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Orienteering For Groups

MNOC welcomes groups who want to have an orienteering experience. Groups from schools, Scouts, JROTC, churches, corporations, and the Civil Air Patrol have come to MNOC events. Some have also organized their own events with assistance from MNOC.

MNOC Events

We encourage leaders to attend an MNOC event on their own before bringing the group. It is helpful for youth group leaders, especially, to be familiar with the event procedures and courses. There are a few steps necessary for an orderly, safe and successful outing, including registration, filling out a control card, completing map corrections, and getting a start time. If you are familiar with how things work, then there will be smooth sailing on the day you bring your group. We want you and your group to have an enjoyable time, and your own prior orienteering experience will help in selecting the course that is most suitable for your group.

Group Size

In most cases, it is advisable to break up into small groups of two or three people. The group can carry only one map, but each member will have a greater chance to participate in map reading and route decisions if the group is small and each person has a map. Each entry fee provides one map, and groups should purchase at least one map for every four people.

If you are bringing more than ten (10) people, we do appreciate knowing that ahead of time; contact Ian Harding. Arriving early at 11:30 am will enable us to provide basic instruction (if needed) and get you on your way most expeditiously.

Organizing your own events

There are resources to assist you if you wish to organize your own orienteering experiences.

  1. Tamarack Nature Center in White Bear Lake can arrange orienteering events for your group using the nature center facilities and the MNOC-designed permanent orienteering courses on their property. Courses are available for all abilities, from 600 meters to 5.3 km in length.
  2. Maps of many of our venues are available for purchase. See the maps page for a list. Discounts of up to 40% are given for large purchase quantities.
  3. Permanent orienteering courses are currently set at nine locations around the area. See the POC page for more details.
  4. The club rents control flags with punches, compasses, and other equipment for a nominal fee. For rentals and map sales, contact Ian Harding.

Note: It is your responsibility to obtain permission from the pertinent park authority and land owners. Some regional park districts do not allow any off trail travel without a permit, so check with the park manager or other staff before holding an event. Please try to ensure that the good image of orienteering is maintained. Parks may request that you avoid areas due to such factors as bird nesting/habitat, golf courses, rare plants, erosion damage, etc.

Mail-in O courses are available periodically. These temporary courses allow for practice at your own convenience. They are set exactly as one of the A-level courses set by MNOC in the past. More complete information about these opportunities will be posted on the news page.

It is necessary to complete a liability waiver and purchase the maps. If you go out on your own, you should advise someone where you will be and when you expect to return.


Our club members can advise about setting courses for the appropriate skill level, etc. But as MNOC relies solely on volunteers, we can provide assistance only on a limited basis for events not sponsored by MNOC. If you are seriously in need of experienced help to stage an event, please consider offering a stipend. MNOC will consider requests to speak about orienteering if MNOC member volunteers are available and if there is some mutual benefit for the club.

Other resources

Orienteering is not difficult to learn, especially with the right resources. See our links page for a list of starting points.

Comments, questions, and constructive criticism concerning the MNOC web pages may be e-mailed to: compass@mnoc.org
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