Putting on a Navigation/AR Clinic

Steps and Resources for Putting on Your Own Navigation/Adventure Racing Clinic

Partner Up. Consider partnering up with your local outdoor gear store (locally-owned or REI-type) or orienteering club to host it. You’ll get more awareness. The store will get more gear and equipment sales. A nice win-win.

If it will be outdoors and you have concerns about litigation from an injury, an existing entity’s liability insurance would likely apply (confirm with them). If you decide to put on the clinic (or a race) on your own, consider creating a one-person limited liability corporation and having basic general liability insurance along with a waiver… or limit your clinic to people you know.

Select the Venue. This may depend on whether you are partnering with a local outdoor gear store. Indoors has the advantage of controlled environment and benefits the store more, but outdoors is obviously the best place to truly help people learn. Consider holding the clinic at at a local city or county park, recreation area or even a nearby school or church that has some land. Make sure you get permission from the landowner of the venue (e.g., city or county parks director) if your clinic will be an organized, publicly promoted event.

Your outdoor venue should ideally have some definable terrain (hilltops, gullies, trail junctions, water features, etc.) but you can still help people learn the basics anywhere that has an x (where you are) and y (where you’re going). If things go well and the venue works well, consider asking the landowner if you can set up a practice (“permanent”) orienteering course there so people can practice on their own (and you don’t have to hang flags every time you put on the clinic).

Create the Map and Presentation Materials. If your clinic will be outdoors, create a practice topograpic map of the park, rec area, school or other area with some pre-plotted checkpoints using an open source mapping tool (e.g., CalTopo). Make sure you plot your checkpoints accurately by downloading a free topo app on your phone. No need to reinvent the wheel. You can pull content from our clinic presentation materials, find online, or partner with an orienteering club as they may have the resources already. Consider asking racers what additional topics they would like to learn about such as gear choices, mountain bike and paddling tips, training, nutrition, and team dynamics.

Promote the Clinic & Communicate the Details. There’s nothing worse than working really hard and taking lots of time to do all of the above tasks and then have hardly anyone show up. You need to get the word out… but it can be done efficiently; no need to drive all around time hanging up flyers.
  • Consider creating a way to register and communicate with attendees. A Facebook Event page works well or use an online event sign-up site such as BikeReg, RunSignUp or EventBrite. Registration sites have the advantage of capturing email addresses and online waivers and often do not charge for free events.
  • If you are partnering with a store or orienteering club, ask them to promote the clinic as much as possible with their email lists, social media and in-store promotion.
  • Get the word out through local media. Create a media release and send to local media contacts. Media Tips & Media Release Template.