Junior Regional

Junior Regional
Orienteering Squads


Generic information about Deeside


The Deeside training camp is based at the Templar’s Park Scout Camp, Maryculter (http://www.templarspark.org.uk/ ). The site is only 8 miles from Aberdeen and is easily accessible from the A93.
The Deeside valley is rich in excellent orienteering areas such as Glen Feardar, Cambus O’May, Inchmarnoch, Creag Choinnich etc.


Accommodation is in two buildings, the George Smith centre and the White House. Both have a number of dormitories of various sizes and their own showers and toilets.
The tour chef prepares all the meals on site and specific dietary needs are catered for. Athletes will be expected to assist with minor chores during the camp.
The site is 45 acres in size so there is plenty of room for outdoor games.


2013 was the first year that this site has been used for an extended camp, previously having been used by ScotJOS (The Scottish Junior Squad) for weekend trainings.
Although this is the first time that this location has been used for this tour similar camps have taken place since the late 1990’s based at Glenmore Lodge, Badaguish and Lagganlia.
The move to Maryculter has been largely prompted by restricted land access caused by the presence of capercaillie and WOC 2015 in the Spey valley.


As indicated above there are many top class orienteering areas along the A93 from Braemar in the east to Aberdeen in the west. In addition to those mentioned above there are the areas of Bogendreip, Glen Dye, Scolty and Allt Cailleach all within easy reach of the centre.
These areas present different orienteering tests to the terrain in the Spey Valley and are seen as a suitable progression for the juniors.


The camp is aimed at M/W16’s who have achieved the required standard in the nominated selection races (See Deeside Selection criteria). It is expected that up to 16 M/W16’s will attend
In support of the camp there is a Tour Manager (TM) who has responsibility for such things as travel, accommodation, food etc.
The TM is supported by a chef and a Lead Coach. The Lead Coach has a team of up to 8 coaches, providing an ample coach: athlete ratio.



This was a challenging year to organise a tour. Regulations were changing regularly and highly uncertain, and a good deal of work went in to risk assessment and mitigation planning. In the end we were able to organise a shortened tour with three days of training in the lead-up to the scottish 6-days, with accommodation distributed between various family units. Se were able to base this around Aviemore so that it was logistically more feasible for families. This arrangement was decided upon as the most popular possibility given known constraints, through an extensive consultation process including various emails, surveys, and an online group discussion. In the end, an unexpected major relaxation in guidance was release within 2 weeks of tour that would have enabled a more ‘normal’ set up, however this was certainly too late to change plans again.

Whilst we managed to successfully organise a tour from scratch in around 3-4weeks, this was an incredibly difficult task. Several people made significant contributions during this time, including our lead coaches Helen Ockenden and Paul Pruzina, and other volunteer coaches notably Dom Dakin. I put in at least 90 hours of planning/logistical work over that 4week period, to organise tour and also a successful coaching course the week before, and this a highly unsustainable model. I recommend that any future tours that have to be delayed until ‘the last minute’ allow at least a 2-month period from a final decision of format, location, etc to the date of tour.

The Deeside Team:

Iain Embrey acted as tour managers (jointly with Zoe Harding for the planning phase), whilst Helen Ockenden and Paul Pruzina acted as lead coaches. Coaching was additionally provided by Dom Dakin, Lynne Thomas, Simon Hunter, Paul Taylor and Mairi Eades, and all of these coaches made significant and valuable contributions.

Will Heap was very helpful in providing leadership for the parents’ training group alongside tour.


The planning and decision-making process was additionally supported by Don McKerrow, Matt Vokes, Jon and Kathy Marsden, Keith Marsden, and other members of the JROS committee.

Local orienteering clubs were extremely helpful and responded brilliantly despite our requests often being made with unreasonable timescales:

Nikki Howard of Moravian provided truly exceptional support with areas, permissions, maps, transport, and accomodation, and without these contributions the tour would have been much less successful. Culbin was, as ever, an excellent training area.

Jon Shepherd of Invoc was also truly outstanding in organising areas, permission, and maps for us the last minute. Coulmony & Belivat was a reasonable training area, although the heather in the northern end was almost impossible to run through for most athletes.

Basoc are facing considerable challenges in terms of allowing access to areas, with various problems involving Capercaille, land-owners, and changes in club volunteer roles. Hilary Quick was brilliantly supportive, Lynne Walker was very helpful, and Alison Campbell (new mapping and access officer) worked hard to coordinate a club response. The outcome here was unfortunately that the only available usable area ended up being Uath Lochans (itself somewhat borderline vis. Capercaille), but this decision took quite some weeks to be arrived at after much more positive initial indications. Future recommendations would be to approach Alison directly, and to do this with many months in hand. This year, were left with an impossibly challenging timescale to find alternative areas, which was achieved only due to the outstanding support of Nikki and Jon (mentioned above). We were also charged a £60 access fee for Uath Lochans, despite having Basoc juniors on our tour.

BML printers, despite a tough covid period, provided our maps at half price. Due to last minute permissions etc, we had to get some of the maps printed with about 2 days notice to the start of tour – this was possible due to the services of a4 design-print.

The Deeside Athletes:


























Lagganlia athlete couldn’t attend Lag so joined us











































SYO did not attend – logistics and had other options














Accommodation and Logistics:

The majority of the coaches stayed at Dalraddy campsite near Aviemore. This was cost-effective and a reasonable set-up, although the lack of indoor areas for coach planning activities, power sockets, printer, etc made life more challenging. It also rained continually and often heavily for the first 2.5 days of tour (this is not an overstatement), which provided additional challenges. Our ‘family shelter’ tarpaulin living area was invaluable, alongside the vestibule area of Lynne Thomas’ larger tent. An additional spare tent to store coach kit in during the day would have been very useful. The additional task of camp cooking, washing up, etc, coupled with the lack of an indoor space, limited our ability to undertake much coaching activity in the evenings.

The 19 athletes were accommodated by 9 parents (or pairs of parents) who were able to take the additional 3-4 days of holiday required to bring their athletes to tour. Various of these parents accommodated others alongside their own child(ren), variously at campsites, hostels, chalets, etc, and a few at their own homes.

It was a true testament to the brilliant kindness and community of orienteering that this was possible to organise, and it was quite an achievement for 20 of the 21 possible athletes to attend tour at such short notice and despite these logistical hurdles. It was considerably more challenging to coordinate this than the usual model of one large group accomodation.

The athletes and coaches travelled to each area in multiple private vehicles, many with shared lifts, a surprising number in Nikki Howard’s fun bus, and one athlete came to some areas by their own moped. This would ordinarily be fine, but with prohibitive rain on two days it was unfortunate to not have dry communal busses to be able to hide in, and the multiple rounds of plan alterations due to rain required significantly more coordination between many people, some of whom had dropped off and returned to work etc during the day. (see the section on this below)

A minor logistical note is due to tour tops. We again used the very cost-effective suppliers at frontrunner events, who are usually very reliable. However this year they did not deliver, and some chasing and alternative arrangements were required. We managed to distribute most tour tops at day 6 of the 6 days, thanks to the organisers for their help, and to Tess Strain for taking delivery. On the flip side, I’ve twice chased an invoice for tour tops, but am yet to receive any response… it therefore looks like they will be free of charge.



Tuesday 27 July

Wednesday 28 July

Thursday 29 July

Friday 30 July

After 6-days day 3


Arrival (for most)



direction and purpose

Debrief & fun


BASOC evening event @ Glen Gynack

Uath Lochans


Coulmony & Belivat

The old fort, Fort William


up to 3.2km green, enter before 20:00 on 21st July

Normal loops in the morning, something faster paced in the afternoon

Maybe two bases - have a couple of coaches half way round a longer legs course so they don't go too long without talking to someone

60-90mins direction practice (slower pace)'
multiple short 'race' loops to try, apply, debrief, reflect, improve

A couple of hours of coaching debriefs and fun after day 3 of the 6 days

Lead person


Iain (fun bit: Dom & Mairi)


Paul (+Dom)




9:45 arrive, 10:00 leave vehicles
13:00 lunch, then swap locations,
14:00 pm start,
16:30 wrap up, and return to vehicles

9:45 arrive, 10:00 leave vehicles
13:00 lunch, then swap locations,
14:00 pm start,
16:30 wrap up, and return to vehicles


plan for fun/social
(weather permitting)


17:00 - 18:00 swim & stretch at Feshiebridge

17:00 - 17:45 beach fun at Culbin

Recommended DIY fun/gathering at Loch Morlich after dinner; 19:30.




£2 per day car park charge


We planned two coaching bases for each day, typically around 2km from each other, and around 9 parents/siblings took part in self-help training at the opposite base to the main coaching group; swapping over locations at lunch time. This system worked exceptionally well, and those parents involved really enjoyed the ‘tour’ experience for themselves, despite the awful weather of the first two days. Many thanks to Will Heap for acting as first among equals, carrying the first aid kit, group shelter, radio, etc that I supplied, and ensuring that all returned safely.

The mini debrief catch-up was particularly enjoyable and useful due to covid restrictions on event gathering, and due to the fragmented nature of this year’s 6-days. It wasn’t too much bother to organise, so should perhaps be considered in future years.

The coaching team were brilliant and mini tour reports were distributed to all athletes within 3 days of the end of tour.

Program alterations due to rain:

Wet weather was forecast. In reality, we had very wet weather, which bore little relation to the latest forecast intensities, timings, etc, even combining information from multiple sources.

After very wet hanging the evening before tour, we put a possible plan B in place for day 1 (Uath Lochans) which involved adjourning to a sports center hall in kingussie. The local sports centre staff were incredibly helpful and we managed to book this between 6pm and 9am overnight. Based on the morning forecasts and conditions we made the call on arrival that we would head there for a late lunch. However in the morning it rained less than expected, and after a lunchtime sheltering from rain in various club-tents kindly lent to us by SYO (thanks to Dom for organising) and NWJS (thanks to Lynne Thomas). We made the decision to stay in the forest for the afternoon. The Sports centre staff were exceptionally supportive and understanding, as were the various parents involved. Decisions like this were made in consultation with the coaching team, the athletes, and those parents who were present.

On the second day we were forecast improved weather at Culbin, however we decided to erect the tents as a precaution at the morning base, and sure enough we experienced increasingly heavy rain throughout the morning. By lunch time all were drenched through and losing warmth, so we made the decision to abandon the forest. We got in touch with a couple of village halls suggested by locals, but neither was available, so we ended up gathering in Elizabeth & Paul Furness’ barn. This was an excellent venue for some team fun and some armchair orienteering, and Nikki Howard turned up with industrial quantities of home-made cake, so a marvelous afternoon was had by all.

These contingency challenges are much easier to handle in a normal tour – we simply go back to the bus and back to base if necessary. However, it is also noteworthy that this has only been necessary on one day in the 7 previous Deeside tours. To have 2 days of such challenges out of 3 this year was rather poor fortune.

The most distressing adaptation due to rain was that we weren’t able to go swimming – the river at feshiebridge was way too high, and we were all too cold and wet at Culbin. However, after the final day an optinal evening gathering at Loch Morlich was suggested, which I believe many athletes took part in.

On the third day it was largely dry.


I was very keen to make this tour as cheap as possible, in recognition of it’s additional demands on parents, re travel, accomodation, time, etc.

This was achieved thanks to JROS funding, and thanks to the generosity of our coaches in claiming very minimal expenses. We also went to our usual lengths to organise coach transport etc as efficiently as possible.








coach exp



includes driving




includes train







driving etc


camping for 7 x 4 nights



2 radios



covid supplies







19 athletes * £40



JROS subsidy 19 * £70



parent training conts







Closing thoughts

This alternative model of tour worked well, and there might be a place for (planned) activities of this type within the JROS programme.

The athletes were simply amazing. Relentlessly positive and enthusiastic, despite all adversity.

The coaches were simply amazing. Relentlessly positive and enthusiastic, despite all adversity.

The parents were simply amazing. Relentlessly positive and enthusiastic, despite all adversity.

Well done all.


Adam Barrie Maroc
Laura Brown LOC
Catriona Chapman Maroc
Emma Crawford WCOC
Ben Gostick HH
Tommy Heap SO
Isobel Howard MOR
Alice Kemsley BASOC
Faith Kenyon MOR
William Lake SBOC
Jamie Lightfoot SYO
Iris McMillian ECKO
Daisy McNamara Ayroc
Adam Methven BKO
Jonas Newey Maroc
Imogen Pieters SYO
Isabel Sunley WCOC
Will Thomas Devon
Emily Elms BOK

Selection Policy

We ask for nominations of athletes from Regions by 31st May 2021 on the form provided. This form to be submitted by the Regional Coordinator to the JROS Secretary (see below)

The selectors will at their discretion consider;

a) previous performances in major races in 2020 and major races in 2021 (up to 6th June 2021).

b) intention to compete in major races during the summer.

The selectors further request that Squad Coordinators, if they have more than one athlete being nominated from their Region, list their nominations in order.

If a further update to the policy is required, then this will be communicated as soon as feasible, in order to give athletes the best chance to plan and prepare.

Please note that no nominations received after 31st May 2021 will be considered.

Download a proforma for nominations here.

Nominations should be sent to;

Secretary to JROS; Steve Kimberley ()

Any modifications to the order should be sent to the Chair of Selectors no later than 7th June.


The camp is for M/W16’s born in 2005.


The camp will be for around 18 athletes, the final number being determined by the Selectors and the Team Manager.

The tour selectors

The tour athletes will be selected by Susan Marsden (Chair), Pauline Olivant and Sue Roome.