Orienteering’s Key to Winning: Not Getting Lost (via NYTimes)

via NYTimes:

UPPSALA, Sweden — About 100 yards inside one entrance of the Lunsen forest is a rock ledge formed millenniums ago when all of Scandinavia was covered by ice. A thicket of bushes lines the near edge of a gully that drops down 15 feet. On the far edge, a group of trees rises, like fingers splayed wide, providing the false impression that they are not so far away when in fact, a steep fall awaits anyone who steps off the precipice. To the side of the ledge is a medium-size stone.

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Camp Manatoc September 20 – Scout Championships

All Scouts are invited to a weekend of Orienteering. It will be a weekend of outdoor adventure as Webelos, Boy Scouts, Venture Scouts, Girl Scouts, and their adult leaders, learn and practice map and compass skills, as well as work on orienteering related badge requirements.

For more information, and registration details, visit http://scoutsorienteering.weebly.com/

  • When: Saturday, September 19, 2015 & Sunday, September 20, 2015
  • Where: Camp Manatoc, 1075 Truxell Rd, Peninsula, OH 44264

Participants are welcome for both days, but each day is also set up as a stand-alone event, so participants can choose to come either Saturday or Sunday, or both days. Please note however that the actual Championships are on Sunday. Low cost, minimal budget, maps, patches, and other prep…no refunds.

Saturday’s program will be skill development, training, and practice, and FUN. An expert orienteer can be available to work with your group to help your scouts learn skills (and pass some badge requirements). Scouts (and adults) will be able to learn orienteering skills that will enable even first-timers to participate in Sunday’s competition. Ample orienteering courses will be available for scouts to practice their orienteering skills, including cross country courses during the day, and an exciting short Night-O course.

Sunday’s program will be the Northeast Ohio Scout Orienteering Championships. Scouts (as well as adults!) will compete with other scouts of the same rank or age level. Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each class. As an added bonus, we will try to have a an auction on Sunday that will allow troops, packs, & crews to bid on prizes using team points accumulated during the weekend.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION: All scout groups must pre-register and pre-pay.

It is expected that scouts will participate in troops/packs/crews. However, to accommodate scouts who may want to participate without the benefit of a troop/pack/crew, we will accept pre-registration for scouts who have another youth scouting partner (pre-registering at the same time!), and also an adult who will be in attendance for the entire activity. Mark the appropriate box on the pre-registration form

PRE-REGISTRATION DEADLINE: September 11, 2015, or 250 Scouts, whichever comes first. It is anticipated that this event will fill to capacity before the deadline. Early registration is encouraged. Registrations received after the deadline, or when at capacity, may be rejected. Registration & Fees received by Sept. 1, 2015, will be entered in a drawing for a NEOCC event pass.

Timely pre-registration is needed so we have the time to print maps and assemble a packet of materials in advance.

COSTS: $8.00 per person (Scouts and participating adults) for one day, or $14.00 per person (Scouts and participating adults) for both days. Only adults who want a map and patch on Saturday, or who are competing in the Leader Class on Sunday, need to register and pay.

PATCHES: Custom designed event patches will also be provided to all who pre-register and pre-pay.

REFUNDS: Low cost, minimal budget, maps, patches, and other prep…no refunds.

WE GO RAIN OR SHINE: Maps can be placed in plastic bags. Scouts can dress for the weather. It’s up to the unit leader’s discretion whether to participate or not when the weather is less than ideal.

WAIVER OF LIABILITY: Each participant must have his or her own signed Waiver of Liability form that can be downloaded from the website, or sent to you by requesting one from ScoutsOrienteering@gmail.com. These must be brought to the meet and handed in at check-in.

CAMPING: Contact the Great Trail Council directly at 330-773-0415. There are plenty of campsites available on a first-come basis. Those are separate fees.

HELP OUT: It takes many hands to do a quality event. Adults are always needed to help with the start and finish areas. And there are other times and places where both youth and adult help is appreciated.


Leader Training: For those who might want to brush up on either their navigation skills or their ability to teach orienteering to Scouts, they should consider attending the Orienteering for Beginners session scheduled for August 29th at Kendall Lake. This location is only a moderate hike from the location of the actual championships. Registration starts at 11:30, with instructions starting at noon.

Large Group Training: NEOOC will conduct large group trainings, lasting about an hour, for all your scouts & adults on either Friday night or early Saturday for those who pre-register. (subject to change)
Small Group Training: For those who attend the Large Group training, but who would like some individualized training, an experienced orienteer will be available for a session on Saturday morning, with your troop, pack, or crew. Pre-registration is required. (subject to change)

CONTACTS: for questions and additional information: Registrar: Ivan Redinger: ScoutsOrienteering@gmail.com
Contact the Great Trail Council directly at 330-773-0415.

The (brief) history of orienteering

The history of orienteering begins in the late 19th century in Sweden, the actual term “orientering” (the original Swedish name for orienteering, lit. “orientation”) was first used in 1886 and meant the crossing of unknown land with the aid of a map and a compass. In Sweden, orienteering grew from military training in land navigation into a competitive sport for military officers, then for civilians. The name is derived from a word root meaning to find the direction or location. The first orienteering competition open to the public was held in Norway in 1897.

From the beginning, locations selected for orienteering have been chosen in part for their beauty, natural or man-made. For the first public orienteering competition in Sweden, in 1901, control points included two historic churches, Spånga kyrka and Bromma kyrka (a round church).

With the invention of inexpensive yet reliable compasses, the sport gained popularity during the 1930s. By 1934, over a quarter million Swedes were participants, and orienteering had spread to Finland, Switzerland, the Soviet Union, and Hungary. Following World War II, orienteering spread throughout Europe and to Asia, North America and Oceania. In Sweden in 1959, an international orienteering conference was held. Representatives from 12 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, East and West Germany, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Yugoslavia) participated. In 1961, orienteering organizations representing 10 European nations founded the International Orienteering Federation (IOF). Since then, IOF has supported the founding of many national orienteering federations. By 2010, 71 national orienteering federations were member societies of the International Orienteering Federation. These federations enabled the development of national and world championships. World championships were held every two years until 2003, then every year.

Throughout this time, orienteering has remained most popular in Scandinavia. There, the two oldest recurring orienteering meets have been held since the 1940s (Jukola relay and Tiomila), and the single largest orienteering meet has been held every year since 1965 and attracts around 15,000 competitors (O-Ringen).

Typically, orienteering is run in wild terrain. In its Scandinavian origins, this typically meant in the forest, but orienteering in open fell, heathland, moorlandand other mixed terrain is also common. Orienteering in towns has been common for many years. Street-O has typically been a low-key affair; score events, often at night, normally as informal training events. The Venice street-O is notable for attracting a large international participation. With Park World Tour races and other (e.g. World championships) elite sprint races often being held in urban areas, and the development of a map specification for urban areas (ISSOM), from the mid-2000s, Street-O has been rebranded as urban orienteering, and has taken itself rather more seriously, with full colour maps and electronic punching, and may now be regarded as a serious competition with inclusion in national ranking lists. Such urban races are often much longer than the sprint distance.

Adapted from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orienteering