He had to, he knew it. He really would have preferred not to. It was far from being his favorite activity. Of all the sports available, why did the teacher choose this one? He hated sports and he had just found a sport that he hated even more than sports in general.
A week before, they had been sitting in a circle in the gym, tired but happy that this class, which was hard for some of them to bear, was over when the teacher had announced it. The next week they would be doing orienteering! He had said it with such enthusiasm, that the students could almost have thought it was the best sport in the world. Most of the students seemed happy to hear that, swept away by the teacher’s joy. But not the teacher. He wasn’t the best at racing, and he couldn’t even find his way around a city, so why would he do better in the woods? If the two words that make up the name of the activity pushed him away, the activity itself was bound to destroy him.
On the day of the activity, the teacher was just as happy. On the other hand, some of the students, seeing the temperature outside and the thickness of the clothes they had brought, felt strangely worse than when the activity had been announced by the teacher. He was happy to see that he was not the only one to find this sport awful, even before the orienteering race began.
The teacher, dressed warmly in his colourful jacket, began his explanation. The goal was to punch their sheet and get back to the starting point first. All this while running and guiding themselves with the help of a map and a compass.
He sighed. He hated running, he couldn’t read a map or orient himself, and no matter how hard he searched, he couldn’t remember how a compass worked. Oh yes, he did! The red arrow was pointing north! He had better find a good team… The teacher said it was time to make up the teams. And so he made them himself.
He ended up with a team in which no one could read a map or use a compass. Well, good start! The departure was announced. Each team left on its own side, its precious map, the compass and the punch sheet in its hand, the not very sure step because almost nobody had done an orienteering race before.
He reflected. Well, the principle was rather simple, in fact. They had to find the beacons on the way. But it was better not to get lost in the woods…