Get Better

Get better at orienteering

Orienteering is about DISCOVERY: Picking up the basics is easy, but there’s always something new to learn.  Read on for tips on getting better.

Course review and reflection

Permanent courses

Permanent courses are a great way enjoy orienteering and work on your technique between NTOA events. A “permanent” course (though they’re not really permanent — they’re always designed to be updated or removed) course contains control locations designated on a map and set up within a park or camp. At the control locations, you’ll find some kind of marker, often with an orange-and-white sticker or plaque. North Texas Orienteering Association has installed a handful of permanent courses, with more in planning stage.

Publicly accessible


Bob Woodruff and Oak Point Parks, Plano

Now fully repaired! (Thank you, Frank Ray of NTOA!) Unique, smartphone-enabled course installed by NTOA member Jared Chrisman (left) as his BSA Eagle Scout project in 2014. Look for plaques with the familiar orange-and-white symbol and a QR code (below left). (Note: The plaques no longer say Play Plano, although we have the full support of the department — any issues with the course should be taken up with NTOA.)

You’ll find these plaques throughout the park on manmade objects. Scan any code with an app on your smartphone, and Jared’s program will randomly generate a 10-control course! Scan each control in order. NTOA also has an event here about once per season. Link to Google Map.


Tyler State Park, Tyler

This is a traditional permanent course in natural, wooded terrain, with markers throughout the park. Maps are available at the Park Store and include suggested easy, intermediate and more advanced courses by taking controls in different order. NTOA also has an annual event at Tyler State Park in April. Link to Google Map.


Boy Scout Access Only

In coordination with the Circle Ten Council, NTOA has also installed permanent courses at two BSA scout locations:

  • Trevor Rees-Jones Camp (AKA Clements Scout Ranch), Athens
  • Camp James Ray, Pottsboro

Contact Circle Ten Council for information on how to access these courses, as well as obtain maps

Online resources

Orienteering USA: Check out the OUSA site for training materials and tips. Look for the link to their vast repository of orienteering coaching resources (via Google Doc).

O-training.net: Ready to REALLY geek out on orienteering exercises? Check out O-training.net (shown below), an amazing wiki developed by the folks at the international orienteering news site World of O. Whatever your weakness, they have the antidote!

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