Empire Orienteering Club holds event at BKW

People all over the world will be celebrating World Orienteering Day in May by trying out fun map activities and games. The Empire Orienteering Club held an event at the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School on May 23.

“We hope to spur even greater interest in the sport and in our junior orienteering programs,” said Barb Bryant, Orienteering USA’s Secretary and vice president of Youth Initiatives, in a release from the organization.

Orienteering is a navigation sport that may be set in a forest or even local parks, school or college campuses, and city streets. Participants find checkpoints using only a map and compass. The fastest to visit all the checkpoints in the correct order wins. Events are suitable for people of all ages and courses range from short and easy to long and strenuous.

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

This year, all of BKW’s third-grade classes and two fifth-grade classes signed up to participate, using a detailed map of the school itself and the surrounding area.

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

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

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