Dear friends of Navigation Games: Thank you for your support and participation! We would like to share our 2021 story with you — and seek your help in meeting our goals for 2022.
I am proud of our team for providing meaningful and safe experiential education for so many children during the covid-19 pandemic. In 2021, Navigation Games delivered 954 classes and events, for 15,000 participants, which includes over 3000 different children, most of them attending multiple sessions. We had 31 staff, including many volunteers, delivering programs.
Looking ahead to 2022, our strategy will shift mid-year to focus on enabling others to teach orienteering. Building on seven years of program design and delivery, we aim to publish a standards-based curriculum that can be delivered by educators anywhere. To support adoption of the curriculum, we will offer workshops for educators, as well as maps and materials. We are developing measurement tools to assess the effectiveness of our programs in teaching wayfinding skills useful not only in orienteering, but also in school and life.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome volunteers. If you know an organization that may want to sponsor a map or a workshop, or implement an orienteering unit, please let us know. Your advice is always appreciated. Particularly as we are self-funding the curriculum development, we welcome financial donations, which can be made by check to Navigation Games, or by clicking on the button below.
And now for a breakdown of our 2021 programs!
Cambridge Public Schools PE curriculum
Delivered 523 classes in spring 2021
Designed new remote lessons
Expanded the original curriculum to five grades: junior kindergarten through 3rd
Roger Clap Elementary School, Dorchester
Spring electives for in-person students
5 weeks of PE classes for all students in the fall
Field trip to orienteer at Moakley Park
Culminating trip to the woods at Franklin Park
Sunita-Williams Elementary School, Needham
5 weeks of PE for all students
Professional development for all PE teachers in the district
Workshop for all 100 staff in August
Morse School 5th grade end of year outing
Lexington Montessori middle school weekly orienteering classes. Coach Ethan reports that students went from no prior map experience to accurately placing checkpoints in off-trail locations on an orienteering map. This was a great testing ground for fun adaptations of orienteering games.
World Orienteering Day (=week) at Cambridge Street Upper School
Coached 3 upper school teams in Cambridge
Supported the Cambridge Rindge and Latin orienteering coach David Landrigan
Coached several practices for Belmont Day School team
Outside of School
Private and partner events
Small after school learning pods
Partnership with Elevate Youth
East Boston Neighborhood Health Center: program and maps
JCC Boston after school
Classes and events offered through town recreation departments
Public events in Cambridge
Mini-games: family-oriented orienteering activities at Cambridge parks to complement in-school PE programming
Night-O and Vampire-O at Danehy Park
Workshops for educators
Massachusetts Environmental Education Society Conference
Lexington Public Schools professional development
Boston Workshop in collaboration with the Appalachian Mountain Club
Association for Experiential Education: online workshop for educators from across the country
Massachusetts Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance Convention
Training swap with Project Adventure
Lesson plans and materials
Our activity and lesson plans are now available online
Published At Home Orienteering on Amazon
Created laminated materials for beginning instruction for two school districts
9 teens from the Cambridge Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program worked with us for 6 weeks. They learned to orienteer, taught classes at summer camps, and worked on projects to support our mission. Led by Operations Director Bryna Chalmer
Belmont Day Camp
Newton Recreation camp
Recruited and trained orienteering specialists for Camp Grossman summer camp
Not only is orienteering a fun outdoor activity; it is also a rich framework for Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Those skills include self awareness, attention to others and the environment, seeing failure and difficulty as feedback, iteration/persistence, goal setting and resilience/flexibility.
One focus area for us is how to bring outdoor experiential education to children in urban schools with limited access to green spaces. Our work in Cambridge serves such an urban population. Similarly, the population at Roger Clap school in Dorchester is 65% low income and 84% minority. Our programs at the Clap school, which has only a small, paved outdoor space, presented us with a challenge in designing lessons to get kids navigating outdoors. We made use of the neighborhood streets and nearby parks. On our field trip to the woods, one student was excited to see a squirrel for the first time!
We are grateful to all our teachers and volunteers. Our core 2021 staff were Ethan Childs, Charlotte Marshall, Bryna Chalmer and David Landrigan, who made possible the biggest year yet for Navigation Games programs!
Vampire-O at Danehy Park in Cambridge
Coach Francois and his team from Roger Clap School at Franklin Park in Boston