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Cub Scouts Go Orienteering in a Box

Cub Scout orienteering in a box

I'm a member of the 1st Facebook Scout Group which has members from around the world.  It's fascinating to hear about Scouting in other countries, so check it.

A few months ago, Roger Marsh posted a video of a super fun activity to the group's page.  Roger called it “cardboard box compass practice,” but I dubbed it “orienteering in a box.”  As I watched the video, I said, “We have to do this at day camp!”

This activity probably doesn't meet the official definition of orienteering, so I hope the members of Orienteering USA don't mind that I took some liberty with their term.  🙂

Orienteering in a box helps teach the Scouts how to use a compass.  It also teaches them to measure their paces so they can estimate how far they've walked.

The Scouts start out by calculating how many paces it will take them to walk 10 meters.  Then they put a cardboard box over their heads and follow a route that they are given. 

The routes give them instructions such as go 10 meters north then 20 meters east then 10 south, etc.  At the end, the Scouts take the boxes off of their heads to see how close they are to the finish mark.

It may be a bit hard to imagine how it works, so check out this video of my Webelos, Grant, moving through his route.

Here's a shorter version of the video, if you don't have time to watch the entire walk.

Our theme was “Cub Wars – A Galactic Adventure,” so our awesome volunteer, Jane, decorated the boxes to look like Tie Fighters.  We really had fun watching the Scouts spin around with Tie Fighter boxes on their heads!  🙂

Roger kindly agreed to let me share the activity (including his maps and route cards) here on the blog.  You can download the instructions, maps and route cards by clicking this link:

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You can use this activity to reinforce the compass lessons that the Wolves learn in their elective adventure, Finding Your Way.

Wolf Finding Your Way Requirements:

2B. Use a compass to identify which direction is north. Show how to determine which way is south, east, and west.
3.  Go on a scavenger hunt using a compass, and locate an object with a compass.
4.  Using a map and compass, go on a hike or walk with your den or family.

I could even argue that Orienteering in a Box completes requirement 3.

Use this activity at your next den or pack meeting!  The Scouts will love it.

Yours in Scouting,

P.S.  Campmor has a great selection of compasses

Shop Campmor for Your Quickest Link to the Outdoors


Friday 22nd of October 2021

For some reason every time I try to download some of your pro tables it’s never works I just get a screen with a bunch of random let’s and symbols. Any idea what I’m doing wrong? Also I live your blog!

Kimberly Chromicz

Friday 5th of November 2021

Hi Cailin,

I emailed you the printable today. Thanks!


Monday 9th of March 2020

Any way we can change "boys" to "scouts"?

Sherry Smothermon-Short

Monday 9th of March 2020

Just did! Thanks for the reminder. I know I still have posts that need to be updated. :)

75 Pack Activities for the Summertime Pack Award | Cub Scout Ideas

Wednesday 17th of April 2019

[…] Go orienteering – We did orienteering in a box at day […]


Saturday 1st of October 2016

This looks like so much fun! Thanks for posting it. We'll be doing this at our pack camping trip with my wolf den. The boys will love it!