Juniors go from the dark to the light.

Junior sessions #37 & 38

Going from the dark to the light

A dark cold January evening saw the juniors lighting up Churchill Gardens with their torches to take on line courses planned by Liz. The course maps omitted some controls but if the line was being followed then these extras would be found. The children set to with a will and quickly disappeared into the dark. Inevitably the first attempts didn’t quite work out – it’s hard to keep a straight line in the dark, but by the end of the session most had grasped the idea and were able to locate the unmapped controls – success!

One month later Sarum Juniors were enjoying the unseasonably warm weather with a sun downer session at the Salisbury & S. Wilts sports field at Skew Bridge. The training theme was pace counting and everyone, Mums included, walked and jogged along a measured 50m line to find out how many paces related to 50m and hence multiples of that distance. Next task was to follow a course around the cricket field using pace counting to estimate the distances between controls. An added twist was that some legs had additional, unmapped controls which were not to be punched or included in the pace counting exercise. Some of the children were very consistent and accurate coming back with distances that were remarkably close to the actual. The majority, however, found that sometimes their pace counting let them down – it happens to us all. Most errors seemed to come from forgetting what constituted a pace, forgetting that inclines can affect pace length and just forgetting where the count had got to. We were able to discuss when pace counting could be useful on an orienteering course. How the terrain can affect pacing and, very important for the children, how simply growing up can have a big impact on pacing.

Our photographer Shane was pleased to have some decent light for a change – the dark winter night sessions are taxing for photography. Shane’s photos are in the Gallery below and a short slide show collation is at the top of this report.

Thanks to everyone who helped out on a busy night, congratulations to all the juniors who stuck to the task and to the Mums who got stuck in and did the exercises themselves.

The next training session is on March 18th, probably at Hare Warren, so look out for more details.