This week we tried to teach our scouts how to navigate. There are many forms of navigation and we started with the two most common ones, the compass and the map. We noticed the kids didn’t really liked it because It took a lot of concentration but they all did understand is was a necessary skill to learn. I was really glad they took it that way!
It is a easy instrument once you understand how it works. The needle always points North, that’s the most important thing to know about the compass. Further more you’ll need to know in which order you’ll have to arrange the other 3 compass points, East South and West. We have a little sentence in the Netherlands to remember the correct order “Nooit (North/Noord) Op (East/Oost) Zondag (South/Zuid) Werken (West/West)“
We also explained how to read and use a map. Like you’ll have to know the “map-north”, the legend and the altitude-lines. They got it really quickly! We didn’t teach them coordinates jet, but we will eventually 🙂
I really think it’s a good thing to teach kids how to read a map and think for themselves. It’s been made very easy now a days using navigation on your TomTom or on your phone. And people tend to trust those devices more then their own mind. I think that’s a bad thing, to be that dependent on something that runs on a battery. Just imagine, your battery runs low and you don’t have a clue where you are. How do you expect to get home? Some people can’t even find their own homes from the neighbor-town without their navigation. It really makes me sad.
Don’t get me wrong, I use my navigation too. But I never lose track of where I am, just in case. I never trust something that thinks with a chip and eats batteries. I know I can read a map, use a compass, find the North due to the stars and I can even find the North with the moss that grows on trees. I think I’ll be safe when I’ll get lost, and I want my scouts to be as well.