Top 5 Tips to Get Better at Orienteering

Here are five basic skills that you need to practice to help you get better at orienteering.

1. Fold your map – Always make sure that you fold your map so that you can easily see the part of the map where you are.

2. Orient your map – Always make sure that your map is the correct way round or oriented. This means that the features which are in front of you on the ground are in front of you on the map. You can also orient your map using a compass by making sure that the north lines on the map point the same way as the north or red end of the compass needle. Each time you change direction you should change your grip on the map so that the map is still oriented to north.

3. Thumb your Map – To help you know where you are on the map it helps if you mark your position on the map with your thumb. As you move along the ground you should move your thumb to your new position on the map. It is common to move your thumb to the new position at a ‘check point’ such as a path junction or some other obvious feature where you will stop or slow down and check where you are.

4. Check your control card – Once you have found a control you always need to check that the code on your control description sheet matches the code on the control. You should also check that the control is situated on the correct feature on your map. You will then know for sure that you have reached the correct control.

5. Have fun and enjoy yourself – This is the most important skill to remember. Orienteering should always be fun and enjoyable!

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.

Click here to read more

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

  • 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 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:
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:

Location / Camp Manatoc

Camp Manatoc and Camp Butler are located within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park adjacent to the village of Peninsula, Ohio. The main enterance to Camp Manatoc is located off of Truxell Road. (1075 Truxell Road, Peninsula, OH 44264)

Map & Directions

Entrance & Parking Specifics


Camp Manatoc September 19 – Classic O / Cross Country

Join us for a classic orienteering event at the Camp Manatoc Scout Camp in Cuyahoga Valley on September 19, between 10 AM and 1 PM EST. The event is open to the public, and all are welcome.

Regular WHITE, YELLOW, ORANGE GREEN & RED courses with starts from 10:30 AM to 1 PM.

A 45 minute Night-O in SCORE format with a mass start at 7:30 PM. Register at 7 PM. Bring a flashlight with new batteries! Special fees for this shorter course: Members $3 / $5 non-members. Pre-printed course map of the central camp area! Score format means that you find as many controls in any order in a limited time. In this case, 45 minutes.

Come for one or both!
(control collectors welcome at 3 PM!!!)

We could use a couple of volunteers to help with the night-O registration and timing/scoring. You would be able to participate in the event.

Event Director: Ivan Redinger
Day Course Designers: Tim Feaser & Steve Wells
Night Course Designer: Bob Boltz
Registrar: KathyJo Rufener
Starter and Timer: Scout volunteers!

Registration Time: 10 AM, with starts at 10:30 AM – 1 PM

Format: Cross Country / Classic Orienteering

Standard fee – Members: $5.00 Non-members: $10.00


Entrance & Parking Specifics


Kendall Lake September 5 – Classic O / The Python Goat

Fun format on a brand new map of the Kendall Lake area.

About the Python

Boulder Bob has created a new Kendall map starting with new contour lines and aerial photos. After that, more than 250 hours have gone into field checking of every nook and cranny of this wonderful section of the CVNP.

Bob wanted to be the first to design courses for this map so that participants could explore areas that have seen little use over the years. All of the old rootstocks have rotted away. Huge new ones have appeared! Streams have changed their course. Would you believe there are 154 boulders and 84 giant rootstocks?

Now for the fun part! To commemorate the 1944 story of the escaped python from a circus in Peninsula, this event will be called the Python Goat. A Goat features a mass start and a pre-printed map. Right before the start whistle, the event director will announce how many controls you are allowed to skip. You can’t skip consecutive controls.

Normally, following is against the rules of orienteering, but for a Goat, following is not only allowed, but actually encouraged. However, if the person you are following somehow disappears, you might find yourself with a big bowl of LOST if you don’t keep track of where you are on the map. Route choice and which controls you decide to skip play a big role in how long it takes to finish.

Course Information

In addition to the customary White Course, you will have the choice of three Goat groups: Pigmy Goat 4 km, Nanny Goat 6km and the Python Goat 10 km. We will keep the groups separate at the mass start, so you can see who you are running with.

Registration & Event Location

Registration at 9. White course opens at 9:30 AM. Mass Goat start at 10 AM sharp. If you get there late, you can still do one of the courses as long as you finish by 2 PM. Or, volunteer to go out and help with control collection.

Director – Matt Muffett
Designer – Bob Boltz
Registrar – Phil Wadsworth.
Starter – Andreas Johansson

There are Goat loving folks coming in from SW Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Canada for this event. Join the fun!

Start Time: 9 AM

Format: Cross Country / Python Goat / Classic Orienteering

Standard fee: Members: $5.00 Nonmembers: $10.00

Location: Kendall Lake Park, Peninsula OH

Satellite photo of where to park, and meet.

Kendal Lake Photo


If you have a question about the Kendall event, please use the following address: