Training Program Choices

Foothills Orienteering offers several different types of orienteering training and outdoor programs for all ages and abilities:

[email protected] (customized preschool to high-school one-day, partial day, or multi-day programs at your school-yard or local park)

Introduction to Orienteering Clinics (single 1.5 to 2 hours sessions, new to orienteering, adults and youth 16+)

Navigation 101 Sessions (5-week series of 1-hour sessions, beginner adults and youth 16+)

Forest Orienteering Training (weekend sessions based around event schedule, intermediate to advanced)

Personal Orienteering Coaching (1 hour, intermediate to advanced)

[email protected]

Every kid can get outside: move-learn-navigate. SOGO @School can enhance school curriculum by providing students a fun, highly motivating adventure running program: teaching students skills of navigation, endurance, agility, and speed. Programs are custom-delivered in Calgary and surrounding communities for preschool kids to high-school youth. Learn more at

Introduction to Orienteering Clinics


Quickly learn the basics of the sport of Orienteering in a local city park.

  • A 1.5 to 2 hour outdoor & active clinic
  • Led by some of Foothills Orienteering’s internationally experienced orienteers.

You can expect to come away with:

  • Muddy shoes and a grin on your face!
  • Completing your first orienteering course!
  • Better map reading skills (5 Reasons Why We Should Still Read Maps);
  • A new life-long activity to share with friends and family;

When and Where?

Our next clinics are being offered at the following times in the following locations. Click on each date / location for specific details.

  • TBA

For whom?

These clinics are for everyone, regardless of fitness or experience. They are designed for adults but are open to everyone. You will do the clinic in small groups of two or three so we encourage you to bring friends or family.

We think everyone should try these clinics and especially if you:

  • Have heard about this unusual sport and would like to learn more about it;
  • Enjoy running but get a little bored grinding out the miles;
  • Enjoy maps and thinking on the run;
  • Don't enjoy maps but want to learn to read them better;
  • Are interested in an activity that you can do with your friends or as a whole family;
  • Want to challenge yourself to learn a new skill;
  • Love being outdoors or in the woods.

Children under the age of 15 are encouraged to join our SOGO Adventure Running program which runs in the Spring (early April to mid-June) and in the Fall in various locations around Calgary - or if they have a friend in SOGO they could ask about participating in the SOGO 'bring a friend' day in May.

What should I bring?

The clinic is outside and it is active, beginning with walking moving to a medium intensity running/jogging by the end. You can expect to be on and off trails. Wear something comfortable that you don't mind getting a little dirty and don't mind if it might get snagged! If it's wet outside you might want to consider a change of shoes and socks. A compass is optional but not required. Wear running clothes suitable for being outside and active for up to two hours and suitable for the weather. Bring something to drink and some snacks. Bring warm change of clothes for after the clinic.

Why should I sign up?

You should sign up for one of these clinics for the following reasons:

  • It will introduce you to a great new community of active outdoorsy people.
  • It will start you on a lifetime of adventure.
  • It is a fun morning or afternoon exploring one of Calgary’s parks.

How do I sign up?

Registration must be done in advance online (TBD).


  • Adults (21+) - $20.00 *
  • Youth (15-20) - $15.00 *

If you have any questions about registration or any other aspect of these clinics please contact Marsha at [email protected].

Navigation 101 sessions


Navigation 101 is a complete introductory orienteering program consisting of 5 specially designed 1.25 hour lessons over 5 weeks:

    1.Map Reading 101
    2.Heading in the Right Direction
    3.Following the Terrain (or Heading in a Better Direction)
    4.Travelling Efficiently through the Terrain (How not to Slow Down!)
    5.The High Road or the Low Road – It’s Your Choice!

By the end of the 5 lessons you will:

  • Know and understand how an orienteering map represents the terrain and know the basic important symbols and features on an orienteering map;
  • Know how the basic equipment works and how an orienteering course is marked and laid out in the terrain and on the map;
  • Know how to hold, fold, and orient the map;
  • Know how to move effectively through the terrain at whatever pace you prefer;
  • Be able to effectively choose a route and follow multiple handrails from one control to the next.

Navigation 201 is a follow up to Navigation 101. It is suitable for people that have previously taken the Navigation 101 program or have some other orienteering experience.

When in 2020?

Navigation 101 will start on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Times for the course are 6:15 pm to 7:30pm.

Please be ready to start right on time (at 6:15) so we can make the most of the scheduled time.


Local city park

For whom?

Navigation 101 is an adult introductory course. Kids under the age of 15 should register for our SOGO Adventure Running program instead.

We think these programs are great for everyone but especially for those that want to:

  • Improve their map reading skills;
  • Become more comfortable in the woods or just spending more time outdoors;
  • Learn a new sport;
  • Learn more about a great sport they are already familiar with;
  • Improve their orienteering and navigation skills.

Why should I sign up?

You should sign up for Navigation 101 Program for the following reasons:

  • It is a fun way to spend a series of Monday evenings outdoors learning new skills.
  • You will become part of a great community of active outdoorsy people.
  • It will set you up for a lifetime of adventure.

How do I sign up?

Registration must be done in advance online.


Navigation 101: $90.00 and includes a 2020 club Membership.

Included in Navigation 101 registration fee is:

  • 5 weeks of lessons
  • 1 Wednesday night event, immediately following the series.
  • Whistle
  • Binder with resource materials
  • 25% off a 2020 Wednesday night season pass (Participants must email Marsha at [email protected] to get the discount code.)

Navigation 201: TBA

Included in the Navigation 201 registration fee is not yet finalized:

  • 5 weeks of lessons or two half-days on two weekends
  • 1 Wednesday night event, immediately following the last session.
  • Compass rental
  • Whistle
  • Binder with resource materials

Registration deadlines:

If you have any questions about registration or any other aspect of the program please let us know. Email: [email protected]

Forest Orienteering Training

This spring (2020) Foothills Orienteering is offering a coach-planned series of sessions on Sunday mornings on our challenging forest maps for intermediate and advanced orienteers. The schedule should be out by the end of February, following permit acquisition. New in 2020, 4 sessions will be coached and 3 of 7 sessions will be a course (not training); you can choose to run the whole course or cut-off parts to suit your preferred length of course. All sessions will have a planned skill / technique to focus on.

Schedule and Locations

The Forest Orienteering Training program is a series of sessions scheduled around the forest events of the current season. This year's sessions will be planned around the Western Canadian Orienteering Championships on July 3-5 (Calgary area) and the Canadian Orienteering Championships July 10-12 (Kimberley area). The goal will be to help you hone your skills before these opportunities to get in some great orienteering in very nearby locations! We will also have summer sessions to prepare you for BC Champs (August) or Alberta Champs (Sept).

Coaching will be provided at all sessions with instructions before hand and a debrief afterwards.

Session Format

Each coached session would consist of 15 minutes of instruction at 10:00 prior to sending participants out onto the course for the training exercise. After the exercise the coach will touch base with as many participants as possible to see how it went and provide them with specific comments and feedback based on their comments. Sessions will last 2 hours so participants have sufficient time to run the course and still meet with the coach for feedback.

Anyone that wants to do a warm-up before the main exercise should arrive early and do their warm-up before 10:00.

All exercises are set up so participants can do as much or as little as they like. Often they will consist of multiple loops or will be a technical drill based in one location so you can do more or less depending on your speed or interest and the head coach can check in with participants during the training. Alternatively exercises and courses will be set up with multiple cut points or with multiple course of different lengths so you can do the length appropriate for you.

Note: Volunteering is an important part of being able to run programs. Please consider volunteering to set out controls or pick them up. The coach will coordinate the setting of the flags and will provide personal advice and assistance during this process which WILL make you a better orienteer. We appreciate the help. The logistics of putting out all the controls each week is too complicated to do without volunteer assistance.

Safety Information

Orienteering is an outdoor activity that carries a risk of personal injury due to natural and man-made hazards and environmental conditions. In addition to this, for orienteers in the Bow Valley and other parks close Calgary, there is the risk of an encounter with a bear or other large mammal. The participant acknowledges these risks and agrees to take responsibility by

  1. understanding the potential dangers (as described in the waiver n the registration page);
  2. knowing the safety bearing on the map;
  3. knowing the maximum allowed time AND returning on time;
  4. informing the coach when they are back; and
  5. acting responsibly in the forest to reduce risk, especially in the event of a large animal encounter. This may include carrying bear spray (and knowing how to use it appropriately).

The organizers of orienteering events prepare a Safety and Emergency Action Plan that covers how to reasonably minimize these risks and what to do in case of participant injury or if a participant is overdue. The Coach at these trainings is also the Safety Chief and has up-to-date First Aid certification.

Bear Spray

  • Carrying bear spray in trainings and races is recommended for all adults.
  • Most FWOC club members run with bear spray in the forest.
  • All coaches will carry bear spray.

Bear Spray Information

The Government of Alberta has several different documents to access to improve your knowledge of bears:

  1. Government of Alberta: Alberta BearSmart:
  2. Government of Alberta SRD: Bear deterrents:
  3. Government of Alberta: BearSmart Colouring & Activity Book:

How to carry bear spray during your training:

  • Bear Cozy – a bear spray holder that fits directly into the water bottle holder on your waist-belt.
  • Scat Belt – a special waist belt designed to carry bear spray.

Registration Info


All sessions in this program are aimed at intermediate to advanced adult (16+) orienteers. Participants should be comfortable in the forest by themselves.


Drop-in fee of $15 per training session. You MUST be a member of FWOC or another orienteering club to participate.


On-line registration is mandatory but there you will pay in person. Registration is through the FWOC Membership page. If you are already a member, just click the "already have my membership" box.

Questions may be directed to Marsha at [email protected]

Personal Orienteering Coaching


Foothills Orienteering (FWOC) is offering Personal Orienteering Coaching (POC) to club members. FWOC will provide a coach for each participant for a one-hour, one-on-one session, either on a Wednesday night or during a forest training session. The coach will shadow the participant on a course. The coach will provide feedback based on what they observed.Work with a coach for an hour on a one-to-one basis to improve your orienteering! The orienteering technique or skill is your choice; you can run or walk the course. The exact nature of the one-hour interaction will be dependent on both parties.

Important Information

  1. Each session is a single one hour session.
  2. The participant can choose to have the session during a Wednesday evening event or during a forest training event.
  3. The participant should identify what skills they would like to focus on to ensure they get the most out of their session.
  4. Participants will be matched to coaches based on coach availability and compatibility.
  5. The exact nature of the one-hour interaction will be dependent on both parties and can be fluid.
  6. The organizer will share the participant's email with the coach and the coach will contact the participant to set up a date.
  7. Participants MUST be current members of FWOC. If you do not already have a 2020 FWOC membership, please get one in the sign up process.

When and Where?

The date and location is decided between the participant and the coach. You can choose to meet on a Wednesday at an evening event or schedule a Sunday to go to a forest training event.

For Whom?

POC is for FWOC club members, intermediate, adult orienteers who would like to develop / improve their orienteering techniques. There are a variety of skills you could work on: compass bearing, attackpoints and collecting features, route choice, contouring...

How do I sign up?

Register must be done in advance on Zone 4 so that we can match a mentor to each participant; sign up on-line on the FWOC membership registration site. If you are already a member, you can indicate that on the registration form (and you won't be charged a membership fee). COST: $25.00 / one hour session

Register for POC

If you have any questions about registration or any other aspect of the program, please let us know. Email: [email protected]