Happyland Training Camp

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March 16 - March 17
Saturday - Sunday

Camp 5 Registration is now open! Registration closes midnight Saturday March 9.

We're excited to announce that we have expanded our training concept for this year's camp - the first that we have executed in five years due to COVID and weather issues. The training camp weekend is taking place on Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17, 2024 at Prince William Forest Park Camp 5/Happyland.

In somewhat of a departure from the past, the training weekend will take a comprehensive approach, offering training at fundamental, intermediate and advanced levels geared to all QOC members, although juniors are welcome and encouraged to take part as always. We'll have a challenging variety of training activities to appeal to all skill levels.

Having assessed your own progress during the course of the 2023-24 season up to this point, you will be able to select activities that help you overcome any shortcomings you've noticed in your orienteering skill set and set yourself up to improve during the rest of this season and in the upcoming one.

Note that there are are two basic options for the training weekend:

  1. A training-only option on Saturday, 16 March and Sunday morning, 17 March (five training sessions--see schedule below).
  2. The training plus accommodations in the Camp 5 dorms and four meals from Saturday lunch through Sunday lunch (details below.)
Note also that the Sunday regular QOC orienteering event at Camp 5 scheduled for Sunday, 17 March is NOT included in either training package and must be signed up for separately on the separate event page HERE.

Deadlines: The registration deadline for both option 1 (training sessions only; no meals/accommodations) and option 2 (training plus meals/accommodations) is Saturday March 9.

The training activities, helmed by Matt Smith, will run from 9am Saturday to mid-day on Sunday. All training will take place around Happyland and adjacent areas on both sides of the Quantico Creek South Branch.

Training: As noted above, training will be provided on three "tracks" - fundamental; intermediate and advanced. See HERE for the training track schedules and HERE for a detailed description of each track. The training will be open to all skill levels. This event is meant for the entire club and is not specific to or focused on youth training, though youth members are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

There will be five windows of training available: (1) Saturday early morning and (2) late morning; (3) Saturday early afternoon and (4) late afternoon and (5) Sunday morning.

Saturday evening activities: On Saturday evening there will be a night event--NOT a regular Night O but but a fun orienteering activity called a Vampire O--a fun chase through the woods--with socializing and games the rest of the evening.

Accommodations: Happyland can accommodate up to 104 people staying overnight in one of 4 heated dorms (mattresses are provided; overnighters will have to bring their own bedding. The NPS website has additional details about Happyland here.)

For early arrivals, the camp and dorms will be open starting Friday evening at 5pm (but note that the first meal for participants will be Saturday lunch). One of the four dorms will be a female dorm; there will also be a family-priority dorm as well.

For those who want to attend the training and stay overnight in the area but not in the Camp 5 dorms, we have reserved some rooms at fixed prices for Saturday night, 16 March at the nearby Comfort and Red Roof Inns. See the details for these reserved room blocks and a listing of other nearby hotels/motels and contact information HERE.

Meals: Tasty meals served for Saturday lunch and dinner (check out this dinner menu!) and Sunday breakfast and bag lunch will be provided courtesy of a highly skilled culinary team led by Florence Tan. Signing up for the meal plan (without staying in cabins) is also possible, at the same cost. For food restrictions not encompassed on the registration form, email the Head Chef. Note: bringing your own food for preparation in camp 5 is not permitted.

Fees: The regular fee this year will be $32 per participant for the training itself (accommodations and meals not included).

For those who want accommodations at Camp 5 and to partake of the excellent meals, there is an additional fee of $31, for a total of $63 (including training). The $31 accommodation/meal fee entitles you to both dorm space and meals; you can do one without the other, but the fee is the same.

Refunds are available only in case of event cancellation. Again, the fee for the QOC regular Sunday event at Happyland is not included (in either training option). Go HERE to pre-register for the Sunday event.

All participants are responsible for paying the regular park entry fee of $20 either online, at the park entrance (which will be manned) or at the Visitors Center. The entry fee covers the entire weekend. Note that an annual park pass for Prince William Forest is only $35, and those who attend just one more event at PWFP in the next calendar year will save money with an annual pass.

Photos: Take a look at the 2019 Training Weekend photos to get an idea of both how much fun this is and also how much volunteer effort is involved; please help out if you can.

Volunteers: We need you! This event requires a lot of volunteers - please sign up for at least one volunteer slot via this form, or email the Event Director directly for other options. Thanks in advance!

Clothing/Equipment: For mid-March weather, please bring appropriately varied clothing as the temperature is hard to gauge at that time of year. Compasses will be available to borrow. E-punches may be used for some training events. Please indicate on the pre-registration form whether you have your own e-punch.

You may also wish to bring camp chairs for your general use, and you'll help the environment if you bring your own coffee/tea mug.

Camp 5 Cabin Locator Maps: HERE is a map showing the route from Exit 150 on I-95 to Camp 5/Happyland, and HERE is one showing Camp 5 and the parking locations in detail.

Minors: The expectation is that minors participating in the camp will be accompanied by an adult (parent/guardian) also participating throughout the weekend.

Things To Leave At Home: Park rules prohibit alcohol and other intoxicants within the Happyland cabin camp, which is our base of operations for the weekend - please leave them at home. Smoking is also forbidden by NPS rules inside buildings at Happyland.

Pets: Pets are not permitted in the Training Camp (but will be allowed as usual, on a leash, during the Sunday regular QOC event).

QOC Training Weekend Schedule and Details
(Detailed training schedule broken down by Fundamental, Intermediate and Advanced levels is HERE and described in detail HERE)

Saturday, March 16

8:00am - 9:00am: Arrival at Camp 5 and introductions
9:00am - 10:30am: Training Session 1
10:30am - Noon: Training session 2
Noon: Registration closes for Sunday's O'event (so register before Noon!)
Noon - 1:30 pm: Lunch bar
1:30pm - 3:00pm: Training Session 3
3:00 - 4:30pm: Training Session 4
5:30 - 7:00pm: Group dinner at the cabin camp
7:30 - 10:30pm: Vampire O and concurrent games and socializing in the dining hall

Sunday, March 17

7:30am-9:00am: Breakfast
9:00am-10:30am: Training session 5
10am - 3pm: Classic Day O'event (separate registration)
11am - 12pm: Lunch
2:00pm-3:00pm: Packing, cabin cleanup and departures

You can participate in as many or as few exercises as you want. There will be beginner, intermediate, and advanced options for each training window, and you can seek advice as to what is best for you for each session.

Questions? We know there's a lot of info here, but if it didn't answer all of your questions about this fine event use our Contact Form!


Prince William Forest Park, Camp 5 - Happyland, Triangle, VA (Training Weekend)

RegistrationRegistration is open! Click this link to register.

Registration will close at midnight Saturday March 9.

Start TimesSee Training Schedule.
ScheduleSaturday, March 16
9:00 am - 4:30 pmTraining Weekend: Exercises at Happyland
7:30 pm - 10:30 pmTraining Weekend: Vampire-O
Sunday, March 17
9:00 am - 10:30 amTraining Weekend: Exercises at Happyland
Event Director:Charles Carrick
Training Coordinator:Matt Smith
Head Chef:Florence Tan
Location Details

Training Weekend, Training Weekend, Training Weekend
Prince William Forest Park
Camp 5 - Happyland
Triangle, VA
Google Map

From I-95 exit 150B (near Triangle, VA) go west on Joplin Road ~4.5 miles, then turn right and follow the red and white orienteering signs on Mawavi Road. Registration is (usually) in the Dining Hall of Camp 5. More detailed directions available using the Google map link. Note: Mawavi Road is likely to have runners on it - please be careful as you drive in. Please park in lots or where directed by volunteers (otherwise you're likely to get a costly ticket).
Google Maps Link
Apple/iPhone Link
Entry Fees

Special Pricing Applies to this Event. See details above.

  • 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