Cooper Lake DIY-O

Cooper Lake “DIY event”

Jan. 30 – Feb. 7, 2021
Cooper Lake State Park, Sulphur Springs, TX

Welcome to the Arma-DIY-O

The second orienteering event of the year will bring us back to Cooper Lake State Park.  We’ve had some big meets at this scenic park in previous years, even a National Interscholastic Championship, but this year we simply cannot host large gatherings in public parks.

Do-it-Yourself Format

This event will be “orienteering without the meet” again, like we did at Gateway and Harry Moss in the fall.  The DIY format will follow state and local COVID regulations, adhere to COVID guidance from Orienteering USA, our sport’s national governing body, and hopefully, protect the health of participants and organizers. We will encourage distancing by extending the duration of the event and eliminating the need for anyone to touch equipment that is used by other runners.  

The event will begin when the park opens on Saturday, Jan. 30, and extend over 9 days through Sunday, Feb. 7. You can choose any day and time you want to run, but you ought to check with Cooper Lake State Park for current conditions and to see if reservations will be needed, before you make the trip. 

Think of it as a training event, or a permanent course that only lasts nine days. There will be no onsite organizational presence: no registration tent, no lines, no cost, no punching, no scorecards, no scoring, no DQ’s, no awards. Just orienteering fun. Bring your own water and gear. Unlike the previous DIY events, controls will be the traditional orange and white markers used at most meets.

There will be NO BEGINNER (AKA WHITE) COURSE. There are several reasons for this:

  1. Beginners are more likely to get lost and we won’t be there to find them.
  2. Courses will be active for several days in a popular public park. Beginner controls must be easy to find, so they’re hung in obvious locations on well traveled trails, and therefore most likely to disappear over a number of days. Advanced controls can be hung off-trail in less frequented places. 
  3. Beginners tend to run in groups. Groups aren’t socially distant.
  4. We don’t encourage groups to travel to our events on buses at this time. 
  5. We will not have the usual training session for beginners that we have at most meets.

Beginners can participate by running on the ‘yellow’ course with a more experienced runner (ideally a family member or leader) while following safety precautions.

General info

Event Officials

Meet Director: Ralph Courtney ……. Meet Director notes 
Course Setter: Jim Stevens……..Course Setter notes 


We’ll be offering three courses: Yellow (shortest and easiest), Brown (short but more advanced), and Red (longest and most advanced).


N/A — No awards, so no classes.

Scoring: Honor system! Feel free to post your finishing time and perhaps a screenshot of your marked-up map in our Facebook Group after the event is over! 

Scouts: A Merit Badge clinic will not be offered, but running the Yellow course will qualify for the badge. Please contact BSA Liaison Ralph Courtney for instructions on doing the required report.

Schedule & Instructions

Controls will be in the field when the park opens on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 30. The event ends when the park closes on Sunday, Feb. 7 and control markers will be removed on Monday, Feb. 8.

  1. Go to the Participation Waiver page starting on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 2:30 p.m. Fill out the online waiver and you’ll get access to print the map for the course(s) you choose. EVENT IS OVER — check out what’s coming up on the Event page!
  2. Arrange for your own “runner accountability.” We recommend telling a friend or family member where you are going and when you plan to finish. Provide them with a map. Or, you may choose to meet another orienteer at the venue and run simultaneously.
  3. Gather your gear and don’t forget to bring your own water and map.
  4. Run the course. Find the controls. Enjoy.
  5. Check in with the person you made plans with in step 2.
  6. Let the course setter know if there are any control markers missing, so he can replace them.
  7. Optional: Post your results to NTOA’s Facebook Group. (Join us!)
  8. Optional: Rinse and repeat! You’re welcome to do any or all courses and come back as often as you like during the period the controls are out in the field

Event fees

We’re not charging event fees for this virtual, self-serve event, but donations are always appreciated! We’re a non-profit organization.

The state park charges an entry fee of $5 for adults and children age 13 and older.  School sponsored groups should contact the park for special rates.


Cooper Lake State Park has two separate units.  This event is located in the South Sulphur Unit on the south shore of the lake.  (DO NOT go to the Doctor’s Creek Unit near the town of Cooper on the north shore.) 

From Dallas or Fort Worth: 

  • Take I-30 east to Sulphur Springs
  • Take Exit 127 for FM 301.
  • Turn left (northwest) on TX 301 and go 2.8 miles.
  • Bear right (north) onto TX 19 and go 6.8 miles.
  • Turn left (west) onto FM 71 and go 4.2 miles.
  • Turn right (north) onto FM 3505. Go 1.6 miles directly into the park.
  • After stopping at the ranger station, take the first left and go 2.2 miles to the Buggy Whip Loop area.

From Denton or McKinney:

  • Take US 380 east to Greenville.
  • At US 69, DO NOT TURN, continue east onto TX-302. 
  • Take TX-302 (east) 1.8 miles into downtown Greenville.   
  • Turn left (north) onto US-69 BUS (Johnson St.) at the Hunt County courthouse and go 0.6 miles.
  • Bear right (east) onto TX-224 (Commerce St.) and go 14 miles to Commerce.
  • Cross TX-24 and TX-11 and look for the electric transformer station on the right.  Just past the transformer station, turn right (south) onto Park St. and go about 0.1 mile.
  • Turn left (east) onto FM-71 (Bishop St.) and go 16 miles.
  • Turn left (north) onto FM 3505. Go 1.6 miles directly into the park.
  • After stopping at the ranger station, take the first left and go 2.2 miles to the Buggy Whip Loop area.