I've had 2 requests in recent days to teach some local Girl Scout groups a basic "intro to orienteering and map reading" class. My understanding is that the girls range in age from about 7-12, and we will likely not have access to any already mapped terrain for at least the first meeting. Anyone have resources or ideas for introducing key concepts to this age range? Ideally, I'm thinking a 1-2 hour session introducing the basics, then hopefully getting some of the more interested girls to a local(ish) meet within the next month. (We're about 1.5-2 hours from the nearest QOC events, so the logistics of getting a group of kids to an organized meet are difficult, but certainly not impossible).
If you have access to a somewhat open park, you can print out a Google satellite image of the park and use that as your map. If you're at a house, you can do indoor or backyard orienteering with a simple sketch map. Or you can set up a maze and do maze orienteering.
Also, please make them aware of the OUSA orienteering skills patch program
. If you can find a way to do a White course then they can earn the first patch in a 1-2 hour session.
Ginger, the Youth Development Working Group is collecting a bunch of resources for this. I'll reach out via email...
Ginger, I hope I have this correct that you are in Lexington Park MD.
A park there called Chancellor's Run Regional Park seems as if it would be an ideal venue to give the girl scouts a run around with a map.
They could even have their own competition there.
A quick search of Open Street Map, Google Earth, Strava Heat Map and the National Map Viewer Download show that all the resources are there to make a quick and simple orienteering map of that park, indeed of the whole St Mary's County if you wanted.
Give me three weeks to get my Florida orienteering season over and get home and I'll get you a map of that park or another park if there is a better one. Just say the word.
Then you could suggest to the girl scouts that they really should have orienteering maps of their camps.
Troop Beverly Hills is the best story about girls-scouts and outdoor adventures