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Providing the suspense and excitement of a treasure hunt, orienteering is an adventurous activity for people of all ages, fitness and skill levels. Participants navigate their way between control points marked on a specially drawn map. The terrain involved can vary and the pace can be decided by the individual. It could be a family outing to the park or an international competition.

Orienteering is a versatile activity and can be done anywhere, from a dense forest to a playing field. This means that a course can be fixed or changed regularly and difficulty can also be changed to suit the groups involved. All you need to get started with orienteering is to have a sense of adventure, outdoor shoes and clothing, and of course a compulsory compass and map. There are various permanent courses around the country or you could set up your own.

Orienteering can be adapted for all ages and even beavers could take part by using a string course and later teaching them to read simple maps so that they can progress onto more complex courses.

This is an activity that could be set up in the grounds of your group headquarters or at your local campsite.

How to run/provide orienteering

There are 2 ways of running Orienteering in Scouting. These are:

  1. Scout-led activity - running orienteering yourself or using someone else in Scouting

  2. Externally-led activity - running orienteering using an external provider

Useful links

The National Governing Body for orienteering is:

Factsheets on orienteering

The following activity factsheets are relevant to this activity:

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