Our staff and instructors have many years of experience working in the corporate and private sector. In addition to their facilitation skills they hold relevant national governing body qualifications to run the more adventurous side of our training and activities.
Meet the Cumulus Crew
Russell Thompson – Operations Director
Russell Thompson, Founder and Operations Director of Cumulus Outdoors, is a highly experienced Development Trainer who specialises in both Activity Based Learning and Performance Coaching for individuals, their teams and their leaders.
His favourite activity – Coasteering
Sam Thompson – Schools and Youth Director
No relation to Russell, Sam is a very keen watersports instructor with qualifications in sailing, windsurfing, surfing, powerboats, coasteering, kayaking and part time beach lifeguarding. Sam became involved with Cumulus Outdoors back in 2010 after completing his Business Management degree in outdoor adventure at Bournemouth and has been working with Russell since. His favourite activity is Canoeing
Peter Boyce – Director
Peter, was an officer in the Territorial Army serving in Iraq in 2003. He was a green beret ‘Army Commando’, qualified in parachuting (including many times into Studland Bay!), skiing and diving. After many years working for Kodak in the UK, USA and Switzerland, setting up a number of successful businesses, Peter Boyce joined the board of Cumulus Outdoors, bringing his extensive experience and business knowledge to the company. His favourite activity is Kayaking
Steve Thompson – Marketing Director
Steve has over 30 years marketing experience, running his own marketing business for 25 years before deciding to combine his professional experience with his interest in the outdoors and outdoor adventure. As a member of The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, he’s well placed to steer the Cumulus marketing strategy as the company looks to expand its ever growing customer base. Steve is keen on most water sports and also enjoys running and walking with the family flatcoat! His favourite activities are Kayaking and Coasteering
Tom is Course Director for our School Camps. With a passion for all aspects of the great outdoors, Tom came out of the Army as an Officer with a skills set that have led on to many varied adventures from the Jungles of Borneo to the snowy peaks of Mt. Tongariro. More recently Tom has focused on the education of young people in the outdoors, hoping to energise the next generation of enthusiasts. Toms background leaves him uniquely placed to oversee the smooth running of residential camps and the safety of those that take part.
Neil has been climbing, walking and Mountaineering for over 30 years. Although he had a career in the fire service for over 30 years he has spent a lot of his spare time working in the outdoor Industry. He has mainly been involved in land based activities and development, being a qualified Mountain Leader and Climbing Instructor. Neil has been working with Cumulus Outdoors for the past 3 years.
Since 2013, Neil has delivered training, instruction and assessing D of E expeditions both in the UK and abroad. He also teaches, instructs and coaches climbing and related activities. His personal passion is trekking with a favourite trekking location being the Spanish Pyrenees.
Ian Purdey – Bushcraft & Survival Specialist
Ian became infatuated with the outside environment at a young age and the bounty of knowledge he could gain from it, enjoying this environment so much he joined the Royal Marines in 2011 and has remained as a reservist ever since. As his passion to pursue this as a career grew, it brought on the drive to take up the role of an instructor and he sought out where he could achieve the necessary accreditations. The Level 4 Instructor’s course as accredited by the NCFE was his route in and through the multitude of courses he attended to obtain this, he began surrounding himself with likeminded individuals whilst training and travelling to remote areas of the world to learn some indigenous ways. The result being a selection of Bushcraft experiences led by someone with a genuine passion for what he does.
Russell Thompson, Founder of Cumulus Outdoors, is a highly experienced Development Trainer who specialises in both Activity Based Learning and Performance Coaching for individuals, their teams and their leaders.
Russell has worked extensively within the corporate sector in the UK and the Middle East and developed a successful programme in Saudi Arabia, taking Senior Managers into the desert.
Russell’s motivational training utilises Activity Based Learning in conjunction with Accelerated Learning Techniques, this is the art of learning through stimulating and thought provoking challenges, benefiting a broad range of nationalities and cultures.
Russell trained the England Badminton team for the Commonwealth Games, a gold medal winner, and has worked with young people in the top schools in the UK, including Harrow and Benenden School. Russell has many activity-based qualifications that enhance his training whether he is running an indoor or outdoor programme. He has studied his field of work to degree level and is a passionate Neuro Linguistic Practitioner (NLP).
1982 – All Arms Commando Course, Royal Marines Commando Training Centre Lympston, Devon with 289 Commando Battery (T.A. Volunteer).
Royal Marine Commando Medal
1988 – Physical Training Instructor, training young recruits for the Commando Course.
1988 – Arctic Survival training with The Royal Marines, Norway.
1989 – Special Air Service (SAS) selection 21 SAS (V). Collapsed with heat exhaustion in the Brecon Beacons! 11th out of 108 candidates.
1991 – Introduced Team-building at Harrow School in London.
1992 – Operation Raleigh – Chile.
1994 -2011 Start of thirteen developmental, month long, expeditions for young people to the jungles, deserts and mountains around the world – from Mongolia and the Himalayas to the jungles of Guatemala. To date travelled and worked in 52 countries around the world.
1998 – Start of ATW teambuilding course with the National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia. Taking Saudi national bank managers into the desert for a 4-day developmental experience. The project was so successful it ran for seven years.
1998 – Worked on teambuilding project with Roger Uttley, ex England Rugby coach and Captain, Harrow school, London. Training Olympic Badminton team who were Gold medal winners at the Commonwealth Games, Kuala Lumpur.
2000 – Team-build project at the International Head-teachers Conference on Experiential Learning.
2002 – Periodically running Personal Development Programs in Jeddah for Saudi businessmen. Working with Saudi Arabian Airlines, The Institute of Banking and several corporate businesses.
2003 – Delivered the first ever all female team-work programme at The King Faisal Hospital, Jeddah.
2003 – Delivered a paper at the International Symposium in Riyadh on ‘Utilizing Saudi Arabia’s Great Outdoors’.
2003 – Trained the Mount Sinai Mountain rescue team. Working with the Park Rangers, doctors and the Bedouin guides – 12 days.
2000 – 2010 – Pre-post explosion photography working with SJH Projects on saving peoples’ lives from explosions. Included Mine boot tests and MOD vehicle tests.
2008 – 2009 – Deliver roll-out Eagles Flight Programme to Fujitsu UK and Denmark – Totalling 300 staff.
2009 – Start-up company Cumulus Outdoor Events Ltd.
2011 – Gear testing with Sir Ranulph Fiennes at -53 degrees Celsius in a testing chamber.
2011 – Train the Olympic Coaches on teambuilding training for the England Sailing Team.
2012 – Sweden. Assist Sir Ranulph Fiennes in selecting a team for his next expedition.
2012 – Work with SIG, an international roofing supplier on Teambuilding throughout their organisation. Deliver national conference roll-out programme at 5 venues around the country. Facilitating workshops on Divisional strategies for their Branch Managers.
2013 – Gained more NGB qualifications.