Imagine a misty Saturday morning with different forest animals stirring in the woods. All is quiet except the flitting of some small songbirds and deer walking through the woods peacefully. Then suddenly there is a cry out in the woods, “Here it is! I found it!” That phrase is a common phrase heard from successful Clemente JROTC cadets finding an orienteering point on their most recent field trip.
It was another great weekend for the JROTC orienteering group at the Red Gate Woods in Willow Springs, Illinois. Red Gate Woods is one of the many forest preserves that the Cook County Forest Preserve offers to the public as a place to enjoy during all seasons in the year. Our Clemente Wildcat cadets run this event five times a year. This year, we had over 200 cadets from over 18 different schools participate. There are three different course levels for Clemente student cadets to experience: beginner, mid-level, and high-performing.
The Clemente cadets run the registration, equipment & map issue, as well as provide the other cadets their results when they finish the orienteering course. Cadets look for points in the woods and have a “finger stick” (looks like a ring pop) which they insert into each control point. When they finish the course, a printout tells them how many points they found and how long it took them between points, as well as the overall time.
This is a fun event for the Clemente cadets as they get to interact with other cadets from other schools and see how other cadets and programs are doing. Clemente students are curious where we will go in November. Cadets can not wait to find out and go on our next orienteering trip!