Outdoor Discovery Award (ODA)

The Outdoor Discovery Award or ODA is ideal for people of all ages 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.

Previously known as Young Navigator Star Awards (YNSA), the revamped and updated ODA continues with the core ethos of the YNSA: Encouraging exploration and journeying in local areas using simple maps such as street maps, pictorial park maps and orienteering maps. 

The ODA levels are aimed at all age groups and abilities.

There is a gradual learning progression via One Star, Two Star and Three Star levels, with certificates and badges available for achieving participants who have undertaken the ODA with a group leader who is registered with NNAS as an accredited ODA Course Provider.

The ODA award can be delivered by any competent adult aged over 18 years.  To register as an accredited ODA Course Provider an application form must be completed, and a small registration fee paid.

For further details about how to become an accredited ODA Provider, click the button below.


ODA syllabus outline


The syllabus operates at three different levels – 1 Star, 2 Star & 3 Star

At each level the syllabus uses five headings:

  1. Engage with the outdoors
  2. Making your own map
  3. Journeying
  4. Understanding the concept of symbols and scale
  5. Setting the map
  • Make simple maps and sketches to show journeys
  • Undertake journeys for fun, using a simple map or plan
  • Gain a basic understanding of symbols, scale and map setting

After taking part in the 1 Star ODA, participants will have acquired basic navigational skills and will be able to make short journeys in familiar terrain using their own and other people’s sketches or representations of the area.

  • Use building interiors and / or the immediate outdoor area when learning skills
  • Develop mapping and map setting skills
  • Undertake slightly longer journeys, considering scale and distance

After taking part in the 2 Star ODA, participants will be able to make journeys in their local area using their new and revised navigational skills to interpret maps and will have an understanding of standardised symbols.

  • 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

After taking part in the 3 Star ODA, participants should be able to plan and follow journeys in unfamiliar local areas using appropriate maps.

Skip to content