A Summer of firsts..
Although schools are back now and summer seems a long time ago it was a summer of firsts for us. We worked with new partners supporting the delivery of non-residential summer camps and trained up new young leaders, giving them their first taste delivering orienteering sessions.
We held camps in Dundee and Lochaber with Active Schools , building on links from last year and had new partners – Scottish Canals at Falkirk and Moray Council Active Schools.
In total 15 sessions were delivered in 4 different areas across Scotland to young people and their families by 4 young leaders. Sessions ranged from two to four over a week with most returning for at least two or three sessions. Ages ranged from 9 years up to secondary level – though for family days there were younger ones participating too as well as much older people…
It was an experience to be working with younger kids. It helps you convey your love of the sport and makes you think about what you have gained from orienteering
The idea behind the summer camps is twofold: They are about working with partners who can widen out access and participation to our sport and also provide valuable experience for our young leaders to deliver orienteering coaching with the support of a partner organisation.
This camp gave me a lot of confidence in my coaching capability, and also taught me that I can use the other coaches from the partner organisation more effectively than I originally thought.
All young leaders received positive feedback from partners as well as reporting their own enjoyment of delivering sessions.
It helped me realise how basic some people’s understanding of maps and orienteering can be and that a really simple task like setting the map could be a big achievement for some people.
The young leaders were asked to report back on their experiences and reflect on what they learnt.
I’ve learnt that I think I’m better at coaching kids that have already grasped the basics of orienteering, as I found it hard to explain the really basic principles when the kids weren’t understanding. I have also learnt to always plan more than you think you need so that there are other activities to do if the kids get through them too quickly.
We may run summer camps next year once we have digested learning from this year. We know we widened access in some areas, in other areas this was trickier. Working in partnership can be a positive way forward but does not always go the way that is planned. A longer lead in time is certainly one lesson for the future and looking more carefully at follow up opportunities for those who have enjoyed the taste of our sport. We linked up the new leaders to a mentor. This was a valuable move for all.
Thanks to Ben Polwart FVO, Emma Baird ECKO, Fiona Eades INT and Isobel Howard MOR for their enthusiastic work in delivering the summer camps and to Ian Hendrie FVO and Elizabeth Furness MOR for mentoring the young people. Thanks to our partner Active Schools Highlife Highland, Active Schools Moray, Active Schools Dundee and Scottish Canals.