Orienteering courses for youngsters include string courses, where a child can follow a string or streamer from one "control" to another, and collect different stickers on their map; beginner courses, where they can practice map-reading skills with an older guide (often a parent or guardian but sometimes a teacher, scout leader, or orienteering instructor); and advanced beginner courses, where they can start to venture off-trail. The Little Troll incentive program is one way to keep children interested.
Once young orienteers are comfortable with map symbols and can easily complete the beginner courses, they can practice more off-trail skills on intermediate courses. They will become comfortable with distance estimation and feature recognition, and start to learn the international symbols that describe their target controls. O' 1-2-3 describes how to build skills for orienteering success. In addition, our online booklet, Orienteering for the Young, has advice for parents and teachers, as well as links to resources to learn more.
Training camps are generally scheduled in the spring and early summer. Orienteering coaches and interested parents help youngsters learn specific skills to help them become better orienteers, while fostering social interaction among their peers.
Learn more about activities for young orienteers in these sections of the site: