Theres a mApp for that

Given some of us leaders new found joy in Geocaching (I blame Mim my GSL for getting me into it), it was only natural that we would want to cover the navigator badge with the scouts... especially given the new GPS/Geocaching option for it!

Mind you, even though we were going to teach them how to use a GPS and geocaching, we still wanted to make sure that we covered the basics on how to read a map, so the past two weeks have been dedicated to mapping skills. well... it was when I starting writing this, before I went on holiday!

First off, contours... and potatoes.

Yes, potatoes.

We cut them in half length ways and then got the sprogs to draw lines on them at regular intervals (using CD cases as spacers), that way they could look at them from above and see how the contours relate to the shape of the potato.

I have to say, it worked rather well... altho the pens didn't like the starchy wet juices from the potatoes.

While that was being done in the kitchen, I was drawing out a massive grid out in the other hall with chalk. The patrols were then given a map key and a list of items to mark on the grid at given co-ordinates.

We got the activity idea from Programs Online, altho we had to adapt it as we didn't have time to make up the cards needed and some of the symbols listed weren't on our local OS map keys (oops)

Moving forward a week (did you feel it?) we continued on with the mapping skills. We didn't want the scouts thinking that all maps had to be really complicated so this nice was all about them making their own maps, starting off with their homes.

You would hope that they would know their own homes right? And you would be right, mostly...

But why leave it like that? Let's get them to map somewhere they haven't seen before... how? Well, that's easy. First they would have to build it. We dragged a whole load of stuff out of the cupboards: ground sheets, chalk, rope, cones, boxes, buckets etc and each patrol had to create a landscape that the other patrol would then have to map.

And if I am honest I was rather impressed with the results!

I was liking the use of the table to make a cliff, and the waterfalls. Also they used the different tins to represent different types of building (church, bank etc). Unfortunately I just can't remember what it was that they called the country!

And our other country- the name of which was something Twilight themed (grrr):
I'm liking the mountains, forests and lake with waterfall

Now, they didn't get it wrong with the red rivers... that isn't water, it's lava. We have volcanoes here!

The cones off to the side were a large body of water with some small islands in the middle.
You have to admit, that's pretty darn funky!