Orienteering - ?· Orienteering is map-reading made fun. Scouts like fun and should be good at map-reading,…

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  • 1/8 Orienteering The Scout Association 1999 Item code: FS315058 Mar. 96The Scout Association, Information Centre, Gilwell Park, Bury Road, Chingford, London E4 7QW. Email: info.centre@scout.org.uk Direct:0208 498 5400 Local rate call: 0845 300 1818 Fax: 0208 498 5407 Website www.scoutbase.org.uk

    Orienteering

    This factsheet updates and replaces'Orienteering in the Scout Troop' PT-5811988and 'Clockface Orienteering' RES-14 1987.

    Further editions will be published as necessary.The issue of replacement factsheets will benotified in SCOUTING Magazine and TalkingPoints.

    Introduction

    Getting about the countryside with map andcompass is a prime Scouting activity.Orienteering is the modern way of becomingproficient in the art. It is true Scouting andshould be included in your training programme.

    Scouts should excel at finding their way aboutthe countryside, and adult Leaders should excelat teaching their Scouts how to do it. The basicskills are included specifically in the progressivetraining awards. The Scout Award requires aScout to complete a simple navigation exercisewith map and compass. The Explorer Awarddevelops this feature. Get outdoors and teachorienteering.

    Orienteering is map-reading made fun. Scoutslike fun and should be good at map-reading, butmany adult Leaders perhaps fear that the sport isa specialist activity involving much hard work inits organisation. The purpose of this factsheet isto show that orienteering at Troop level need notbe much more than map-reading, and to suggestway by which the hard-worked Leader canpractise the Troop in the sport, or in elements ofit, without killing off the members.

    What is orienteering?

    Orienteering is competitive way-finding with mapand compass, and the sport is fashioned bymixing together the ingredients of map-reading(the more the better) with some competitionrules. The basic ingredients are always the

    same and training can be aimed at themspecifically. The competition rules are easilylearned. Of the many types of orienteering thereare only two which need concern you - cross-country and score (see Figs 1 and 2). Your locallibrary will have books on the various forms oforienteering.

    All controls must be visited in the order shown,but the lines joining the controls indicate only thegeneral direction to be followed. There is notime limit: the shortest time for visiting allcontrols in the correct order wins. This is notsuitable for large numbers of competitors as anindividual staggered start is essential.

    Competitors can visit any controls in any order.The controls are lettered. The number againsteach control is the score for visiting the control.There is a time limit. There is a latenesspenalty. The highest net score wins. This issuitable for any number of competitors, as astaggered start by groups is possible.

    0845 300 1818

  • 2/8 Orienteering The Scout Association 1999 Item code: FS315058 Mar. 96The Scout Association, Information Centre, Gilwell Park, Bury Road, Chingford, London E4 7QW. Email: info.centre@scout.org.ukDirect: 0208 498 5400 Local rate call: 0845 300 1818 Fax: 0208 498 5407 Website www.scoutbase.org.uk

    How can I train my Troop?

    The basic map-reading skills are very important,so make a start by giving the Troop small doseson Troop nights. Don't wait until you havecovered the whole gamut of map-reading skillsbefore starting the real thing or you may neverstart at all. As a Scouter your viewpoint shouldbe that orienteering is the best way of training inmap-reading, not the other way round.

    It is not your intention to produce just a fewweekend map-reading athletes, so avoid thetemptation to associate your Troop withorienteering merely by pressing your best Scoutsto join a club. Get the whole Troop doing it.Start the new member who hardly knows what amap is by competing in pairs, new member andPatrol Leader together.

    They will all find map reading is fun, and throughthe supplementary training on Troop nights thenew Scout will begin to realise what it is allabout. A method of training in the sport will besuggested which dispenses with all those red andwhite markers and course officials, and allowsone Scouter (or one parent) to do the lot withsuch ease that the instructor arrives at, anddeparts from, the course area at the same timeas the Scouts.

    What equipment do I need?

    Obviously maps and compasses first. The mapmost suitable and used in many competitions inthis country is the 1:25,000 series in four colours.Buy one or two per Patrol. Each sheet covers 30square miles and make sure your playground iswholly on one sheet and doesn't spill over ontothe next (Note that for competitions later you willneed black and white reproductions. You willneed to get permission from the OrdnanceSurvey to reproduce their maps).

    Buy a plastic map case for each map, anexpensive map can be ruined in one afternoon ifnot protected.Chinagraph pencils, cut in half, are needed formarking map cases, never maps.

    Compass choice is fortunately very limited.Silva protractor compasses have a virtualmonopoly in this field. The Silva 7DNS is quiteadequate for beginners. Buy one or two perPatrol to make sets with the maps and covers,and thread a yard of strong twine through each

    compass. Insist on the Scouts wearing themround the neck when outdoors.

    You have bought all you need for getting yourTroop started in orienteering. With one set perPatrol and four Patrols you will never regret thisexpense.

    For preliminary training indoors in bearings Silvapractising compasses and protractors are usefullow cost extras to supplement your small stock ofproper compasses. For measuring bearings onthe map the practice is as good as the real thing,and a 360 paper protractor gives new Scouts agood understanding of the subject and is usefulfor checking answers obtained with a compass.You may well decide to buy one for every twoScouts in the Troop and keep your propercompasses for field use.

    An attractive instruction tool guaranteed to holdthe new Scout's interest is a Silva demonstrationcompass, a king-size version of the practisingcompass for blackboard use.

    How can I practise the Troop in orienteeringskills?

    Each problem on the ground is the balancing ofaccurate map-reading against time. One mustbe sacrificed to some extent in the interests ofthe other, but hasten slowly at first. WhatScouter is not saddened by the sight of a Scoutwho takes a quick and wholly inadequate look atthe map and moves off at speed in precisely thewrong direction ?

    Here are a few suggestions in the basicorienteering skills of familiarity with maps andquick accurate grid references.

    Map search quiz

    Patrol corners. Map sheets all over the floor.Scouts on knees. Patrol Leaders with paper andpencil. New Scouts have map-reading foldingcards, at least one giving conventional signsScouters: 'Eyes down, what is there at 953629? Isay again ... 953629'. First correct answershouted out by any Scout gains a point for hisPatrol. 'How many railway cuttings/ windmills/Youth Hostels can you find? You have oneminute'. Patrol Leaders allocate search areasand jot down grid references to prove each find.'How far is it from ... to...via ... ?' Scouter

  • 3/8 Orienteering The Scout Association 1999 Item code: FS315058 Mar. 96The Scout Association, Information Centre, Gilwell Park, Bury Road, Chingford, London E4 7QW. Email: info.centre@scout.org.ukDirect: 0208 498 5400 Local rate call: 0845 300 1818 Fax: 0208 498 5407 Website www.scoutbase.org.uk

    cultivates an air of excitement by setting a fastpace for the questions and gives the runningscore after every few points. Small prize for thewinning Patrol.

    Grid reference relay race

    Map a map code chart about 3 feet square, fromhardboard, as shown at Fig 3. The 'map' isgridded at 6 inch intervals, and the 'features' areletters - there is no other detail. The same chartcan be used time and time again for the trainingof new Scouts, so you may try to commission theTroop artist to produce a neat painted job withred letters, black grid lines, and numbers, andcoat it in clear varnish to keep the paint on andthe weather off.

    Select a suitable location for the hidden treasure(it is essential to have real treasure) and makeup a short message of a dozen letters or so toform a clue to the location, for example 'THESCOUTER'S BAG'. Encode the letters into gridreferences and provide a set of slips of paper foreach Patrol with a grid reference and a blank boxon each one. Set up at a short distance from theheadquarters and arm each Patrol with a pencilto use as a relay baton and for writing letters inthe boxes. Scouts run with one slip at a time andon their return pass the baton to the next Scoutand the slip to the Patrol Leader who, assisted bythe Patrol decodes the message (Fig 4).

    The order of issue slips can be straight or mixedbut should be the same for all Patrols. If it'spracticable, bicycles add much to the excitementbut the distance should be doubled. It will benoted that the chart is designed to compelScouts to remember Eastings before Northings'.If, for example, the grid reference 645630 is readwith Northings first, X is obtained instead of theimportant letter B, with disastrous results for thePatrol concerned and for the Scout who has let itdown.

    Compass work, bearing and distance

    Preliminary bearing exercise (indoors)

    Give to each Scout or pair of Scouts

    'map sheet' made out as shown in Fig 5 butwithout the dotted lines. Identical positioncan be easily assured by pricking through thesheets with a pin. The grid spacing isunimportant but the distance between controlpoints should be such that a Silva compasswill span the longest leg.

    a Silva compass, or a Silva practising

    compass. a 360 protractor such as the Truefit Angle

    Indicator, or a Silva practising protractor.

  • 4/8 Orienteering The Scout Association 1999 Item code: FS315058 Mar. 96The Scout Association, Information Centre, Gilwell Park, Bury Road, Chingford, London E4 7QW. Email: info.centre@scout.org.ukDirect: 0208 498 5400 Local rate call: 0845 300 1818 Fax: 0208 498 5407 Website www.scoutbase.org.uk

    (Note that the dotted lines are not included onthe sheets given to the Scouts)

    Set problem of this type: 'You are at control pointNo 1 and intend to go to control No. 2. Withoutusing your compass or protractor whatapproximate magnetic bearing should you travelon? Now measure the bearing using thecompass, and check your answer with thecircular protractor. '

    The outside legs -1 to 2, 2 to 3, etc., are veryeasy starters to put over the ideas to the newScout. The older Scouts will quickly spot thatmeasurement is unnecessary. But even thePatrol Leaders will have to measure the bearingoff, say 2 from 4 or 3 from 6.

    It is very important that a Scout should firstdecide the approximate bearing before using thecompass. If subsequently a ridiculous answer isobtained the Scout will know that the compasshas been placed on the map the wrong wayround, looked at the wrong arrow or made someother basic error that would bring quickretribution on the ground. There is another verygood reason for making this approximation inpractice. It is often all that is needed to decide acertain course of action. The orienteer whospends time producing accurate answers on alloccasions will seldom appear on the prize list.

    Bearing and distance treasure hunt

    Two teams compete for one treasure. Thisrequires open country or heathland with cleardistances of 100-200 metres between controls.Two courses are plotted with a common start andfinish, the same number of legs, and

    approximately the same total distance of abouthalf a mile (see Fig 6).

    The treasure can be buried in a jam jar under astone or a tent peg. Place a camp shovel neareach of the last two control points before thetreasure. It is best if the control points arefeatures such as bushes, track junctions and thelike. They can then be described on the coursecards (reproductions of the two halves of thefigure) and they will probably still be there nextyear when other new Scouts try out their skill. Ifno suitable features are available then you willhave to put down temporary markers such astent pegs. It is essential to have somethingrecognisable, as each fresh leg must start froman accurate known position. Accumulative errorswill otherwise put the Scouts too far away fromthe treasure at the finish. The treasure must befound by the team clever enough to get therefirst.

    Clockface orienteering

    Orienteering competitions usually cover a wideexpanse of varied countryside. However,elementary compass practice can be provided ina number of ways on a much smaller piece ofground. One very simple training method is thatof 'clock-face' orienteering. This is based on thefact that any two of the 'hour' positions of a clockface can be located, from each other, by meansof the basic geometry of the layout.

    The only items which are needed to set out sucha training area are a length of rope, an accuratecompass, 15 tent pegs and a field about the sizeof a football pitch (or larger). Peg the end of therope (or a tape measure) to the centre spot of thefield. Then set out the twelve 'hour' positions ofa clock face by inserting a tent peg into theground at the other end of the rope as it isrotated round the circle on a series of compass

  • 5/8 Orienteering The Scout Association 1999 Item code: FS315058 Mar. 96The Scout Association, Information Centre, Gilwell Park, Bury Road, Chingford, London E4 7QW. Email: info.centre@scout.org.ukDirect: 0208 498 5400 Local rate call: 0845 300 1818 Fax: 0208 498 5407 Website www.scoutbase.org.uk

    bearings at intervals of 30, 60, 90, etc. to360.

    The tent pegs (or other markers) should beinserted into the ground in such a way that theyare not readily visible from a distance of morethan (say) two yards. They should be identifiedby a letter - preferably in a random fashion sothat the sequence is not too obvious to thosetaking part in the game.

    In addition two other marker pegs should bepositioned at some known distance apart, e.g. 25yards, in order that the competitors can checkthe length of their pace prior to setting off on thecourse. This should preferably be located awayfrom any of the pegs used to mark the playingcircle.

    This layout can then be used to devise an almostinfinite number of orienteering courses, rangingfrom a simple shape (such as a parallelogram) toa complex zigzag, by means of the 'readyreckoner' table shown on the last page.

    This quotes the distance and bearing between allpossible pairs of points for a circle of radius 100feet, with twelve o'clock at due North from thecentre. Hence, a typical nine stage course couldbe devised as follows:

    1. Take point 1 (1 o'clock) as the start. 2. Draw each stage of the course on a circle

    (Fig 7) taking care to use stages of variouslengths.

    3. Number each stage in sequence on this

    plan. 4. Obtain the bearing and distance details from

    the appropriate squares from the clock-...

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