Lympstone Marine Training Camp orienteering taster

Adrian on left in photo with 3 RM Trainers
Adrian on left in photo with 3 RM Trainers
Credit: Adrian Taylor
Last updated: Thu 25 Apr 2024

Report by Adrian Taylor of session held in conjunction with Royal Marines.

Last Summer representatives from British Orienteering visited Lympstone Marine Training Camp as part of a broader initiative to build stronger links between the military and local orienteering clubs. The potential benefits include supplementing current training with efficient ways to develop navigational skills, increase interest in Inter Services competition, provide opportunities to build skills (eg, as an organiser, planner, mapper etc), and to enjoy the sport for competitive, physical and mental health reasons within Service and beyond. 

Last September, Adrian paired up with Tom Snow (former DOC Junior from Torbay, and now in the Navy) to offer an opportunity to experience orienteering on Woodbury Common, and then attend our event at Nunn’s Cross, near Princetown. Since then, John Pearce and I have visited Lympstone Marine Training Camp numerous times, to produce an ‘urban’ map at 1:4000 scale and plan an event for trainees on 24th April. 

With the greatly appreciated help of Roger Green we had maps and punch control cards printed off by BML in a timely manner, and a supply of control flags, pin punches and stakes ready to use. That was just as well as a last-minute decision at the camp on the Monday brought the event forward by a week and we (Adrian – on left in photo, and 3 RM Trainers) were ready to deliver a score event for c.220 trainee Marines from 8am - 4pm. The format was to send them off in pairs (from their troop) every minute or 30 seconds (depending on the size of the troop) with either a Map A or B, and one control card to punch all 10 controls on their 1st map and as many as they could on their 2nd map within 1 hour. Troops had been in training from 2-3 weeks, up to 26 weeks. The latter troops included c. 100 trainees making the Start/Finish and calculation of times and score hectic. Each pair found all 20 control controls in 34-55 minutes, running with a 4kg backpack and full body cover and they all really enjoyed their first taste of orienteering. Adrian also had a chance to say a little more about the sport of orienteering. 

The next step is to produce a permanent orienteering course (POC) on the Camp to be easily used. Frustratingly, a May event was approved for Devon members to participate in, and permission was then withdrawn, but there is hope that during periods with no trainees on Camp it can be re-arranged. John and I also plan to support the establishment of a POC on Woodbury Common for Marine and DOC training.

Adrian Taylor