Orienteering

Includes: orienteering, rogaining, large-scale orienteering, orienteering races, letterboxing, Outdoors, Nature and the great outdoors

Age:
5+
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Go your own way

Grab your map and compass and head for somewhere new. Orienteering is a chance to explore, and test your sense of direction.

Overview

Orienteering involves using map and compass skills to navigate from point to point, usually across unfamiliar terrain.

To go orienteering, you will need to arrange a suitably qualified activity instructor and identify an orienteering course that is suitable for the age and abilities of the girls.

Orienteering taking place in extreme, remote or open countryside is an adventurous activity and should follow the adventurous activity policy and procedures.

Discover the great outdoors and gain confidence to lead your girls with our in house walking courses and the Girlguiding walking scheme. You can also use Mountain Training NGB awards to take girls into the hills.
British Orienteering (BOF) runs leader courses which will give you the confidence and knowledge to run this activity with your girls.

Approved: 5 May 2021
Version: 1.0
Content owner: Adventure team

Planning checklist

If you or another member of your leadership team is running the activity at an external venue/location, follow these extra steps:

  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know about any changes to your plans.
  • Tell your commissioner.
  • Get a copy of the public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book.
  • Check you hold the relevant qualification (if one is needed) to run the activity and let your commissioner know you plan to run it yourself. If you aren't sure, speak to your local adviser to check.
  • Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the needs of your group.
  • Get any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the venue, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check that any equipment is suitably insured by the provider and agree what happens to the equipment if it gets damaged.
  • Ask for a copy of the venue's safety guidelines and risk assessment (if relevant).
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls, leaders and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity if a qualification is needed). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
  • Consider the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions and plan the session accordingly.

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation. 

If you're working with an external provider or external instructors to run this activity outside the unit meeting space, follow these extra steps. 

  • Arrange for a home contact. Leave any route or other relevant details with your home contact and complete a home contact agreement form. Let them know if you make any changes to your plans.
  • Tell your local commissioner.
  • Tell the activity provider about the ability and experience of the participants and any disabilities, access needs or health conditions that need to be considered when running the activity.
  • Choose a reputable and licensed activity provider (where applicable).
  • Check the qualified adults hold the correct qualification to be able to run the activity (see the information below).
  • Get copies of the instructor qualifications and public liability insurance of the activity provider before you book.
  • Ask for a copy of the providers' safety guidelines and risk assessment.
  • Make sure you have the correct ratio of participants (girls and volunteers) to qualified adults (those running the activity). This is different to the ratio of leaders to girls.
  • Check with the venue that they have the correct equipment and, if needed, specialist clothing that will meet the requirements for your group.
  • Source any specialist equipment or clothing needed to run the activity not provided by the venue, and make sure this is in good condition and fit for purpose.
  • Check that any equipment is suitably insured by the provider and agree what happens to the equipment if it gets damaged.

Some venues might ask for a disclaimer or waiver to be signed for each person taking part in the activity. This is something which parents/carers must sign on behalf of their child. You can do this along with the consent form. Parents and carers should be given sufficient information from the provider along with the waiver so they can make an informed decision to sign it or not. Leaders can only sign disclaimers and waivers for their own personal participation.

The national governing body is British Orienteering  (BOF).

The activity instructor must have a good understanding of orienteering that is relevant to the age and abilities of the girls, and to the terrain being used. 

The group leader must be appropriately experienced or qualified to lead walking activities in the level of countryside where the activity is taking place.

If all of the group are over 18 or the group is in easy or lowland countryside or within 30 minutes walking distance from an accessible road or refuge, then the group leader does not need to hold a qualification.

However, any member of the group is under 18 and the group is farther, the group leader must hold the level of the Girlguiding Walking Scheme appropriate to the route planned. 

The activity instructor should fully check the course in advance and brief group leaders about hazards, boundaries and accident procedures.

Inexperienced groups should be kept in sight at all times, unless in a very safe enclosed area, such as a school or outdoor centre grounds. This includes small and 'simple' areas with very clear boundaries, good access and plenty of handrail features, such as paths or fences, and that are so small as to allow supervision of the participants at frequent intervals. There should also be no hazards such as busy traffic, crags, or fast or deep water.

Older or more experienced groups can be 'out of sight' for longer periods but must be in easy or lowland countryside areas, unless a British Orienteering qualified instructor or walking qualified leader is present.

Follow the safety guidelines from the British Orienteering Foundation.

Adult to child ratios

The ratios below are given as a maximum and ratios must be considered as part of the risk assessment, this may lessen due to any medical conditions, physical ability or other factors.

Leadership team ratio

As this activity will take place outside of your usual meeting place the leadership team adult to child ratio is mandatory.

Rainbows: 1:5, at least 2 adults

Brownies: 1:8

Guides: 1:12

Rangers: 1 qualified adult supervising

Qualified adult/participant ratio

Where any member of the group is under 18 and the group is  more than 30 minutes walking distance from an accessible road or refuge the group leader must hold the level of the Girlguiding Walking Scheme appropriate to the route planned. 

The activity leader (qualified adult) should determine what size of group is safe. There must be enough qualified adults to ensure the safety of all participants.

The number will be determined by any limitations placed on their qualification, permit or the rules of their operating organisation as well as the risk assessment. This should take into consideration the location, weather and experience of both the qualified adult and other participants. The leader should assess the risk and any concerns must be raised to them.

Forms

  • An Activity Information and Consent form is required to participate in this activity - PDF | Word
  • A Risk Assessment form is required for this activity - PDF

Remember - you can use one consent form for multiple activities

Girlguiding activity centres for orienteering

Photo of Blackland Farm

Blackland Farm

Сontact information

Photo of Foxlease

Foxlease

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Photo of Glenbrook

Glenbrook

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Photo of Waddow Hall

Waddow Hall

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