SCHOOLS TEAMS & ORIENTEERING CLUBS
Schools are encouraged to organize their own teams and clubs, and to compete at local events open to the public, hosted by the New England Orienteering Club and Cambridge Sports Union.
We recommend the Orienteering Coach's Handbook from Cascade Orienteering Club. Our staff can advise coaches on creating a series of training exercises and developing your team. We will For example, Navigation Games partners with Cambridge Public Schools to support competitive teams at the middle and high school level.
We are available to provide a weekly practice in the woods and welcome any school team or club to participate.
We plan to organize middle and high school competitive leagues in the northeast USA, based on the model of the Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League. Please contact us if you are interested in having your school participate.
Here's a sampling of several activities we do with our school teams and programs. These activities are designed to teach skills in map reading, route planning, and spatial awareness, in addition to developing physical fitness. For more schoolyard orienteering activities, or questions about how to run a program, please contact us!
Even schoolgrounds in densely populated areas offer up plenty of fun orienteering opportunities! Set a regular point-to-point course, have your students run loops in different orders, or even have a relay competition, all using a map of your school. This type of activity best develops the ability to navigate while moving and learning how to plan ahead.
A point-to-point course at Cambridge Street Upper School.
While the point of orienteering is learning how to navigate using a map, there is a lot of benefit to memorizing the map as well. This type of activity encourages students to visualize the terrain around them and learn to focus only on the features most important to navigation while ignoring extraneous details.
Map segments attached to each even-numbered checkpoint.
This exercise is designed to teach skills in finding diretion. Students can do this in the woods or a park, or even on an empety soccer field. The "map" contains no details, just lines and locations of the target checkpoints. At each numbered control there should be a flag or marker to help students identify if they have arrived at the correct point. Students start from the middle, and use the compass to turn their map until it is facing the correct direciton (north).
Once the map is lined up, all of the checkpoints on the map should match up with the checkpoints scattered throughout the area. They can also practice this without the compass, and try to orient the map only be matching up the surrounding checkpoints. These exercises help develop spatial awareness, and encourage students to notice the spatial relationships between objects.
Example compass spider.