Orienteering for Boy Scouts

The information below is from a former Orienteering Merit Badge Counselor.

Be aware that the information is a few years old, and might not be complete or correct.

Cub Scout Requirements That Are Orienteering Related

Wolf Adventure: Paws on the Path (http://usscouts.org/advance/cubscout/wolf-core.asp#path)

  1. Show you are prepared to hike safely by putting together the Cub Scout Six Essentials to take along on your hike.
  2. Tell what the buddy system is and why we always use it in Cub Scouts.
  3. Describe what you should do if you get separated from your group while hiking.
  4. Choose the appropriate clothing to wear on your hike based on the expected weather.
  5. Before hiking, recite the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids with your leader. After hiking, discuss how you showed respect for wildlife.
  6. Go on a 1-mile hike with your den or family. Watch and record two interesting things that you've never seen before.
  7. Name two birds, two insects, and two other animals that live in your area. Explain how you identified them.
  8. Draw a map of an area near where you live using common map symbols. Show which direction is north on your map.

Wolf Elective Adventure: Finding Your Way (http://usscouts.org/usscouts/advance/cubscout/wolf-elective.asp#way)

  1. Do the following:
    1. Using a map of your city or town, locate where you live.
    2. Draw a map for a friend so he or she can locate your home, a park, a school, or other locations in your neighborhood. Use symbols to show parks, buildings, trees, and water. You can invent your own symbols. Be sure to include a key so your symbols can be identified.
  2. Pick a nutritious snack, and find where it came from. Locate that area on a map.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Identify what a compass rose is and where it is on the map.
    2. Use a compass to identify which direction is north. Show how to determine which way is south, east, and west.
  4. Go on a scavenger hunt using a compass, and locate an object with a compass.
  5. Using a map and compass, go on a hike with your den or family.

Boy Scout Requirements That Are Orienteering Related

Second-class Boy Scout advancement requirements that are orienteering related

3a. Demonstrate how a compass works and how to orient a map. Use a map to point out and tell the meaning of five map symbols.

3b. Using a compass and map together, take a 5-mile hike (or 10 miles by bike) approved by your adult leader and your parent or guardian.

3c. Describe some hazards or injuries that you might encounter on your hike and what you can do to help prevent them.

3d. Demonstrate how to find directions during the day and at night without using a compass or an electronic device.

First-class Boy Scout advancement requirements that are orienteering related

4a. Using a map and compass, complete an orienteering course that covers at least one mile and requires measuring the height and/or width of designated items (tree, tower, canyon, ditch, etc.).

4b. Demonstrate how to use a handheld GPS unit, GPS app on a smartphone, or other electronic navigation system. Use GPS to find your current location, a destination of your choice, and the route you will take to get there. Follow that route to arrive at your destination.

Orienteering Merit Badge requirements

  1. Show that you know first aid for the types of injuries that could occur while orienteering, including cuts, scratches, blisters, snakebite, insect stings, tick bites, heat and cold reactions (sunburn, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, hypothermia), and dehydration. Explain to your counselor why you should be able to identify poisonous plants and poisonous animals that are found in your area.
  2. Explain what orienteering is.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Explain how a compass works. Describe the features of an orienteering compass.
    2. In the field, show how to take a compass bearing and follow it.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Explain how a topographic map shows terrain features. Point out and name five terrain features on a map and in the field.
    2. Point out and name 10 symbols on a topographic map.
    3. Explain the meaning of declination. Tell why you must consider declination when using map and compass together.
    4. Show a topographic map with magnetic north-south lines.
    5. Show how to measure distances on a map using an orienteering compass.
    6. Show how to orient a map using a compass.
  5. Set up a 100-meter pace course. Determine your walking and running pace for 100 meters. Tell why it is important to pace-count.
  6. Do the following:
    1. Identify 20 international control description symbols. Tell the meaning of each symbol.
    2. Show a control description sheet and explain the information provided.
    3. Explain the following terms and tell when you would use them: attack point, collecting feature, catching feature, aiming off, contouring, reading ahead, handrail, relocation, rough versus fine orienteering.
  7. Do the following:
    1. Take part in three orienteering events. One of these must be a cross-country course.
      (Note to the Counselor: While orienteering is primarily an individual sport, BSA Youth Protection procedures call for using the buddy system. Requirement 7a can be completed by pairs or groups of Scouts).
    2. After each event, write a report with (1) a copy of the master map and control description sheet, (2) a copy of the route you took on the course, (3) a discussion of how you could improve your time between control points, and (4) a list of your major weaknesses on this course. Describe what you could do to improve.
  8. Do one of the following:
    1. Set up a cross-country course that is at least 2,000 meters long with at least five control markers. Prepare the master map and control description sheet.
    2. Set up a score-orienteering course with at least 12 control points and a time limit of at least 60 minutes. Set point values for each control. Prepare the master map and control description sheet.
  9. Act as an official during an orienteering event. This may be during the running of the course you set up for requirement 8.
  10. Teach orienteering techniques to your patrol, troop, or crew.