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Hilltop kids learn about orienteering at Slopes program in South Side Park


Last updated 5/2/2016 at 5:12pm

Alexis Rzewski of the Western PA Orienteering Club instructs some of the kids from the Allentown Learning and Engagement Center in the use of a compass before leading them on a hike through South Side Park over the weekend.

The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA), partnered with The Birmingham Foundation, the Brashear Association and the Western PA Orienteering Club, to hold its first youth orienteering in South Side Park over the weekend in South Side Park.

The event, made possible through a grant from the Birmingham Foundation, showcased the trails and other assets of South Side Park to neighborhood kids while letting them explore the park and learn how to read a topographical map and use a compass.

Starting at Bandi Schaum Community Garden, a group of youth from Brashear's Allentown Learning and Engagement Center, learned how to navigate a custom-designed course. Alexis Rzewski of the Western PA Orienteering Club familiarized the kids with how to use a compass, read a topographical map, and follow simple instructions.

"I always look forward to passing along my knowledge of orienteering to those who have never tried

 the sport before," Mr. Rzewski said.

Orienteering, according to OrienteeringUSA, it is a competitive sport that combines racing with navigation. It is a timed race in which individual participants use a specially created, highly detailed map to

 select routes and navigate through diverse and often unfamiliar terrain and visit control points in sequence.

Courses also can be enjoyed as a walk in the woods, with difficulty levels from beginner to expert offered at most events. Find out more at

Learn more about the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association at


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