NSW Rogaining Association

"Your Guide to Rogaining in NSW"

Event Description 

This event was held at Rydal Showground at Rydal.

These workshops are aimed at novice to intermediate navigators, interested in gaining or improving navigation skills for bushwalking and more competitive events such as rogaining/orienteering/adventure racing.

The focus is on gaining practical navigation skills. There is a mix of presentation and small-group practical exercises with specially prepared maps, including a night nav, led by experienced (but not necessarily infallible!!!!!) navigators. The nav exercises were held in the local state forests - Lidsdale and Falnash - with a short rogaine on Sunday afternoon that allowed participants to consolidate what they had learnt over the weekend.


Organiser's Report

The 2009 NSWRA Navigation Workshop took place - as it did last year - at Rydal Showground and in the surrounding Lidsdale and Falnash State Forests. This is a fabulous location for the event - plenty of facilities at the showground and very pleasant open forest to sharpen people's navigation skills without having to content with scrubby undergrowth. The weather was superb and the daffodils were out in Rydal, a great start to the weekend!

This year we had 25 participants eager to improve their navigation skills and at least eight instructors (nine if you count Belinda Bright as two - the time is nearing rapidly!), so there was plenty of personalized instruction to be had. The weekend started with an introduction to rogaining and navigation by organizer Michael Watts, which was quickly followed by the first navigation exercise in Lidsdale State Forest. Instructors briefed their charges on how to distinguish spurs and gullies on the map (an old favourite!) and they they were all off - wandering the forest looking for checkpoints. Doing this outside of a competitive event is a perfect opportunity to get a feel for relating the map to the ground - one of the most important skills in rogaining.

After lunch, there were some calibration exercises - getting people to find out how many steps they took to cover a certain distance - and talks by Alexa and Joel on how to plan a route and what to pack for an event. After dinner there was the night navigation exercise - again a great way to get a bit of night nav experience with an experienced person keeping an eye on proceedings.

Sunday morning saw the third nav exercise - in Falnash, where the wattles were in full bloom. Lunch followed and the weekend culminated with the 2.5 hour minirogaine - the perfect opportunity for everyone to unleash their newfound navigation skills.

Feedback was very positive - everyone (including many of the instructors!) seemed to learn something - so keep your eye on the calendar next year if you are interested in honing your skills in a workshop environment.

Thanks to Michael Watts and his family for organining a top class event with top class catering, and thanks to the instructors for giving up their time to help others improve their rogaining skills!

Comments from participants:

"I thought it was a great weekend. I really gained a lot from the weekend, esp. recognising the contours - I have never been good at that."

---Sharon Tsetong


"A very big thank you to you and Mike Watts and all the other instructors and volunteers, who had prepared so well before the workshop and worked so hard during the weekend for our benefit. Stephen and I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and we now feel that we can participate in a rogaine with more confidence in our ability to read the
map, know where we are in relation to the map and to use our compass to find the next checkpoint. We thought the workshop with its various exercises and information was very practical and had just the right amount of theory. We think you have the formula just right. The location was perfect; the facilities, including the buildings, at the showground were very appropriate and we had them to ourselves. The courses set for the exercises were moderately challenging and gave us plenty of scope to learn, especially the night exercise which was a little more challenging. The instructors were extremely helpful, friendly and well-prepared and the many meals and snacks provided by Mike and his family and the band of volunteers were varied, nutritious, plentiful and absolutely delicious. We especially appreciated the computer presentations and the many maps that you provided for us, to assist with improving our map reading skills and planning a rogaine. We recognize how much time and preparation would have gone into just organising this aspect of the workshop.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Chris Schulz, our chief team member and instructor, who was extremely helpful & encouraging to our team during the weekend. In the first exercise, Chris, introduced us to the concepts and skills that we would need for the exercise and then he gave us the opportunity to plan & execute the exercise. From time to time, Chris would throw in different approaches to our thoughts. With the subsequent exercises, Chris was always there to guide but gave us more and more opportunity to be independent. At the end of each exercise, Chris would help us work out what we had done correctly or what approach might have been more beneficial. A big thank you, Chris.

We look forward to putting our improved skills and knowledge to the test in the New South Wales Rogaining Championships during the October long weekend."

---Karen Breckenridge


"A really good weekend! My thanks to you, Michael, all the organisers and instructors especially Alexa who most expertly shepherded our team. You requested feedback on how you might improve things but I find that difficult; location, camping sites and facilities were great, good food, interesting and varied locations for the exercises which provided challenges (especially at night) for a newbie but not intimidating. However, perhaps as always on such events, the best thing was the interaction with a very pleasant, bright group of people. I am certainly hoping to make it to some future events though perhaps I will not start with a 24 Hour event - leave that to you, Alexa and the other elite Rogainers!"

---Terence Hatton

For all information about this event, contact either ...

Michael Watts
phone: 0419 626 077
email:   michaeljwatts@optusnet.com.au

Graeme Cooper
phone: 02 6772 3584
email:   webmaster@nswrogaining.org

For documents relating to this and other event see the "Event Archives"

Who could enter?

Like all NSWRA rogaines, anyone could enter. Unlike most NSWRA rogaines where you have to make up a team of between 2 and 5 people, for this event you entered as an individual.