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Thread: Navigator Badge

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    Navigator Badge

    Hi guys a little help required here.I'm just trying to figure what is meant and how to facilitate the 3 para of the Navigator Level 4 Badge, which is:"Walk two compass routes of at least 5 kilometres each. They should be defined on a map, one route’s start and end points defined by you and the other by an adult."I'm an experienced mountaineer and a member of Scottish Mountain Rescue (so have extensive navigational skills), but cannot figure for the life of me what exactly they are wanting me to get the YP to do!Have any of you got an example of what you have done?

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    I always took that to mean, any walk on a non-way marked route. So you could be walking on tracks or paths, so long as they weren't part of a pre-ordained walk. For example, the West highland Way (or stretches there-of) wouldn't be allowed.

    I organised one years ago, in the Lammermuirs. Shooting tracks to the top of Meikle Says Law, then over open ground to Hopes Reservoir (on a compass heading with visuals to confirm). It had escape routes marked up too. I know you might not know those places, when we did it, none of it was way marked - some of it is now though...

    As I understand it, it's similar to what they should be doing for the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award, but often don't, because decent safe routes can be hard to find.

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    pa_broon74, many thanks for the reply, you have kind of confirmed what I thought, I shall have to get imaginative!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rb199stu View Post
    Hi guys a little help required here.I'm just trying to figure what is meant and how to facilitate the 3 para of the Navigator Level 4 Badge, which is:"Walk two compass routes of at least 5 kilometres each. They should be defined on a map, one route’s start and end points defined by you and the other by an adult."I'm an experienced mountaineer and a member of Scottish Mountain Rescue (so have extensive navigational skills), but cannot figure for the life of me what exactly they are wanting me to get the YP to do!Have any of you got an example of what you have done?
    To me it's instructive to look at the stage 3 and 5, and see how it fits in with progression...

    Navigator – stage 3
    Follow and walk a route of at least 5km, using a map to navigate for at least part of the journey. Your Leader can plan the route but you’ll work with your team, or take turns,to navigate.

    Stage 4
    Walk two compass routes of at least 5 kilometres each. They should be defined on a map, one route’s start and end points defined by you and the other by an adult.

    Stage 5
    Complete a comprehensive route plan for a 20km hill walking route, set by an appropriate adult. It should take place in terrain one or terrain two, details of which can be found in Policy Organisation and Rules.
    ....yeah, it's weird isn't it? What's a compass route defined on a map? To me that means something you need to use the compass for, to decide which way to go. I think it means doing it in open country, but maybe it doesn't. I mean, if you get to a crossroads of two footpaths, well, I guess you know where you've come from and where you're going, so you don't need the compass. Would access land do? As there won't be rights of way in there. Oh, wait, just looked, and it appears not, our local access land is crisscrossed with ROW.

    I would have thought if you picked two points on open access land, and made a route, and wrote it down for reference, something like
    Leg 1: 300m @ 30o
    Leg 2: 900m @ 67o
    etc.

    and that route is drawn on the map, and you can use the map to navigate, and the compass to confirm what you're seeing.

    I think what they're getting at is doing it where you can go wrong*, so open access woodland or moor or heath or something, rather than fenced in farmland where the path is obvious, the route is obvious.

    * Yeah, I know, they seem to manage to go wrong even on the most simple "yeah let's follow this old railway track path for 2 miles" walk.
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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    When we did that thing up in the Lammermuirs, the shooting tracks were all over the place. They were putting them in so quickly OS couldn't keep up - which is now frowned up, and rightly so. As an aside (I know, already), a lot of the land up there is now fenced off. Big picnic areas are now no longer accessible, I'm not even sure how the land owner got away with that.

    The compasses were necessary not for the route but, for confirming where they were on the the route. So taking bearings on features they could recognise and identify on the map so they could triangulate their position.

    Does anyone walk on a bearing these days?

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    Guys, great discussion.ianw, you hit the nail on the head for me, it is weird, I guess it's trying to understand what the writer of the requirements had in their mind when they put pen to paper!pa_broon74, your last line also stirs a very valid thought. I suppose when I wrote my first post, I was thinking that it would be hard to walk a genuinely compass only route! I think we all use more than just one navigational tool when navigating, so short of finding a very bleak, flat and featureless location the Explorers would always be looking at other navigational options?I may be wrong, but I may well just wet them a 5km route to follow that includes a number of navigational techniques and see how they get on?

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Does anyone walk on a bearing these days?
    I've done it once in anger, trying to get off a Welsh hill in cloud. But that was literally one person walks 30 paces and is guided on the bearing by the compass holder, stopped, compass holder catches up, another 30 paces out front, rinse and repeat until we were below the cloud and could see the track we were heading for. Fun times!
    Ian Wilkins
    Farnham District Explorer Scout Commissioner

    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
    All sections, all countries, runs December 2018 - May 2019
    http://www.jambowlree.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Does anyone walk on a bearing these days?
    [hands up] Me, me! [/hands up] On our annual Sixers and Seconds winter camp on Dartmoor we always practice walking on bearings. Just occasionally we need to.

    I don't know what the writer meant when he writ what he wrote but if it was me I'd be tempted to set a course of a sequence of compass bearings and paced distances, with each group carrying but not using a GPS. At the end they check the route as recorded by the GPS and see who was closest to plotting the star, or Scout logo, or name, or whatever the course was meant to look like.
    John Russell
    ex-CSL now ACSL 1st Pinhoe Exeter Devon
    Cubs don't care how much you know, but they need to know how much you care.

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    I'm very lazy and don;t like waliing further than i have to so i often walk on a bearing and bear off slightly to make sure i get where i want to as efficiently as possible.

    Example: massive field in countryside. there is a stile on the far side. Much easier to take a bearing, walk slightly off and turn left /right and walk the extra 25m. Plus... if you do it early, spot a landmark in distance and walk to it, you are not checking a sat nav/ phone all the time but just walking and looking up and chatting happily.

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    Navigator – stage 3
    Follow and walk a route of at least 5km, using a map to navigate for at least part of the journey. Your Leader can plan the route but you’ll work with your team, or take turns,to navigate.

    Stage 4
    Walk two compass routes of at least 5 kilometres each. They should be defined on a map, one route’s start and end points defined by you and the other by an adult.

    Stage 5
    Complete a comprehensive route plan for a 20km hill walking route, set by an appropriate adult. It should take place in terrain one or terrain two, details of which can be found in Policy Organisation and Rules.
    Given stage 3 is walk a route using a map for at least part of the jouney and stage 5 is complete a route plan for a 20km walk I would say stage 4 is trying to get you to walk two routes which require you to use both a map AND compass in order to navigate from the start point to the end point. I admit this is easier for those of us that live near enough to moorland walk on which does require use of a compass to successfully navigate, for example we would likely use Ilkley Moor for this (and yes we would make sure to have a hat )

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Does anyone walk on a bearing these days?
    It's a few years back, but we had fun in Staffordshire. Down here in Hertfordshire, every footpath has a post at each junction, with an arrow showing which way it goes. Compasses are largely irrelevant, except for making sure that Scouts aren't walking south when it should be north (it happens...) We took a group up to the Staffordshire/Derbyshire borders, so not the most challenging countryside, but paths just went across grass fields, and the CSL and I had to get the compasses out and do a bit of impromptu training with the Scouts and Guides.

    It was good to be back in that kind of terrain, to be honest.
    SL, 11th Hitchin

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    While we're on the topic, any favourite activities for this badge, especially stages 1-3? I'm involved in some training for newer leaders, and we'd like to give them some suggestions of ways to put things across and so on. Anything that will get interest from Beavers, Cubs or Scouts. We like to do parachute drops with Scouts, but you need to do some escorted walking too to get the principles across.
    SL, 11th Hitchin

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianw View Post
    I've done it once in anger, trying to get off a Welsh hill in cloud. But that was literally one person walks 30 paces and is guided on the bearing by the compass holder, stopped, compass holder catches up, another 30 paces out front, rinse and repeat until we were below the cloud and could see the track we were heading for. Fun times!
    I had to do the same thing last year. On my T2 assessment. Up on a completely featureless moorland, in the dark, in about 50m visibility. We had to form a three person chain to find our way off. I was my turn to lead too!

    It was certainly a good test.

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    Slightly off topic, but I've got myself involved in a District training event, doing the navigation bit - aimed at new leaders needing a bit of confidence. Likely to be a mixture of Beaver, Cub and Scout section. Any favourite tips and tricks I can pass on for novel ways of getting ideas across, really good resources, and so on? For example, I've just discovered topographic hands
    SL, 11th Hitchin

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    Quote Originally Posted by DKRSL View Post
    Slightly off topic, but I've got myself involved in a District training event, doing the navigation bit - aimed at new leaders needing a bit of confidence. Likely to be a mixture of Beaver, Cub and Scout section. Any favourite tips and tricks I can pass on for novel ways of getting ideas across, really good resources, and so on? For example, I've just discovered topographic hands
    I would recommend Nigel Williams’ book Teaching Navigation if you’re looking for ideas.

    Teaching Navigation https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/18513760..._U3HFCbC2GWC3B

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