Groton State Forest Orienteering Challenge - July

July 24, 2021

Why An Orienteering Challenge?  We all need a reason to be outside.  This is more than a running race … it requires focusing on the landscape.  Participate in the challenge as a solo, a pair or a team – everyone registers individually.

Each of our orienteering challenge courses are first timer friendly.  Think of this activity as a seek and find in the woods with a few controlled variables.  For instance, you will be given boundaries (typically trails) and we note on the map a couple of “reset” locations (think trail junctions or an obvious landscape feature).    We can provide a quick and dirty map and compass instruction prior to your challenge start (or, stop by campsite #17 on Friday evening and we can give a less speedy instruction).

This orienteering challenge is designed to build your confidence, and skill, at finding control points (CP’s) at your own pace and with a route of your own making.  You will be provided with a map and clue sheet of 15-20 CP’s to find.  Difficulty is often based upon distance – we don’t try to make the challenge impossible instead possible for all participants.  In total, the route, if you were to follow our route set-up exactly, will be between 4 and 5 miles.

You have UP TO FIVE HOURS to find as many control points as possible using map and compass. You choose how many control points, and the course you want to follow, while also managing time.  Returning to the finish line after your scheduled finish time results in a deduction of points.

What is a ROGAINE race (we refer to it as an orienteering challenge so it can be more fun and practice and less of a race, in the traditional sense)?

ROGAINE = Rugged Outdoor Group Activity Involving Navigation and Endurance

It does not have to be rugged.  It does not have to be an endurance event.  But, it can be both.  The challenge is an activity of cross-country navigation involving route planning and navigation using a map and compass to reach check points (CP’s).  Part of the challenge is the actual planning of a route, following the intended route, finding the CP’s and returning to the start/finish line by the prescribed time.  Each CP is worth points.  For instance, if a CP is numbered 32 it is worth 32 points.

Teamwork, effort, competition (often with self) and an appreciation for the natural environment are features of the sport.  More importantly, individuals, even first timers, learn more about map interpretation and reading the landscape and about trusting the use of their compass to reach a destination.  This, as a positive consequence, makes for safer recreationalists and more confident recreationalists in an often rarely used “hard” skill of outdoor practice.  

Rules and Guidelines:  Sorry, there are a few …

  • This is a rain or shine event.
  • Any local/state/federal mandates, including social distancing perimeters, must be adhered to.
  • Our COVID release and general release form must be signed on site.
  • This offering has a limit of 50 participants.
  • CP’s must not be moved.
  • Adherence to Leave No Trace guidelines are what allow us to continue these offerings.
  • Plan to be self sufficient.   Understand you might have moments of frustration and you will be excited when you find each CP.
  • Have fun!
  • The challenge has a staggered start with ten participants permitted per tier.  START times are:  8 am, 8:30 am, 9 am, 9:30 am and 10 am.  You MUST arrive one half hour prior to the start time to check-in.  For example:

If you are registered for an 8 am start. Arrive at 7:30 am to check-in.  Receive final instructions, map and clue sheet at 7:45 am.  Prompt start at 8 am.

If you are registered for an 8:30 am start. Arrive at 8 am to check-in.  Receive final instructions, map and clue sheet at 8:15 am.  Prompt start at 8:30 am.

Etc.

Cost:  $26 per person.  This includes a $22 per person registration fee and the $4 per person state park fee.  If you have a state park pass bring that with you to registration and you will be refunded (we have to have a copy with the pass number to get refunded).

Camping:  Camping is available at any of the state parks, including New Discovery.  The campsites closest to the pavilion are remote sites #15, #16 and lean-to #4.

What to Bring: A compass, a writing utensil and your day pack with the 10 Essentials – there will be no cached water on the course.

Directions: The start and finish line at at the Osmore Pond Pavilion in the New Discovery State Park.  Please carpool if possible.  From Groton, go 2 miles west on U.S. 302, then 9.5 miles NW on VT 232.

Official Park Address: 4239 Vt. Rt. 232, Marshfield, VT  05658.

Permit:  This offering is made available through licensing in accordance with the regulations of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

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