Allowing teenagers to tie each other up

On Monday night Handsome and I managed
to scare the wits out of the twenty-nine fifteen-year-olds who are brave enough
to currently be doing the bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award with us – we did a
first-aid session. Actually Handsome did most of it, and he’s much scarier than


e. This was a specifically tailored for hill walking without grown-ups in the
immediate vicinity first-aid session. In truth, at this stage we are never
really that far away from them, certainly not far enough that we can’t help in
a real emergency, but they still have to be able to deal with situations themselves.
It’s part of growing up and being independent, which is really what the Award
is all about.

So, we did dehydration, hypothermia,
hyperthermia (and the difference between the last two) and we discussed the
fact that death can actually happen on the Scottish hills – and watched the
expressions on their faces, which ranged from blasé to horrified to fascinated.

Then we did cuts, twists, sprains
and other more likely-to-happen and slightly more cheerful (in that they don’t
normally lead to death) accidents.

There was some good question answering
and asking, we dispelled some myths and explained some things that adults don’t
naturally think of and teenagers automatically do, like ‘Can we leave a dead
body lying on the ground while we go for help…’; ‘What do you mean we might
not have a ‘phone signal?’; ‘If I put a bandage on over her boot it’ll get
dirty…’ Most of them seem to be naturally fairly sensible, and those who
obviously have no common sense we’ll spread around the groups to try and
minimise their impact, although the temptation is great to put them all in one
group and abandon them.

Next session they get broken bones, recovery
position, resuscitation and what to do about ticks. And they’ll all have fun
practising tying each other up slings and bandages and manhandling
each other
putting each other in the recovery position.

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