Re: NEW TO THE SYSTEM
Mark Wilson (mwilson@POLARIS.ORL.MMC.COM)
Mon, 11 Apr 1994 17:54:39 EDT
> I am very interested in the outdoor programs for both groups. My main interes
> is Orienteering. Here in Texas, we were able to produce a "TRUE" orienteering
> map,(5 colors, with a scale of 1:10000).
There are two things of note here. First is the comment about "true" orienteerin
It seems that the closest most Scouting programs get to orienteering is the
compass game. While pace and compass work are useful skills for orienteering, th
is much more to it than that.
The second item is producing a separate map tailored for orinteering. A good "O"
course requires a map with much more detail that the standard 7.5 min USGS topo
map. BTW, most competition maps are 1:5000 but, that depends on the area covered
Not only that, but the maps must be thoroughly ground checked for accuracy. "O"
maps need not be color. The best ones are but, they are much more expensive.
> The sport of orienteering in Europe is very big, however I have found that her
> in the states, it is a sport that is not very will received.
That depends on where you are. There is a national organization (USOF) and most
states have local groups. Florida Orienteering is kind of new. Even so we have
events with as many as 200 participants.
> Clif, to be really competitive in Orienteering you have to be able to RUN
> crosscountry. That may be why the only groups I have heard about who
> sponsor Orienteering meets are running clubs.
It is true that the top competitors run. There are also groups of cross-
country enthusiasts (Hash House Harriers) that frequent "O" events. Even so,
you do not have to run to enjoy orienteering. It really is one of the few
sports that your entire family can join in. When we go to an event (they
don't want us to call them meets anymore) we usually do a white or yellow
course with the whole family. I usually do some training with the kids on
the way. Then my daughter does her string-O course and the boys will do a
course depending on what one we did as a family while I help out somewhere.
> Setting up and staffing an
> event for a local club or regional schools cross country teams might make a
> good service project for your troop.
It is also a way to gain credit for the Orienteering MB.
> Three or four years ago, Clif set up an Orienteering event for the District
> Camporee, and the kids in the Troops are still talking about how much fun
> that was, it went over very well.
Most of the boys that I take to "real" orienteering events really enjoy it.
It gives a sense of purpose to all those map and compass classes back at the
> Not true about cross country competetiveness. In shape
> enough to compete and run is true, but bold strategy
> will defeat those trying to protect their legs.
> At least not unless world class competition is desired.
That is absolutely true. If you don't have the other skills, running will
just put you off course faster. The whole game is about evaluating a
situation and making decisions quickly. They call it "cunning running" and
the "thinking sport" for good reason.
> This brings up another source of orienteering information.
> The US ARMY ROTC contingent at the closest universities.
> You may just hit them at the time they have the bug for
In fact Florida Orienteerring was started by an ROTC cadre. Also there is
an Army pamphlet put out by the Engineers and the Military Academy that is
a pretty good source. The best source, though, is to get out and do it.
Again Mike said:
> Our OA lodge sponsored an orienteering meet for the district.
> If we could only get a healthy group going again
> the plans for a traveling trophy an making it
> an annual event could be realized.
I've been working with a couple of Council Committees to start a Scout "O"
championship. The first step is to make a map of our camp and install a TRIM
(permanent) "O" course. Then we will piggyback on Florida Orienteering event
in a nearby section of the Ocala National Forest. We will have a variety of
events as a part of an entire weekend. Looks like late 95 or early 96 for the
> In addition to running the course, there are other ways to do it also,
> people that aren't up to the running, can do map walks. This is what
> most of the Cub Scouts do, and they can go as a Den if they desire and
> they have great fun just doing the map and compass and walking the
> course and being able to find all the markers and stations. Most of the
> Cubs do the white course.
Other than a small, highly competitive, group, that is how most people in
the world do "O." The most fun is to meet the land nav challenge. Even young
kids can get a great sense of accomplishment by finishing even the simplest
course on their own. BTW almost everyone starts out by doing whites. You gotta
crawl before you run.
> I understand that Texas is a mite flatter than the Upper Peninsula
> of Michigan, just wanted y'all to hear a different slant.
Florida isn't exactly mountainous, you know. Even so, people from the
northeast have said that the terrain here presents it's own unique challenges.
For example, we use a smaller contour interval and the terrain features you
look for are far more subtle on the ground.
BTW, Beth, why not try some Florida "O?" The next event is at Wekiva State Park
near Orlando. If you are interested, I can send you the details.
Mark Wilson email@example.com
Eagle Class of '74 863 Trumbull Street
SM, Troop 565 Deltona, FL, 32725
WL, Pack 565
I used to be an antelope ....
My opinions are my opinions. Martin Marietta can speak for itself.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City