A Sunny Weekend for ScotJOS Training

After the Scottish Schools Orienteering Festival, the ScotJOS juniors headed off for a weekend of orienteering in the sunshine in Northern Scotland.

Warm up drills in the sunshine

Warm up drills in the sunshine

A ScotJOS training weekend in the sun? Unheard of. But fear not the weather gods were still transpiring against us and caused some worries in the run up to the camp as it was to be held at Cannich – scene of a huge wildfire last week due to the dry ground.  Some last minute panicking but on Thursday evening we were given permission to proceed with the training as the fire was under control.

After the Scottish Schools on Friday at Calendar Park we packed 2 minibuses full and made the long trip North on Friday afternoon direct from the event, with a brief stop for ice-cream.  We were staying at Cannich where the hall is adjacent to the shinty pitches and park – so it was straight out for rounders and football, as some of us tried to work out how to get the gas stove to light to make dinner. Luckily we solved the problem and all could be fed for the weekend.

It is sadly time to bid farewell to the 18’s who are “graduating” from ScotJOS this year as they prepare to head off to University. This was celebrated in ScotJOS style with traditional Last Blast activities planned by the 18s.

The leavers briefing the others about their orienteering exercise

In lovely sunshine on Saturday morning we set off for Plodda Falls and a morning of orienteering – 3 different exercises each exploring different parts of the area and different types of terrain.  As everyone relaxed over a picnic in the sun, the 18s continued with their plotting for their Last Blast orienteering. They had planned the exercise for the others, but just to make it more of a challenge, everyone was paired up and taped to their partner to compete in a 3-armed event. At several of the controls there were challenges and forfeits (apparently eating a spoonful of garlic paste is nicer than a spoonful of toothpaste!), as well as flour to dodge before finishing with the final control in the river.

3 Armed Orienteering

Then it was back to Cannich for more swimming in the river, showers and yet more rounders. Several of the adults decided they would join in the rounders and show the juniors how it should be done – but then the ball ended up stuck in a tree. Not sure who was to blame?!

On Sunday morning we headed off to Abriachan for more training. We were based at the edge of the tree line with some loops into the forest and some onto the open hill (and the waist high heather). The weekend then finished with a relay in the sunshine at the top of the hill – teams of 2 with 4 loops per team.

Concentration at the start of the relays

A great weekend to appreciate all that Scotland can offer in terms of orienteering – even the midgies didn’t seem too bad. Thanks to everyone who helped make the weekend happen and in particular to  INVOC  for all their help and   James Laird for planning some great exercises for us and hanging controls.

Good luck and happy orienteering to the ScotJOS leavers – Ewan, Daisy, Izzy, Cat, Jonas, Adam, Alice and Iris