ScotJOS Festive Fun in Moray

The Scottish Junior Orienteering Squad held their final training camp of 2021 in Moray on the weekend of 10th – 12th December.  It was great to get together for some fantastic training and festive fun.

Credit M McLuckie

Our base for the weekend was Duffus Hall which was a fantastic location – and already decorated for the festive season. It has definitely won the prize for the best hall we’ve stayed at so far  – underfloor heating, hot showers and even a carpet in the room where the coaches slept! There was even a playpark outside in case you hadn’t burnt off enough energy orienteering.

The weekend started with the traditional night orienteering – under a beautifully clear and starry sky.  The courses were planned by Andrew Campbell and were great fun. Saturday the weather was not so clear, but it didn’t stop a full day of training exercises planned by Jon Holingdale. The theme for the exercises was about having a plan for each leg – which should include distance, direction and picture.

On Saturday evening Fran Britain provided a fantastic Pilates session and taught us about stretching our muscles. There was much hilarity at the lack of coordination shown by some but it was a great session with everyone learning lots. Thanks Fran for a great session.

Pilates Pre-Briefing Session with Fran (credit J Bell)

Sunday was a trip to Darnaway, with exercises planned by Rob Parkinson. The Estate had accidentally double booked and there was sled dog racing also taking part, but luckily Rob had discovered this on Saturday when hanging controls and suitable measures were put in place. For most it was added bonus to spot the racers when out on a course – there was even an elf on a chariot being pulled by 3 dogs as well as people being pulled on bikes, scooters and on foot. Could sled dog orienteering be the next craze?!?

Which exercise next? (Credit J Bell)

The weekend finished with a relay – with no teams! It was mass start practise, with the medium course setting off first, a short time later followed by the short course and then finally the long. The short course start illustrated the importance of reading your map and not just running off, as it’s 1st leg was in a different direct to the medium course – but many of the juniors were half way up the track in the direction the medium course had gone before even looking at their map. The final leg, were much more cautious having seen this.

The squad were joined by juniors from INVOC and Moravian, who came with their own coaches to enjoy the training which had been set up. They also joined in the relay on Sunday.

Thanks to all the fantastic volunteers who make the training camps possible – planners, coaches, cooks, chauffeurs, parents and juniors.

Merry Christmas from all in ScotJOS!