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Field Tripin': The 8th Grade Goes Orienteering

Field Tripin': The 8th Grade Goes Orienteering
Posted on 11/01/2014
By Leilani Baker

Orienteering is a sport that requires using a paper map to navigate through an area of land and find landmarks. These landmarks usually have hole punch patterns or electronic markers for the orienteerers to mark off when they reach the checkpoint. The VLUS 8th Graders had been preparing for the orienteering field trip for almost a month! As prep for this trip, we had done training, such as how to use a map and how to draw the shortest routes possible. We were also trained to count paces and navigate through mazes.

On October 2, teams of four took a trip by bus to a huge area of land called the Middlesex Fells, filled with trees, vegetation, rocks, boulders, steep hills, and much more. Each team received a map and used it to navigate to different control points scattered around the Fells. We were challenged to find as many control points as we could, and then head to the finish line, within two hours. After the teams reached the finish line, they were were awarded tickets based on the number of controls they hit. Then we were given the option to complete a mini-scavenger hunt, where teams had to find mini-controls in the least amount of time possible. Then the teams were awarded one ticket each for completing that course. Once done with that, teams were allowed to pick prizes such as pencils, bracelets, keychains, and snacks from a prize box-each prize cost one ticket. Some of the puzzles cost three tickets.

Overall, it was an interesting experience! There was some negative criticism about the trip and positive criticism. We hope next year’s 8th Grade will enjoy this trip too!