Youth Orientation Course in Airdrie

A program to promote outdoor literacy among Airdrie youth is launching this month. The Alberta Orienteering Association (AOA) offers its Outdoor Adventure Program to Airdrie youth ages 6-12.

A program to promote outdoor literacy among Airdrie youth is launching this month.

The Alberta Orienteering Association (AOA) offers its Outdoor Adventure Program to Airdrie youth ages 6-12. The eight-week course will delve into the fundamentals of orienteering, such as map reading and other aspects of outdoor literacy.

According to AOA Executive Director Bogi Gyorfi, the association offered the courses two years ago and held a successful session in Airdrie, but the program was temporarily derailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve had quite a few requests this year about when he’ll be back,” she said. “We felt we were an outdoor sport so we could keep it safe and follow all the guidelines.”

Classes include various outdoor games, obstacle courses, endurance, strength and agility challenges. In addition to these activities, Gyorfi said participants will learn the introductory elements of orienteering – practicing navigation and understanding one’s external environment.

“Our program is designed as an outdoor physical literacy program, and we use orienteering to enhance the program,” she said. “We hope that children who participate will develop that common sense of how to be outdoors and enjoy them more, so they are more likely to stay active outdoors throughout their lives. “

Classes are $80 and will be held Mondays from 6 to 7 p.m., starting April 26 and running through the end of June. Sessions will take place at Nose Creek Regional Park or on the grounds behind the École francophone d’Airdrie in Ravenswood.

“We usually do three sessions at Nose Creek Park, then we go to Ravenswood, then we go back to the park,” Gyorfi said. “That way the kids can learn more and more about different areas and it’s just helpful for our program to introduce them to new maps.”

To help reduce the prospect of COVID-19 transmission among attendees, Gyorfi said AOA has implemented new health and safety protocols for its programming, such as daily health screening, physical distancing of participants, non-sharing of materials and maps, and keeping participants in groups of 10 or less.

Gyorfi said she encourages families in Airdrie to consider enrolling their children in the courses, adding that the program offers young people a myriad of benefits, such as learning orienteering and reconnecting with their natural environment.

“The most important thing is that we find, I work in schools and we see how, because of technology and the lack of opportunities for children to be outside, they lose this connection with nature and lose their connection and how to feel joy on the outside,” she said.

“We just want to get them out and that’s the easiest way to get families out.”

To help ensure the program is accessible to all children, she said the AOA has a grant program to help subsidize tuition for families facing economic hardship or those belonging to poor families. underrepresented groups.

She said the AOA’s goal is to eventually expand its outdoor literacy program to Airdrie and reinstate its adult orienteering program once restrictions ease.

For more information, visit orientationalberta.ca/airdrie.html

Scott Strasser, AirdrieToday.com
follow me on twitter @scottstrasser19

Dino J. Dotson