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Discussion: Parks and Rec Orienteering Programs?

in: Orienteering; General

Feb 3, 2019 10:15 AM # 
There is a city here in the Suncoast area of Florida where some in the Parks department are interested in learning about orienteering to see about incorporating it in to their recreation and camp programs.
They asked Florida Orienteering and FLO sloughed it off on me.
Before I 'reinvent the wheel' are there any APers who have already made pitches to parks about orienteering in their rec programs that you could share with me? for inclusion in youth and adult holiday camps or one day 'learn to', maybe a permanent O course.
It is not my area of expertise but they are operating what must be one of the largest wilderness parks within a US city boundary east of the Mississippi and I'd love to get an orienteering foot in the door there.
Can you help point me to helpful resources?
Feb 3, 2019 12:42 PM # 

Talk to Bogi Gyorfi with the Alberta Orienteering Association ( I believe). She has done a lot work in this space.
Feb 3, 2019 3:21 PM # 
Another person to talk to is Barb Bryant.
Feb 3, 2019 6:45 PM # 
Definitely permanent O course(s).
Feb 3, 2019 8:46 PM # 
Thanks for the advice. Plus I have received copy of a complete proposal for a permanent O course in a park with suggestions for marketing and photos of groups of kids on course. This will be helpful.
But this Parks Department wants to go further. They want to put orienteering in their school break programs and have something to offer groups such as the home school, scouts, regular schools and other groups. They offered that I could do the instructing and they would market in return for a cut of the registrations but in my case that is not an option (no work status in the US)
So my friend has sent information on what to teach. I just need the best information on how to give the Park employees the confidence to recruit and train others - like HS orienteers - to be their instructors and how to market orienteering to parents who want their kids to get outside, get some exercise and learn to think for themselves all of which orienteering does better than any other sport.
If you have something please bring it on. Thanks
Feb 4, 2019 12:41 AM # 
I periodically do a training session for parks employees as part of a "memo of understanding" we have with the parks that gives us free use of shelters when we host club events, in exchange for doing an annual training and a certain number of public events in the parks. You should be able to do something similar.

If you taught for them, instead of paying you, perhaps they could pay your non-profit orienteering club; funds could then be use for mapping, or any other club expenses. (that's assuming you don't care about not personally benefiting for the time you spend teaching).

We've done a variety of programs for kids - some with traditional controls, others with more creative variations. This summer the park had a "Zombie Apocalypse" day camp for young kids, and we did orienteering as one of the activities. At each control they found laminated cards to collect; each card representing supplies needed for survival, such as "food", "potable water", :shelter building materials", "flint and steel for fire making", "weapons for defense", etc. Those cards can be re-used for any kind of survival based day camp.
Feb 4, 2019 1:00 AM # 
The Georgia club GAOC has several permanent courses and they are quite popular. In some places there is a path worn from one control to the next. A little bit of maintenance is require as the markers are sometimes damaged.
Feb 4, 2019 11:15 PM # 
I was wondering as well about having some funds go to the club, although that could still be problematic based on my understanding that if you can't work in the US, you also can't do something on a voluntary basis that ordinarily would be performed by someone who is paid.
Feb 5, 2019 12:30 AM # 
if you can't work in the US, you also can't do something on a voluntary basis that ordinarily would be performed by someone who is paid.

This is sooooo sweet and touching. The grim reality --- 30+ millions of illegals,
many businesses, industries employ them almost exclusively
Feb 5, 2019 1:21 AM # 
Mr Wonderful:
ordinarily would be performed by someone who is paid.

Is that a big risk in this sport? If so, I have been missing out.
Feb 6, 2019 11:01 AM # 
Yes it is a big risk in orienteering and I understand some clubs have to jump through a lot of hoops to get permission to bring in foreign mappers for their big projects. So do Canadian clubs.
My club's maps in Florida would not get done if they were not done for free so no US mapper is displaced.
Feb 8, 2019 7:16 PM # 
Talk to Andrea Schneider in MN. She has a lot of experience with teaching youth and does lots of camp programs as well as school programs. I am encouraged that the Park System wants to incorporate O in their programming. Progress! Talk to Barb Bryant, too. She is training (employing) young people to put on programs for her non-profit Navigation Games. And Mike Waddington has his Adventure Running Kids program that might serve as a model.
Feb 8, 2019 10:14 PM # 
Have the interested park employees contact Jamie Hartzke of the St Joseph County (IN) Parks for ideas on how she has incorporated orienteering into park programs. Two years ago OCIN held an orienteering workshop for homeschoolers on World Orienteering Day at one of the county parks. Jamie saw how excited the kids were at finding control points in the park and thought that orienteering would be a good way get other people interested in the outdoors. I have helped her understand the basics of orienteering. Now she incorporates orienteering in park activities. The park just released their 5-year master plan and orienteering is mentioned in several places, including the goal of acquiring orienteering equipment. ( OCIN mapped two parks and gave Jamie the ocd files for those two parks.

This discussion thread is closed.