compassNEOC continues COVID-aware events in 2021 (watch the Schedule).
Member benefits include free entry to Bring-Your-Own-Map events, and
access to training courses, like the Winter Challenge. Join for 2021!

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Items of interest to New England orienteers


Welcome to the Spring 2021 Sprint Orienteering Series! We are bringing back the tradition of the CSU Park-O series that would have had its 20th year in 2020 (except for 2020!). This year the spring series will be 5-6 low-key, short course, in-person events in local urban parks.

Time: Start times are from 6:00 pm to 6:59 pm every Thursday.

Dates and Locations: Location may be adjusted based on permit availability—final location info will appear on the Schedule.

  • Apr 22: Medford - Hormel Stadium
  • Apr 29: Newton - Edmunds Park
  • May 6: Burlington - Mary Cummings Park*
  • May13: Arlington - permit pending
  • May 20: Newton - Nahanton Park
  • May 27: Malden - permit pending

Registration: Pre-registration is required for all events no later than the Tuesday (2 days) before. Reserve your spot now for the series or sign up weekly (space dependent). Due to Covid-19 restrictions we have a limit of 50 participants for some locations, and we will print maps based on pre-registration.

COVID-19 Safety: Use of face masks and social distancing is required at all times. Individually bagged maps will be provided, bring your own SI timing stick/card, or sanitized SI cards will be available for loan. No public restrooms will be available.

Cost: Covers costs of map printing and permits

  • Series Registration: $15/person or $45/family
  • Individual Event: $5/event or $15/family
    * The Mary Cummings Park event is free, thanks to The Trustees of Reservations.
  • NEOC membership does not cover the start fees for these events as they are organized jointly by CSU and NEOC

Results: Overall times and split-times for each checkpoint will be available online after the event. Points will be awarded on the longer course, based on 20 points for 1st place, 19 points for 2nd place and so on regardless of age or gender. Your top 3 events count towards your total points score (i.e. 60 points max).

Organizers: Cambridge Sports Union (CSU) and New England Orienteering Club (NEOC)

The inaugural Winter Challenge was a competition of 30 courses, distributed across 9 MA-based venues. Forty-three members submitted their efforts, totaling 184 courses completed during the winter months! Members were encouraged to aim for three challenge levels.

Congratulations to all the participating NEOC members—

  • 9 courses: You have mastered the Winter O-challenge and will be listed as a Winter O-challenge Master on the NEOC website (and contacted to help volunteer in the spring).

    Bill Binette
    Magnus Bjorkman
    Jim Crawford
    Rick Keilty
    Dorina Nimigean
    Mark O’Connell
    Karen Yeowell

  • 6 to 8 courses: You will roll into the spring O-season ready to show off your navigation skills. You have earned yourself a 2021 Winter O-Challenge refrigerator magnet.

    Jason DeJoannis
    Mori Finlayson-Johnecheck
    Ian Finlayson
    Michael Hughes
    Andy McIlvaine
    Jim Paschetto
    Paige Williams

  • 1 to 5 courses: Who said you couldn’t orienteer in New England in the winter? Congrats to the 25 plus members who got into the woods and strengthened the synapses in their brain over the winter months!

Thanks to Bridget Hall, NEOC and OUSA Junior National Team Member, for creating this challenge for our community! Please send any feedback on this activity to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NEOC is committed to offering a variety of events this year. Since orienteering is inherently a COVID-friendly activity (if you don’t mingle long at registration or hang out at a checkpoint in the woods), we will be offering a range of opportunities for our members and the broader community.

In-person Events: These events will look similar to what you have seen in the past with a two hour start window for participants, on-site volunteers, and use of SI timing devices and QR codes. In 2021 it is likely that pre-registration will be required for all of these events. Since permits are still hard to obtain, spring in-person events will be limited with current plans to have additional events in the fall.

Bring-your-own Map Events: These events are open to NEOC members and the general public, and will typically extend for a week or more. Checkpoints will be marked with QR codes (instead of control flags) and participants will be able to time their course by using QR codes or self-timing.

Member Training Activities: These activities will be offered intermittently to members throughout the year. Details of these activities will be emailed to current 2021 members.

National Event: Pending permit approval by the Massachusetts DCR, NEOC is planning to host a National Event at Willard Brook State Forest in early October. More to come on this activity! It will be great to bring orienteers from surrounding clubs to NEOC-land for some high-level orienteering on a new map, and also open up the opportunity for earning national ranking points for our own members.

Thursday Evening Spring Park-O Sprint series: NEOC will partner with the orienteers at CSU (Cambridge Sports Union) to offer in-person, low-key, short-course events in local urban parks (April 22 – May 27). Pre-registration is required. Register for the series or for each individual event. NEOC membership does not cover fees for this event.

Scout Orienteering: Spring Scout-O will be April 17 at Hale Reservation, and Fall Scout-O is tentatively scheduled (pending permit approval) for October 30-31 at Nobscot Scout Reservation. Adult Leader Training will be offered the week prior to each event, with the goal that Girl Scout and Scout BSA leaders feel comfortable introducing orienteering to their youth and bringing them to a Scout-O event. Scouts are welcome at most NEOC events, although groups are requested to email the Event Director ahead of time.

If you have feedback on the events you like, places to map, or anything orienteering-related, please let us know.

Train up before the spring season opens

The Winter Challenge has been extended through April 2.

The Winter Challenge is a members-only competition of 30 courses, distributed across 9 venues. There are no streamers in the woods for any of these courses. You can "punch" with O-range (on certain Garmin watches) or the Usynligo app (at 4 venues) ...or just use your navigation skills to be sure you're at the correct feature.

Set yourself a training challenge:

  • 1 to 5 courses: Who said you couldn’t orienteer in New England in the winter? Congrats for getting into the woods and strengthening the synapses in your brain!
  • 6 to 8 courses: You will roll into the spring O-season ready to show off your navigation skills. You have earned yourself a 2021 Winter O-Challenge refrigerator magnet.
  • 9 courses: Complete all 9 trainings and you are guaranteed an O-flag mask! You have mastered the Winter O-challenge and will be listed as a Winter O-challenge Master on the NEOC website (and contacted to help volunteer in the spring).

The Winter Challenge is a training activity for NEOC members. If you're not a member, join NEOC now, and details will be sent to you.

Thanks to Bridget Hall, NEOC and OUSA Junior National Team Member, for creating this challenge for our community! Please send any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Orienteering USA seeks a person versed in Environmental and Land Access issues to serve both here in the U.S. and as a liaison to the International Orienteering Federation (IOF). Interested persons should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before April 1.

The Environment and Sustainability Commission (ESC) of the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) will be in direct contact with such persons in each National Federation. The main purpose is the establishment of a broad consultation network on sustainability issues, given the variety of social and environmental contexts in member countries.

In the near future, the IOF-ESC is planning a new edition of the survey Orienteering and the Environment, which was last carried out in 2012. A network of reference persons, appointed by each Federation, would make sure that the Survey provides reliable and useful results on which to base the future priorities of the IOF Environment and Sustainability Commission, and give feedback to all IOF members.

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