Members of the orienteering team from the Environmental & Adventure School (EAS) in Juanita brought home the first-place trophy for middle schools from the national Orienteering Championship meet at West Point, N.Y. the weekend of April 18-19.
The team is coached by EAS parent Janet Roberts, who teaches an orienteering class every fall at school, then coaches the school team during the orienteering season.
Orienteering is the sport of competitive navigation, in which participants use a detailed topographical map and a compass to navigate through a course of checkpoints hidden in a park or wilderness area. Locally each year, more than 300 students, representing dozens of schools from elementary through high school, participate in the Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League (WIOL) season that runs from November to February. WIOL is open to all students, new or experienced, whether or not they have a team.
The best of these athletes go on to the longer, more complex courses at the national championship, and if they run extremely well there, get to figure out how to fit this trophy into carry-on luggage for the jubilant flight back. For more information on WIOL or orienteering in general, see www.cascadeoc.org.