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The Ordnance Survey trophy for Outdoor Education

By: Blonde One

You may remember that Ordnance Survey very kindly sponsored a new trophy for Trinity School: the Ordnance Survey trophy for Outdoor Education.

This speech day at the beginning of July it was awarded to two very deserving students. Moritz and Marlene, both boarding students from Germany, gave their time selflessly to help their younger peers participate in all aspects of Outdoor Education at Trinity. They assisted as Young Leaders with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Ten Tors challenge throughout the year. They gave advice on navigation, kit choices and use, fitness, and provided invaluable support to parents, staff and students. Despite not being able to participate in these events themselves (too old for Ten Tors and only in the country for 9 months) they gave 100% commitment.

4 Responses

  1. Rich B says:

    Entirely appropriate that OS should sponsor such a trophy, and that they have done so is recognised as admirable by at least one person who is nothing to do with the school! Admirable too, that the recipients gained it in the manner they seem to have done.

  2. Rich B says:

    And to finish as I intended…

    I guess I come from a long-gone age – BC (Before Computers) – when going to a Grammar School wasn’t regarded as a sort of social treachery by some members of the community, and when a school on the edge of Dartmoor thought it perfectly acceptable to send pupils to that place without educators having nightmares and the “can’t do that” ethos that Health & Safety fears seems to instil in so many folks these days

    Back in BC, so far as I remember, there were teachers who knew of the moor and went there voluntarily – for relaxation, if you ever did – and actually arranged for many of their pupils to do the same. We schoolchildren discovered sixth formers amongst our rank who had gone on the same moor and would assist teachers to send other pupils there – just like the award winners in your story. These people did this WITHOUT PAY, you understand. Quite remarkable really… And there would also be the strangers who would turn up at the school one day, seem to be known to teachers but not to pupils, who insisted pupils call them by their Christian names, and these wonders from who-knows-where would take a group from the school and wander across the moor with them! Oh, can you imagine the paperwork that would take these days…

    And guess what? Nobody was killed. Nobody got lost. Nobody rang their lawyer because a child bruised or grazed their knee. Nobody spent a fortune on GoreTex, goose-down, GPS, silnylon or carbon-fibre. Nobody denounced this system or its practitioners as reckless or foolish because a child got a bit damp or a bit chilly or a bit tired – and no pupil had a mobile phone to ring mummy or daddy on the first night out and ask to be collected and brought home.

    Some of those pupils never forgot that first moorland experience. Why, some liked it! Some even repeated it, both through the school and (gasp) in their own time. They learned about map-reading, compass use, weather patterns, geology, biology, psychology, first-aid, social skills, teamwork, solitude, wildlife, livestock, environment, hypothermia, history, and much else… They developed self-confidence, self-reliance, they gained abilities and recognised capabilities, and they discovered there was a great deal of pleasure to be found in a world that could be explored simply by choosing somewhere to go and putting one foot in front of the other.

    Some of those children enjoyed all that so much that they encouraged a lot of other people to try the same – and some of them liked it too. And so it went on. And at least one of those schoolchildren is still going on the moor and encouraging others to do the same as he approaches the fiftieth year since he was first introduced to camping there.

    That’s what I call a valued and valuable education – one that brings wide benefits and pleasure for half a century. Sadly, the teachers and supporters who gave me such an education died some years ago. I still salute them. However, for those who have a more recent memory of an individual who assisted them to gain benefit and pleasure from time outdoors, I suggest they take the time to make that person aware aware that somewhere, some time, someone they helped before is remembering them – it’s not just the cup winners who deserve to be recognised.

    Here endeth a lesson it’s best to remember..

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