By Hersh Kanner
The summer of 2017 has begun begun, and a group of 12 high schoolers—some new to the sport and some old—are beginning their work in the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP) with Navigation Games. This work consists of group projects that spread the word of orienteering, learning to navigate in the woods, and going to schools to teach younger children important skills that are related to navigation.
Our social media group creates articles and videos to inform the public of the latest news in our program. Our Interscholastic group works to make orienteering a school sport with an official league. We also have an event planning group that designs, plans, and coordinates events to provide more people with opportunities to orienteer. In addition to this, everyone in the program participates in orienteering trainings at local forests and parks to learn more about the sport. They use this knowledge to teach young children from nearby schools the basics of orienteering.
After the first week at Navigation Games, the MSYEP workers already have a lot to say about their experiences in the woods:
"I thought I would be bumbling around the woods eaten by bugs. It is more fun than I thought it would be."
"It is fun because you run with a goal which is better than jogging."
"It’s a high speed scavenger hunt. You feel cool."
"It’s a better way to run."
"Orienteering is my life. I don’t know what I’d do without it. I need my fix."
As the program progresses so will the many groups and projects within it. We hope to see you in the woods!