Newton Parks, Recreation and Culture
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Our orienteering classes are great for beginners and will help develop skills needed to complete an orienteering course.  

Introduction to Orienteering teaches the basics to get people out on a course.  Learn about what colors and symbols on the map represent, orienting the map, planning a route, keeping track of where you are, and how you know you found the correct orienteering control.  This is a beginner (white) level training and is recommended for people ages 7 and older.  Children ages 7 - 12 need to be accompanied by an adult.

An Introduction to Orienteering clinic is running in partnership with the Newton Conservators on April 6, 2024. Register through the Newton Conservators at  

Orienteering Skill Development Series are designed for people ages 13 and older (children ages 8 - 12 may register and join with a registered adult) and focus on developing skills used in orienteering. Each class offers approximately 30 minutes of skill development, then time to head out and complete a course that focuses on skills learned during instruction.  Each class will meet at a different park.

This series is meant for beginner to advanced beginner orienteers. Participants should have a basic understanding of orienteering, including understanding the map and how to orient the map either through participating in an introduction to orienteering course or from experience participating in several beginner (white level) courses.

Spring Sessions Include:

April 20, 10:00 - 12:00: Map Scale, Pace Counting and Compass Use at Cold Spring Park in Newton - teaches how different map scales will affect distance traveled, how to figure out your pace count and using that to better find your next control, and how to use a compass to measure distances, orient your map, and find the direction of the next control.  
April 27, 10:00 - 12:00: Control Features, Descriptions and Map Skills at Kennard Park in Newton - focuses on paying closer attention to the colors and features on a map, learning control symbols, visually seeing what control symbols and features represent in person, and using control descriptions to more accurately find the orienteering control.  
May 4, 10:00 - 12:00: Route Choices and Developing Off Trail Skills at Nahanton Park in Newton - will challenge you to visualize the course and determine which route is the best choice for you, whether it be on or off trail.  Use your skills from previous trainings and learn about handrails, catching features, and other tools you can use to keep you on track.  

Programs run rain or shine.  We will cancel or use a makeup date in the event of extreme weather.

Looking for more orienteering options or want to test out your newly acquired skills?  Check out the coming events schedule with New England Orienteering Club for upcoming in-person events that are open to members and non-members of all levels at

Register Activity Ages Grades Days Date/Time Fees
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Beginner Orienteering Skill Development Session 1 
8y and up N/A Sa  04/20/2024
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Cold Spring Park (New) - Cold Spring Park-grassy area next to BB court
$10.00 Res, $10.00 Non-Res
13 seat(s) available
Session 1 focuses on understanding map scale, pace counting and using a compass with a map. Children 8 - 12 can register and participate with a registered adult.
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Beginner Orienteering Skill Development Session 2 
8y and up N/A Sa  04/27/2024
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Kennard Park - Lawn area along Dudley Rd
$10.00 Res, $10.00 Non-Res
13 seat(s) available
Session 2 focuses on control features and description symbols. Children 8 - 12 can register and participate with a registered adult.
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Beginner Orienteering Skill Development Session 3 
8y and up N/A Sa  05/04/2024
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Nahanton Park and Nature Center - Park Building and nature center
$10.00 Res, $10.00 Non-Res
15 seat(s) available
Session 3 focuses on route choice and developing off trail skills. Children 8 - 12 can register and participate with a registered adult.
* Adjustments and discounts will be applied during checkout if applicable. *

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