I went with the kids to check out a family orienteering class that was put together by the nature conservation Center in Springfield Missouri.
We spent time in the classroom at the center learning how to use orienteering compasses first.
We learned about the dead reckoning method and the leapfrog method of orienteering. In dead reckoning, once you set your orienteering compass to the degree that you need, you look for a recognizable landmark in your path and walk until you get to that landmark.
Leapfrog method was similar except that when you have multiple people, one can travel ahead of the others at the direction of the person who stays behind with the compass. The person who stays behind checks the compass and the direction that the forward person is moving and makes sure that she stays on track. He calls out direction to the person who is moving, telling her if she needs to adjust to the left or to the right or to continue going straight. Then when she gets almost out of earshot he tells her to stop so that he can catch up. In the meantime she can set her compass and figure out the right direction of travel. He now leapfrogs in front of her while she gives direction.
After the classroom instruction we went to a local park and got to practice our leapfrogging skills. It was pretty fun to be out there with the kids finding hidden objects.
There was one thing that stood out to me as soon as we entered the classroom. The instructor used an old-fashioned overhead projector with transparencies. I haven’t seen one of those in a long time so I captured it forever in one of the photographs above.