This morning I took the kids from Ellesmere College’s Adventure Plus activity program over to Llnaymynech for a bit of orienteering.
The Wrekin Orienteers (a local orienteering club) have set up a number of permanent orienteering courses in the local area and make the maps available through their website. It makes life very straight forward to be able to go to a venue and not have to worry about setting a course out yourself because someone else has already done the hard work. Admittedly, I still had to go out to Llanymynech before today in order to find all the markers myself and make note of all the ‘answers’, but it means I can reuse it without further work – thanks guys!
We started off with a bit of a teaching session on the northern side of the main road. The main things we looked at included the key and colour coding, scale, orientating the map and judging distance (both on the map and on the ground). We then sent them off to find a couple of controls in the form of a star orienteering course. This is where they are sent to find one marker before returning with the answer and then being sent off to find another. It’s a great way of keeping track of beginners and being able to give and receive regular feedback.
Once I was happy that they had got hold of the basics, it was time to send them off on a more traditional orienteering course, requiring them to find a much larger number of control points. They actually did pretty well with the time they had available although no one managed to find all the points within the time limit. However, they all progressed in their skills during the course of the morning. Maybe I’ll have to push them a bit harder next time!