Posted by: Karen | June 28, 2008

Orienteering & More Skeeters

I remembered our hats, but I must remember to bring the bug spray. Yay, it’s finally warm enough for bugs? I also need to remember my camera, to share with you the beauty of the parks we explore every week.

This week the O-course was set in Riley Park, a friendly, inner-city, flat, civilized place with mowed lawns, old trees, a wading pool and cricket pitches. There were a few cricket teams out practicing their pitching and batting and whatever else cricket players practice. It was strange and interesting to see – I’ve never watched a cricket game. Why didn’t I learn about cricket in phys. ed. in school?

The Super Junior Orienteers played a map-bingo game, where they learned to check symbols on their bingo card to make sure they were at the right control flags. I finally got it through my head that maybe if I learn the symbols too, I’ll be able to understand the courses better. I have homework to do before our next session!

Riley park is not huge compared to the other parks in which we’ve been getting lost orienteering lately, so I agreed to let Little Runner follow a map all by herself. I made sure she had the simplest course, and just followed about 10-20 feet behind. I only got to look at her map twice, and only offered general guidance by asking questions. She did really well, only missing one control, and when she realized her mistake she back-tracked and found it.

At one point she realized that the next control was on the opposite end of the wading pool from where she was. Should she go around the wading pool, or could she get wet and go through it? It was a warm night – who was I to stop her? She grinned big-time as she traipsed right through the pool, soaking her shoes, socks, and pants right up to her knees.

Cool! For a while there I was wondering if she’d ever stay focused long enough to figure out this map reading thing. Now I have more hope.

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