Sharpen your navigational skills with Merry Lea’s orienteering program

Orienteers will be hiking on the west side of Merry Lea’s property, which includes prairie areas and oak savanna.

Orienteers will be hiking on the west side of Merry Lea’s property, which includes prairie areas and oak savanna.

Event: Merry Lea orienteering program
Date: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Location: Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College
Cost: $5 adults, $2 youth under 18. Advance registration is required. Please email mlevents@goshen.edu or call (260) 799-5869 to register by noon on July 23.

An orienteering program at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College offers participants a new way to experience the natural world: with map and compass in hand. The program will take place on Thursday, July 24.

Orienteering is a wilderness skill that has become a popular sport. Participants race to a destination in an outdoor area using maps and compasses to guide them. Orienteering sharpens both physical and mental skills and adds a sense of accomplishment to the experience of a cross-country hike.

Merry Lea’s orienteering program is an introduction to navigational skills with a bit of natural history included. Participants will learn to work with a compass, measure their stride and calculate distances accordingly. They’ll also take a look at topographical maps.

Then teams will practice their skills navigating to several destinations to find natural objects.

The program is intended for families, scout groups or other combinations of adults and children ten and older. It will also appeal to people who would like to experience Merry Lea’s less familiar terrain on the west side of the property.

Dr. Jonathon Schramm, assistant professor of sustainability and environmental education, will lead the orienteering event. Schramm teaches in Merry Lea’s undergraduate and graduate programs and also works with science instruction at the K-12 level.

Participants should meet at Merry Lea’s Learning Center Site. The group will then carpool to Luckey’s Landing. The cost of the program is $5 for adults and $2 for youth under 18. Advance registration is required. Please email mlevents@goshen.edu or call (260) 799-5869 to register by noon on July 23.

Merry Lea was created with the assistance of the Nature Conservancy and the generosity of Lee A. and Mary Jane Rieth. The 1,189-acre nature preserve is located in central Noble County, midway between Fort Wayne and Goshen, south of Wolf Lake. Visit www.merrylea.goshen.edu for directions or more information.

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