Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Orienteering Merit Badge






  1. Show that you know first aid for the types of injuries that could occur while orienteering, including cuts, scratches, blisters, snakebite, insect stings, tick bites, heat and cold reactions (sunburn, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, hypothermia), and dehydration. Explain to your counselor why you should be able to identify poisonous plants and poisonous animals that are found in your area.
  2. Explain what orienteering is.
  3. Do the following:
        a. Explain how a compass works. Describe the features of an orienteering compass.
        b. In the field, show how to take a compass bearing and follow it.
  4. Do the following:
        a. Explain how a topographic map shows terrain features. Point out and name five terrain features on a
              map and in the field.
        b. Point out and name 10 symbols on a topographic map.
        c. Explain the meaning of declination. Tell why you must consider declination when using map and
              compass together.
        d. Show a topographic map with magnetic north-south lines.
        e. Show how to measure distances using an orienteering compass.
        f. Show how to orient a map using a compass.
  5. Set up a 100-meter pace course. Determine your walking and running pace for 100 meters. Tell why it is important to pace-count.
  6. Do the following:
        a. Identify 20 international control description symbols. Tell the meaning of each symbol.
        b. Show a control description sheet and explain the information provided.
        c. Explain the following terms and tell when you would use them: attack point, collecting feature,
              aiming off, contouring, reading ahead, handrail, relocation, rough versus fine orienteering.
  7. Do the following:
        a. Take part in three orienteering events. One of these must be a cross-country course.
        b. After each event, write a report with
            1. a copy of the master map and control description sheet,
            2. a copy of the route you took on the course,
            3. a discussion of how you could improve your time between control points, and
            4. a list of your major weaknesses on this course . Describe what you could do to improve.
  8. Do ONE of the following:
        a. Set up a cross-country course of at least 2,000 meters long with at least five control markers.
              Prepare the master map and control description sheet.
        b. Set up a score-orienteering course with 12 control points and a time limit of at least 60 minutes.
              Prepare the master map and control description sheet.
  9. Act as an official during an orienteering even. This may be during the running of the course you set up for requirement 8.
  10. Teach orienteering techniques to your patrol, troop or crew.

Note to the Counselor:
While orienteering is primarily an individual sport, BSA Youth Protection procedures call for using the buddy system. Requirement 7a can be completed by pairs or groups of Scouts.

Orienteering Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.