 15 minutes before the scheduled start time. Before this, you will want to load the file for Session 1.  We suggest using the PowerPoint version if possible, but also include a PDF version.  It would be worth checking how it displays, possibly in full-screen mode, and we would recommend closing all unnecessary applications to avoid sharing the wrong screen.

John Buchanan is the presenter for the whole-group sessions, Fraser Dunmore is managing the Zoom.

There is a maximum of 36 Explorers for the session, divided into up to 6 breakout groups, so 6 per group.  You will be allocated as leader of one of the groups.



Fraser lets the Explorers in.  John starts the session by welcoming everyone, then runs the first section.

Expedition process



Fraser sends all the Explorers into their breakout room with their leader (you).  You click the “Share screen”  button in Zoom, select the screen displaying the slides, and click “Share”.

You run the first breakout session, which lasts 15 minutes.  After that, Fraser brings everyone together again. 

Where to pitch your tent?

Breakout slides (first part) and notes for leaders (below)


John runs through the next section, giving a quick introduction to the material you will use in the second breakout session.

Maps intro – Braid Hills area



Fraser sends all the Explorers into the same breakout room as before with their leader (you).

You run the second breakout session, which lasts 15 minutes.  You use the material that John has just run through, which is the second part of the Adobe slideshow you already have open.  After that, Fraser brings everyone together. 

Maps intro – Braid Hills area

Breakout slides (second part) and notes for leaders (below)



John reviews what has been covered and explains what the Explorers should do to prepare for next week.

What to do next



Explorers complete a feedback form.

Fraser closes the session for the Explorers.

Leaders stay on for a brief feedback session.  If you like, you can be preparing your feedback while John does the closing section with the Explorers.



Fraser closes the session.



Here are some notes on the two sessions you will run.  Please use your experience to flesh them out.  The key is to leave the Explorers keen to learn more.  There will be more detailed training to follow and they will have access to materials online.

Where to pitch your tent?

Use slides and notes for leaders .  Suggested answer is square B4, but the discussion is what matters.

Summary of approach

Put them at ease.  Chat about tents.  Use slides to stimulate discussion of things to consider.  Use last slide to discuss lightweight camping in general.

Detailed approach

First breakout session for Explorers, so put them at ease, encourage participation: this is their chance to offer answers and ask questions, not just listen!

As an icebreaker, get them to tell the group, briefly, about their camping experience.  Draw out difference between big tents and small tents, Troop camp and expeditions.

Explain that on an expedition they will have an agreed area to camp, but where they actually pitch their tents is something they will have to decide for themselves.

Show plan.  Ask them to volunteer answers to the question “What should you think about” when deciding where to camp, and discuss.  Note that being near the road or the river, for instance, could have advantages and disadvantages. 

Move on to Slide 2, with blue box, and discuss.  Ask them for other things to be considered, that don’t appear on any map.

Move to Slide 3, and discuss brown box.

Show Slide 4, asking which way the tent should be facing. [Downwind, to stop it being a kite.]  Use remaining time to discuss and share tips for lightweight camping: clear ground before pitching; good use of pegs; guy ropes; zip door before stretching and pegging; don’t touch roof; pack spare pegs, bags etc in tent bag, and put in tent …

Maps: introduction, using short route in Braid Hills

Use slides and notes for leaders.  Key thing is to get Explorers to realise how they can use maps to plan.  

Summary of approach

They have seen a quick presentation of these slides.  Go through again, developing points made.  Use questions to encourage thinking and answering.  Get them to look at map and describe it.  Finish by talking though the route marked on the second-last map, but using the last map which shows features more clearly.  Encourage them to describe as much as possible.

Detailed approach

General introduction, so cover a lot, fast.  Two scales.  Emphasise difference between them.  Use N/S/E/W and NE etc.  Contours and heights.  Solid/dotted lines on tracks – solid = fence/wall/hedge.  

What can’t they see on the map?  NB bushes – there are lots of whins there! 

  • Talk through the route, letting everyone have a chance to describe what their leg would be like.