In an era dominated by technology and GPS navigation, the significance of map reading skills may have waned for many. However, for the members of the Greenville High School NJROTC Orienteering team, these skills proved indispensable as they celebrated a triumphant victory in their first-ever orienteering competition.
On October 12th, the spirited orienteering team from Greenville High School embarked on a journey to Round Rock, Texas, to partake in the "Find the Tiger Orienteering Meet" hosted by Stony Point High School. The team's six dedicated members, including Thomas Arnold, Yuleima Batres, Aiden Attlee, Naomi Fowler, Aaron Velazquez, and Paula Rodriguez, accompanied by their esteemed Naval Science Instructor, AZ1 Mike Flater, participated in this thrilling event.
Instructor AZ1 Mike Flater, boasting extensive orienteering experience from his time teaching in California, has led his teams to two National Championships in the past. The Greenville team, under his mentorship, displayed remarkable prowess, outshining their competitors in a stunning manner and ultimately securing the coveted first-place trophy.
The team's advanced division was expertly led by Thomas Arnold and Aaron Velazquez, whose exceptional navigation skills guided them to success. Meanwhile, Naomi Fowler and Paula Rodriguez's contributions played an integral role in achieving the overall winning score.
"It was a tremendous success for Greenville's first-ever meet of its kind," expressed GHS Cadet and Commanding Officer, Thomas Arnold, who is also a member of the advanced team. "I'm exceedingly proud of the team's accomplishment and the effort they put forth," he added. The words of AZ1 Mike Flater reflected the shared sentiment, stating, "I told the cadets to do their best and complete the course. And they did!"
What is orienteering? Orienteering is a sport that can be completed by anyone. This ancient sport originated in the 19th century in Sweden, where it originated as a military training. The term “orienteering” was first used in 1886 at a Swedish Military Academy and the meaning was crossing of unknown land with the aid of a map and compass. It's easy to learn, but always challenging. The object is to run to a series of points shown on the map, choosing routes—both on and off the trail—that will help you find all the points and get back to the finish in the shortest amount of time. The points on the course are marked with orange and white flags and punches, so you can prove you've been there. Each “control” marker is located on a distinct feature, such as a stream junction or the top of a knoll. Orienteering is often called the “thinking sport” because it involves map reading and decision-making in addition to a great workout.