Orienteering is one of the many activities to be enjoyed at Camp Cutler.  It is a sport which teaches real-world navigation using only a map and a compass.  The picture at the top of this page shows a slice of a map which depicts the physical features found near to Langie Lodge.  Maps have a legend which relate the symbols found on the map to things like roads, trails, buildings, streams, elevations, and other physical features.  Orienteering controls are depicted using circled numbers.  The object of the orienteering course is to transit the course finding each control in the desired sequence.  An example of an orienteering control is shown in the following picture.
The orienteering control may be found mounted to a pole or suspended from a tree.  There are three sides to the control and each side is painted with an orange and a white triangular section.  There is a nameplate on the control which identifies the course and control sequence number which allows the scout to ensure that the correct control has been found.  At Camp Cutler, Scouts can attend a training session where the compass used as a protractor to determine travel direction from the map.  The edge of the compass has a scale which may be used to measure distance on the map.  This distance is applied to a distance scale on the map to the travel distance on the ground.  By traversing the orienteering course as points on the map in this classroom setting, a table may be constructed of directions and distances to be walked on the orienteering course.  The picture below depicts a scout unit learning how to use the map and compass.

 

With the knowledge of how to determine travel direction and distances using the compass and map, the orienteering session moves into the field to actually travel the course. From Langie Lodge, the first control on the red training course is visible near the gate just outside.  The course heading is placed under the direction line on the compass and with the direction line pointed away and in front of the body, the body is rotated to place the north-pointing arrow of the compass into the outline of the compass on the bezel.  Sightings of landmarks are made along this compass heading to walk from one landmark to the next until the control is found and identified.

The travel distance for each leg of the course is determined by counting paces while walking along the course. A pace is equal to one natural step, about 30 inches long. To accurately use the pace count method, you must know how many paces it takes you to walk 100 meters. To determine this, you must walk an accurately measured course and count the number of paces you take.  Start with an estimate of a 30 inch pace and adjust the distance as you gain experience with orienteering.

At Camp Cutler, there is a little game which is played on the orienteering course.  Each control nameplate contains an additional letter which is used to spell a secret word.  On the course, collect the letters as you move from control to control so that you can guess the secret word!

Reference Material

Red Orienteering Training Material
CSAC Orienteering Training
Orienteering Merit Badge Requirements