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Four Day Lesson Plan
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Orienteering map symbols
USGS vs. Orienteering
Meeting room game
Five color map
Black and white map


Who Are We?

S-MASOC Scout Orienteering Event

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History of the event.

The Mid Atlantic Scout Event began as a concept expressed to Ed Scott by Mark Frank of DVOA some time during the winter of 1986-1987. We knew that Quantico Orienteering Club had a very successful annual event for the Baltimore Area Council, and wanted to provide a similar experience for the scout troops in the Delaware Valley area. That spring, with the help of Dennis Runyan of the Frontier District of Hawk Mountain Scout Council, a modest event was held near the boat docks at Hopewell Lake involving a handful of local Troops. Based on that event we felt with enough advance publicity we could attract more local troops.

Then in May of 1989 the first Mid Atlantic Scout Orienteering Championship was held using the DVOA French Creek West map. We were amazed to have 368 participants. Plans began immediately to make this into a yearly event. Since that event, we have averaged over 660 participants a year.

A Day of Orienteering


We provide onsite training, but there are several exercises that a troop can do prior to the event to insure having a more rewarding experience.

  1. Do the Troop meeting room Orienteering game at a troop meeting.
  2. Learn the basic Orienteering map symbols. The most important ones for French Creek are the vegetation types, (Stress that white is woodland and yellow are fields while green is thick vegetation) charcoal terraces, buildings, roads, trails, and rock features. Understanding contours will be very helpful on the advanced courses, but not so essential for the basic courses.
  3. Practice some basic compass skills. See for help. Note that Orienteering maps are already adjusted for declination, so that part can be skipped for the event.
  4. Scouts should be able to judge distances. The map is a 1:10000 scale so a centimeter on the map is 100 meters on the ground. Their compass should have a centimeter scale somewhere on it. If not, make one using a bit of masking tape and stick it on the end of the housing. Help them calculate their 100 meter pace in woods and field.

An Overview of the Day

We start our day about 9AM by confirming the number of teams on each of the courses with each participating troop. While the leaders complete this task, the Scouts can attend a presentation explaining the basics of Orienteering. The Scout Leaders get an envelope containing punch cards and event patches for each team that is competing. It is important to see that each team is given a punch card for the proper course. The names of the scouts on each team need to be added to the stubs of these cards so we know who was on each team at the afternoon award presentations.

At 9:56 AM the 10:00 AM starters will be called to the first start line. There will be Scouts and Scouters starting at one minute intervals on each course until around noon. Everyone needs to be at the start area at least 5, and preferably 10 minutes before their listed start time since very few empty slots exist. Missing a start time may cause a very lengthy wait until another opening is available. We try to arrange starts so there are leaders at the assembly area the entire time that there are scouts from their troop waiting to start, but we also start some leaders from each troop earlier hoping they will finish in time to be at the finish when their first groups come in.

The time taken on a course varies a lot from team to team, but the vast majority arrive at finish 40 to 90 minutes after they have started. They need to be sure to check in with the finish crew and give them the punch card that they have carried on the course. The card has a number on it that will be matched with the same numbered stub that was removed at start when they began the course. The punch marks are checked and the results tabulations begin. This is a great time to plan a rest beak and some lunch.

At 1:30 PM there is an informational meeting that at least one member, preferably the Senior Patrol Leader, of each troop needs to attend. At this meeting the rules and format of the afternoon Score Orienteering event will be explained. This part of the event is a source of a major part of the Troop Competition points. After this meeting each troop gets their map packet for the afternoon event. The troops have a half hour to plan strategy and return to the meeting spot for a mass start. In this part of the event each team may go to any controls that exist in the park. Each control has a set number of points and all teams must return to the finish within an hour to receive credit for their finds.

At 2:00 PM the mass start begins with a whistle. The afternoon punch cards are marked just prior to starting so no one can leave early. Troops must turn in their punch sheets at finish in one stack stapled together with the troop number on at least the top sheet, preferably on every sheet. Once a packet is turned in no additional sheets may be added to the pile.

At 3:00 PM the finish crew stops collecting punch sheets. Troop points are determined by first calculating the number of points per team, then by ranking the troops by points per team, and awarding each troop one point for every other troop they have beaten.

At 3:10 the Awards presentations begin. We have trophies for the top finishers on each course. The number of places receiving trophies on each course is proportional to the number of teams that competed on that course, but even in the smallest categories the first three finishers get trophies.

By 4:00 PM we expect to have everyone ready to head back to camp or home. The Troop Points will be calculated over the next few days and those trophies will be mailed to the winners address as listed on the unit's pre registration form. We appreciate it when units that must leave prior to the awards presentation make arrangements with a neighboring unit to retrieve any trophies they may win and transport them home for them.