Top 10 Health Benefits of Orienteering

Orienteering offers many benefits, but its real attraction is that it is fun! It is a joy to walk and run through forests and fields. Armed with a compass and a map, competitors must use their navigational skills to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain, and normally moving at speed. If you like competing, there are many age and skill-level groups to fulfill that wish.

1. There is a balance between the physical and the mind

The ultimate quest for the orienteer is to find that balance between mental and physical exertion, to know how fast they can go and still be able to interpret the terrain around them and execute their route choice successfully.

2. Teaches self-reliance

Orienteers learn to be self-reliant since most orienteering is individual, and even in the team versions, teammates usually practice individually to improve and be better teammates.

3. Sharpens decision making skills

It offers the obvious development of individual skills in navigating while problem solving to locate each control. Decision making is paramount: Should I go left or right? Should I climb that hill or go the long way around it? These decisions that constantly arise require thinking more than quick reactions or instinct; again, that is why orienteering is called the thinking sport.

4. Teaches how to think and act under pressure

Decisions are constantly being made under competitive stress and increasing fatigue, helping competitors become mentally tougher in other stressful situations throughout their day to day lives.

5. Increased fitness levels

Most orienteering terrain is quite hilly and rugged, providing the perfect environment for athletes and non-athletes alike to develop strong hearts, legs, and lungs.

6. Increased cardiovascular capacity

Orienteering requires walking, running or jogging, and hiking. All of these activities increase aerobic capacity and cardiovascular strength.

7. Increased time in nature

There is nothing more calming and centering than being in nature. Exercising outdoors is good for vitamin D levels in the body and getting fresh air!

8. Increased self-esteem

It takes courage, endurance, and mental fortitude to forge ahead by oneself through unknown areas, particularly in unfamiliar terrain and forests. Every time one gets lost and find their way again, self-worth and self-esteem grows.

9. Can be very useful and even lifesaving

This sport teaches self-reliance and terrain discovery to the point where it could save lives. Orienteers acquire the skills and techniques to relocate themselves and to continue on to their destination, no matter what.

10. Become part of a community

The orienteering community is solid and is a great way to socialize while competing. Although it is a solitary sport, there is a sense of camaraderie among competitors both before and after a meet.

BONUS! Can be done anywhere globally

According to the US Orienteering Federation, it can be done anywhere you can make or obtain a map – “through classrooms, schoolyards, city parks, urban areas, residential areas, streets, state and national parks, and wilderness areas.

Even better, you can orienteer in your community, throughout the United States, and all over the world. Orienteering map symbols and appropriate colors are approved by the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) and are followed around the globe (for example, blue stands for water). Therefore, if you pick up an orienteering map in China or Russia, you do not have to read Chinese or Russian to understand the map well enough to orienteer on that map.”

via http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-orienteering/

Orienteering at Kenston Intermediate School

Recap of Events

As part of an effort to increase awareness of orienteering as a sport, and to incorporate the many educational and problem- based learning aspects of the sport into the curriculum, NEOOC teamed up with 4th graders from Kenston Intermediate School to put on an orienteering event. In what we hope was the First Annual orienteering day, 200+ 4th graders and staff took part in orienteering in and around the building, and most teams completed four courses covering more than 2 miles distance travelled.

Students prepared with pre-orienteering materials in their classrooms, and completed practice problems solving mazes and orienteering inside a room to get aquatinted with relating the map to reality. A few instructional videos were used to enhance their knowledge of the sport itself, and they learned the importance or rotating the map, and orienting to north at all times.

Bob Boltz, map coordinator of NEOOC, had designed the custom Kenston Intermediate School map covering the grounds around the building, and laid out 4 courses each covering 9 controls over about 0.8km (800m) each. Andreas Johansson, NEOOC club member, and Director of Technology Integration at Kenston Schools, assisted with planning, teacher training, and supervision during the event. They had plenty of help from Kenston PTO to manage map exchanges and supervision around the building. A big thanks to Mr. Adam Fender, Principal at Kenston Intermediate School, for making it happen, and helping coordinating the event, and activities leading up to the very successful day.

Furthermore, the 4th grade students orienteering at KIS was part of a larger worldwide effort to set a new world record for World Orienteering Day (on or about May 11th, 2016), and their efforts were registered along with Kenston Middle School’s 8th grade students doing hot spot orienteering during a field trip to Washington, D.C., as well as the 7th graders orienteering while at 7th grade camp. In total, at least 650+ students and staff from Kenston Schools took part in World Orienteering Day activities, and were counted for the world record attempt.

We’re excited for the opportunities to build long-lasting relationships with the Kenston Schools, and look forward to holding many more orienteering events, including full campus sprint, cross country, and score events in the future.

Photos from 4th Grade Orienteering

Photo credits go to Josh Timmons, Tech Integration Specialist, and Andreas Johansson, Director of Technology at Kenston Local Schools.

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Race Results / Sippo Lake XC 22MAY2016

RECAP

First, let me thank Stark Parks for inviting us to partner with them on introducing orienteering to their public. In February, we conducted an evening lecture on the sport of orienteering and Sunday marked our first land event offered in their parks (we’ve used Walborn Reservoir previously).

In our 40th year, it is still exciting to inaugurate new venues.

Next, thank you to Bob Boltz for the many hours that he put in making NEOOC’s initial map of the area. Bob’s skill just keeps getting better and better. He’s significantly cut the time it takes him to arrive at a suitable orienteering map from the time of concept to the time of feet running the trails, fields and thickets, enjoying…. And thank you to Ivan Redinger, a former neighbor of Sippo for being the primary liaison with the park’s administrators and staff.

Finally, thank you to the day’s volunteers:

  • Ivan Redinger, Course Design and Setting (First time Course Design, I believe!!! Great
    work!)
  • Stephen Johnson, Event Director (First time Event Director!!! Great job!)
  • Wendy & Matthew Johnson, Registration
  • Olivia Johnson, Ken Witalis, Geno Gruszczynski, David John, Starters
  • Howard Montgomery, Finisher
  • Ivan Redinger, Charlotte Chung, Howard Montgomery, John Hoffman, Olivia Johnson, Ken Witalis, Control Collection

RESULTS

  • Weather: mostly sunny; temperature topping out at 64 (in essence: extreme hardship; we understand why some of you didn’t make it.)
  • Attendance: 59 participants braved the elements
  • Track: Mud-slick spots in places, but mostly firm.
White - Beginner

1 Moore & Beck                40:00:00
2 Jonathan Morris & Co.       43:00:00
3 Nate Hershman               44:00:00
4 Cathy & Tom Winters         55:00:00
5 Gina Cook & Co.             63:00:00
6 Matthew Moser               78:00:00
Yellow - Advanced Beginner Course: 13 controls 2.3 km
  1 Alex, Eva, Jude            NEO 36:25
  2 Wendy & Oliva Johnson          45:34
  3 Wes & Frank Mahne              47:13
  4 M. Wohlmead                    53:57
  5 Chuck St.John                  57:26
  6 Fran Kern                      57:28
  7 Tomlinson                      63:59
  8 Tom-Jack Loya                  77:21
    Bettac Family                  DNF        (did not punch 39)
    David John                     DNF        (punched 39 instead of 40 and vice versa)

Orange - Intermediate Course: 14 controls 3.9 km
  1 Sanae Rogers                   65:28
  2 Johnson & Witalis              77:40
  3 Jason Karger                   99:50
  4 M. Wohlwood                    123:22

Green - Short Advanced Course: 16 controls 4.6 km
  1 Andreas Johansson              45:09
  2 Fred Mailey                NEO 57:18
  3 Vera Yodivina                  72:48
    Dominic Conte                  DNF        (No Start punch)

Red - Longer Advanced Course: 18 controls 5.2 km
  1 Todd Pownell                   50:47
  2 Bob Boltz                      52:40
  3 Caleb Freeman                  67:27
  4 Dan Freeman                    67:36
  5 Charlotte Chung                70:27
  6 Rich Perrenoud                 73:14
  7 Randy Mitchell             NEO 77:45
  8 John Hoffman                   79:09
  9 Gil Even                       83:06
 10 Richard Davies                 103:27

PHOTOS

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RESOURCES

Recap / Boston Run Training 14MAY2016

RECAP

Today’s event was a chance to work on skills that can help us improve as orienteers. Bob Boltz set a course targeted at two skills.

First, continuity. Most intermediate orienteers treat each leg as a separate problem to be solved. Then, after punching the control, we turn our attention to the next control, stand still, spread out the map, and consider our options. Bob set out the first portion of the course today with an eye towards improving flow through the course as a whole. During this ‘control picking’ portion there were a series of 16 short legs with frequent changes of direction. The goal was to never stop moving. That meant that we had to, at the least, pay attention to what direction to head out to the next control after this one. This was mildly complicated by the fact that today’s maps were printed without any of the trails.

Second, attention to local features. The next 5 controls were not marked on the map. Instead, a wiggly corridor about 30m wide was indicated. Bob set the controls so that if we stayed within the corridor, we would encounter the controls. This was further complicated by the fact that the map outside the corridor was blank, so the only navigational cues available were within the corridor (see the map here!, or below in photos)

An intrepid crew of ~25 experienced orienteers took up this challenge, and I heard a lot of praise for how much this helped them. The weather was cool and drizzly, and it was pretty sloppy and slippery. Lots of good stories emerged, and I think our club’s average navigational skill ticked up just a little after today.

Many thanks to all our volunteers, including:

  • Director: Randy Mitchell
  • Designer: Bob Boltz
  • Registrar: Kim King
  • Control Pickup: Neil Dollinger

RESULTS (unofficial)

There was no ePunch available, so timing is all self reported, and using the honor system. If you have a time, and course feedback, send it our way.

RouteGadget now available at: Boston Run Training

Download your GPS or draw your route from memory using the program.

PHOTOS

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PS – one Blue Jacket was left behind! We will have it at next week’s Event at Sippo – just ask!

Sippo Lake XC / Classic / Sunday May 22, 11:30AM – 1PM

ABOUT

Join us for a classic cross country event at Sippo Lake Park – a small venue, with plenty of challenges for all. WHITE, YELLOW, ORANGE, GREEN, and RED courses will be available.

Located between Canton & Massillon just a short hop off of I-77. Our search for new venues was rewarded when club member Ivan Redinger laid the groundwork for a positive relationship with Stark Parks. This is a real orienteering playground with a real diversity of landscape types.

Mapper Bob enjoyed creating our newest map because at every turn there was something new and different. The map forms a horseshoe around the north side of Sippo Lake. A complex area of hills and depressions sweeps down to the eastern shore. The north side is the location of a beautiful new library, museum & educational center that will serve as our start and finish. If bathrooms are important to you, be ready for the best of all our locations!

The western portion is like a bunch of unique rooms, including areas of marsh, open forest, flat prairie, intricate hills, dense thicket and an amazing wildlife rehabilitation center open for a visit. All areas of the park are connected by an extensive trail system accessible by foot or bike. This will be a cross-country style event with 5 courses and electronic punching.

So, join us for this historic first event and receive a map suitable for framing!

LOCATION

Sippo Lake Park, Main Entrance

REGISTRATION, FEES & START TIMES

  • Registration at 11:30AM, with last starts at 1PM!
  • Members – $5 ($3 for extra maps)
  • Non-Members – $10 ($3 for extra maps)
  • NEOOC Annual Individual Membership – $15

STAFF

  • Event Directors: Stephen Johnson
  • Course Designer: Ivan Redinger
  • Registrar: Matthew Johnson
  • Starter: A Scout (w/ Sanae Rogers)
  • Timer: Kenny Johnson
  • Greeter: OPEN!

Walborn Reservoir Canoe & Kayak-O / Sunday July 17, 12PM – 4PM

Can you think and paddle at the same time?

You have two and a half hours to find as many checkpoints as you can! The checkpoints are marked on a waterproof map. A special punch at each checkpoint proves you were there. Some checkpoints may be worth more than others, so strategy is important. Can you think and paddle at the same time? Most checkpoints can be visited by canoe or kayak, but a number will be located in the surrounding parkland.

These checkpoints require beaching your craft and traveling on foot for a short distance. If your canoe has two people, one can find checkpoints on land while the other paddles to a convenient pre-arranged pick-up point. You will have some time before the mass start to do your planning.

Canoes and kayaks are scored separately.

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED so we know how many maps to print on expensive waterproof material (see below).

Click here for more information about the event, and to sign up.

MAZE-O / Practice Your Skills

Practice your O-skills even when you’re not out in the woods! The Maze-O will challenge your brain, and sense of direction while finding the shortest, or the fastest routes through the mazes. Each turn slows you down, so try for a straighter line through, with the least amount of turns. And who knows, maybe you’ll see something like this in the near future…

If you want to generate your own mazes, go to http://www.mazegenerator.net/ for all the mazes you could ever want!

Here’s an idea…