Alex recently attended a week long training camp in Scotland for some of the country’s top M/W16s.
The trip ran from 20th to 27th July and was based at Templar’s Park, a large scout camp on the banks of the River Dee, close to Aberdeen. The training is organised and managed by JROS (Junior Regional Orienteering Squads).(www.jros.org.uk). There were 18 junior attendees, selected from the Regional Squads throughout Great Britain.
Here is Alex’s account of the trip in his own words:
Although the accommodation was fairly crude, with all the boys crammed into one dorm, our base camp was a great place. Large grounds allowed for hours of fun throwing whistler darts and playing football and manhunt.
Catering was fabulous, with a hot meal in the evenings, porridge for breakfast, a make your own packed lunch and fruit available at all times. I approve of their policy of “never being hungry”!
The training each day was incredible, and a variety of different areas explored, from the dunes of Balmedie to the forest of Coull. Each day focussed on a different aspect of orienteering: plan, picture and direction. Each day a variety of courses were on offer for training, and there was a yellow jersey event to provide some competition, which was usually a longer course or sprint race. This gave both technical training and race training.
There were also sessions with a coach each day where that coach would talk about an aspect of orienteering at a high level, such as training and race preparation, and on one of the days, a stretching session. This was very helpful in giving us an insight into how we should be doing things before a race and allowed us to form our own training plans.
In my opinion, the best area that we trained on was Glen Dye (see map). As you can see, this was a beautiful coniferous woodland of very complex and varied terrain, allowing us to run on it on two different days with different objectives. With tussocks and bilberries, the going was tough in places; however, this did allow us to do a bilberry picking session and bake a bilberry and apple crumble (delicious).
The tour champs, held on Glen Dye, didn’t go so well for me, as the long distance, steep hills and ankle pains forced me to retire. ?
The tour wasn’t just about orienteering though, as each day we performed different tasks with our training groups, including washing up and cleaning the showers (after the scouts had left them mucky), teaching us valuable “life skills”… apparently.
There were also fun activities, such as a swim in the river after training each day, which helped recovery as well, and a barbecue and party in Templar’s Park.
Go if you can!