Family course   Leave a comment

Today I was organising an event on Mt. Carmel, on a map I made a couple of years ago (based on an old map from 1990). This local event was a great success, with 170 participants on two competitive courses and 70+ families on the family course.
In my opinion the family course (displayed below) was the today's highlight. We always have such a course, which is non-competitive (no time-keeping), relatively simple, and suitable for families with young children. In typical Israeli terrain, this means staying close to (or upon) the forest paths, and in many cases there is no choice but to plan a boring circuit of the main paths around the assembly area.
This time, I had mapped the valley which cuts through the map in some detail, especially for this type of course. The path through there (controls 1-6) is very easy orienteering, so we added fake controls so that the orienteers had to follow the rock features accurately and choose the correct ones. The feedback I heard was very positive, and it looks like everyone enjoyed the course – even the family who veered north-east from control 9 and climbed to the top of the hill, before we guided them back by phone.

Many of those who start orienteering this way, as a non-competitive family hike, become competitive orienteers later on. Others just enjoy walking around with a map. I think this is one of the distinctive features of Israeli orienteering (and has been for a long time), and counts as a significant percentage of our activity. And I really enjoy my own outings to the family course, several times a year, with 4-year old Ayala!

Posted 04/10/2008 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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