Program Feature: ORIENTEERING

 The Thinking Sport

Imagine a baseball player who never leaves the batting cage or a football player who never suits up for a game. Many Scouts are like that when it comes to map and compass use. They learn how to read maps and follow compass headings, but they never really apply those skills.

One way to use map reading and compass skills is when you are hiking or backpacking. If there is a fork in the trail you are following, you want to follow the right path, not a path that leads straight up a mountain or over a cliff!

But another way to use those skills is in the sport of orienteering. This is an exciting, fast-paced game where players race across the countryside looking for controls—square orange-and-white markers that are marked on a map. The fastest player wins, but only if he or she visits all the controls in the correct order. (Special punches at the controls—or high-tech equivalents—keep the players honest.)

This month’s activities will teach Scouts the skills they need to keep themselves found when hiking and backpacking—and the skills they need to compete in orienteering meets.