Monday 3rd June 2013
15 young people, who are halfway through completing their Bronze Level DofE Award with Charlton Athletic Community Trust, took part in an organised orienteering challenge day in Meopham, Kent.
The day was designed to equip the young people with skills needed to navigate their way around the area in preparation for their practice and assessed expeditions later this year. This outdoor experience allowed them to take their learning from inside the training room out into a real life situation where they put their skills to the test in a fun, competitive way. The day saw the group split into three mixed teams of ability and familiarity.
The task was for the groups to navigate their way around an area of Kent in the fastest possible time using a map with highlighted checkpoints. Each of the checkpoints required the team to take a group photo of themselves with their teams chosen teddy mascot in order to build up points, with the aim of gaining the most and winning. The teams were faced with a number of new challenges, navigating themselves around the countryside using their OS maps and compass, working together as a team, playing tactically to try and gain the most points, facing unfamiliar animals and the challenge of travelling through varied terrain. The day gave the young people a sense of competitiveness, cause and reward upon completion.
Mark Cawthorne, Duke of Edinburgh's Award Coordinator, said, “The day went extremely well. This was the first time we had done this kind of activity to prepare the groups and reinforce their classroom learning. The young people gave lots of positive feedback, they felt challenged and motivated to succeed and win, whilst teaching them and preparing them for their practice and assessed expeditions in July. The groups successfully navigated their way around a number of the points and demonstrated the ability to work collaboratively and safely to complete the task.”
Ross Montiero, aged 18, commented, “Although this was not the first time I have done a challenge like this or been out in the countryside, this challenge day was great fun! I really feel like I learnt lots of new things and met new people that I have been with over the past couple of months but have not really spoken to until today. I feel much more confident in my ability to map read and navigate a group. I am looking forward to my expeditions and having the chance to lead the group.”
Elizabeth Clements, aged 17, added, “I now feel so confident and ready to do my expedition. I have enjoyed all of my training but this was the best part so far. My group worked really well together and got around lots of the checkpoints in a good time. We all took it turns to lead and navigate. I am looking forward to my expedition in July and can't wait to begin my silver award. I would recommend to others to start their award and get involved.”