DVOA Fall Training Weekend - 2017

September 9 & 10, 2017

Registration closes August 27, 2017

Registration for the event has closed!
Contact the registrar to see if any spots have opened up.

The Event

Delaware Valley Orienteering Association (DVOA) will host their 26th annual training and camping weekend on September 9 & 10, 2017 in Hickory Run State Park. Hickory Run is a beautiful, conveniently located park in the Pocono's near the intersection of I-80 and I-476 (Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike).

Saturday (September 9) will be devoted to training and orienteering exercises. Training will begin at 10 AM and will be offered on three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Beginner training is for people who have never gone out on an orienteering course or have gone out a few times on a white or yellow course. Exercises will include map reading, understanding map symbols and map orientation.

Intermediate training is for people who feel very comfortable on a yellow course and want to move up to the orange level. In addition, intermediate training is for people who are now going out on an orange course and want to refine their skills. Exercises include understanding handrails, thumbing to maintain map contact, route simplification and improving off-trail confidence.

Advanced training is for people who are currently going out on a green or red course and want to improve their skills. Exercises include selecting attack points, route simplification and contours.

Training will be followed by a night orienteering event. Night-O will be offered on three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. The beginner course is all on trails and is intended for people who have never done orienteering at night. The intermediate course is intended for people who have done night orienteering before and are ready to get off-trail for part of the course. The advanced course is intended for people who have completed several night orienteering courses and are very comfortable off-trail at night. For night orienteering you will need a flashlight. Start times will be pre-assigned for you. Please note special start-time needs when you register.

On Sunday (September 10) DVOA will host an orienteering event. Five courses will be offered: White (introductory difficulty and 2 to 3 km), Yellow (advanced introductory difficulty and 2.5 to 3 km), Orange (intermediate difficulty and 2.5 to 4 km), Brown (advanced difficulty and 3 to 5 km). Green (advanced difficulty and 3.5 to 5.5 km) and Red (advanced difficulty and 5 to 7 km). A Blue course may also be offered. If you sign up for a blue course and one is not offered you will be moved to red. Start times will be pre-assigned for you. Please note special start-time needs when you register. For this event the start window closes at 12:00 pm instead of the regular 1:00 pm.

Training and Map Fees

A training fee will be charged which includes all training materials you need, except a compass. The training fee is $7 for DVOA members and $10 for non-members. This is a per-person fee. You must pre-register and pre-pay for training.

Fees for each Night-O map are $7 for DVOA members and $10 for non-members. This is a map fee (not a per-person fee). Typically, it is not practical for more than two or three people to use the same map and many people want their own map. You must pre-register and pre-pay for Night-O.

Fees for the event on Sunday are $7 for pre-registered members of DVOA, $10 for pre-registered non-members and $12 if you are not pre-registered (whether you are a member of DVOA or not). This is a map fee (not a per-person fee). If you are going out on the Sunday event as part of the training you must pre-register and pre-pay.

If you are only going out on the Sunday event, you should pre-register (to avoid the higher fee), but do not need to pre-pay. To pre-register, send an email to the event director indicating which course you will run and pay at the park. If you have not pre-registered, registration at the park will be permitted from 10 AM until Noon at the $12 fee.


Sleeping facilities consist of unheated cabins with no electricity and wooden bunks. There are no mattresses, so bring a mattress if desired. The group camp area has flush toilets located throughout the camp, a dining hall and a central shower facility with hot showers. The shower facility has electricity for lighting, but the toilet facilities throughout the camp have no electricity. The cost for the cabins is $4 per person for DVOA members and non-members for both nights.

If you stay in the cabins, you are asked to sweep out your cabin, close and latch all windows and pick up any trash you find around your cabin when you leave.

Due to the bear population at Hickory Run, food in the sleeping cabins is prohibited.

You can also tent camp, but must contact the park to reserve space. You will not be permitted to tent camp in the group camp area we are using. The phone number for Hickory Run State Park is: 570 443 0400.


A meal plan will be provided (3 meals on Saturday and 2 on Sunday). The cost for all 5 meals is $18 for members of DVOA and non-members. You must pre-register for food. There is no charge for children under 7. Meals are nutritious and plentiful. You can bring your own food if you desire, but kitchen facilities will not be provided. Food in the sleeping cabins is prohibited due to bears in the park.


Take the I-476 (Northeast extension of the PA Turnpike) to the I-80 exit. Turn right at light onto PA Rt. 940 and follow west for 3 miles. Go south on PA Rt. 534 and follow the orienteering signs just after you pass the park office. The orienteering signs are about 6 inches by 18 inches painted white and orange in the shape of an arrow. Follow the arrows to the dining hall in the camp (Camp Daddy Allen) to obtain your cabin assignment and meal tickets. If you arrive after 11 PM, your cabin assignment will be left for you in the dining hall.

If you decide to arrive Saturday morning, be sure to do so before 10:00 AM so you can be properly placed with your training group. It is very difficult to find the groups once they go into the woods.

You can either register using the paper form or online. To register using the paper form, download the form, fill it in and send it to the address shown below. Be sure to enclose your check made out to DVOA. Use care when writing your email address. If it is not printed legibly you will not receive a confirmation of your registration. Your email address will only be used to communicate with you about this event. To register online use the link above, fill in the information and submit the form. After you have registered, be sure to pay using the PayPal link or send a check made out to DVOA to the address below.

If you have questions concerning the event, please contact Ralph Tolbert.

Ralph Tolbert
876 Skyline Drive
Gap, PA 17527

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring my pet to the events?
No, pets are not allowed in a group camp area.
Can I tent camp?
Tent camping is not allowed in the Daddy Allen group camp area. You must use the tent camping area. Contact the Park Office at 3613 State Route 534 White Haven, PA 18661 Phone: 570-443-0400
I am not a member of DVOA. What is the advantage of joining?
The primary advantages are reduced event fees and notification of upcoming events. Four times a year you will receive the club newsletter. An organization (such as a scout troop or church group) can join as a family and all members of the organization are considered members. You can contact the club office for more information at 610-792-0502 or email Mary Frank or sign up online. Reduced fees at this event alone for a large group may cover the cost of membership.
Can I tent camp and take the meal plan?
Do you keep groups together?
To the extent possible, groups are kept together. There are 2, 4 and a few 8-10 person cabins. Large groups are often given multiple cabins.
Will I share a cabin with anyone else?
Small groups and families (people who submit one registration or indicate who they want to be in a cabin with) are given a single cabin and do not share space with anyone else. A single person (registration) generally shares a cabin with someone of the same gender.
What can I do to help at the event?
Helpers are often needed in the kitchen. Helpers are always needed for cleanup after the event. Cleanup starts about 2:00 and mostly consists of dining hall cleaning. Even if you can only offer 15 minutes, it helps.
What is the difference between per-person fees and map fees?
Each person pays the per-person fee, but map fees are charged for each map even if several people go out at the same time and use the same map. Assume you have 8 people in your group and all 8 attend training and go out for Night-O in groups of 2. You would pay for 8 training fees and 4 Night-O map fees.
When does registration close?
Registration will close on August 27, 2017, but the event may be full before that time. Avoid disappointment and register early. Be sure to allow time for mailing your registration. After August 27, 2016 the start list will be constructed and cabin assignment will be finalized.
You mentioned bears a couple of times, is there cause for alarm?
If you keep food out of your sleeping cabin, you should not have a problem. Food in a sleeping cabin is prohibited by the park for good reason. There have been cases of bears entering cabins because there was food in the cabin. The people, who were eating at the time, were surprised when the bear came through the window. Avoid the problem and don't eat or keep food in your cabin.