During the long days of lockdown, I found myself starting to do a lot of work for an organization where we were looking at Open Orienteering Maps and MapRunF as adjuncts to outdoor learning. This led to a gradual reconnection with orienteering earlier in 2020, as I found myself out running some of the local permanent orienteering courses (POC) to keep my navigation and running together. Things got really interesting as there was a huge surge in the number of virtual courses and events and as I showed our kids how to set-up and go round their own courses near home. A big thank you to ESOC and Interlopers for their long-standing efforts on POCs, as well as their generous release of lots of virtual courses over the last six months.
Scottish Orienteering (SO) and British Orienteering (BO) hosted online courses on a range of topics and one thing these courses made me aware of was the decreasing number of people they can call upon to help run events.
So when I saw a British Orienteering tweet about new e-learning courses they were offering, this seemed a fine chance to formalise some of my previous experiences, going all the way back to running around the old Strathclyde Regional Council Outdoor Ed centre at Arrochar when I was about 14. The National Navigation Award Scheme has also been a big influence on how I think about my own navigation and training others in these use of map and compass skills. As I came at maps and navigation from the perspective of putting data on maps, grasping the difference between location and navigation was important for improving my own skills.
A big thank you to all of the people in orienteering organisations who’ve helped me get this far and I really hope to be able to contribute to events and further my own skills and take a full coaching course in the future.