COVID-modified Youth Programs

For our Fall 2020 programs, we had to run FUNdamentals, Learn to Train, and Adventure Program jointly in order to run them safely and according to restrictions at the time. We also had to cancel our adult program, Basics & Beyond, in order to focus on running our youth programs in accordance with provincial health guidelines. For the upcoming Fall 2021 season, we are intending to run all four of our programs separately (though at the same times and locations) as we have in previous seasons. You can find details on the respective program pages.

Programs will start mid-September and will run for 8 weeks until early November.

If further restrictions are brought back in place by September we will operate under a similar model as in 2020 as detailed below. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions please contact our Program Coordinator, Tomas Graham. 


Times & Locations

This fall we will be running two sets of four weeks of programs back to back. Participants can register for programs in either the West end or in the central part of the city.

West End Program (Tuesdays at 6:30-7:30)

Central Ottawa Program (Saturdays at 11:00-12:00 OR 12:30-1:30)

Changes Due to COVID-19

The health and safety of our participants is a number one priority for us. For this reason, we have made some changes as to how our youth programs run. The key changes are as follows:

  • All participants will be expected to follow social distancing and other COVID related guidelines including wearing masks when gathered to hear instructions. *We will be sharing a COVID rules and guidelines document as soon as we have it prepared
  • All participants (including coaches and volunteers) will be required to fill out a online Declaration of Health Form before each session
  • Coaches and volunteers will receive training and be given a comprehensive list of guidelines to follow in order to comply with COVID-specific health regulations
  • We are relaxing our refund policy to accommodate families that have to withdraw from the program for COVID related reasons (see registration section at the bottom of this page for more)

Info Sessions

Our info sessions are designed for parents and children alike. For parents, we will be discussing how the programs will work and answering any questions or comments you may have. For the kids, there will be an outdoor “Try-It” session where they can get a sneak peek of some of the fun activities they will be doing during the program.

Our info sessions are:

Tuesday, September 7; 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM at Ron Kolbus Lakeside Centre

Saturday, September 11; 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM at Hunt Club-Riverside Community Centre

Coming Prepared

Please bring the following with you to the program each week:

Running Shoes

Running shoes with good tread are ideal. Trail running shoes are even better! We do not recommend wearing rain boots, sandals, or flat sole shoes.

Long Pants

We will be running in long grass and in the woods. Long pants will help prevent scrapes and scratches.

Clothes (That Can Get Dirty)

We guarantee that you will get to enjoy the mud at least once!

Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is never a bad idea. There will be a spot where you can leave a water bottle for the hour so you won't need to carry it with you.

Safety Whistle

A basic precaution for all Orienteering Ottawa events and programs.

Headlamp (Fall Evenings Only)

Your headlamp should be at least 120 lumens (80 lumens for FUNdamentals).

A Sense of Adventure!

Do we really need to explain this one?


Youth Programs do not include participation in any official competitions.

We normally include some fun additional events as part of the program. We are still determining what those may be.

Coaching and Volunteering

If you are interested in volunteering with the program, please join us! You will be able to let us know your volunteer preferences when you register for the program.

All parent volunteers will be asked to:

  • Fill out a screening disclosure form (provided by the club)
  • Complete the volunteer training session on TBA
  • Implement and follow COVID-specific guidelines for volunteers and coaches (a list of these guidelines will be provided by the club)*

*Volunteers that do not follow these guidelines may no longer volunteer with the program.


Each group will have 1-2 group coaches (ideally folks with at least some orienteering experience) and 1-3 group assistants (see below). We will also have some on-site assistants. Descriptions for these roles are as follows:

Group coach

Group coaches are responsible for delivering the material provided in the lesson plan by the head coach and work with the group assistants to lead the group. Coaches will also be responsible for ensuring the group is maintaining social distancing and other COVID related safety guidelines. 

Group assistant

Group assistants work with the group coach to make sure everyone in the group is present at all times, to marshal kids where needed, and to keep the program running smoothly. We are aiming to have a ratio of 1:3 or 1:2 adults to children.

Group assistants are responsible for helping the coach in ensuring the group is maintaining social distancing and other COVID related safety guidelines.

On-site assistant

On-site assistants are responsible for making sure everyone gets checked in and out, keeping an eye on equipment at the meeting point and pointing people in the right direction if they are running a little late.

Want to see more about our approach to coaching? Check out our Coaching Plan and Philosophy Document.

Weather & Safety Policies

All of our programs take place rain or shine (or snow or wind). That said, in the event of dangerous weather conditions, or if we otherwise feel conditions are such that we cannot adequately follow all of the necessary COVID-19 precautions, we will cancel  the program session. If we decide to cancel a session we will send out an email no later than 2 hours prior to the start of the session.

We do not guarantee refunds for cancelled sessions. If we cancel more than one session in the season we will look at how we can compensate families for the missed sessions.

Ticks, poison ivy, hogweed, and wild parsnip are common wildlife risks in the Ottawa area. We will teach about basic safety precautions in the first week of the program. It’s also a good idea to read through our safety page.

To see the club’s full weather policy as well as our program behaviour and safety policies, check out our policy manual


All official communication for this program will be done via email. We will be adding participants to an email list after they sign up. Please do not unsubscribe from this list as you will no longer receive important notifications about the program. We clear the list at the end of each season before adding the next season’s participants to the list.

You will receive an email confirmation when you register. You can also expect to receive emails 1.5-2 weeks prior to the start of the program and also a few days before your first session with pre-season program information and details.

Note that program emails are sent from a mail list server and some email systems will sort our emails into junk or spam boxes. Please check for our emails there if you do not get them when you expect to.

For urgent inquiries during program hours, we recommend contacting our on-site program coordinator, Tomas Graham via call or text at 613-408-6836 rather than by email. That way, issues can be sorted out faster.

Registration info


Cost (per child): $130 (including tax)

If you require financial assistance, please contact our program coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


We do not offer refunds after the first session. All participants (parents) will need to agree to a standard waiver declaration at the first program evening.

Any questions can be directed to our Program Coordinator.