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Competitive Orienteering

Class Details

3 Hours

4th Grade to Adult


Find hidden markers in the woods with a map and compass.

Students will spend about 45 minutes in the classroom. Compass skills will be reviewed/learned. Topographical map reading will be introduced. Then the students will be shown how to use the map and compass together. The class will travel to the start of a competitive orienteering course. After safety instructions are given, students will apply their newly acquired skills to locate off-trail control points.

Lesson Plan


  1. Topographic maps are a 2D representation of a 3D world.
  2. Navigating with a partner takes patience, practice, and respect for people and ideas.
  3. Challenges provide opportunities for learning and growth.
  4. Becoming skilled in orienteering leads to being more confident in new territory.
  5. When we are comfortable being in remote areas, we can begin to appreciate wilderness.


  • Orient a topographical map using a compass or land formations.
  • Take a bearing from a map.
  • Interpret the terrain on a topographical map between two points and determine the best path of travel.
  • Travel to control points and return to the starting point at the end of class.
  • Cooperatively work with a partner by demonstrating they can stay together, use sighting, and make decisions.