VOLUNTEER IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM

Spend three months in the US teaching orienteering!

Navigation Games, a non-profit organization based in Cambridge, MA is seeking orienteering enthusiasts (aged 19+) who want to spend a few months in the US teaching orienteering to children. Housing is provided to volunteers and you’ll have opportunities to race and train yourself in our northeastern terrain. We can accommodate up to 3 resident volunteers.

When: 3 months between March and June, 2020

Where: You will live in a house in Cambridge or elsewhere in the northeast USA with other orienteers. You may share a room. Everyone helps out with meals and cleanup.

What you’ll do: You will volunteer to teach our orienteering programs in schools. In addition, you may be a coach for middle or high school teams; teach after school classes for children aged 7-11; create educational videos; make small maps; and generally be excited and get the word out about orienteering!

This is a volunteer opportunity and there is no compensation provided.

For questions please contact admin@orienteeringusa.org

TYPES OF ORIENTEERING

The primary activity we do at Navigation Games is a sport called orienteering, where individuals or groups use a map and compass to find a series of checkpoints in various environments. It's like a scavenger hunt, only bigger and more fun!
There are many different ways to orienteer as well. The most common way is to visit a series of checkpoints in sequential order as quickly as possible, but there are other versions as well such as score-orienteering, relay races, and even vampire orienteering. Below are the various orienteering events we run at Navigation Games.

POINT-TO-POINT ORIENTEERING

The most common type of orienteering is where individuals or groups visit a series of checkpoints in a predetermined order going point-to-point. The course starts with control #1 and the individual or group must visit the control locations in sequential order. The number of controls on a course can vary greatly. Sometimes there are as few as 3 or 4 points, other times as many as 25 or even more!
The number of controls and navigational difficulty of the course will also vary depending on the location and the skill level of the runner(s). The shorter and simpler courses designed for beginners are almost entirely on trails with very simple route choices to get from one point to the next. As courses get longer and more technically challenging, runners will spend less time on trails and more time running cross country through parks or forest to find the checkpoints. There are also many more route choice challenges involved as difficulty increases, enough so that two highly advanced runners might go in very different directions even though they're heading to the same place.
For our purposes at Navigation Games we mostly stick to the easier beginner levels in order to teach children and other people of all ages how to effectively read a map and navigate at a basic level.

point to point.png

SCORE ORIENTEERING (SCORE-O)

Score-orienteering takes the restriction and order out of point-to-point orienteering and throws it to the wind! This is not to say score-O is a chaotic jumble of confusion, but rather individuals and groups are provided with much more freedom in how they wish to proceed through the event.
Rather than visiting a set number of controls in a specific order as quickly as possible, score-O allows runners to visit as many control locations as they want in any order they desire, as long as they do so within a set time limit. Controls in this format are each worth a certain number of points—sometimes they are all worth the same amount, and sometimes certain controls are worth more than others—and the winner is whoever finishes with the most points before time runs out. If more than one individual or team finishes with the same score, then whoever returned in the least amount of time is the leader. Additionally, if someone finishes after the time limit, then they will lose points depending on how far overtime they went.
The great thing about score-orienteering is that individuals or teams can visit whatever number of controls and whichever controls they want befitting their physical and navigational abilities. This makes score-O one of the best versions of orienteering to do with beginners and young children who are still learning the basics becaue you do not have to worry about going a certain distance or finding controls in the correct order. As long as they go out and find something, they've succeded!

score o.png

OTHER VARIATIONS

Very young children enjoy string orienteering, in which they follow a string through the woods. NEOC has a variation called Tarzan-O, emphasizing the physical fun of clambering over fallen logs and rocks, and also giving the option of using a map to find off-string shortcuts. 

We play a ton of variations of orienteering, from Animal-O to Basketball-O and Capture-the-Flag-O.

Basketball court orienteering.jpg
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