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The indoor Orienteering game

To prepare the boys in advance for orienteering, you should teach them some basics of map reading. Orienteering depends heavily on the competitor being able to read an orienteering map quickly and accurately. One exercise that is useful can be done indoors at a meeting before the event. You need to start with with a rough drawing of the meeting room. Add details like furniture, windows, doors etc. It is very effective to draw it on a page of a flip chart as you explain it to the boys. Prior to the meeting you should have drawn the floor plan carefully on another page of the chart and draw circles around specific locations on the floor plan (map). Before the boys are in the room hide small prizes, or certificates for prizes at each of the circled locations. As you produce a second version, let the boys decide what important features should be on the map. You may have to guide them into using features that you have already selected on your first map. After discussing how the map should be drawn, you flip the chart to your more carefully drawn copy with the control locations, and explain the rules. The boys should read the map to find the prizes. You may want to lay your map on the floor to let them orient it to the real world (the room). Show them that they can do this by using the features on the map and thus do not need a compass to orient a map. For the next meeting, expand your map to include the grounds near the building then perhaps the whole neighborhood. Soon they will outgrow this map and be ready for some real orienteering.