Kelly Park
Saturday Apr 9, 2022

Staging at Pavilion 2
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FLO Civilians:
Registration opens about 9:00 AM, first starts at 9:30 AM
All courses close at 3:00 PM

Gaither HS will be hosting
First starts will begin at 0930
We expect all JROTC units to have pre-registered


This will be FLO's JROTC 2022 Championship event!  In addition to our enthusiastic civilian following, nearly 300 cadets from 19 area high schools are expected to come and compete for the coveted State Championship medals and trophies.  We will be going 5 finishers deep on JROTC medals, male & female, for each course level, and 5 trophies deep in the teams at each level.  Because this is a championship event, ranking points in Gord Hunter's statewide rankings will be elevated for this event as well.  It will be a busy, energetic, and fun day, so bring your family and friends and join in!

For This Event Only: We have many cadets competing on Saturday, and in addition many schools have their prom that evening, so we want to get the JROTC side of the event started promptly with an eye toward getting the buses on their way home as early as possible.  We are targeting 0930 for the first starts for JROTC, and to help us get on that schedule we recommend JROTC participants get to the park early. The main entrance gate will open at 8:00 and we urge JROTC units to arrive as close to that time as possible.

We're still a few days out, but the present forecast for Saturday couldn't be better: Mostly sunny, overnight low 50, daytime high 71, with strong breezes to keep you cool while running.  A light jacket would be advisable for the early morning, but course conditions should be just about perfect!

In part because of the expected nice weather, the park will likely be a popular destination that day.  Just as at Wekiwa Springs, park staff will stop admitting new cars once they reach capacity, and it can be a long wait for people to exit to allow others in.  This already happened on one recent Saturday when I was there field checking the new map.  For this reason, we recommend you arrive early in the day rather than late, or come prepared to wait in line for a bit at the entrance.

We will stage in the area around Pavilion #2 (see aerial images below).  All Registration, Start and Finish will be out of this Pavilion.
Staging Area:

Park Web Site

Venue Notes

This is one of the most enjoyable parks in the Orlando area, home to a beautiful second-magnitude spring which is the headwater of Rock Springs Run.  The park backs onto the north end of Wekiwa Springs Park, with its wonderfully open and grassy terrain, making it an excellent venue for orienteering.  If this will be your first visit to this venue, you’re in for a treat.  All the shorter courses from White through Orange level will be entirely within the fenced and very safe bounds of Kelly Park itself (including the newly-mapped territory north of the campground up to Camp Joy), where you will enjoy a wide range of unique habitats, springs, and sinkholes, so your day will also be fabulously enjoyable!  The longer courses will cross the southern fence line into north Wekiwa, and the lovely open runnable woods there.

Flush toilet facilities are available within the park, as are other amenities such as sand volleyball and a cool spring run for swimming and tubing.  We highly recommend you pack your swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the springs after running your course.

Kelly Park Day Use Fees:  $3 per vehicle for 1-2 people; $5 per vehicle for 3-8 people; and $1 for additional persons.  Park personnel will collect this fee at the ranger station at the park entrance.

For the event itself normal FLO registration fees apply: $7 per map for FLO members, $9 per map for non-members and $6 per map for groups such as JROTC and Scouts whose leaders register, and pay for, all their groups at once (this group rate minimizes the crowd and the confusion at the registration table and is well worth the discount to FLO registration volunteers!).

REMINDER:  FOR THIS AND ALL FUTURE FLO EVENTS: A new, stricter policy on Waivers, related to Insurance, is in effect: FLO MUST have a signature from EVERY ADULT, even if you are going out as a group.

The Map

I am excited to announce that the Kelly Park map is ALL NEW, redrawn from the latest hi-res Lidar and digitally field checked. As mentioned above, the map now includes new territory north of the campground up to Camp Joy, so even the shorter courses have some new terrain to venture into that we haven't used before.

Kelly Park contains many kinds of beautiful Florida habitats.  At the lower elevations you'll find the springs, the run, and surrounding lowland swamp.  Vegetation near the wet areas is thick, but as you go uphill the forest thins out to prime runnable pine and oak whitewoods. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, turkeys, gopher tortoises, and other wildlife.  Do be careful and watch your feet.  Stay off the gopher tortoise burrows and aprons, and watch for foot-grabbing vines in the more heavily vegetated areas.  The dryer whitewoods of north Wekiwa contain the occasional prickly pear cactus, which can be a hazard to your feet and legs - so eyes open!

We're at the beginning of the prime growing season, so be prepared for tall grass off-trail on the advanced courses.  Leg protection in the form of hiking socks, long pants, tights, or gaiters will keep you from getting scratched up if you're going off-trail.  Apply insect repellant to shoes, socks, and legs/pants to avoid mosquito and chigger bites.  If you go out early, your legs might get wet from dew on the grass.  It's getting warm enough that ticks are starting to come out as well, so be sure to do the usual tick check when you return from your course if you've spent time off-trail.

Although the weather is expected to be cool on Saturday, you can still dry out quickly from the lower humidity and get very thirsty.  Be sure to carry enough water (hydration packs recommended)!  Speaking of water, we have had some fairly heavy rain recently, and low-lying areas on the east side of the park and near the spring run are wet and muddy in places from all the runoff.

This map contains a few "out of bounds" areas marked by swatches of purple cross-hatch.  These indicate areas of private property, campgrounds, staff-use-only and habitat-restoration areas, and occasionally hazards that we want to keep people away from.  Treat all such areas as if they were fenced off and do not enter.  Courses are typically designed to avoid such areas anyway, but occasionally you might be tempted to "short-cut" through an out-of-bounds area.  Don't.  Our current and future welcome from park personnel depends on us obeying their rules, so please help us maintain our good standing.

Speaking of playing nice in the sandbox, be aware that this is a popular park and others will be enjoying it as well while we are there. Guests will crowd into the area surrounding the spring boil and tubing run, and some will also be making use of the same hiking trails we will be on.  Always be courteous to other park patrons - respect their space, smile, and say hello.  Be aware that there will be families with children present.  Always remember that your conduct reflects on FLO, your unit, and your school. Let's keep all our reputations spotless. 


  • White - for beginners. Course is mostly on trails with control points a short distance into the woods. There may be opportunities for those who feel able to take short cuts through the woods. Length 1.3 km.
  • Yellow - for beginners. Course is mostly on trails with control points a short distance into the woods. There may be opportunities for those who feel able to take short cuts through the woods. Length 3.0 km male, 2.7 km female, .
  • Orange - intermediate difficulty. Mix of on- trail and off-trail, generally relying on the more obvious mapped features. Length 3.5 km male, 3.4 km female.
  • Green - advanced course off trail and reliant on the subtler features of the terrain. Length 5.7 km male, 5.6 km female.
  • Blue - the longest advanced course. Length 7.2 km.
Note that the course lengths mentioned above are measured straight-line from point to point to point.  Your actual route on the ground will often be on more winding trails or diverted around obstacles like ponds or dense tickets, so your actual distance traveled will often be 25-50% longer than the stated course length.

Also noteworthy:  Most courses for this event contain a larger-than usual number of control points, packed into the space within Kelly Park and Camp Joy.  This tight spacing means that flags may be closer together in places than typical, and you will be in more danger of running across controls and other orienteers not on your course.  Always remember that just because you see a flag does not mean it's the one you're looking for.  Be sure to check the ID numbers on controls against the numbers on your map's clue box to verify that you are punching the control you think you're punching!  There is no penalty for accidentally punching a control not on your course, but if you skip a control that is on your course, it's a DQ.

If you are new and/or unsure of which course is right for you, ask us at registration and we will be happy to advise you.  Precise course lengths will be on display at registration to give you an idea of how far you'll be travelling to complete a course.  When in doubt, choose an easier course.  If you complete that one too fast and haven't had enough fun yet, you can trade up to the next harder map and go out again!

As usual, there is a 3 hour time limit on all FLO courses, and all courses close at 3:00 pm (1500 hours)
, though we hope to have all JROTC runners back long before then.

Safety Bearing for all courses is due west to the park's fence lines.

Typical FLO registration fees are in effect: $7 per Map for FLO members, $9 per Map for non-members and $6 per Map for Groups such as JROTC and Scouts whose leaders register, and pay for, all their groups at once (this group rate minimizes the crowd and the confusion at the registration table and is well worth the discount to FLO registration volunteers!).
We hope you all enjoy the day and this lovely venue. Thanks for coming out, and Bring A Friend!
Course Design: Bob Putnam (bob@floridaorienteering.org)
Vetting & Map Update: Blaik Mathews (blaik@floridaorienteering.org), Joanie Haas (joanie@floridaorienteering.org)
Smartphone prep for orienteering participants:
For safety and event management reasons, we strongly suggest all participants and support staff get the following 2 apps installed and set up on their phones prior to coming to the orienteering event:

Incredibly useful app for conveying precise locations anywhere in the world using a 3-word address.  Such addresses can be easily communicated via voice or text message, and can be fed into navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps to obtain turn-by-turn directions to the corresponding locations.

W3W Elevator pitch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNp-divt_50

We use this app for:  

App for recording your GPS track during your course which will overlay on your map when you're done.  Allows us to track real-time runner locations during the event for safety and operational risk management. Review and debriefing based on the recorded tracks is also one of the best ways to train!
How to install and set up the app: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OY8nzr6prk
  • Check the weather before coming and bring appropriate clothing.  This includes layers during colder weather, cool moisture-wicking clothing in hotter months, and a waterproof jacket or poncho if rain is a possibility (FLO events run rain or shine!).
  • We recommend wearing supportive shoes with a upper tougher than fabric, particularly if you plan to do a course beyond novice level.  If you plan to do an advanced course, you will likely spend significant time off trail.  Covering your lower legs with outdoor pants or even gaiters will protect you from scratches.
  • It's Florida. Bring sun screen and bug spray as appropriate.
  • DO NOT FORGET TO BRING WATER.  Each competitor is expected to carry their own water or to be sufficiently hydrated before competing.  And let’s not kid ourselves about this hydrating thing: Plan on carrying your own water even though it’s an option, because if you become lost or disoriented, you may be spending more time out there than you planned. Stay hydrated. It may be warm and there will be no water on the courses. Carrying a little extra can also let you be a hero to someone else who didn't plan ahead as well as you did.
  • When registering a group, make sure you tell us the exact number of people who will be in that group.  FLO absolutely needs to know how many people are in each group and what the individual names are. Do not treat this as a choice; this is a safety issue. We hope never to use this information as part of a Search & Rescue effort, but if it is neglected and a search becomes necessary, you can appreciate how vital it may be.
  • The Safety Bearing for all courses will always be PRINTED ON YOUR MAP, and will generally lead to a road or fence that will guide you back to the finish.
  • If you become severely lost or injured, or lose your map and/or compass: If you are at a control, stay there until help arrives. Bail out to the Safety Bearing ONLY if you are CERTAIN you now know which way is the way back.
  • Carry a whistle and know how to use it: If in trouble, give 3 short blasts on the whistle, and repeat every few minutes until found. If you hear another wistle answer back (single blast), respond with your 3 blasts every time they signal so they can home in on you.
  • If you have a smartphone, carry it with you and use the Livelox app to record your hike (see info below).  With Livelox and cell signal, event staff can monitor your position and movements in real time, which is VERY handy if you should become lost.
  • An emergency contact number will also be printed on your map.  If you get in trouble or see someone else who is, call in for help.
  • At some of our venues, there may be horse trails with riders on horseback.  Running toward or past a horse can spook it, leading to highly unfortunate events (or at the very least, angry riders who will complain to park officials).  If you encounter horses, STOP RUNNING, yield right-of-way, and be courteous.  Play nice in the sandbox.
Florida Orienteering is a non-profit entity and our entire operation runs on the efforts of volunteers - people who love the sport, love the outdoors, and love sharing the experience of enjoying Florida's unique and beautiful natural spaces.  We are always on the lookout for new friends who share these interests and are willing to help - so if you have some time to share, please volunteer!

We always need people to help out at every event - even an hour or two really helps.  We will train any skills needed.  Possible duties include setup or take-down, registration, start table, finish table, Livelox monitoring, and control retrieval (starting at 3pm).

Contact the event coordinator listed above or email Blaik at 
blaik@floridaorienteering.org.   Let them know you can volunteer for a few hours either early (9:00 to noon) or late (noon-3:00), and whether there is anything in particular you’d like to do. 

SPECIAL NOTE - Volunteering for Control Retrieval at the end of the event is one of the best ways to learn the skill of navigation!  Adventure Racers and JROTC Cadets, especially the AR’s who like to run two or three courses, should consider Retrieval as an alternative training exercise.
SportIdent “e-punch” timing is now the required method of timing at all FLO events.  In addition to providing more information about your course, it also lightens the workload of accurate record-keeping, scoring, tracking, and results posting for FLO event staff and volunteers.  If you don’t own an e-punch finger stick, one can be easily rented for $3 at registration.  E-punch sticks can also be purchased for $30 (or $27 after rental) and used at orienteering events worldwide. For more information on e-punch timing see the intro video linked below:

 Training Video on “E-Punch” Timing & Finger Sticks:
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