At the beginning of September Jason Falconer (Wessex Orienteering Club) and Find Your Way Officer, Caroline Barcham attended the Gilwell Reunion Scout Weekend at Gilwell Park. The Reunion is the largest Scout Leader gathering in the UK and is a weekend for Scout Leaders to connect, upskill and gain information about events and activities which will improve their offer to the groups they lead.
The weekend was extremely successful in reaching out to new audiences, Scout Leaders, and being visible as ‘British Orienteering’ in addition to promoting the Sport England funded opportunities the Find Your Way Project brings for those in areas of low-socio-economic growth.
Many of the people who took part in the in-person workshops and walk through were part of Scout groups in areas that are already involved in the FYW Project and so have now been directly connected into the clubs there to continue their involvement in funded Virtual Orienteering Courses (VOC) activities and training. Club, event and training leaflets were handed out from the BOF stand over the weekend with a constant high interest in learning more about virtual orienteering from those attending.
Overall, the general feedback from Scout Leaders was that – though orienteering was offered in some sense to their groups, the way it was delivered depended on the leader who sometimes lacked confidence and possibly was outdated. The possibility of introducing VOC activities and linking in closer with local clubs for events and training opportunities enthused everybody to develop these connections to bring a fresh, modern opportunity to spread orienteering within their groups.
We have put together an infographic that demonstrates our impact available to download below.
Thank you to Jason for delivering engaging workshops throughout the weekend and Josh Jenner/Tom Edelsten who kindly allowed use, and updated, the Gilwell Park map to allow these to take place. We are excited to see where this could lead!