The Empire Orienteering Club is hosting an event at the BKW

People around the world will celebrate World Orienteering Day in May by trying fun activities and games on the map. The Empire Orienteering Club held an event at the Bern-Knox-Westerlo School on May 23.

“We hope to generate even more interest in the sport and in our junior orienteering programs,” said Barb Bryant, secretary of Orienteering USA and vice president of youth initiatives, in a statement from the organization.

Orienteering is a navigational sport that can take place in a forest or even in local parks, school or university campuses and city streets. Participants find checkpoints using only a map and compass. The fastest to visit all checkpoints in the correct order wins. Events are suitable for people of all ages and classes range from short and easy to long and strenuous.

Last year, the Empire Orienteering Club’s World Orienteering Day event at Norray Farm attracted an enthusiastic class of third year BKW students. “They had a great time and were a fun group to work with,” the statement read.

This year, all third graders and two fifth grader classes at BKW signed up to participate, using a detailed map of the school itself and surrounding area.

The May 23 event at BKW began at 9 a.m. with separate classes starting their lessons at regular intervals, so as not to have too many students in each group.

“Kids have so much fun learning and exploring the outdoors through activities like this,” OUSA President Kris Beecroft said in the release, “and it’s an activity the whole family family can enjoy, with more than 60 clubs across the United States offering events most weekends.

For more information about local Empire Orienteering Club events open to the general public, visit https://orienteeringusa.org/. The club will host a unique multi-map event on Saturday, June 2, with events on five separate maps in the Hilltowns.

Dino J. Dotson