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Outdoor Discovery Award



The Outdoor Discovery Award or ODA is ideal for people of all ages, particularly aimed at young people and schools, who wish to learn basic navigation skills at a gentle rate, encouraging them to gain and improve personal confidence to get out and get active.  The Awards has been developed to help group leaders introduce the basic elements of navigation to people who want to explore outside. You will learn all the necessary skills through a series of games and adventurous activities.

The National Navigation Awards Scheme (NNAS) is a personal performance, non-competitive incentive scheme for all ages to learn navigation skills.

Courses build participants’ confidence through a progression from Star Level 1 to Star Level 3, while focusing on making that journey fun, exciting and adventurous. The progressive structure and easy to understand format is particularly suited to younger learners and families wishing to learn to explore together. At the end of the course, all participants receive a certificate for the level they have achieved.

Course content 

The full syllabus is available on the NNAS website, but expect to cover the following as you progress through the Star Levels:

1 Star

  • Make simple maps to show journeys. 

  • Gain a basic understanding of map symbols, scale and map setting.

  • Undertake simple journeys for fun using a map or plan

2 Star

  • Develop mapping and map setting skills. 

  • Recognise simple buildings and features in the immediate outdoor area.

  • Undertake slightly longer journeys, taking into account scale and distance

3 Star

  • Plan and follow straightforward journeys around familiar and unfamiliar areas. 

  • Discover and investigate points of interest during the journey.

  • Understand basic walking safety issues and have respect for the environment


Practical Information

Who is the course aimed at? The courses are aimed at all ages and abilities but helps school children, families, young adults, cadets and beginners. They are open to participants of all physical abilities and can be adapted to suit people with physical disabilities and learning difficulties.


How long does it take to achieve Star level 3? This really depends on the level of prior experience. Some participants may be able to achieve all three levels in one course, while others may prefer a gentler pace of learning and take one course per level.

What do I need to bring?

Basically you’ll need a map and compass plus suitable outdoor clothes. You can print the map on A4 paper before the course, and download a compass app for your phone if you don’t have one.

Will there be a test? No! The aim of the course is to have fun while learning to explore. Everyone will receive a certificate of achievement, but there won’t be a test.

How long is the course: Each course runs for 8 hours. This can be split into two days or one full day.


For further information, or to book a course, please contact us

Prices: A price ranges from families and groups but can start from £20 pp or £15 per student.

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