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Discussion: Youth activities for clubs

in: Orienteering; General

May 5, 2019 1:49 PM # 
The Sport Development Working Group led by Erin is taking on the project of documenting a set of activities for children and families that can be implemented by clubs either at their already-existing events, or taken to schools or other organizations.

Could you all please list the people and clubs that you know of, that have developed good activities? I believe that from what already exists, we could pull together a nice set and progression of activities. I'm more interested in things that have already been implemented and are known to work well, rather than hypothetical ideas, but happy to hear about any of them. Please provide name of person and club as well.

As an example, O clubs in the Boston area have been hosting a Youth Series that includes a progression of activities: Animal-O, Tarzan-O, and a mini demo station. We can provide the "recipe" for each of those.
May 5, 2019 8:59 PM # 
Hi Barb, I would be very interested in your "recipes". I am with Ramblers in Montreal, we recently "imported" the Outreach Program from Ottawa. Their person in charge is Rory Harding.
We did just one ourselves, went very smoothly.
On our side, we've been doing a sleep-away Junior Camp 3 years in a row, based on the Sass Peepre Camp model of Orienteering Canada. It is one-week long, and financially possible because all the coaches are volunteers. Too early to tell whether it is making any significant impact, but lots of fun for all of us.
May 6, 2019 4:43 AM # 
I've found that Vampire Orienteering is very popular and easy to do even with youth groups with no previous orienteering experience.
May 6, 2019 12:18 PM # 
Will be doing Vampire-O this summer with 2 mixed crouds, would love to know what's essential, and what could be left out.
May 6, 2019 1:02 PM # 
Barb: Alli and I are putting together an animal-O kit based on what you guys do in Boston. Will report on how it goes and what we learn. Hoping to deploy either next week or the week after.
May 6, 2019 3:20 PM # 
@Boris do you have the small SI printer where you can change what the printout says? Like entering words instead of just control numbers? If so, Animal-O can be expanded with a number of variations and keep it fresh as kids get a bit older, or even make relays out of them.
Would love to know if there are on-screen variations to the SI small printer, on the other hand, the kids love their printouts - even if I would prefer a greener option over paper output.
May 6, 2019 3:29 PM # 
Totally silly, but I totally love the one added fun activity the Swiss coop partnership with the federation, FAMcool puts on for young kids while they hang out in the arena, the SI fishing rods to dip into e-punch units.
May 6, 2019 5:57 PM # 
@andreais - it's the totally silly that makes it so good! Kids love totally silly!
May 8, 2019 2:25 AM # 
Just a couple ideas...

In cooperation with an area parks program's Zombie Apocalypse Survival themed day camp, we did a mini-score-O. At each control, kids had to pick up a laminated card depicting something they'd need to survive the zombie apocalypse. Cards represented non-perishable food, potable water, a first aid kit, weapons for defense, flint and steel for starting fire, and weapons for defense.

Another activity that can be set up in a gym or on a playing field is a 'minefield' which must be crossed. Lay out a grid with a card at each intersection. You may travel the grid forward, backward or to either side, but must follow grid lines. At each intersection, turning over the card reveals either an "inert (safe)" or a "BOOM" mine. Maps of the minefield are provided - you can either let kids carry the maps, or for more challenge, mount the maps at the starting point(s) and require the minefield to be navigated by memory. Getting blown up requires returning to the starting point to start over. This can also be done in teams with partners shouting instructions or communicating them by phone or text (or even silent miming). By having 2 or more starting points and safe routes of equal difficulty, you can make a relay competition of it...
May 8, 2019 2:36 AM # 
Totally does over the meaning of the event we have in Aus known as Relay for Life.
May 10, 2019 10:04 PM # 
For my son's 9th birthday party this year we setup teams of 3-4 and had them go on a scavenger hunt (AKA O-course with map) to get supplies at each checkpoint. The supplies would then be used for a STEM project to build a contraption to safely drop eggs and prevent them from breaking. It seemed work pretty well. I made different course maps for each team so that they would all visit the same checkpoints but in different order to mix things up and prevent following.
May 12, 2019 6:46 PM # 
Any ideas on Orienteering songs? Searched the topic, not much sounding great, except maybe Dr Alban's "It's my life" with O lyrics. For the junior camp, would love to have some music. Maybe a few marching songs can be made into O songs? Like "What would you do with an Orienteer"..? For the campfire / marching / contests..
May 12, 2019 10:24 PM # 
May 13, 2019 4:39 PM # 
RMOC does the Colorado Scholastic Orienteering League (CSOL) competitions between middle schools and high schools. OCIN does the Tri-state Regional Orienteering League (TROL). Both of these seem to be a great way to get youth involved in the sport. I've been thinking about trying this kind of effort in Michigan.

RMOC holds an annual CSOL championship and often combines that with JROTC / Scout / etc championship... kids running around everywhere!

My kids have always loved the Easter Egg hunts. OCIN did one that we attended, and SMOC put out chocolate eggs this year. Our kids always love it!

The Corn Mazes I've seen in multiple clubs seems to be a hit with children too, although I've personally never attended one.

The summer sprint events in community and campus parks have been a hit with our family several times too.

This discussion thread is closed.