Education Officer for a day at Brecon Beacons National Park

I had the opportunity to have the experience of 'shadow working' one of the Brecon Beacons National Park Education Officers. It was a new experience for me and I had no idea what to expect. I soon realised it was actually a fun and exciting experience!!

Another champion and I spent a day alongside Ron, an educational officer in Brecon Beacons. He had so much fun things planned for the whole day.

Firstly he introduced us to the students from a local school who were spending a week at a YHA hostel. Then everybody was given a map with clues, a compass and a pencil. It was so re-assuring that Ron made sure everyone knew what they had to do etc, e.g. how to use the compass.......because when we went out it was wet and cold, but still so much fun!.

For me, going outdoors and exploring the local area was absolutely an eye opener, as Ron carefully directed us to discover certain parts of each area, which either had a historical learning point or something new to learn. E.g. I learnt about the water turbines and how fresh water was recycled into better fresh, clean water.

Throughout the day I found Ron's  technique funny, fun, full of enthusiasm and educational at the same time! At circle time Ron informed us about the weather conditions; how it can be dangerous for hikers and the different kind of tents available. He asked each class to demonstrate how they would get inside those tent to stay warm and safe. When the second class was inside the tent like-bag, everyone else tip-toed and disappeared from the room to trick them!!

I found shadow working was a great experience. I learnt a lot and I understood a lot more about Ron's responsibilities and what he has to organise when working with schools.

Maleka Bari

Maleka is a Community Champion with the Mosaic project in Wales, which runs in partnership with the three Welsh National Park Authorities and the YHA. The project is funded by the Big Lottery People and Places fund.