YOC Skills Quest

The purpose of the YOC Skills Quest is twofold:

  1. To provide a structured and fun method of teaching primary school children the skills of orienteering
  2. To allow children to earn skills badges at regular intervals

Badges are awarded as recognition that a skill has been mastered and/or for participation in a pre determined number of teaching related games/activities.

We hope you will have fun as you venture further into the world of orienteering.

What must children do?

In order to join the Skills Quest children must be:

  1. Members of an orienteering club affiliated with the South African Orienteering Federation (SAOF);
  2. Able and open to be taught the required skills (at least in Grade 0);
  3. Prepared to start trying to do the orienteering by themselves (as opposed to just following others in their group);
  4. Not go out in a group with other children. Groups should rather consist of one adult per child. (This adult-child group concept is an important part of the teaching process.) Alternatively older children may go out alone.

When are badges awarded?

In order to earn the skills badges children must:

  1. Achieve the required pre-defined target without the assistance of an adult; and/or
  2. Complete a certain number of activities or games.

How does it work?

On joining the YOC Skills Quest children receive their first detailed instruction sheet. We suggest you buy a flip folder to file and save the instructions you receive at each event.

There are six different stages to the Skills Quest. As children progress through the stages they receive:

  1. Instruction and activity sheets for each stage
  2. YOC Skills Quest Cards – these are used for collecting stamps when activities are completed.
  3. When all the required activities for a YOC Skills Quest Card are completed and all the stamps obtained, the relevant Skills Badge is awarded.
  4. A certificate is also awarded on completion of the entire badge set with each of the six stages.

What the parents/guardians must do?

In order for children to earn a Skills Badge the parents of the child (or a designated responsible adult/guardian) must:

  1. Agree to abide by the rules of the YOC Skills Quest;
  2. Ensure that their child’s Skills Quest Card is stamped by YOC organisers as and when activities are completed/skills are mastered;
  3. Be prepared to explain the activities and give instructions to their children;
  4. Be prepared to judge their child’s progress;
  5. Be honest in their assessment of their child’s progress;
  6. Give the YOC organisers two weeks advance notice when their child is likely to be eligible for a badge;
  7. Ask the YOC organisers or their orienteering club for assistance if they are in any doubt or require further explanations; and
  8. Be prepared to pay the annual YOC fees, which cover the related costs of each badge.

How should children work through the stages?

  1. This is a five- to six-year program, aimed at starting with children in Grade 0.
  2. It is recommended that children start at the beginning of the year and earn at least 75% of the required badges within each stage, before progressing to the next stage.
  3. Parents may however, at their discretion, decide to skip certain badges. This may happen if children are older than six years old when they join YOC.
  4. Parents should be confident that their child has mastered all the skills for that stage before moving onto the next stage.

Other useful information

With each of the six stages a combination of all or some of the following types of badges will be on offer:

Some of the YOC Skills Quest Badges

1. Game Badges
There is a set of 10 games that must be completed for each of the five stages from foundation to advanced. A new game is provided on completion of the previous game. For each game completed the YOC Game Card must be stamped. Examples of games will include matching objects (i.e. map symbols to the word description), find the missing objects and word searches.

2. Control Feature Badges
Children are able to earn certain Control Feature Badges. At the foundation stage this may be a path badge, whilst at the advanced stage it may be a rock feature badge.

In order to earn Control Feature Badges children:

  • must have found controls for a set number of these features and recorded this achievement on their YOC Feature Card;
  • will only be able to collect two features per day;  if the child does multiple courses, they can only collect features for their Control Feature Badge on the first course at an event;
  • must have found the required feature unassisted starting from when they punched the previous control;
  • must have found the feature at an official event ie at either a Short Course Series (park/sprint events) or the Colour-coded Series event. ‘Feature collecting’ can not be done on training events nor at the National and Provisional Championships;
  • the course must be completed, even if the child is eventually disqualified.

3. Activity Badges
Some skills are taught through activities, which may need to be done at home; or the skill may need to be practiced on a course with the guidance of the parent. An Activity Badge will be awarded on:

  • completion of a set number of these activities and/or
  • using the required skill on a set number of courses as assessed by the parent (either on the course or in a post-course assessment).

An example of an Activity Badge includes the map-making badge awarded on completion of the first, ground stage.

4. Course badges
The ultimate objective of the various stages is to teach children sufficient skills that they can complete the entire course unassisted. Course badges are awarded when children have completed a set number of courses unassisted. They may also need to complete the course within a set time (based on the winning time).

The structure and ultimate orienteering objectives of each stage are as follows:

  1. Ground stage, objective is to understand what a map is;
  2. Foundation stage 1, objective is to be able to complete a technical level 1 course unassisted;
  3. Foundation stage 2, objective is to be able to complete a technical level 2 course unassisted;
  4. Intermediate stage 1, objective is to be able to complete a technical level 3 course unassisted;
  5. Intermediate stage 2, objective is to be able to complete a technical level 4 course unassisted; and
  6. Advanced stage, objective is to be able to complete a technical level 5 course unassisted.

The technical courses levels referred to above are as follows:
Level 1 – control sites are on major line features and junctions
Level 2 – control sites are on line features and very easy features adjacent to those line features (typically the beginners course of the short course series)
Level 3 – control sites are on line features & easy point features close to line features (typically an orange course in the colour coded series)
Level 4 – control sites are on minor & easy point features (typically a light green course)
Level 5 – control sites are on small point & contour features (typically green course)

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