Orienteering For Children

Discussion in 'Navigation' started by Xilkozuf, Jul 16, 2017.

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  1. Xilkozuf

    Xilkozuf Active Member

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    Learning to survive and to navigate is important even for children. Back in my school days for this reason we used to have once a week a orienteering course (many many years ago, I think I was around 10) to learn how to read maps and what are the most important resources to.. well, not get lost. I remember that at the end of the year they even brought us in the woods nearby our town (pretty small, so there wasn't really any danger), gave us some maps and after dividing us in groups they told us to find some specific spot listed on the map. Some of us managed to get lost anyway, but we were very young children so it's understandable... and yes, I was in the group that got a bit lost, lol.
    But those day I don't see any stuff of this kind anymore in the schools, which is a bit sad because it was a fun experience, and actually pretty useful.
    Is there any similar stuff aimed to the young ones where you live?
  2. Corzhens

    Corzhens Master Survivalist

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    I like this orienteering thing especially for the grade schoolers. It is fun to teach them how to tell the direction using the sun. Sorry but not with a compass because my girl scouting days taught us to be discerning with the directions and we should not rely on the compass. The question is this - what would happen to you if you are lost in the woods and you have no compass? With maps, it's the same assumption so what we use are sketches that show the landmarks. It's like drawing your own map and using only the sun for determining the direction of the north, south, etc.
  3. kgord

    kgord Active Member

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    I think orienteering for children is a fantastic idea. I think this is one of the reasons it is a skill that is taught in boyscouts. It is great for children to learn to find their way should they be lost in the woods. I think using a compass is a skill that should be taught to everyone, young and old.
  4. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Expert Member

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    There are a lot of important skills that we used to learn as children that seem not to be taught anymore, and how to use a compass or read a map is definitely one of these mostly-forgotten skills.
    Children of today (and most adults) often have a smartphone with a GPS that can tell them how to get just about anywhere; so they think that learning to read a map is a waste of time.
    Another thing that we learned back when I was growing up was how to tell time from a clock, and how to make change. Kids now need a digital clock to tell what time it is, and if you show them an old-fashioned one with hands pointing to numbers, they have a hard time telling you what it says.
    Cashiers at the store don't know how to count out change, the cash register does all that for them, and the cashier just hands it back to you.
    Even military people can't always read maps. When I lived in Western Washington near Mt. St. Helens, the forest near there was where soldiers were sent to do their survival training, and then they had to find their way back to the "pickup point" using their maps.
    My daughter and I were out horseback riding on the Weyerhaeuser roads when one of these lost soldiers stepped out in the road in front of us to ask how to get back to the main road. He had been trying to follow the map and had been lost for several days.
    We gave him some directions, and he was thankful to be able to find his way out again.
    The pickup point was near our house, and that night we heard the vehicle come up and get him; so he was eventually able to get back out of the woods and back to Ft. Lewis .
  5. PedroP

    PedroP Active Member

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    I think it's very good to learn from a young age. Back in my days there were hardly any activities that taught us how orient ourselves or survive. It's something I'd appreciate to know well nowadays. Also, there are other benefits as well as developing motor skills and putting the kids to do some exercise. Anything is better than sitting in front of a computer all day long.
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