Table of Contents

Why become a leader?

Evidence shows that volunteering makes you happier, healthier and more socially connected. Also you’ll get out and about a lot more often if you lead walks!  

Leaders often go out together in small groups to reconnaissance (reccie) a new walk. This sets us up with co-leaders and back-markers familiar with the area, and a possible alternate leader if the leader can’t lead the walk for some unforeseen reason.  It is also a great way to share routes and local knowledge. Doing a reccie and being a co-leader helps build your skills as challenges are confronted together.  We get to know each other quite well in the great outdoors, and its fun!

Is there a particular walk you want to do? Leaders get to choose where they walk, when, distance and pace, group size – so leading is your opportunity to put that walk you’ve always wanted to do on the program, on your terms. If you don’t know any local walks, or are unfamiliar with the route, ask another leader for ideas and help – there is deep knowledge of the local bush within Coff Hikers.

You choose how often you want to lead a walk, and when, there is no obligation. We understand people travel and have other commitments they need to work around. 

We wish we could offer new leaders some swag, but our budget is limited, so instead we offer our enduring gratitude.  Without the generosity and enthusiasm of our volunteer leaders, Coffs Hikers would not exist.

How we support our leaders

If the prospect of leading is daunting, start by co-leading alongside another leader, who can mentor you and take away the weight of responsibility from you as you learn. 

Don’t know where to go? Our experienced leaders have extensive knowledge of the local area and hikes further afield, and can suggest walks to lead, and help you with information about routes, campsites and access. We are building a searchable database of adventurous walks in the region, which will only be shared with our leaders (not public). 

Not good with navigation?  Start with a local walk that you know.  A co-leader can help with navigation, and we can also teach you navigation skills. Did you know practising way finding and navigation keeps your brain healthy?   

Hate admin? We have made the processes as painless as possible for leaders. Our website supports automated bookings with waiting lists, online cancellations, online payments, reminders, etc. You can easily see a list of who is signed up for a walk, and easily send out an email to those attending your walk. The activity sign on sheets are automatically pre-filled and emailed to you the night before a walk, so you have an accurate list of who is attending.

What about insurance? Unlike leading for a casual group, we are a not for profit incorporated association, which provides volunteers operating in good faith with legal protection. Members and leaders are insured through our affiliation with the peak body Bushwalking NSW.

We protect your privacy – your phone number is only visible to members, and leaders can use email addresses. 

How to become a Coffs Hikers leader

 Have a chat with Jan (or another committee member) about your interest in leading. 

To become a leader you need to:

  • be a full member, and be familiar with our guidelines for leaders 
  • possess basic first aid skills (a certificate is encouraged but not required) and carry a mobile phone and first aid kit on hikes
  • possess basic navigation skills appropriate for the type of activities you wish to lead 
  • be approved as a leader and added to our register of leaders.