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Outdoor Education


Pali orienteering class walks through snowy woods
1 Class Session, 1.5 Hours

Students find their sense of direction by embarking on an expedition. They learn how to navigate through the forest using compasses and coordinates. By the conclusion of this course, students understand the various skills involved in planning travel from point A to point B.

What’s Covered

Students venture out to one of Pali’s scenic orienteering courses. There, they learn about how methods of human navigation have evolved over time, how to interpret different types of maps and how to navigate using a map and compass. Once they are confident with their navigation skills, students embark on an orienteering scavenger hunt to piece together a hidden message.

Lessons & Activities

Interpreting Maps

Students view examples of landmark, topographic and geologic maps and learn how to interpret their features, pondering what each type of map may be useful for. For topographic maps, students use their understanding of contour lines to match the elevation profiles of mountains with their topographic drawings.

Compass Practice

Students learn the functions and features of a compass step-by-step, starting with an understanding of how a compass works, magnetic north versus geographic north and how to navigate on foot. From there, students practice using a compass by following a series of directions (given in bearings and paces) to form a mystery shape on the ground.

Orienteering Course

Once students are confident with their navigation skills, they embark on an orienteering scavenger hunt in small groups to reveal a hidden message. Each location reached provides directions to the next location, along with part of the message. Success is achieved when the message is complete!

Educational Standards

Applicable Common Core/Next Generation Standards:

  • NGSS 4-ESS2-2: Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.

Ready to Get Started?

Accelerate your students’ learning with our exciting curriculum. Learn more about this hands-on, experiential education activity today.

Close up of compass held by student in red jacket
Raving Reviews

What People Are Saying

I loved my experience at Pali. In my time as an instructor, I was able to develop many skills in the classroom as a teacher and as a leader. I would highly recommend this position for anyone who would like to start a career in the Outdoor Education Industry.

Alicia G., Instructor

Thank you so much for an incredible week. The kids are jazzed; parents are more jazzed. Your team is incredible, and the planning and execution for a top notch science/outdoor education/leadership camp is celebrated. We are so glad we found you.

Danielle V., Teacher

Impressive! This is our first time to Pali. I have taken students to four other SoCal science camps and I would highly recommend Pali and plan to return next year.

Janice K., Educator

Source: Yelp