Staying connected and active with QR Challenge

WHEN Covid-19 brought the 4th Tyrone Scout group in Omagh to a halt last year, member Ryan Fitzpatrick wasn't going to be deterred. He was desperate for the group to stay active and connected, and so the 'QR Challenge' was born.

The QR Challenge is a socially distanced outdoor activity that involves navigation and map reading skills supported by the use of QR codes for clues and hints.

"A hall at the South West College was used as our 'den' as unfortunately we do not have a permanent home of our own. But Covid-19 ended our regular meetings with the young members," explained Ryan, who is from Omagh.

"I wanted to do something to allow the youth members to continue to enjoy the outdoors and activities but in a safe manner.

"But then we thought, 'why not open it up to everyone?'. We set it up, put it out there on social media and now everyone can get involved."

Three navigational routes have been designed with varying difficulty and are situated within the beautiful setting of the Gortin Glens.

The 'red' route will take participants a good bit higher and further, with multiple navigational choices or decisions. The 'green' will keep you lower and is a good one to start with.

Participants will need an OS map of the area, Sheet 13 - or a copy of the Gortin-Glens area laminated with the grid numbers.

The group has now extended the fun to Castlederg.

The 'Derg QR Challenge' has been set up in conjunction with the Uniting Derg programme but anyone can take part. All you need to take part is a smartphone and a sharp eye for spotting QR codes hidden around the town.

Unsurprisingly, the adventures have proved extremely popular during lockdown and have been a real source of therapy for its participant during this difficult time, as they engage in quizzical fun while having fun in the great outdoors.

For more information, see the website www.qrchallenge.co.uk/

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