Independence and control

An issue which arises time and again in taking school students out is that of trust and responsibility. This is reflected in leadership style: an authoritarian style, or one which gives students a great deal of personal freedom and control, or something in between. Should a leader explicitly list every item of gear and personally check this, take control of navigation and route selection, and so on, or rely on students for some or all of these. If the former is chosen, the students will not own the experience, will feel no attachment to the proceedings, and may get less from the experience in terms of growth and satisfaction, than otherwise. However, if a minimal control position is taken, a leader faces the problem of a student pulling a totally inadequate plastic raincoat from a pack as the temperature drops and the snow starts in earnest. Neither approach is satisfactory in the extreme, but a leader must err toward more control whenever issues of safety are concerned, and must also give the impression that total dictatorial leadership will occur if really needed.