Orienteering at the Rec

This session is an introduction to orienteering. The cubs will use a map, grid-references and clues to find the checkpoints.

The checkpoint positions are printed on paper and consist of two number and two letters. When the cubs find the checkpoint, they will match up the numbers

You will need

  • Compasses
  • Clip boards
  • Pens or pencils
  • Whistle

The materials for the session consist of

  • Paper maps
  • Paper control sheets to note down the checkpoint letters when they’re found
  • Checkpoint markers (printed on paper)


  • Prior to the session
    • The checkpoint markers will be put in place at the predetermined points
  • At the start of the session
    • Explain about reading maps including grid references & compass orientation
    • Explain the rules
    • Risk assessment
    • Put the kids into teams
  • How it works
    • There are 10 checkpoints.
    • The start point is marked on the map
    • Starts when the whistle blows
    • The aim is to find all the checkpoints in order
    • To find the checkpoints, you will have a clue and grid reference
      • The grid reference will give you a general idea of where the checkpoint is, and the clue will describe the checkpoint in more detail
    • When you find the checkpoint, you will see an A4 piece of paper with two letters and two numbers printed on it. Make sure the numbers on the checkpoint match the numbers on the control sheet. If they do, write down the letters on the control sheet in the spaces provided
    • Carry on to the next checkpoint
    • When the second whistle blows, come straight back to the finish point marked on the map


  • Starts when the whistle blows
  • When you hear the second whistle, come straight back
  • All checkpoints are inside the REC
  • Do not leave the REC or go into the car park under any circumstances during the session
  • Stay with the group at all times
  • The 10 checkpoints must be visited in the correct order as they appear on the sheet
  • Keep away from dogs

Reading the map – Grid references

  • The map has two sets of numbers
    • Easting is horizontal (East / West )
    • Northing is vertical (South / North)
  • You can use an Easting and Northing to reference any of the squares within a map
  • Grid references always start with the Easting and are followed by the Northing
  • The grid references refer to a square on the map

About the map

  • Key – On the map, the key tells you what the symbols mean
  • Orientation – the map is orientated north so can be aligned with a compass


DescriptionNumberLetter 1Letter 2
Start - Field in front of playground. GR2145
Control 1 - Basketball net. GR214666QY
Control 2 - Most easterly point. GR 234931UA
Control 3 - Sandstone block. GR215054AR
Control 4 - The most northly point on the map. GR215243DD
Control 5 - White gate. GR204826CS
Control 6- Halfway along the little path through the trees. GR204827OT
Control 7 - Craigs bench. GR184797PI
Control 8 - Bench under the oak tree. GR204746TC
Control 9 - Red bin GR214444EK
Control 10 - Yellow & blue ‘talking flower’ south end of playground. GR 214467RS
Finish - field in front of playgrouns GR 2146

Checkpoints map