For over 50 years I have enjoyed a life outdoors, whether that has been caving, potholing, camping, rock climbing, hiking or world travel. These days I restrict myself to the more manageable and sedate activities such as walking. Throughout all of this time I have always given back to the hobby. Whether it has been as a Scout Leader, D of E Instructor or as a Mountain Leader and Cave Leader.
These days my give back has changed slightly and takes two distinctive forms. Firstly, I still offer and carry out map reading and compass training, usually to small groups and very much in an ad hoc manner. Secondly, I blog and use Social Media to get the outdoors message across. This blog is my main instrument for getting across my hints, tips and encouragement for the over 60’s to get outside.
Along the way I picked up the odd accolade for my endeavours though they were and never have been sought. It was always nice to get a piece in the local paper highlighting my work with the Scout Association or Duke of Edinburgh’s Scheme.
Then three years ago I received one of the biggest accolades of my life when I was selected to be one of the Ordnance Surveys GetOutside Champions and given the chance to work alongside some of the outdoor greats of this country.
It is now with great pleasure that I can announce my selection of a fourth year as an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion. This project, launched by the Ordnance Survey in 2015, has grown rapidly to become the leading authority in promoting, inspiring and encouraging people of all ages and backgrounds to get outside.
Although the figures are not yet known, the fact that 100 Champions have been selected suggests that there must have been overwhelming interest in getting involved with this project. Which makes being re-selected even more special.
However, this is going to be a very challenging and different year with the country in lock-down for what could be months in its battle against Covid-19. Whilst we cannot, and will not shout about taking to the hills and exploring our great countryside. We will be promoting getting outside within the constraints placed upon us by the UK Government.
Many of my colleagues are already promoting various outdoor activities that can be done within the confines of your garden. For those without a garden, the stair or stepper mountain climbing challenges have already started.