IOL National Conference 2012
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IOL Conference Programme 2012

Friday 12th and Saturday 13th October at Yarnfield Conference Centre, nr Stone, Staffs


We've bene Tweeting about the #IOLConf12 - in the run up, during the event and after. Join in with experiences, info, discussion, connections, pics etc.

Download the BROCHURE HERE     Download the Masterclass and Workshop full info HERE

Friday (12th October) Keynotes, Discussion, Masterclasses

Aimed at experienced practitioners and outdoor professionals

ready to open the conference

Elspeth Mason, Vice Chair; John Crosbie, Chair and Andy Robinson, CEO ready for the Conference to being


A wonderfully energised gathering full of ideas and with a great atmosphere.

It was fantastic to see new friendships and connections being forged with exciting new ideas and projects ahead.

We'd like to thank all 230 or more of you who attended.

A special big thank you to the leaders, presenters, exhibitors, sponsors and the team at our venue at Yarnfield.


  • FRIDAY MASTERCLASSES: A combination of input and discussion.  The class leaders have relevant experience in the topic and will either be presenting research or practice based materials to support discussions considering further learning and application.
  • Connecting research with practice in outdoor learning: what's in it for all of us? with Dr Chris Loynes and Dr Kaye Richards
  • Environmental Leadership with Dr Kate Rawles
  • Community Engagement with Di Collins
  • Into the Wilds: Using creative research and evaluation methods with young people in outdoor and experiential learning settings? with Kaz Stuart and Dr Lucy Maynard
  • Putting a philosophy for Adventure Therapy into Practice with Stephan Natynczuk
  • 21st Century Team Building with Bob Larcher
  • Models for Engaging People with Disabilities with John Ford
  • Young People as Leaders with Sarah Burgess
  • The Future of Outdoor Learning – not just for children! with Heather Brown and Barbara Humberstone
  • Beyond the Quality Badge with Andy Pratt of FSC and Carolyn Maxwell of RSPB
  • Pre-dinner speaker Paul Rose spoke about his work and his personal path into his exciting life. Informative and motivational. He said "Outdoors It's the only place in which I have ever learned!"


  • Journey of Discovery - presented by Eluned Roberts and Jim Langley
  • Naturally Mindful: Mindfulness Based Approaches in Adventure Therapy, deepening your
    - presenter Steve Johnson
  • Practical Functional Approaches to Including Disabled People - presenter Suresh Paul
  • Mountain Biking for Centres - presenter Dan Cook
  • 'Learning Away' - The Paul Hamlyn Foundation residentials initiative - initial findings from the first two years of evaluation - presenter Dr Chris Loynes
  • The Challenge of a Stick, the reflection of the puddle! - presented by Paul Moseley and Sarah Blackwell
  • OPAL Climate Survey - presented by Caroline Carr
  • Recreation, Education or Therapy?  - An Outdoor Practitioners experiences of working with adults with severe mental health problems - presented by David Stacey
  • Fighting Burnout - Emotional First aid - presented by Stephan Natynczuk and Dr Elspeth Schwenk
  • Dark Skies Discovery - Astronomy for Outdoor Practitioners - presented by Dan Hillier
  • Water Safety Management - introducing RLSS UK’s new programme - presented by Damian Hall
  • Using challenge and narrative to engage learners – stories from the Eden Project in Cornwall - presented by Sam Kendall
  • Mental Toughness – our ability to deal with stress - presented by Jo McCready
  • Nature Nurture: Promoting Resilience in Vulnerable Children through Play and Nurturing in Outdoor Environments - presented by Terri Harrison
  • The application of the Work at Height regulations to those people working with ropes courses and climbing walls - presented by Mark Davies
  • Challenging Behaviour Training – recognising personality types and the affect on behaviour - presented by Mike King
  • Catch the Light - inspirational outdoor photography - bring your camera (or iPhone/iPad) - presented by Andy Leader
  • Autism Training - presented by Richard Maguire
  • 'A Trip to the Seaside!' - Outdoor sensory exploration of the local environment - presented by Maya Plass
  • Being Primitive - Is there a place for being primitive in our modern world? - presented by Frag Last
  • Learning from critical incidents and near misses - presented by David Crossland
  • Elements of Understanding - Using the elements of earth, fire, wind and water, participants will identify and explore their own communication style - presented by Ruth Adams
  • 'Bag of tricks' a selection of activities from the University of the First Age - presented by Sarah Burgess
  • Natural Navigation: natural navigation techniques - presented by Tristan Gooley, the Natural Navigator
  • Clean Communication - presented by Neal Anderson
  • 'Getting Noticed' - Raising Your Profile - presented by Ian Lewis of the Campaign for Adventure
  • Bushcraft - String & Cordage  - presented by Graeme and Steve Wardle
  • Bushcraft - Wild Food Cookery: Simple Sauces - presented by Kevan Palmer
  • Challenge 4 Change were with us with the C4C Climbing Bus which was used for workshops and also available for delegates to try out.

Conference 2012 Keynotes
Keynote Speakers: Dr Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk.

    With the Olympics upon us, is there anything Outdoor Learning can take from the world of sport?

    How a pupil or employee or colleague responds to stressors can make a big difference to their ability to learn, collaborate or be creative or productive. The outdoor learning community is well placed to support a wide population of businesses, schools and colleges.

    IOL’s national conference on 12 & 13th October will provide presentation and debate on lessons to be drawn from the sports world’s work on the measurement and development of mental toughness. This a good opportunity to consider questions such as:

    • How do outdoor learning practitioners explore the issues of challenge and response to stressors?
    • Are we too passive in considering resilience?
    • Are we clear about the implications of using ‘challenge by choice for outdoor learning in adventurous environments?
    • How do we help those we work with develop their awareness of their own resilience and mental toughness and the ways in which that may be developed?

    Dr Peter Clough and Doug Strycharczyk will speak on Friday 12th explaining the research and development that has led to the use of a model of mental toughness in sport, education and the business world. The conference will be asked to consider the lessons that may be drawn for the outdoor learning community from this journey.

    Dr Peter Clough is a leading authority on the application of Mental Toughness across a wide spectrum of sectors and countries. Peter has taken a concept developed and used in sports and made it accessible to all. He is an academic based at Hull University, has published widely and has many international speaking engagements.

    Doug Strycharczyk has worked with Peter since the mid-90s and has played a key role in developing a model to measure and raise awareness of mental toughness. Doug has been central to the wider use of the MTQ48 measure, a tool to measure mental toughness, including the education and youth work sectors. He is currently working with a small number of IOL senior practitioners and is the MD of AQR, a UK based enterprise developing and distributing academically tested tools to support the development of young people.

The 2012 Conference...

A flavour of the 2012 Conference.....

The stage is set!

Early morning on day one of the IOL National Conference 2014

the stage is set