Team provides “Mountain Rescue” awareness session for Rotary Club International Youth Summer Camp

Through our valued links and very long established friendship with the Rotary Club of Westhoughton, we were recently asked by the Westhoughton Rotarians to assist with a Rotary International Youth Summer Camp, which they regularly take part in.

Essentially, Rotary Club International Youth Camps consist of youths nominated and proposed by Rotary Clubs world wide, to take part in (this case) a two week cultural activities ‘camp’ in the North West of England.

On a regular basis over the years, Westhoughton Rotary Club have offered to host a part of the camp, and on an equally regular basis, Westhoughton Rotary Club have invited us to take part providing a ‘Mountain Rescue’ awareness afternoon for all involved.

Thankfully we always seem to be blessed by sunny weather for this very special afternoon, and today was no exception.

At 12.30hrs this afternoon, helpers from the Rotary Club of Westhoughton, arrived at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ to set up a picnic for the youths who turned up in three minibuses at 13.00hrs.

In total eighteen youths arrived, aged from 16 to 19 years old, male and female, from Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Germany, Portugal, Poland, The Netherlands, Italy, France and the farthest travellers, a couple form Macau, China.

To a person they were all very interested in our role and work, and despite coming from many diverse countries all had a common language in that everyone amazingly spoke excellent English.(Though whether they quite understand our Alan James calls of “ger over ere pronto” is open to some debate !)

We quickly found out that so far on their ‘camp’ they had stayed with local Rotarian families for a week and had then had a week of activities as diverse as mountain biking in the Peak District, abseiling, and travelling to the Isle of Man.

Present to meet our guests, were team members, Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, Life Vice President Alan James, Naomi Horan, Ana Toole, Diane Blakeley, John Dickinson, Michael Eddleston, Equipment Officer Vehicles Chris Greenhalgh and Matthew Hailwood.

The youths were accompanied by Westhoughton Rotarians, Immediate Past President Bernard Howes, Past President and current Press and Publicity Officer Ronald Bell and Phil Wood, Past President, alongside his wife Pam Wood, who is also Secretary of the Inner Wheel Club to which she belongs.

Following their picnic, all travelled to the Lower House Car Park area of Rivington, with the team members attending in two of our Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles and our Incident Control Vehicle.

Immediately upon arrival at Lower House, the youths were split into two groups, as were the team members, and a quick course was given in how to use our vacuum splints, vacuum mattresses, SAR Alpine Lite Mountain Rescue Stretchers and Trauma Kit contents.

It was then up the nearby moorland tracks for a ‘hands on’ rescue and stretcher evacuation back to the vehicles.

All too soon their time with us was over, the ‘obligatory’ group photograph session was followed by our Team Leader presenting all present with a Mountain Rescue Supporter metal lapel badge, and Bolton MRT Supporter Sticker as a tiny memento of their visit with us.

The Rotarians and youths then departed for their next venue, a Civic meeting at Westhoughton Town Hall.

The Bolton Mountain Rescue Team is very proud to be associated with this Rotary International Youth Summer Camp, and it was also nice to catch up with some long standing friends within the Rotary Club of Westhoughton.