The following the lessons have been designed to give the Scout an understanding of the sport of Orienteering and of the mental and physical benefits he can obtain through participation in the sport. The Scout who participates in this program and does all the assigned work should obtain both a thorough understanding of Orienteering and earn the Orienteering Merit Badge.
The plan is based on a four day camp activity schedule with a morning class of one hour duration. In addition, each Scout should have at least one hour of time every afternoon to devote to running courses and doing required written assignments. Some Scouts will require extra help or time for these requirements, thus a fifth day may become necessary.
The instructor will set courses each day which should be available for at least a 2.5 hour period in the afternoon. Each day will offer a new course and new challenges so that every boy will have ample opportunity to run his three required courses.
This plan can also be adapted to a troop meeting + Saturday event format and used as a "theme of the month" presentation.
In a summer camp situation, two or three sets of courses must be developed to avoid overuse of specific areas in the camp. Rotate through the sets of courses week by week.
Ed Scott, Scouting Development Chairman
For additional information on Orienteering and Orienteering Clubs in your area contact:
Ed Scott, 1608 Cocalico Road, Birdsboro, PA 19508 or USOF, PO Box 1444, Forest Park, GA 30298
Scout: Merit badge booklet, notebook, pencil, paper
Instructor: USGS Topographical maps, Orienteering maps, Orienteering control, control punch, control punch card, and a copy of the IOF control descriptions that can be given to each Scout.
Activities and Methods
The boys will write a short paper describing the types of injuries and potential dangers for which they should be prepared while orienteering, as well as how they can become prepared for such situations.
A short (0.7 -1.3 Km) White level course should be offered. The first control, or feature upon which it is hung, should be visible from the start area. Use a master map and have pre-printed control descriptions. Early finishers can help with finish times and results tabulation for Requirement 9. Returning runners should be able to point out terrain features they saw in the field on their map for completion of Requirement 4a. Scouts that return without completing the course should be helped and then sent out again to finish the course from the point where they lost map contact. Each returning Scout should now be able to describe Orienteering. (Requirement 2 complete, Requirement 4a complete)
Scout: Merit badge book, notebook, paper, pencil, compass, maps from lesson 1a and Homework.
Instructor: maps, compass
Activities and methods
The boys will draw, label and identify by color, 10 standard topographical map symbols of their choice, and draw 20 IOF control description symbols and describe the meaning of each.
A White or possibly an easy Yellow course is appropriate. Plan your course based on the results of yesterday. If some were unable to complete the first course, make today's course about the same difficulty. If all were successful with course 1, you may try the easy Yellow version today. If the class shows a wide range of skill level, offering two courses would be an appropriate alternative. Try to use a new part of the map. Some route choices should be presented as well as some off trail options, however all controls should be near trails or other linear features. Encourage all to stay and work on Requirements 9. Scouts should be ready to demonstrate their knowledge of compasses to finish requirement 3a. Remind the Scouts to utilize these maps in continuing Requirement 7b. Some Scouts will be ready to complete Requirement 5. At this point all Scouts should have completed all of the following Requirements: 1, 2, 3a, and 4a.
Scout: Merit badge book, notebook, pencil, paper, compass and homework.
Instructor: Have a control hung 100 to 200 meters away, out of sight, but in a spot accessible via a straight line from the instruction site. The control must be hung on a mapped object.
Activities and methods
The scout should put north lines on a standard USGS map to show his understanding of declination and to make the map more suitable for Orienteering.
A more difficult and somewhat longer (2.0 - 3.5 Km ) course should be offered. Controls can be off trails, but in well defined areas. More off trail shortcuts will now be encouraged. Be sure catching features exist to keep all Scouts on the map. With the completion of this course, Requirement 7a will be complete. All boys should complete Requirement 9 by the end of this lesson. Some should return with notes completing Requirement 10. They should now have the maps needed to do Requirement 7b. More Scouts will be ready to complete Requirement 5.
Scout: Merit badge book, notebook, pencil, paper, compass, reports on completed courses, homework, notes in regard to the completion of requirement 10.
Instructor: Orienteering maps with sample courses and control descriptions
Activities and methods
Courses designed by class members should be set and competitors assigned to the course by the instructor based on the course difficulty and achievement level of the Scout. All Scouts that have not completed other requirements should do them before going on their course. All the courses that were designed this morning, should be turned in with master maps and control descriptions for the completion of Requirement 8. Scouts should now be ready to show their knowledge of basic Orienteering terms thus finishing requirements 6a and 6b. All 7b reports are due at this time. Scoutmaster’s notes for Requirement 10 must be submitted by this time. Everyone should have completed requirements 5 and 9.
In most camps there is a fifth program day. In most groups there are some that do not complete all the requirements in a timely manner. Friday is “Make up” day for any missed work that is needed to complete the badge. It is recommended that those who have already done all the requirements come back to help those that need more time, or perhaps set and administer their own orienteering event for themselves or others from their troop.
Of course the Orienteering Merit Badge Booklet will provide lots of useful data for completion of the merit badge, but there are many other sources of information a scout can utilize, a couple of which are listed below.
Lowry, Ron & Sidney, Ken, Orienteering Skills and Strategies , Orienteering Ontario, 1220 Sheppard Ave E, Willowdale, Ontario, Canada M2K 2X1. 1985
Wilson, Peter, Orienteering, New Zealand Mountain Safety Council Inc, P.O. Box 6027, Te Aro, Wellington, New Zealand. Fax (04) 857-366. Circa 1992
And possibly the best sources of all, a local orienteering club may be within reach of your troop. Check out the link to the USOF Orienteering and Rogaining Home Page at http://www.us.orienteering.org for the list of North American clubs, or go to the links and follow the IOF link for international clubs. Get a schedule and attend one of their events. It will count as one of the courses in requirement 7 and certainly show what is needed to complete requirements 8 and 9. Most clubs will provide copies of their Orienteering maps for a small fee. These maps are of a higher quality than typical USGS maps and are designed specifically for Orienteering. The USOF web site has loads of data and links to information on teaching orienteering techniques to all ages and ability levels. Taking some time to explore these pages will help prepare the instructor for teaching the new badge requirements that became effective in January of 2004.