One of our promising juniors, Kelly McKinnon, went to the Junior Training Camp in December and has written this report on the experience.
Orienteering Junior Camp 2019
Junior O camp is definitely a highlight in the sport as a junior. Every year as well as learning new techniques and improving on your own skills its a fun experience that you will always remember.
I really enjoyed the training exercises we did for all the different types of races such as sprints, farm land, and forest. Each exercise is based on a different skill to work on and breaking it down. Such as compass skills, reading contours, route choice, orientation and many more. One of my favorites this camp was one of the sprint training courses which was based on our orientation skills. It was a map that had little parts of the map cut out and put back together in random places so we needed to work out which way to turn the map to each control. There is no north on the map so we can’t use the compass. It’s all about making sure we know where we are and use the features around us so we’re able to spin the map in the right direction.
Other training courses we used when we were in the farm land were maps which had all features removed except for the contours. This taught us to read the land form and realise we don’t need much detail to know where we are and that sometimes its best to not focus on all the detail on the map and just break it down, making it easier to read.
Another training course we did in the forest was a corridor map. This is a map where all parts of the map have been blanked out except for a route which you need to make sure you stay in. This teaching us to use the little features in front of us so we can see what we need to aim for in front. Another forest training map was working on our compass bearing. The map detail between each control was blanked out so we needed to rely on using a compass bearing and making sure we can run in a straight line.
As well has having many courses and training throughout the day there is a lot of down time and afternoon activities relating to orienteering. Events such as night rogaines, a punching race which is one of my top highlights of camp I had this year, and also theory orienteering activities such as map scales, control description symbols and being shown helpful websites that helps to encourage you to achieve your orienteering goals as well as teaching you different tips and skills.
Every night we got a video message from top orienteers around the world telling us about how they got to where they were now and giving us there own tips and advise.
Every coach at the camp does there best to make sure every person at the camp comes out as a better orienteer. While teaching they make sure everyone is having fun as well has learning so much more. You get to learn so much from each other as well as making so many new friends.
After a fun but hard five days it comes to the last night of camp. Disco night. Celebrating a week of hard work and effort. And just having a fun time with new and old friends. Every year I have an amazing time and is something I’ve always looked forward too. Thank you to all the coaches and everyone that made this camp possible.
Thank you to Counties Manukau Orienteering Club (CMOC) for running and organising this years junior camp. It was an amazing experience that has taught me so much.