Lake Needwood

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April 28

Pre-registration is required and will open Monday, April 22 at 6pm and close on Saturday, April 27 at 12 noon; there is no day-of registration.

In addition to regular (classic) courses - beginner (white & yellow), intermediate (orange) and advanced (brown) courses, at this event QOC is also hosting the 2024 Susquehanna Stumble, all thanks to course setter Sam Listwak. Don't let the strange "Stumble-talk" dissuade you from attending! Free beginner instruction is available and everyone is welcome, whether they do a regular course or a Stumble course.

Update 22april: The forecast is for very warm temperatures on Sunday. Please be sure to bring plenty of liquid for your hydration.

Regular/classic courses: full details are posted below for the white, yellow, orange and brown courses. There will be one registration link to use for all these (regular/classic) courses.

Stumble courses: The Susquehanna Stumble is a Billygoat-inspired event with a couple of twists. The competitors run between most controls in normal sequential order but occasionally enter a "window" where several controls can be visited in ANY order. There is a mass start at 11am for both Stumbles. Course setter Sam Listwak will explain the race rules in the start area at 10:50, and everyone will be on the clock at 11:00. Even if you arrive or start after 11, your clock starts at 11:00, so don't be late.

To clear space for the mass start, the starts for all other courses will be open from 10:00 to 10:45 and again from 11:15 to 1:30. ALL participants must return to the finish and download by 3:00.

The Long Stumble course is ~ 14.5km, with commemorative towels awarded to the first ~25 finishers. The Long Stumble course has more than 30 controls, so QOC will provide high-capacity SI e-punch dibbers to Long Stumblers who need them.

The Short-Stumble will be ~ 7.2km with commemorative towels for the first ~30 finishers. A regular SI dibber will suffice.

Online pre-registration (i.e. in advance) is mandatory for all courses. For registration purposes, the Stumble is a solo event. You may run in groups of up to four people, but everyone must register individually as a solo runner.

Registration for all courses closes on Saturday, April 27, at noon. Regular pricing applies for the regular/classic courses; pricing for Stumblers is $15 for juniors, $20 for adult members of QOC (or other OUSA clubs), and $30 for non-member adults.

String OFor The Kiddos! Come and try the free "string-O". What's a string-O, you ask? As their first step towards becoming an orienteer, kids follow a course marked with string in a small area to find their favorite Disney characters (under parental supervision). Minimum effort for parents, maximum fun for kids!

Volunteers: Sign up for a volunteer slot via this form, or email the Event Director directly for other options.

Note to JROTC groups: The simplified registration, allowing known JROTC groups to tally map counts but not name cadets in advance, will be supported as usual for white, yellow, orange, and brown courses. However, JROTC Stumblers must register as individual juniors.

Groups on non-Stumble courses: QOC allows groups of up to four people on our courses. Group leaders, please get in touch with the Event Director so we can prepare in advance for your arrival.

BBQ: To celebrate the Stumble, and especially Stumblers traveling from other clubs, QOC is hosting a barbeque for all orienteers from noon to 3:00. We will provide the grill, meat and vegetarian options, fruit, condiments, and paper goods. Please bring a water bottle or any non-alcoholic drinks you'd like. We would be delighted for people to bring vegetables, salads, and sweets to share. Plan to bring a camp chair, and if the weather is wet, an umbrella as our pavilion is small.

Keep in mind:

  • All participants must pre-register online by noon on April 27. There is no day-of registration.
  • All Stumblers must register individually, even if planning to run as a group. For all other courses, start teams (groups of individuals orienteering together with one e-punch) must consist of no more than four (4) individuals (juniors and adults combined).
  • Participants are responsible for meeting their hydration needs before and during their courses. Water is not provided on the course.
  • You MUST be off the course no later than 3:00 and download at the e-punch station even if you did not finish.
  • For those new to orienteering, make sure to check out our Your First Event and Orienteering Techniques For Beginners webpages, and if they don't answer any question you have, use our Contact Form and ask.
  • While dogs on leash are allowed in the park, it's best not to bring them on the Stumble.


Lake Needwood, Circle Parking Area, Derwood, MD (Stumble)

RegistrationRegistration opens at 6pm Monday April 22 and closes at 12 noon on Saturday April 27. Pre-registration is required (day-of registration will not be available).

To register for a classic White, Yellow, Orange or Brown course, click here --> WYOB REGISTRATION

To register for the Short or Long Stumble course, click here--> STUMBLE REGISTRATION

Who's Registered? WYOB registrants are listed here, and Stumble registrants are listed here.

Start TimesWhite, Yellow, Orange and Brown courses may start between 10:00-10:45 and also between 11:15am - 1:30pm. Both the Short and Long Stumble have a mass start at 11 am, preceded at 10:50 by announcements of rules.
ScheduleSunday, April 28
10:00 am - 3:00 pmStumble:
Event Director:Jane Leggett
Course Designer:Sam Listwak
Location Details

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 DetailsStumble
Course NameLength (km)Climb (m)No. Controls
White 1.9508
Yellow 2.4608
Orange 3.613010
Brown 4.214011
Short 7.216022
Long 14.536040
Course NotesStumble

Classic Courses:
None of the courses cross roads with potential traffic. All these courses were designed with dry crossings of Rock Creek. In no case will it be advantageous to attempt to cross Rock Creek anywhere else than at a dry crossing. Orange and Brown courses will cross some small streams and depending on rain and water levels one may get their feet wet crossing these small streams. There are some areas of thicker vegetation on the Orange and Brown courses but these areas are small and navigation choices exist to avoid most of this vegetation. The Northwestern portion of the map is the Needwood Golf Course, do not go on the course, courses are adjacent to it, but not on it.

Stumble Courses:
The Stumble is a mass start event first implemented by the Pennsylvania Orienteering club, SVO. Today’s Stumble will consist of two courses of approximately 7.2 Km (Short with 22 controls and 160m climb) and approximately 14.5 km (Long with 40 controls and 360 m climb). The format of this event is similar to the Bumble with “Windows” (3 on the Short course and 6 on the Long course) in which controls can be located in any order; for map examples, see the 2019 Short and Long Stumble maps on QOC's RouteGadget here and here). Where it differs from the Bumble, is that there are only the two courses with no differentiation as to color code, there are common mandatory controls that must be taken in order linking the windows and the windows themselves must be taken in order, you do not get to choose window order. Window controls will be indicated on the map by a letter designation, linking controls by a numerical designation. The distances between controls within a window are shorter that those of the Bumble (in other words the windows are smaller distance-wise). The majority of Window controls are point features, so some compass work will be required. Mapped Rootstocks, tend to be older and smaller, if used as control features they will be distinctive. I tried to keep the window controls in the more open runnable areas of the park, but in at least two of the windows, vegetation will play a role in route choice. But even there, careful use of the trail systems will avoid the nasty stuff. (becomes a bit of a different orienteering challenge). Both courses will have trail runs, lesser so on the Short course. The Long course will have more extensive trail runs (boring, I know, but I had to get you around Lake Frank somehow to get distance, keep the climb down and keep you out of the nastier vegetation.

There are four road crossing on both courses, roads that may have some degree of traffic. I have placed controls just prior to these crossings to get you to pause and look before crossing. Please be careful and look before crossing. The first crossing on both courses will require crossing a small stream and going through some vegetation just before the highway, streamers will lead you through, but look carefully before crossing the highway. The second crossing will be of Avery Road which may have higher speed traffic, again be careful. The last two crossing will be along the bike path-road intersection and drivers are warned to look for pedestrians and bikers.

The courses are designed to give you obvious dry crossings of Rock Creek, please look carefully at your map to find these dry crossings. However, you still may get your feet wet crossing several smaller shallower streams. Water levels in all the streams can vary considerably depending on the amount of rain just prior to the event, so be careful. Runners on the Long course, depending on their route choice, may have to cross a feeder stream into Lake Frank and you may get your feet wet here, but there are multiple potential relatively dry crossing points indicated on the map along that portion of the course.

Vegetation in parts of the park can be nasty and in some sections impenetrable The courses try and avoid the really nasty stuff by giving obvious trail route choices. In other areas one may encounter some brief areas of fight, but these areas will be brief and one will be able to navigate through or around the worst of it. The trails are well mapped and thanks to Nadim, the map has been recently updated to reflect current conditions in the park.

One other comment, specific to the Long course. On the final window one will have to punch the same control just prior to entering the window and upon exiting the same window.

Entry FeesStumble Pricing: see details above; prices below refer to the non-Stumble courses.

Individual Entries

Note: juniors = under 21

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

Group Entries

At this event, participants are welcome to orienteer together as a group of 4 or less on the white, yellow, orange or brown courses. [On both Stumble courses, everyone must register solo.] 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.
  • Beginners are encouraged to watch relevant videos such as this one created by QOC's instructional guru David Onkst