Council Orienteering Day

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Orienteering is an activity based on using – and understanding – a map, and that’s a major part of why it is useful in many aspects of scouting (and life). It is not an activity based around pacing distances on a compass bearing.

Click here to register.

2021 Orienteering Day

SPL James Horning of Chesapeake Beach Troop 429, assisted by Dylan Wood on the left

Two scouts from Troop 815, Edgewater 

A scout from Annapolis Troop 422Scouts from Troop 612,  NW Baltimore city  

John Segelhorst leading a map walk, pointing out a feature.

and can help Scouts satisfy a First Class and some Orienteering Merit Badge requirements.   First Class Requirement  The orienteering-related requirements for First Class:  Using a map and compass, complete an orienteering course that covers at least one mile…  QOC events always include a beginner course, usually called a “white course”, and an advanced beginner courses (“yellow”) that are always over one mile in length.   We do not deal with measurements of any “designated items” at our events, the other part of this requirement.

Req. 7a:  Attend three orienteering events, one of which must be a “cross-country” course. All QOC beginner courses such as “white” and “yellow” courses are cross-country courses.  [Wonder how we answer Req. 2?:  A sport using a detailed map to find as quickly as possible a series of checkpoints or control points. It’s a navigational race based on using maps, whether it’s on foot, skis, a bike, a canoe or any other way of getting around.]

Adults must acknowledge that they are responsible for all minors in their group.  We recommend that an adult accompany all Scouts under the age of 11 on their course.  Scouts may also enjoy the activity more if they head out on their courses in pairs, which we recommend.  Groups larger than pairs tend to have a steep decline in learning per child in our sport.   After-Event Etiquette  We encourage you to hang around!  Many groups bring picnic foods and refreshments along with outdoor-suitable games, blankets or tarps, chairs and the like. We do ask that you leave any area occupied by your group as clean as you found it, and if you happen to be around when our volunteers are packing up at the end of an event, feel free to offer to help out!  Impress upon your youth that no litter is to be left out on the course!


Scout groups are very welcome at QOC events.   Basic orienteering instruction is free at all QOC events, but large groups should contact the event director (see the schedule at  in advance.

Registration  If possible, fill out a form  at  in advance and either bring it with you or, preferably, email it in advance to the event director.  A group is defined as a pair or more sharing one control card (or one e-punch) and starting together.  The fee for a group of youth is $10, plus (as is recommended) $2 per extra map so everyone in the group can have a map.  Arrive from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Space for parking can be limited. If noted on the QOC event page, please consider ways to carpool.  Thanks.    Epunching  Each starting group will need one e-punch at any event using e-punching – which is most of them. If you anticipate having 4 or more such “starting groups” and you need to borrow them from us, you can save us all some time by emailing our e-punch guru ( ) in advance.

What If We Can’t Attend a QOC Event?  Attending a QOC event could be best; there’s always free beginner instruction and it’s a fun and supportive environment for learning about orienteering. If that’s not possible, though:

  • Visit a permanent orienteering course with your troop. A list of these  is on our website’s Permanent Courses webpage, including Camp Hashawha in Carroll Co., Little Bennett in Montgomery Co., Hemlock Overlook in Fairfax Co., Prince William Forest Park, VA, and of course three (beginner-intermediate) on the Harford Co. Broad Creek camp map.
  • Look online for ideas on how to set up your own course. Discussion threads other troop leaders have found helpful can be found at