Introduction to Orienteering Clinics

Introduction to Orienteering Clinics


Saturday, 04/06/2024    
10:00 am - 12:15 pm


Bookings closed


Auburndale Cove
92 W Pine Street, Auburndale, MA, 02466

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Join Newton Conservators and the Newton Parks. Recreation, & Culture Department for a free “Introduction to Orienteering Clinic.”  What is orienteering?  It’s like a hike and scavenger hunt mixed into one.  Participants use a detailed map to navigate through the trails looking for specific orienteering controls.

There will be two introductory sessions on Saturday, April 6 with different start times.  Session 1 will run from 10 am to 11:30 am and Session 2 will run from 10:45 am to 12:15 pm.  Each session will include approximately 30 minutes of instruction to learn the basic skills needed to complete a beginner orienteering course.   Registration for these sessions can be found below.

Participants will learn about symbols on the map, how to orient the map, tips for planning a better route, thumbing the map to keep from getting lost, and how to be sure you found the correct control on your course.  After instruction, participants will head out on their own or in small groups to complete a course in Auburndale Park and Flowed Meadow Conservation area.

This program is best for children ages 7 and older.  Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.  Feel free to bring your own compass if you have one.  This course can be completed without a compass, but it can be helpful when orienting the map.  Please dress for the weather and bring your own water bottle.

Auburndale Park is the first and easiest course, designed to build confidence in orienteering.  It allows users to become familiar with reading a map and following trails to find control markers throughout the park.  This is a great course to practice orienting and thumbing the map. The course is approximately 1.8 km long, features mostly level trails with a few small hills. Note that controls on this course are all very close or adjacent to existing trails.  We will meet at the picnic area in Auburndale Park (aka “the Cove”) on West Pine Street, Auburndale with plenty of parking.

Registration is required so that we have enough maps and compasses on hand.  Register for the specific session of interest.  You can register up to 3 people together to make a team to share a map. If a session is full, then please try registering for a another session.  If there is sufficient demand, an additional session may be added.

The clinics will be led by Channon Ames, Recreation Manager in the Newton Parks, Recreation and Culture Department.  Channon is a an orienteering enthusiast and has taught many people the necessary skills to have fun in this sport.  To learn more about orienteering in Newton, please check out Channon’s article, “Find Yourself in Orienteering”,  in the upcoming Newton Conservators Spring 2024 Newsletter (available in March on our website).  If you have questions you may contact Channon  at

Once you are familiar with the orienteering techniques from this clinic, you may be tempted to try navigating some of the other Newton courses in Cold Spring Park,  Kennard Park, Nahanton Park or Edmands Park.  These are designed as beginner courses to help new orienteers develop their skills.  There are QR codes at each control that give park facts, history and information about orienteering. Maps for each of the courses are available on the Newton Parks and Recreation website at  This site also provides information about beginner trainings that are available through Newton Parks and Recreation to help people further develop their orienteering skills.

It is important that those engaged in orienteering be careful not to tramp through ecologically sensitive locations/habitats such as the edges of ponds and streams or into deep woods, where (however unintentionally) the seeds or roots of invasive species could be transported into areas where those species have not already taken hold.  See Jennifer Steel’s article in the Fall 2023 Newton Conservators to learn about the need to stick to marked trails on Newton’s public lands.

Note:  The weather forecast on Saturday morning is looking reasonable.  Currently this event will go on as planned.   In light rain, it will still be held.  Dress for the weather.  If you register, you will receive an email update as to whether the event is on, canceled, or postponed.

Register below before 10 pm on Friday, April 5th!


Bookings are closed for this event.