Summer Camp

Navigation Games has run an instensive 6-week summer program since 2016. The program aims to teach youth life skills through learning about navigation with maps, teaching others, and working with a non-profit. Teens attend for 4 hours each weekday from early July through mid August. They 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—in particular the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP)—to provide our summer program opportunities. 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 in 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, Cambridge youth develop their spatial awareness and sense of place. We learn to identify multiple possible solutions to problems, practice critical reasoning skills, and adapt to new situations. We also learn how to apply math, estimate ditance, and find direction using navigational tools. All of these skills advance their orienteering abilities, and their ability to navigate challenges in their broader lives.

Navigation Games is also adopting a learning-through-games approach. Children—and adults—learn better when they're having fun. As such, we have designed our lessons, activities, and programs to practice and develop orienteering and life skills through the implementation of fun activities. Over the summer, our youth employees will be able to participate in these activities, as well as deliver them as programs to summer camps and youth groups in the area. They may also host some public forest events for anyone in the community who's looking for a fun-filled afternoon in the forest.

We have a fantastic staff to deliver these programs. 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, has helped put on several world-class orienteering events, and volunteered as an MSYEP supervisor for Navigation Games in 2017. 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.


If you are a Cambridge resident, you can apply through the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program. Updated applications are available on the MSYEP website.  Other interested campers may start the application process by sending an email to

 Weekly Schedule


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Learn this week's forest game; plan skill development Outdoor skill aquisition; teaching Outdoor skill aquisition; teaching Outdoor skill aquisition; teaching Participate and/or host forest game

Weekly Games

Each week the campers will develop their skills to complete a different orienteering game: 

  1. Rabbit & Foxes: Trail navigation, distance estimation

  2. Keep-Away: Trail navigation, mixed ability navigation

  3. Attack Points & Team Score-O: Orient map, identify key features, follow direction

  4. Challenge Stations: Tips & tricks, tactics

  5. Rabbit & Foxes v2.0: Off-trail navigation

  6. Quidditch-O: Trail navigation, speed

  7. [Custom Game]


The camp runs from  early July to mid August. 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.