You can learn the art of navigating using a good, old-fashioned compass - and it never needs batteries.
In order to find our way today we rely on GPS or internet maps. But when the batteries go dead or the service is poor, a compass can be a reliable tool for outdoor adventures.
On Saturday afternoon, June 14, the Audubon Center and Sanctuary is offering a workshop where you can learn orienteering - that is, using a map and compass to navigate from point to point, an important but often forgotten outdoor skill in this technological world.
From 1 to 3 p.m., Audubon naturalist Katie Finch will teach the basics of compass use and how to measure distance for orienteering.
Once participants feel comfortable with the basic skills, they will be able to try a compass course around Audubon grounds, with a treasure at the end. If time permits, the class will also cover some methods to determine direction without a compass. Compasses will be provided during the class but participants are welcome to bring their own.
Even if serious hiking is not in your plans, using a compass can also be a fun activity for the entire family. Once you learn the basics of how to use a compass, courses and activities are a great way to spend time outside and get some exercise.
Katie Finch has been teaching compass and GPS orienteering for several years.
Cost for the class is $16; $12 for Friends of the Nature Center and children ages 3-15.
Workshop size is limited to 20, and registration is required by Wednesday, June 11. To register, call (716) 569-2345, stop in, or click on "Orienteering" at www.jamestownaudubon.org.
Audubon education programs are funded with support from the Carnahan Jackson Foundation, Jessie Smith Darrah Fund, Holmberg Foundation, Hultquist Foundation, Johnson Foundation, and Reg and Betty Lenna Fund of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
The Audubon Center & Sanctuary is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania. Hours for the Nature Center and Blue Heron Gift Shop are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Sundays 1-4:30 p.m. The arboretum, gardens, more than five miles of trails, and exhibit of Liberty, Audubon's resident non-releasable Bald Eagle, are open dawn to dusk daily.
For more information on this and all Audubon programs, call (716) 569-2345 or visit jamestownaudubon.org.