20.07.2023 - The Deceptive Stage


Nothing was «deceptive» for the young orienteers

Limestone pavement, deep ditches or sloping scree in the terrain were probably decisive for the name “The deceptive stage”. However, a very special “orienteering crowd” did not care about this term at all: the children!

Different reactions were observed among those in the day care centre after entering. Many knew very well that their parents would pick them up again and immediately began to sort through the toys. Those who used the day care for the first time, quickly adapted to the considerate care despite their initial concern and maybe some tears. Others hardly wanted to stop playing after their parents returned. However, the open question remained as to whether some kids even enjoyed the “parent-free” time? Ultimately, they needed to sift through and use the available play material stored in many crates.

It was a completely different matter with the children on the orienteering course. Those who wanted could complete an introductory course. Some moved on directly to a string O-course with questions and pictures. Others, on the other hand, were out and about with simple maps, usually accompanied by mum or dad. Incidentally, a particularly funny scene could be observed: the little girl was not following the correct route at all, which in no way prevented the accompanying father from taking pictures all the time. At the same time, the mother rang each found and punched control with a small bell. Will the cheerful and warm-hearted smile of the “little athlete” last or will even a young hopeful athlete grow out of this?

The Federal Councilor, Viola Amherd, stated in the program book of the SOW 2023 that she was delighted that orienteering in the great outdoors associated with emotional holiday memories und unforgettable experiences for many families turned out to be undoubtedly true. In which other sport is the youth so playfully and rationally encouraged with such impressive enthusiasm by orienteering volunteers? Is this by making a remarkable effort for the kids every day, as could be experienced this week to get the youngest generations interested in orienteering?

Speaking of Ms. Amherd and orienteering: maybe the magistrate would have been happy to have employees in Berne, who, with an inner compass would follow their goals on different routes, but always reach them on time.

Just like orienteers are doing during a Swiss O Week.

Text: Oskar Schiess (translated by Béatrice Zurcher)

Photos: Urban Engel


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