Seniors discover orienteering

Thousands of tourists flock to Près Isle each summer. While the park is known to its tourists during the summer months, locals also enjoy the grandeur of its beauty.

Seniors indulge in a new sport in Près Isle. This is called orienteering. This means navigating diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain on foot while being timed at each checkpoint. To succeed in this sport, several factors come into play.

“Choice of route, who will take which route to each checkpoint,” said Orienteering Club vice-president Charlie Shahbazian. “Sometimes go left, go right, go straight over it; what’s the most optimal route to do it, in an orienteering sense, as fast as possible.”

The Marquette Senior Center hosted its first-ever Orientation Challenge; made up of 11 different checkpoints scattered over a distance of 3 km at Almost Isle Park.

They chose Almost Isle because it is rugged but scenic terrain.

“In fact, orienteering is a sport for all ages, in Sweden or in other countries,” Shahbazian continued. “You will have children from 6 years old or, maybe their parents will follow them, up to people in their 80s or 90s who participate.

Nearly a dozen participants divided into five teams. As this was an introductory course in the sport, the adventurers practiced their skills without being timed.

“I learn the sport of orienteering,” said adventurer Pat Olson. “I tend to get lost quite easily, so I thought the idea of ​​learning how to navigate a map with a compass might serve me well outside of today as well.”

The senior center plans to organize other outdoor activities throughout the summer, such as stand-up paddleboarding, mountain biking and yoga, among others.

Dino J. Dotson