The Little Troll program

Little Troll patches

Orienteering USA has a program for youngsters completing string courses and white courses at member club events, called the Little Troll program. This incentive program has four levels. The child completes a course and receives a sticker for his/her Little Troll card. When the card has the required number of stickers it can be redeemed for a patch and a new card.

The first level is the simplest, called Little Troll. It only requires the child to complete string courses.

The next level, Chipmunk, is for youngsters doing either string courses or white courses with significant adult help. In either case, the child should be learning several skills: being comfortable in the forest, recognizing the basic map symbols and colors, recognizing control codes (typically two- or three-digit numbers identifying particular control stations, so you know you've reached the correct one for your course), and familiarity with event procedures.

The Rabbit level is for youngsters completing the white course with some adult help. A 'rabbit' should become familiar with most common map symbols and basic safety rules, and learn to orient the map using terrain features (see the section on teaching basic skills), navigate along paths with few junctions, and consider route choice.

At the Roadrunner level, the child will be orienteering on a white course unassisted (an adult can follow for safety, called "shadowing"). The skills to be worked on are keeping the map oriented throughout the course, making route choices, and orienteering along many paths. Basic safety should be reinforced.

After completing a level, the child can work towards another patch at the same level, or move up to the next level. See the sections on teaching orienteering skills for ideas on teaching the skills relevant to these programs.

Also see Youth programs2 for more on the Little Troll program and where to obtain and redeem cards.