December ScotJOS Camp sees fun and games in the rain

The Scottish Junior Orienteering Squad (ScotJOS) hold 6 training weekends each year and last
weekend met at Aberfoyle for a slightly damp weekend of training.

Briefing in the rain

The weekend started off with the traditional night-O at South Achray with various amendments to the planned courses to cope with broken bridges. It was then back to the hall to warm up with hot showers and food – and a quick game of Orienteering Twister to stretch off the muscles and test our map knowledge.

Orienteering twister

Wakening to very heavy rain on the Saturday morning we were apprehensive as to what the weather might have in store. With the traditional running drills held in the pouring rain and sticks used as obstacles rather than the traditional shoes, we then headed for Fairy Knowe and Doon Hill.

Running drills in the rain

The morning session had a series of short loops covering a range of terrain to focus on planning each leg and selecting beacon features. With the rain having stopped, we then headed to a different part of the area beside Fairy Knowe for longer courses focusing on route choice and a short no compass map walk to focus on visualisation.

It was then time to collect controls and head back to the hall for an evening of food, fun and games. With much of the focus being on planning and using contours as beacon features, the playdoh came out with the challenge of building models of the areas where we had been training. Silence ensued as the juniors enjoyed getting the chance to revert to being toddlers and playdoh modelling – a hall full of teenagers is never normally that quiet – the concentration was amazing. Later in the evening once the batteries had recharged there was an impromptu ceilidh in the car park.

Concentrating on building contour models

Sunday dawned clearer as we headed to Abbey Craig in Stirling. There were downhill and uphill courses focussing on selecting beacon features and a compass exercise – both with the paths removed from the maps to further complicate the exercises. The weekend finished with a 2nd leg relay simulation and some fast and furious racing.

Thanks to everyone who helped make the weekend happen.