How awkward is it to stretcher somebody off a mountain? And how do the rescue services communicate with each other? These were just some of the questions which 16 Brownies, aged between seven and ten, recently explored on their visit to the Coniston Mountain Rescue base.

Five Mountain Rescue volunteers under the leadership of Rob Ingham allowed the girls to practise splinting a broken leg, communicate via Walkie Talkie, look into a fully equipped – and very heavy – incident back pack, and let off the siren in the Mountain Rescue vehicle. All the fun had a serious aim, though, according to 1st Hawkshead Brownies leader Judith Myers: “They all found out how important it is to go out on the fells equipped for the weather, and, if the worst happens, how the Mountain Rescue volunteers drop everything to do as speedy a job as possible.”

The girls were very impressed with all the equipment at the rescue base and in the vehicle, and with the complexity and efficiency of communications between the emergency services, especially if Mountain Rescue volunteers need help from the police, or the air ambulance.

Judith Myers takes her unit on this visit every three years or so, to ensure that every Brownie from the area learns how important it is to wear the right gear when out walking, and what help is available. She stressed that “we really appreciated the extra time given by their volunteers, which meant that the Brownies enjoyed every part of the evening at Coniston Mountain Rescue base.” Half way through the evening, several of the girls asked “Brown Owl, when can we come again?” Future Mountain Rescue volunteers in the making?