Just before Christmas one of the club juniors, Lucy Harsant, went to a 4 day training camp at Rotorua for Intermediate School age orienteers. This is what she has written about the camp.
On the first day, we did 3 courses around the Tui Ridge camp, the first one was really easy and was like a warm-up, it helped me find my way around the camp a little bit better (I don’t think it was supposed to help with that but it did). Next, we followed a line course and there were 3 different options and each one was either easy, medium or hard. We could choose to go by ourselves or in pairs, I didn’t want to get lost and so I went with one of the other girls that I had met. My friend and I tried our hardest to follow the course, I think we did pretty well but then our time limit was almost up so we decided to cut it short and go find our way through the forest. Thankfully we found our way back to the camp with a few minutes to spare. Our third and final course for the day was a simple individual run around the forest, it was supposed to be a yellow course but it felt like a white so I finished it in about 15 minutes.
The second day was a bit more exciting as we went to Maclaren Falls. We had different groups so the people who were experienced weren’t in with people who didn’t know a lot. My group and I had to stay together for the first exercise, my group leader took us to a spot on the map and we had to find where we were. We had to figure it out individually first but when we thought we knew where we were on the map we had to find a partner and share where we thought we were. I was pretty good at it because I used my surroundings like the rocks and paths and the distinctive trees. The second exercise was a relay where everyone got split up with their own group and got mixed up, we would have 14 control and every third control we had to give the map to our next teammate. When we finished we should have finished where we started. The last exercise was where we had a map with some parts missing and we had another map with nothing missing, we had to fill the missing parts on the map that would help us find the control and then leave the full map behind and follow the map that we filled in. I found this exercise a bit hard because I didn’t put enough landmarks down so I didn’t know exactly where I was in some parts.
On the third day, we went to Redwood Forest. We only did two exercises because each one was quite long. The main thing we had to learn was compass bearings, after a few tries I got the hang of it and got given a map to follow. I think I did well for the first 5 control but then I got confused trying to find the 6th. My friend also couldn’t find number 6 so we skipped it after spending a lot of time trying to find it. The next exercise was where we got put in a group of three and the first person would do from number 1-2 the second person would do number 2-3 and the third person would do number 3-4 and so on, when it was my turn my friends would follow me and if they thought I was doing something wrong they would tell me and we would discuss it. This day was probably my favourite because it made me more confident in the forest and I also learned something I would definitely use in the future.
On the last day, we went to Okere Falls. We were on a farm right next to the falls and it was very hilly. We did two courses and one of them was putting out controllers for the younger grades. We had to make sure it was in the right spot otherwise they couldn’t find the control. I had a lot of fun putting out the controls because it was my first time and I was doing something different for a change. Our last exercise from the camp was a normal run, it was very tiring because I ran the whole thing up and down the really steep hills. It ended with my group having a race and I came 3rd out of 9 which I think was pretty good.
I met heaps of new people at the camp who I am looking forward to seeing at other events and I feel like I learned heaps. It is definitely something I would recommend everyone do if they have the opportunity. Thanks to CMOC for the support you gave us to go to this camp.