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Stirrup Glen Orienteering

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By Eco orienteering

So I have a little reputation for getting lost. Luckily Alan is with me. Unfortunately, Alan and myself have quite a history of getting lost, and of getting stuck with vehicles. My excuse is I’m a woman and that I am not a 4X4 enthusiast. Alan’s excuse is he does not drive. Period.

The evening before, Alan got the direction from another friend. I made sure the map was printed, and not giving it another thought, we set off for Stirrup Glen early Sunday morning. Having been there at least ten times, my only worry was caffeine. I need my caffeine. I am a Gemini, therefore I multitask. And it is only after the Grasmere tollgate that I realise we took the wrong route. A u-turn follows. Then another half a u-turn. And then the embarrassing phone call.

“Hi we’re at the Grassmere tollgate”. I hear the laughter and the phone gets passed on. Seconds later, more laughter follows. I have no choice. I have to endure the bantering.

We make it just in time for the start.

I decide to take pity on a first time volunteer, and join his team. The first mark is not too difficult and the kids are now very excited. I’m not the best map reader you will find walking this planet, so I do not stop my team from crossing the road. 60 minutes later, I am trying to convince the children it’s an adventure to get lost. Another team has followed us, and together we help one another over the game fence. Everyone regains their sense of humour and we go back to where we thought we got lost. Two minutes later, I have lost my team. Fortunately, team number two takes pity on me and adopts me.

Ten minutes later, one of my adopted team members needs the toilet. Use the bush says his sister.
“And use what?” I ask.
“Leaves“ she smiles.
“Will you use leaves“ I ask.
“Are you crazy?“ she smiles.

I take her little brother back to the start.

Then it is time to find the rest of our team again. The little boy is tired, but after informing him that he is superboy with super powers, I have to run to keep up with him. We find our team members, and with only 30 minutes to go before the end we set off with renewed energy! “Super Girl!” “Super Team!”

Whilst sprinting with my superteam to where we expect the next marker to be, my phone rings. “Are you lost!” says Frans. “Noooooo we‘re almost done”.

It is heart-warming to see how the two little one‘s try.

It is also heart-warming to hear everyone cheer when we do come in in time!

Everyone is in a good mood and a decision is made that it is better for Alan to get another lift to Kempton park since he needs to be there before 18h00 and with me driving, it might not happen.

What a glorious day. It was so good to see what a big difference some encouragement makes to a person.

Thank you to all the volunteers who gave their time, love and encouragement. The kids loved it.

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