July 2021 Newsletter   

What's on in July?

Exciting news... Orienteering activities are starting up mid-July!!!  

Tuesday Evening Summer Sprint Series

Starts 6-7pm.  Pre-registration required.  Members only (join the club online for only $20).  Each event will have a Long course ~3.5 km and a Short course ~2 km.  
Updated details will be here:  Summer Orienteering (ottawaoc.ca)
Tuesday, July 13 All Saints High School, Kanata
Tuesday, July 20 Rockcliffe Park
Tuesday, July 27 Orleans
Tuesday, Aug 3 LeBreton Flats
August TBD Location TBD
August TBD Location TBD

Thursday Evening Orienteering Practices

These coach-led practices will help you to progress faster towards becoming a better orienteer and are also just another fun opportunity to orienteer.  Suitable for Intermediate and Advanced Orienteers.

Thursday Evenings, mid-July to late-August, Location TBD

Keep an eye on the 'Upcoming Events' sidebar on our homepage for details.

Don't forget to read the COVID-19 Event Modifications for info on registration & participation.  

Sprint Orienteering

Never been to a Sprint Orienteering event before?  Don't let the name scare you!  Sprint events can still be 'just for fun'.  In fact, they are great family and beginner events as they are often held in open urban areas where you can practice matching all the details on the map with what you see in front of you.  The events are shorter and you don't have to worry about getting lost in the forest!

'Sprint' orienteering maps are at a scale of 1:4000 or 1:5000 (1cm = 40 or 50m). The legend for a sprint map is slightly different than that for standard orienteering maps.  

In Sprint maps certain symbols are forbidden to cross or pass into for safety, fairness, and land-owner relations. These forbidden features are: buildings, impassable walls, impassable fences, gardens, hedges, and lakes.

Print this Sprint Orienteering Map Legend to take with you on the course.

Volunteers needed for Fall 2021

Rorry Harding and Tomas Graham have built a very successful collaboration with both the OCSB and OCDSB this past year in our Outreach Program.  Schools have been keen to pursue COVID-friendly outdoor activities.

Volunteers are needed for the Fall to help during school hours.  Please contact Rorry if you can help at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Spring/Summer 2021 Mapping Update

The club’s mappers have kept busy during the pandemic. The new or updated maps you can expect to see are:

  • All Saints High School in Kanata, updated and expanded map by Jeff.
  • Orleans, new map around Cairine Wilson Secondary School and St. Matthew High School, mapped by Stefan and Tomas.
  • Cite des Jeunes map completely redone from LiDAR by Jeff.
  • Rockcliffe Park updated by Andrew.
  • A new sprint map of Collège La Cité by Andrew.
  • Rothwell Woods/Beacon Hill North updates with new LiDAR and field work by Andrew.
  • An extended Rideau River/Falls sprint map southwards to include Strathcona Park, Riverain Park and the Adawa Bridge, by Andrew.
  • University of Ottawa sprint map updated by Philipe.
  • Meredith Centre sprint map in Old Chelsea by Frédéric and Bill M.

Two forest maps are in progress, The Ark in Denholm, Quebec, and Bennies Corner NW of Almonte.

Maps for Schools

Approximately 50 maps that cover schools, from small school yard maps to larger park or forest maps close to schools, have been prepared for the schools as pdf files in a print ready format. The Ottawa Catholic School Board and the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board have both agreed on a subscription model where the schools pay for the access to these maps for teaching until 2022.

Bill A. has created a bunch of new schoolyard maps: St. Patrick's HS (update), Hillcrest HS with a big chunk of Greenbelt, Charles Hulse PS, Jack Donohue PS and adjacent W.C. Bowes park, St. Patrick's Intermediate with a big chunk of Greenbelt (almost finished), Pleasant Park PS with a big chunk of Greenbelt (just started). 

World Orienteering Championships 2021, July 3 - 9

The Czech Republic will host the World Championships 2021, July 3-9, with Sprint, Sprint Relay, Long, Middle and Relay competitions. All five competitions will be covered with full TV broadcast on Web-TV.

Unfortunately, Canada is not sending a team to this year’s championship due to the COVID pandemic and travel restrictions, but it will still be exciting races to follow via web-streaming and GPS-tracking.

Web-TV broadcast schedule

Times listed are Ottawa times (EDT)

3 July (Sat)


8:50 – 11:25

4 July (Sun)

Sprint Relay

12:10 – 13:40

     – Rest day –

6 July (Tue)


10:20 – 14:15

     – Rest day –

8 July (Thu)


10:10 – 14:20

9 July (Fri)


9:20 – 14:05

Sign up for the web-streaming here.

Prices: 20 EURO for all competitions ticket or 6 EURO per competition. (20 EURO = CAN $28.50)


The Middle-distance race terrain has large slopes with lots of rocks and vegetation features. How would you run from 10 to 11 on this Middle-distance training map?


The Long-distance race is using the famous Czech sandstone terrain with deep valleys and spectacular cliffs and rock pillars. It will force the runners to choose between taking lots of climb or long detours around to avoid the hills. What is your route from 5 to 6 on this training map?

Here is a short video that shows the spectacular Czech sandstone terrain:  https://www.facebook.com/dhubmann/videos/449155653124593/ 

Tick Check

Don't forget to do a daily tick check after being out in the woods or in long grass.  This silly song might help you remember:  https://youtu.be/M4vpi1L3nIY 

Past Newsletters

If this is the first time you received our monthly newsletter (some tweaks were made as there were reports of the newsletter being marked as spam), you can view the missed newsletters on the website under the Stories menu.

Newsletters menu location


June 2021 Newsletter   

What's on in June?

Not a whole heck of a lot, but our backyards are sure going to look nice this year!  With the current re-opening plan, it is possible that low-key orienteering activities could begin around mid-July.

O-Talk & Course Discourse, the weekly webinar started in May, is ongoing for June.  It's not too late to join in on Sunday evenings at 7pm to casually talk about either a MapRun course (Course Discourse) or some other orienteering related topic (O-Talk).  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for info. 

Outreach 2020-21 Update

Written by Rorry Harding

In the fall, we ran activities for 15 days for 900 students. Since Christmas, we have run 22 activities for 1200 students. We were at about 14 different schools across 3 school boards.

Engagement by students and teachers has been almost universally positive with some students in every class really giving it their all, delivering some very fast times and very pumped with their results.  The SI is always a big hit.  Courses are simple and often limited to school grounds but they do have to work at it.  

This was the first year that we ran activities in the winter, which turned out better than anticipated. 

Interest has been at the Grade 7 level and above this school year.  There is a lot of interest from schools in 3 boards, all through word-of-mouth alone until recently.

Tom Graham deserves recognition and thanks for consistently providing a great experience for students and teachers. 

We have also run on-line training for Senior Cadets and Leaders, more to show them how we teach orienteering and to provide them with teaching resources.  That effort required development of some very good on-line training material, which we will be delivering to teachers in the fall. Hopefully, we will also be running clinics in the field for them. 

September through November should be very busy and although we are working to set up teachers to be able to run their own activities, we will need more instructors that can help during school hours.  Please feel free to ask me about it.

Team Canada Fundraiser

Orienteering Ottawa has 5 club athletes on Team Canada Programs:  Luke and Evan Raz, Alec LeHelloco, Philipe Turcanu, and Robert Graham.  

During the month of June, Team Canada Program athletes will record the number of controls they visit while training or competing.  Encourage our Team Canada athletes to get out on a map this month and support their fundraiser by making a pledge


Written by Stefan Bergstrom

Do you know that there are four orienteering disciplines recognized by IOF, the International Orienteering Federation? In Ottawa we do our regular forest or sprint orienteering events. We also organize Ski-Orienteering in the winter, and a handful of times we have tried mountain bike orienteering, MTB-O. The fourth discipline is Trail-Orienteering.

Trail-O is more about map reading and understanding, no running is required. Trail-O started as a way to get people with reduced mobility to experience orienteering. It has developed to its own competition discipline, open to anyone, as the speed of movement is not a deciding factor, only the skill in reading the map.

The route goes along walkways or paths that a wheelchair can travel. Along the route there are stations with several control points marked with control flags. A map shows one of the controls and the challenge is to decide which of the control flags, marked A-F or Z for none of the above, is the one marked on the map.

The sport now has World Championship and national and international events. During the COVID pandemic there has been many virtual competitions on-line. They are fun to practise your map reading skills. Many can be incredibly challenging, as you are stressed by a time limit.

Here are a couple of examples.



You can find Trail-O training events and competitions at http://temposim.yq.cz/tempo.cgi.

I suggest you start by looking at the Model Station and the free training courses before attempting a competition. Have fun!

Newsletter Logo

Thank-you to Liran Raz for his idea for the newsletter logo!

Dreaming of the Future

It might be too early to start planning trips, but we can dream, can't we?  How about one of these events for a summer vacation to look forward to?


July 2022 Canadian Rockies Orienteering Festival

Head to British Columbia for a week of orienteering, including the Canadian Championships, in fine terrain with beautiful surroundings.  Throw in a couple days of the Sass Peepre National Junior Training Camp for the kids and voilà, a two-day romantic getaway in the Rockies.

More details here: https://crof2020.com/


Summer 2023 California Orienteering Festival

Why not plan that once a lifetime trip to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe for 10 days of incredible orienteering.  This event includes the North American Championships and World Rogaining Championships (and maybe some surfing?). 

More details here: https://cal-o-fest.com/

Committee Members Still Needed

The club is still in need of members for the Volunteer Committee and Training Committee.  The Volunteer Committee would maintain a member volunteer database and support other club committees with their volunteer requirements and recruitment efforts.  The Training Committee leads and manages the many programs and activities run by Orienteering Ottawa that involve instruction and training for all ages, members and non-members.

If you are interested in joining one of these committees (or have questions on what's involved) please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

Have a happy hope-filled June!



May 2021 Newsletter   

What's on in May?

Well, not much... yet.  Unless you're an outdoor enthusiast like all of us orienteers... then you can head out to the forest in and around our amazing city every day for some exercise! 

When things open up, keep your eye on your email for news of upcoming events.

Are you a New Member?

Are you a member but haven't yet tried out the courses available?  You will need an account on ottawaoc.ca and then need to sign the yearly waiver. 

Click on Login, select 'Create an account' from the dropdown, complete the 'User Registration form', watch your email (or even spam) for the email confirmation, complete that and then watch for an email from us to say your account has been activated.  Then sign in and click on 'For Members' and complete the 'club waiver' . 

Login menus   

Each adult will have to have their own account and sign the waiver.  A parent or guardian must sign for a minor (18 and under).  You will then have access to the MapRun, the permanent course and, once we can hold them, our Sunday morning events and any other events we may hold.

Volunteer & Training Committees Members Needed

Our club is run by many dedicated and extraordinary volunteers. Recruiting and coordinating volunteers is currently a job of each of the club's committees. The club would like to put together a volunteer committee to manage and coordinate the volunteer needs of Orienteering Ottawa. The Volunteer Committee would maintain a member volunteer database and support other club committees with their volunteer requirements and recruitment efforts.

The club is also seeking interest for the Training Committee. This committee leads and manages the many programs and activities run by Orienteering Ottawa that involve instruction and training for all ages, members and non-members.

If you are interested in joining one of our dynamic, hard-working committees (or have questions on what's involved) please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

We will miss you Na!

Na Lin Collage

Na Lin was an active member of Orienteering Ottawa for many years. Na passed away early in April from lung cancer.

Na was a person who was full of life and full of energy, a person who always had a smile on her face, always had laughter in her voice and always had an engaging story to tell.

At an online Celebration of Life for Na on Sunday, April 25, the photographs and the talks all had something in common. It seems like every photo of Na showed her with a smile from ear to ear, where her eyes crinkled into a grin to accompany it. And everyone who spoke of Na spoke of her smile and her laughter and her love of living. And her love of adventure.

You know those days when you go out and things just don’t go right in the woods, and you come back to the finish with a harsh word or two for the forest, or for the map, or the course, or the world, or perhaps yourself? Well, Na wasn’t one of those people. No matter how long Na was out in the forest, no matter how “adventurous” her route “choices”, Na returned with a smile, and the bigger the adventure, the better the story.

With Orienteering Ottawa Na was always willing to help out. She organized our annual Vampire O at Hallowe’en in both 2018 and 2019. She cooked chili for the Rogaine. She was often on the registration desk with her smile and her laughter. She organized Summer Solstice events. Always willing, always learning, always smiling.

At the Celebration of Life for Na, we learned, as we too often do, much about Na that we didn’t know, and wish we had. Na discovered outdoor adventure after she moved to Canada from China with her young son. Since this addition to her life, she has hiked the Rideau Trail end to end in both winter and summer. She has hiked the Bruce Trail end to end, she is a member of the 46er club having summited all 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks. She has been on hiking trips in Albania, Montenegro, Bhutan, Morocco, China, South America. And who knows where all else. Na studied medicine in China then retrained in Canada to work in the medical field. Na was an amazing craftsperson – if anyone has ever received a card from Na you will know that – she hand-made the most amazing 3D stand-up greeting cards.

When I think of Na I will always think of her smile and her laughter and her stories. Those of us who knew Na, who orienteered with her, who volunteered with her, will remember her fondly and miss her contagious love of life.

We will miss you Na!

Written by:  Anne Teutsch

Sometimes people are looking for an organization to make a donation to in a deceased person’s name. For Na, the Board of Orienteering Ottawa suggests Lung Cancer Canada as one option for a good home for donations. 

Family Orienteering Ideas for May 

Map Walk in Kanata

Map Walk map  Map Walk control

Do you have one child who wants to run and one who doesn't?  One who is ready to try intermediate-level controls on their own?  One who just wants to sit in a tree and skip the orienteering?  The Map Walk in Kanata is the place to go.  There are lots of controls (with actual flags and punches) in a small area which makes it perfect for kids.  Login to the Ottawa OC member website first, then download the map.

Lucy in tree


Suggested activity:

  • Make your way to a control on a trail as your gathering point.  Make sure everyone has their own whistle!
  • Send an older child off to get a few controls in the woods.  The shape of the land is obvious without the leaves on the trees and there are lots of little hills on this map, so this is a perfect place to practice reading contour lines.
  • Send a younger child off to get an easy control or two down the trail and then come back to you.  They'll gain some confidence on their own.  
  • Make it competitive and the kids can race against each other.
  • The tree climber can sit happily up in a tree and wait.

Interested in teaching your child about contour lines before heading out?  Try making a map of a potato or taking this contour matching quiz.


Burnt Lands Provincial Park

Sarah at Burnt LandsDo you know what an Alvar is?  Head to Burnt Lands Provincial Park near Almonte to visit one.  It's a very unique place that you can read all about here.

Grab the MapRun course (login as a member first) before you head out and your cell phone will beep when you arrive at the control location. Burnt Lands map

New to orienteering?  Don't be scared by the lack of trails - the Intermediate course is all in open areas so you can't get lost here.  If you haven't taken compass bearings before, this is a great place to start before trying it in the forest.  Try to go in a straight line between controls using your compass as shown in this 1 minute video.

Submit your Newsletter Logo Design

Do we have any artists out there?  Maybe some bored kids?  Our newsletter needs a logo. The design should fit in a rectangle that can go at the top of an email, but what is inside is up to you (e.g. image, fancy text, photo).  Submit your suggested designs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sample Newsletter Logo

Share your Story

📸 Send a photo or short story of your DIY May orienteering activity to share in next month's newsletter by May 25th to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



April 2021 Newsletter 

Orienteering Ottawa is starting an email newsletter to remind you of upcoming events, let you know what is going on in the club, and hopefully provide some entertaining stories.  

A Message From Our President

Hello Orienteers,

I hope receiving this newsletter puts a smile on your face, as it did for me when the idea and draft were shared. It's been a long time since we've been able to catch up at the local meet site, so here's another chance to stay involved with our orienteering community.

"Club culture" is becoming a more familiar term, especially over the last couple years through our strategic plan development and at committee and board meetings. The last year has proven in many ways that our club culture is as strong as ever. Even without the chance to meet up every week, compete against one another, compare routes (and mistakes!), the sense of community is strong. I'd like to thank each of you who has contributed to the success of our self-directed events, online activities, programming, modified fall season, and Wednesday night running sessions. To all those who keep us moving forward even when the route isn't clear - thank you! ... And your suggestions for better metaphors may be submitted to me directly. ;)

While we wait for events and activities to resume, I encourage you to keep connected to the club. More online activities and self-directed courses are in the works.

I'll also take the chance here to introduce you to our 2021 Team Canada athletes. You've likely cheered for them as they sprinted up the finish chute in seasons past, but if you don't know them yet, have a read through their bios on this Orienteering Canada page.

Congratulations to each of our Ottawa Team Canada members! We look forward to following your achievements this year through your training, and certainly into race season which we hope can start up again as soon as it's safe to do so.
Senior National Team members: Robert Graham, Philipe Turcanu
Junior Development Team members: Evan Raz, Lukas Raz
Junior National Team members: Alec LeHelloco

Lastly, a special shout out to our club-mate Bert Waslander. Bert was the editor of our past Capital-O newsletter. Now, has anyone crossed paths recently with our old pal Bucky Beaver?

See ya' in the (virtual) woods,

Jennie Anderson
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What's on This Spring

Orienteering Ottawa will not be having any meets until such time as regulations and recommendations change, and it is both permitted and safe to run them.  We hope that there might be a partial season of spring orienteering in May or June.

The following programs will not be running this spring:

  • Youth programs: FUNdamentals, Learn to Train, and Adventure Program
  • Basics & Beyond
  • Thursday Orienteering Practices

In place of these programs we are working towards providing instructional information and activities that you can do on your own, via social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram) and our email list. 

Getting Out on Your Own

Clayton DIY Ski-O

For those who wish to get into the woods on their own, we have two options for you:


For those not familiar with MapRun, it is a series of GPS courses in various areas around the city with a twist – no flags, just a paper map and your smart phone to let you know when you have "virtually" punched the control.

Map Walk

We have a permanent course set in the woods in Kanata.  You can print the map and instructions for walking the course.  As well as giving you a walk in some very nice woods, this will give you a chance to experience an orienteering course with a virtual instructor at your side.

For more information see On Your Own.

📸 Send a photo of your DIY April orienteering activity to be included in next month's newsletter by April 29th to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Membership Reminder

Due to COVID-19, all events this year will be limited to members only and will require advance, on-line registration. All members will have to sign the waiver for the 2021 year. 

Renew your membership now and sign the waiver for the 2021 membership year. If you participated in the 2020 Fall Youth Program, or purchased a membership for the first time in the fall of 2020, your membership is valid until March 2022 and you don’t need to renew, but you will still need to sign the waiver. For all other members, your membership expired at the end of March.

Meet the Board

Thank-you to our Ottawa Orienteering Board of Directors.  No easy job in a pandemic.  To see board member photos and bios, scroll down to the bottom of the Contact Us page. 

Jennifer Anderson    President  
Karen Tippett Treasurer  
Jennifer Daubney Secretary   * new for 2021
Anne Teutsch Board member  
Stefan Bergström Board member  
Michael Raz Board member  
Oliver Tabay Board member * new for 2021
Rebecca Scott Board member * new for 2021

Outreach Program Seeking Volunteers

The school Outreach program has been very busy this year providing a safe outdoor activity for many students in the Ottawa area when most extra-curricular activities are on hold due to COVID.

The Outreach program is looking for additional volunteers. Instructors do not need to be experienced orienteers. They do need to be able to organize and set up the course (or help with this), deliver the brief training in a manner to capture and keep the attention of students, and engage the students for the challenge.

For more information, see Outreach Program on the website and this Outreach Coaching Document.

If you have daytime availability during the week and this is of interest to you, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

March Highlands Winter Score-O…a Battle of the Titans

Written by Randy Kemp

MTBO Legend We had exceptional snow conditions this winter and it was the perfect opportunity to try a Fatbike & Foot Score-O at March Highlands. First it was necessary to convert the existing orienteering map into a MTBO map which mostly involves eliminating rock and vegetation symbols and swapping the foot-O trail symbols for MTBO trail symbols. There are four types of trail symbols: Fast, Medium, Slow and Difficult. There are also two categories: Tracks (> 1.5m wide) and Paths (<1.5m wide). MTBO is all about riding as fast as possible between CP’s and quite often a longer route choice on faster trails is a better option.

Fatbiking and mountain biking are not the same riding experience. The MTBO map below only applies to winter riding. All the rocks and roots that create a bone-rattling experience in the summertime are covered with snow in the winter creating riding conditions that are mostly smooth. Fatbikes, with their 5” tires, cruise along as if riding on carpet. Quite heavenly really!

For Fatbike-O 2021 we used the MapRun app which allows participants to start at any time and virtually punch the CP’s with a phone or GPS watch (Special thanks to Mike Raz for setting up the MapRun!). Runners were also invited to give the Score-O a whirl and were permitted to take shortcuts through the forest or across frozen ponds. Riders are not allowed off-trail at any time and must always be with their bike. 


We had six riders and one runner on the first day of the March Highlands Fatbike & Foot Score-O and the lone runner dominated the results with Molly Kemp clearing the course with 450 points in 1:22:25 well within the two hour limit. In second place was fatbiker Luc Frechette who also got maximum points in 1:34:05 and I finished in third place, although with a fast time of 1:15:19 but fewer points because I skipped a control…I blame the devious course setter for my mistake!


Unwilling to accept defeat, two weeks later I gave it a second try to beat Molly’s first place time but for this attempt I ensured that the race conditions were ideal:
• The snow on the trails was smooth and fast: Check.
• March Highlands is really popular during the day with walkers and other riders which creates congestion on the trail network. I decided that it was best to ride at night hence my start time was close to 8 PM. I had the entire woods to myself: Check.
• I tuned-up my fatbike so that it was in perfect running condition; carefully inflating the 5” tires to 8 PSI in the rear for acceleration and speed, and 5 PSI in the front for better grip on corners at high velocity: Check.
• I did a 20 minute meditation before my start time to improve my mental focus (full disclosure – it ended up being a one hour snooze on the couch): Check.


I gave the ride my best effort and the proof is in the stats: average speed almost 12 km/h (about 15% faster than normal), average heart rate 150 bpm (10% higher than normal) and 155+ bpm in the final 1.5km as I “emptied the tank” into the finish. My total race time on my second attempt was 1:22:44 just 19 seconds behind Molly.

Molly retains the title of fastest person on the March Highlands Winter Score-O. Congrats Molly!!! 😅

Battle of the Titans: Molly on Foot (1:22:25 - 10.7 km) versus Randy on bike (1:22:44 - 15.3 km)


Do you remember the printed Capital-O newsletters written by Bert Waslander?  Here is the cover of the last issue!