Summer Camp

Navigation Games will run our summer program for the third year in 2018. The program aims to teach children life skills through learning about navigation with maps. Teens attend for 4 hours a day each weekday from July 2 through August 10. They will receive coaching in the sport of orienteering, teach younger children at summer camps, learn workplace skills, participate in career development activities, learn about non-profit organizations and take on projects to advance our non-profit mission.

We partner with the City of Cambridge, and in particular the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP). The City of Cambridge provides additional services for MSYEP teens in the program, such as career and college counseling. 

Isak giving instructionIsak getting people ready to go!

Many Cambridge students have been introduced to orienteering in school, at Girls Sports Day, and through after-school classes via the Community Schools. Our summer camp program provides a much more intensive orienteering experience. Through their participation, children develop their spatial awareness and sense of place. They learn to seek and assess multiple possible solutions to problems. They practice critical reasoning skills. They apply math and estimate distance. They develop a sense of confidence that they can handle new situations: I am not sure where I am, but I know I can gather evidence to figure it out, and I have strategies to relocate myself. All of these skills advance their orienteering abilities - and their ability to navigate their broader lives.

We believe that people learn best when they teach others. We believe that teenagers respond well to being given the opportunity to inspire younger children. We believe that a team of people can come up with a better outcome than an individual can. We believe in respecting every member of a diverse team. We believe that creativity can flourish in the context of a structure. In our summer MSYEP program, the teen campers will not only learn to orienteer, but turn around immediately and think about how to best teach someone else how to orienteer. They will be engaged in refining lesson plans both before a class and in reflective conversation after the class.

The camp is run by Navigation Games, a non-profit organizations promoting the sport of orienteering. Navigation Games was formed in 2015 with the aim of bringing outdoor navigation education to all children in Cambridge. We received 501(c)3 status in 2016. We collaborate with Cambridge Sports Union (CSU) and the New England Orienteering Club (NEOC).

We have a fantastic staff line-up this year. Ethan Childs, the lead supervisor, is a former member of the junior and senior US orienteering teams. He coached the CRLS orienteering team to victory at Junior Nationals in 2018, and teaches after-school classes in Cambridge Community Schools. This is his third year with us. Maiken Sandberg, from Norway, is studying sports event management at university. Adam Miller is an environmental science graduate of University of Vermont, and is studying to be an EMT. Evalin Brautigam is a former member of the US junior orienteering team; both she and Ethan have competed for Team USA at orienteering world championships in several different countries. She is a graduate of Eastern Connecticut State College.


Does this sound great to you? You can apply through the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program. Applications will be available April 12, 2017 on the MSYEP website.  Other interested campers may start the application process by sending an email to

 Weekly Schedule


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Outside, hands-on learning Outside, hands-on learning; map-making instruction and practice Lesson planning and project work Teach children and project work Teach children and project work


Weekly themes

Each week the campers focus on specific skills nad exercises: 

  1. Introduction to orienteering. Partner forked orienteering (teaching new orienteers independence on a white course after working with a more experienced orienteer)

  2. Spider-O  (Run to control, minimap to other remote controls) (work on attack points and compass stuff). Score-O (work of long term (several controls) route choice and teamwork)

  3. Partner orienteering (refining orienteering skills for new orienteers and teamwork). Control pickup / score-O (refining orienteering skills for new orienteers and blueberries)

  4. Score-O

  5. Partnered orange course (refining orienteering skills for new orienteers and teamwork). Partnered line orienteering (refining micro orienteering skill and teamwork). Partnered relocation training (refining micro orienteering skill and teamwork)

  6. Series of short courses of increasing difficulty: W-Y-O-G (challenging the new orienteers and train for more experienced orienteers)


The camp runs from July 3 to August 11. All of the activities in the camp take place in and around Cambridge, MA and local campers can live at home. A limited number of out-of-town campers will be provided with housing and meals for the duration of the camp.