What's on in August?

All events in August are limited to members only (join the club online for only $20) and pre-registration is required.

Tuesday Evening Summer Sprint Series 

Tues. Aug 3 6-8pm LeBreton Flats
Tues. Aug 10 6-8pm McCarthy Woods  
Tues. Aug 17 ** no event this week **
Tues. Aug 24 6-8pm Location TBD

Register by midnight tonight for tomorrow's event downtown!  Don't forget to read up on the underground tunnel crossings if you haven't already. More info here.

Wednesday Weekly Running Program 

Wed. Aug 4 6pm Frank Ryan Park
Wed. Aug 11 6pm Frank Ryan Park
Wed. Aug 18 6pm War Museum
Wed. Aug 25 6pm Crestview Park

Join a small group of orienteers for an organized training run. More info here.

Thursday Evening Orienteering Practices 

Tues. Aug 5 6:30-8pm March Highlands, Kanata
Tues. Aug 12 6:30-8pm Asticou, Gatineau
Tues. Aug 19 6:30-8pm Chapel Hill, Orleans

Suitable for Intermediate and Advanced Orienteers. More info here.

Interview with our Summer Mappers

Orienteering Ottawa hired Lukas and Evan Raz for mapping schoolyards and parks in the Kanata and West Carleton area this summer. 

Tell us about yourself.  What grade are you going into?  What are your favourite school subjects?  Sports?  Hobbies?

Luke - Hi, I’m Luke Raz, and I’m heading into Grade 11. I love all the sciences, as well as math. I’m a runner and an orienteer, but was never that good at sports involving coordination. At home I tend to be reading, coding, or playing around with game design. 

Evan - I’m heading into my first year of university at Carleton, which is daunting (but exciting too!). My favourite subject in school is computer science, which is what I’ll be going into in the fall. I enjoy orienteering, snowshoeing, coding, drawing, and computer graphics.  

Can you go walk us through the process of creating a map?

We start with a blank satellite image with a sheet of mylar (a semi-transparent paper) on the top. This is what we take out into the field for the first time, and it’s what we use to sketch out as much of the map as possible. The satellite picture gives us a sense of scale, and lets us see and trace any large features visible through the mylar. As we walk around we can fill in the rest of the map, taking note of every feature that should appear on an orienteering map. Once complete, we bring it home, and scan it into our computers to begin producing the actual map. We then repeat that cycle a couple more times, bringing the most updated map with us out into the field to make any necessary changes, before returning home to scan it in and update the digital version. Once the map itself is finished, we add the final components such as a border, title, legend, scale etc.     

 

What do you take with you when you are out mapping?  Do you draw the features by hand on paper?

When we’re out mapping, we use paper and pencils. Sometimes we’re drawing on mylar and other times we’re drawing directly on the printed maps, but it’s always by hand. We also carry mechanical pencils, coloured pencils, and any other drawing tool we think we might need. 
 
Do you use a GPS?  In what way?

A GPS isn’t as important for features out in the open, but it is invaluable when we need to draw trails. Going through the woods with a GPS makes it far easier to know where to draw those paths when we get back home.

How many hours/days does it take to make an average-sized school map?

For a schoolyard, it may take around 10 hours or so between the two of us. For a larger area with multiple sections, such as Carp, it could take 2 or 3 times that!

What do you like about mapping?

Being able to work in a different place every few days is really exciting. We’re seeing lots of areas of the countryside and the city which we may not have had a reason to go into. Also, when you’re out field checking it can be very peaceful and enjoyable.

What do you not like about mapping?

The software we use has many little quirks and slightly confusing features, which can lead to some annoying situations where you can’t seem to produce the image you need.
 
Do you think this mapping experience will make you a better orienteer?  In what way?

Mapping an area ourselves really helps both of us see the relationship between the map and the land around us. I definitely think this job will improve our map reading, and our ability to to match the world around us with the map we’re running on.

What is the funniest or oddest thing you saw while mapping?

Evan - I saw a friend who I hadn't seen in a while, because it just happened he was working at a school at the exact same time I was working there to map it!
 
Do you both work together on the same map or do you each do your own thing?

At the beginning, when we were just learning how everything worked, it was easier to field check the same area together. Being able to discuss the process as we mapped was incredibly useful and helped us a lot. After the first couple, especially as we moved on to very spread out areas, we divided the maps into chunks and split them up between the two of us. We have also begun trading the chunks back and forth each time we go out which makes the field checking process more interesting and allows us a fresh look at each other's work, letting us fix issues which might have gone unnoticed.
 
What are the school maps you are working on this summer?  How many do you hope to complete?

We have a list of maps in priority order and we hope to get through as many as possible. Some of the maps on the list are St James school and the surrounding parks, Hazeldean woods, Huntley Centennial school, and many others. 

What does a typical mapping day look like for you this summer?  

Each day is different, however for the majority of them it begins with us getting prepped to head out to whichever location we’re working on. After a few hours out in the field we come back home to work on the maps digitally, updating them with all the information we noted down while outdoors. 

Do you spend more time out in the field or in front of the computer when mapping? 

We tend to spend more time in front of the computer. For every hour of field checking, we usually have about 2 hours of drafting.
 
Have you had other summer jobs before?  How does this one compare?

This is one of our first major summer jobs, with all the ones we’ve done in the past requiring far fewer hours. It’s been an enjoyable challenge working on this, and we both agree it’s been incredibly useful to get this experience with time management, work days, and schedules. 

2021 Quebec Orienteering Championships

Montreal Ramblers Orienteering Club is hosting the 2021 Quebec Orienteering Championships on the September 18-19 weekend in Parc Du Domaine Vert which is located 20 km north of Montreal.  The event will consist of a middle distance race on Saturday and a long distance race on Sunday. Beginner and recreational orienteers are welcome (even Ontario foks). Information is available here.  

Youth Programs

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)

  • 14 September — 5 October at Cedarview (besides Bell High School)
  • 12 October — 2 November at Britannia Park

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

  • 18 September — 9 October at McCarthy Woods
  • 16 October — 6 November at Hog's Back Park

Registration will open soon.  Full details are still being finalized on the website. 

Fall Schedule

We are planning a full fall schedule with our regular Sunday morning events beginning in early September.  Stay tuned.

Beginner Intro to RouteGadget

Wondering which route the winner on your course took between two controls?  Some orienteers wear a GPS watch to track their route which can then be compared with others using RouteGadget.

On the left sidebar on the Orienteering Ottawa website, under Recent Results, click More Results:

Click on the RouteGadget link:

On the right-hand side, select the event you are interested in:

On the right-hand side, select the course you are interested and a couple competitors that have * GPS next to their name:

Click View routes at the bottom: 

Et Voilà!

Next step:  Watch it as an animation to see Tom beat Robbie to #1!

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.

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)

Sprint

8:50 – 11:25

4 July (Sun)

Sprint Relay

12:10 – 13:40

     – Rest day –

6 July (Tue)

Middle

10:20 – 14:15

     – Rest day –

8 July (Thu)

Relay

10:10 – 14:20

9 July (Fri)

Long

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

Trail-O

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.

 

 

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