School Programs

Navigation Games is experienced in teaching lessons, leading activities, and designing lesson plans for use in schools by teachers and volunteers. We can come to your school to help!

We offer two primary programs: one-hour introductions (often done in physical education classes) and two-day immersions. We can also provide teacher workshops to give you the tools to teach orienteering on your own!

One-hour introductions

  • Grades K-5, for up to 20 students at a time. Activities include:

    • Animal Orienteering: Students match up animals on cards with corresponding pictures on cones scattered throughout an area. Skills learned: finding checkpoints, visiting checkpoints in order, spatial memory, agility, electronic punching.

    • Map Hide and Seek: We draw a map of the area with the students' input. We place objects and show their location on the map. Students take turns hiding objects and finding them usign the map. Skills: map reading, communication.

  • Grades 6-12, for up to 40 students at a time

    • Schoolyard or Park Orienteering: Students use a map to find checkpoints in order. Electronic timing and a leaderboard lend excitement to the activity.

Interdisciplinary Team-Building for Grades 6-12

  • A multi-day progression for an entire class or grade. The first day includes skill games and activities on the school grounds and/or a local park. The program culminates with a field trip to the forest for a team orienteering mission. We have worked with groups up to 100 students.

About our programs

Working together

We provide materials, instructions and staff to oversee the programs. You supply teachers and chaperones to work with us, manage the children, and participate in the activities. We work with you ahead of time to optimize the program for your school or district. 


We are avaiable during the school day throughout the school year. Contact us to learn more about what dates Navigation Games is available to work with your school.

Cost and financial support

Our rate for schools is $50/hr + $2/student/hr. A one-hour program for 25 kids is $100 (typically, we stack these back to back for a full schoolday). A two-day (12 hour) program for 100 students is $3000. We require a Certificate of Insurance naming Navigation Games as additional insured, or an additional $2 per individual student to cover our insurance costs.

If your school cannot afford the program, we will collaborate with you to find funding.

In addition, we recommend that you pay to make a good map of your school grounds or nearby park that meets orienteering mapping standards. We will connect you with mappers through Orienteering USA's map development program. Your staff will be able to use the map for orienteering activities beyond our program, and we will provide example lesson plans to accompany the map. 

More information

If you are interested in having Navigation Games help bring orienteering to your school, or if you have any other questions regarding our school programs, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Quotes from Students

What was your personal high point?

  • Starting off: the rush of excitement
  • Working hard
  • When we found the first checkpoint
  • Getting to know my group
  • Just going into the woods

What was your personal low point?

  • Getting lost, and knowing it was my fault
  • Disagreeing about which path to take
  • Running out of time

What preparations made a difference?

  • Planning our route ahead of time
  • We practiced listening
  • Learning skills like pace counting
  • Having someone keep time
  • Agreeing on how fast we would go

How did you handle unexpected situations?

  • We got lost. Then we found features we could locate on the map and made a new plan.
  • When we realized we went the wrong way we reassured the person who made the mistake and started again

Our Partners

Some organizations for whom Navigation Games has provided programming:

  • Morse School, Cambridge, MA
  • Vassal Lane Upper School, Cambridge, MA
  • Newton Country Day School, Newton, MA
  • Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Sudbury, MA
  • Franciscan’s Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Cambridge Public Schools, Cambridge, MA (Girls in Sports Day)
  • Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, Cambridge, MA
  • Moore Youth Center, Cambridge, MA
  • Moses Youth Center, Cambridge, MA (Sports Leadership Academy)
  • Russell Youth Center, Cambridge, MA
  • Frisoli Youth Center, Cambridge, MA (Boys Empowerment, Girls Empowerment)
  • Head Start Program, Community Action Agency of Somerville, MA
  • Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, Cambridge, MA
  • Putnam Avenue Upper School, Cambridge, MA
  • Amigos Upper School, Cambridge, MA
  • Cambridge Street Upper School, Cambridge, MA
  • Dual County Athletic League, MA
  • Camp Rainbow for individuals with special needs, Cambridge, MA
  • Fitzgerald Community School, Cambridge, MA
  • Amigos-Cambridgeport Community School, Cambridge, MA
  • Fletcher Maynard Community School, Cambridge, MA
  • Morse Community School, Cambridge, MA
  • Linnaean Community School, Cambridge, MA
  • Graham and Parks School, Cambridge, MA
  • Cambridge Montessori School, Cambridge, MA

Organizations with whom Navigation Games collaborates:

  • Cambridge Sports Union
  • New England Orienteering Club
  • Orienteering USA
  • Tucson Orienteering Club
  • International Orienteering Federation