The Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champions 2019 on their Ultimate Nav course
It’s that time of the year, Spring and a new bunch of Ordnance Survey champions to welcome.
Along with some keen navigators on our Ultimate Nav courses this weekend, we were joined by some OS staff and the new #Getoutside champions.
#Getoutside is OS’s fantastic initiative to get the good folk of Britain out and about enjoying our beautiful countryside in various outdoor activities from an amble, cycle or canoe to full on fell face – whatever it is, getting out in our stunning scenery has got to be a good idea!
The OS champs are all keen social media bloggers and are hand picked by OS as great in their field, to promote a wide range of activities. Whether you are an Olympic medal winner like Mel, or organise community groups like Yvonne, you can get ideas hints and tips for activities by following #Getoutside and the Champs on Social Media.
We also welcomed Gus, an OS customer services expert, who was quickly tasked with getting our favourite sheepfold put back on the map. We suspect it was removed from the map recently, as it resembled a naughty body part. But it is a real feature and appealed to our sense of humour, which seems shared by OS, so we are hopeful it is restored to the map. (Apparently they have a comic wall back at OS central with funny place names – folk after our own heart).
Tim the OS maps App product manager was also on the course and shared some fantastic, if not mind-blowing stuff about the app and future plans, as they are always gathering new ideas. His explanation about ellipsoidal maths left us needing two paracetamol and a lie down with a cold wet towel wrapped round our heads, but was all fascinating. I will never just press the button and expect it to ‘do its thing’, without being grateful to Tim and his team for all the complex maths behind the scenes.
The Navigation training part
Onto the course, Saturday was stunningly cold but bright and Sunny.
Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced groups all took off across Bleaklow and Kinder Scout to brush up on their nav skills.
At the same time Emily, OS’s Social Media guru, was giving Ultimate Nav social media skills training! Multi tasking in the outdoors.
The teams covered maps and compass skills and techniques, group work and safety in the hills, emergency procedures, weather, basic sat nav, maps and coordinate systems, and worked through the syllabus sharing experiences.
Saturday night in Glossop was spent on route planning home work and route planning for the next day. We were assured the homework was done before any trip to the pub. (Yeah right).
On a cold and windy Sunday (yes it snowed in April on Kinder and hailed on Bleaklow) the groups went off to lead their groups and practice their now polished skills and techniques.
As a navigational lead you often are seen as the group leader, so group work is key to keep an eye on conditions, how everyone was doing, and your progress against plan. In the biting wind and snow (thankfully not settling) we had a great environment to practice these skills, including diverting and bad weather alternatives.
The mix of people between OS and Ultimate Nav students (from all walks of life), made a great combination and made me realise what a superb brand OS is. How they help us all enjoy life, from Ruth and her family outings, to Colin and his woodcraft, Louise and Dad for some quality Dad and Daughter hillwalking time, we all enjoy the hills and the break from life and work it brings. So thanks OS for the great work you do.
After a ‘rather lot of tea’ and biccies, the teams all started their journeys home with a grin and wind swept red face.
A big thanks to Gem and Emma for arranging the #GetOutside nav training with the Ultimate Navigation school.
Enjoy the hills!
These inspirational OS #GetOutside Champions and great ambassadors of our stunning outdoors all passed a course in Navigation skills – and you can too whatever your level or experience!
To learn map compass and navigation skills, simply book on the course here – Book a map and compass navigation course that OS champions use
UNS- the people who train Special Forces selection candidates to Mountain Rescue.
The Ultimate Navigation School is a charity providing navigation courses with profits going to Fix the Fells, Mend Our Mountains, The Mountain Bothy’s Association and the John Muir Trust.