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Parachute Drop


What to do

This activity is not literally a parachute drop – but involves dropping Venturers with a map in an unknown rural location and then leaving them to navigate their way back. It’s a great camp activity but could also be done as a group night in the spring or summer. It requires some advance planning.

First, establish some drop-off locations. Look at maps, and maybe even go and have a look at each one, to find a number of spots which won’t be immediately identifiable to the Venturers but contain some clues that will show on an OS map – for example, a lake to the west, a field with a distinctive hill, a gated road, a nearby train track. Find enough locations to drop groups of around 4 Venturers at each one. Produce copies of the map, showing the drop-off locations and surroundings as well as the ‘base’ (i.e. the campsite or meeting venue). Mark the base on each copy, but not the drop-off points.

You’ll need to enlist some drivers for this activity – either with a number of cars to take each team individually to their drop-off point, or a mini-bus to take everyone at once, working from the furthest drop-off point back towards the base. Work out the composition of the teams with the Venturers beforehand, blindfold them all and then drive to the drop-off points. Leave a team at each location with a compass, a couple of copies of the map and some snacks to keep them going on their walk. It’s now up to them to work out where they are and try to get back to base before the other teams.

This activity may sound full of risks, but take a few precautions to make it safe and the Venturers will remember it forever. One potential risk is that a team will get lost because a number of people with weaker map-reading skills ended up working together. Therefore, try to (subtly) balance the teams so that they contain people with a mix of skills and the stronger navigators are spread out. Some groups running this activity choose to leave an adult ‘shadow’ with each group who is not there to lead the Venturers, but to follow and make sure they’re safe.


You can run this as a group night activity by dropping the teams in unknown parts of town with street maps, or just outside of the city and asking them to find their way back into town.

As with any of our activities it is important to know your group and make adaptations where needed. build up to the parachute drop by practicing some map reading skills and identifying places of interest.

It may be worth asking group members to hand in any mobile phones with GPS, or even bus passes if doing the parachute drop in town, before setting off – although you may want for them to keep a phone to make contact in any kind of emergency.

Resources Required

A number of cars or a minibus and drivers, copies of a detailed map of the area, compasses, blindfolds, snacks to hand out to each group. Ask the Venturers to wear suitable clothing and bring waterproofs.


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