Intro to O

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September 10

IntroQuantico Orienteering Club invites all newcomers to join us for an "INTRODUCTION TO ORIENTEERING” as we get ready for our 2022-2023 season.

Pre-registration is required for this event, opening Monday, September 5th at 6pm and closing Friday September 9th at 10pm. There will be no day-of registration.

This is the first time since July 2019 that we have been able to offer this event. It will take place at Lake Needwood, Rock Creek Regional Park, Derwood, MD - a forested park in suburban Maryland, which boasts numerous outdoor and recreational activities.

These will be FREE beginner-only orienteering courses for all ages - from children to adults. For anyone who has ever wanted to try orienteering, or has just wondered what it is, here's your chance to come out and give it a go. Those of you who are already seasoned orienteers, please invite your co-workers and friends out to experience that activity you're always telling them about.

Participants will learn the basics of orienteering from experienced instructors and then apply their newly acquired skills on a beginner level orienteering course (either a White or Yellow Course) that same day.

Check in will open at 9:45 AM with instruction will be offered approximately every 30 minutes beginning at 10:00 AM and running through 12:00 PM. Participants can orienteer solo or in small groups of their own choosing. All participants will have until 1:30 PM to complete their courses.

The only equipment you'll need to bring is your brain, some active clothing/sportswear, a comfortable pair of athletic shoes, and a watch. Compasses will be available, but please bring your own if you have one. You will want to bring some water, because there won’t be any out on the courses or at the check in area.

Pre-registration is required due to park permit participant limitations (and for this event, there will be five 30-minute check-in windows). Once registration is open, click below to register to ensure your spot and get in on the fun!

We will meet at Shelter A, which you can access from the park’s southern-most parking lot, just off Needwood Lake Circle. You might also want to check out our Video about attending your first orienteering event, as well as some of our written materials about "Your First Event" and "Orienteering Techniques For Beginners".

Group Leaders: if you are bringing a group of 10 or more, please contact the Event Director. Note that the maximum number going out together on a course is 4, so please plan on dividing groups larger than that into groups of 4 or less.

Special Notes:

  • There is no water on the course. Participants are responsible for their own hydration. A very limited supply of bottled water for emergency use will be on hand with the Meet Director; but it is vital to stay well hydrated. Please come prepared!
  • There are no snacks offered by QOC.
  • Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash.


Lake Needwood, Circle Parking Area, Derwood, MD (Beginner Intro)

RegistrationRegistration for this event opens at 6pm on Monday Sept 5 via this link. Advance registration is required. Registration will close at 10pm on Friday Sept. 9 (the night before the event).
Who's registered? Check by clicking here. Sorting by column is possible too - just click on the column name.

Start TimesStart times will be by windows (to be defined for this event before registration opens).
ScheduleSaturday, September 10
10:00 am - 1:30 pmBeginner Intro:
Event Director:David Onkst
Event Director:Heidi Onkst
Course Designer:David Onkst
Course Designer:Heidi Onkst
Location Details

Beginner Intro
Lake Needwood
Circle Parking Area
Derwood, MD
Google Map

Get to Avery Rd from either Norbeck Rd (Rt 28) or Muncaster Mill Rd (Rt 115). From Avery Rd, turn onto Needwood Lake Dr, go 0.3 miles, then turn left on Beach Dr. The first right then leads to Needwood Lake Circle, and by continuing to follow QOC signs you should be led to the pavilion/shelter in use for the event, most likely towards the S end of the lake.
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link
Course DetailsBeginner Intro
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 2.97514
Yellow 3.49511
Course NotesBeginner Intro

White Course: All on trails. Best option for adults and families with no or limited orienteering/navigational experience.

Yellow Course: Longer, some off-trail controls, but with linear features to follow. Good option for adults with older children and some navigation/orienteering experience, as well as adventure racers and hikers.

Entry FeesThis event will be free.

Individual Entries

Note: juniors = under 21

Club Member, adult Club Member, junior Non-Member, adult Non-Member, junior
$10 $5 $20 $5

Group Entries

Participants are welcome to orienteer together as a group (up to the maximum for that event; usually 4). Each member of a group is charged their individual rate as shown above, up to a group total of $30 (maximum), and each receives a map. A group receives one epunch. Individuals or groups desiring to compete on a second course after completing their first can do so for a reduced fee of $2/map subject to approval at the event by the Event Director.

Important Notes
  • If you wish to become a QOC member you should join online in advance via this webpage (which also explains the member benefits). Membership is completely optional.
  • Most of our events use an 'epunch' timing chip for electronic timing. Individuals or groups without their own epunch will be loaned one for that event. Loaned epunches that are lost incur a $40 replacement fee. Epunches (also known as SI-cards or finger sticks) can be purchased from online vendors as described here.
  • Former QOC members who have let their membership lapse pay non-member fees.
  • Compasses are available at no charge, but if lost incur a $15 replacement fee.
  • Please provide collateral (such as car keys) when borrowing a compass or epunch.
  • There is no planned, on-site beginner instruction, but beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst