My son needs to work on a few more requirements to receive his First Class rank. The troop he is part of is in an area that has 2 Cub Scout packs to feed 3 Boy Scout troops. We are the odd troop out(meaning the other two troops are in the same towns as the two Cub Scout packs) so our numbers aren't as high as the other 2 troops. My son and two other boys came over a year ago. They are active and have made good progress towards rank. However, they are doing it mostly with help from parents and the Scoutmaster. We had some older boys that just graduated, then a couple 16 year olds that aren't real active, some 14 year olds, two of which came over from another troop so the younger boys aren't getting a lot of guidance from older scouts. Where I'm stuck right now is on the orienteering requirement for First Class. Our current Scoutmaster has been in his position for 2 years and his son is 14 but he wasn't very involved when his son did the orienteering part of First Class. No one seems to remember what the troop did to complete the first class orienteering requirements in the past. The closest I can get is that they did something during Camp Alaska out in the woods. I decided to go hunting for resources on the web and in the library. I found a lot out about orienteering and I also found out a lot about how the Boy Scout First Class requirements for orienteering are sort of old fashioned.
There seem to be two areas of thought with respect to the orienteering. One is that the boys use compass bearings and pacing to complete some sort of course. I found an example fill in form that a troop in Ann Arbor Michigan uses for this. First the boys need to figure out how many steps they take in 100ft. Then it's on to the task. It has instructions like: Heading of 180 degrees for 300 feet, then heading of 260 degrees for 600 feet. These instructions continue for 15 legs and at points have them estimate distances and the height of some light poles. I could easily make up a course like this somewhere in our area.
The other thought on orienteering is to have them do true orienteering with a map, control points and compass. The only issue I have with this is that in the literature I've seen on this you need to have a topographic map with magnetic north lines on it to orient the compass properly. If I just want to lay out my own course in a nearby park or woods it would be impossible to get a map like this, correct?
If I drew a map by hand and just labeled north on it would be accurate enough to allow laying the compass on the map to get a line of direction? This would sort of be like they do at corn mazes (which I love:-) but spread out more.
Can anyone help shed light on this? I'd really like to try and get the boys through this stuff during the summer when they have a bit more time for it.