Gold Duke of Edinburgh Navigation Day
31st January, 2015
At Bonaly car park the weather was cold and windy and so we quickly established groups and setting the route. Once the groups got going, they quickly warmed up. We regularly stopped the groups and asked each individual for a 6 figure grid reference, and to justify the reason why he thought he was in that position.
Over the course of the morning, we worked on back bearings, catching features, orientating the map, setting bearings, working out scales (using the compass and map respectively) and how to interpret them on the ground. Each individual was asked to walk on bearings many times during the day, and taught how to use a compass to justify his position.
It is an essential aspect of Gold and Silver training at Merchiston for boys to establish and prove their competency in these skills. It is pleasing to say that (with some further training required) all of these students have a basic competency in all of these aspects now.
The afternoon was spent working through the various first aid scenarios. We covered hypothermia, sprains, breaks and burns and how to manage these situations in terms of emergency services, group management and acting with authority.
The weather made the emphasis on prompt action all the more pertinent and the boys walked off the hill more confident and assured of their actions when out in wild country this coming season.