EFOL was initiated by Leif Strömquist in 1994 as a summer activity for European foresters following the similar winter activity for European foresters, EFNS, which was founded in Germany already in 1969. Mr. Strömquist met understanding for his proposal when he was working in Latvia and together with Mr. Martins Gaigals, Latvian State Forest Service, the first EFOL was organised in Strenci, Latvia in August 1994.
EFOL follows the concept of EFNS, thus, allowing forestry employees, wood-working industry employees, forestry educated individuals, forest owners and forest contractors, and their respective closest family members to participate.
The statutes of EFOL require a forest organisation to financially support an EFOL arrangement. The lead organisation of EFOL, the International Committee (IC EFOL) and its Board do not take any financial responsibilities for EFOL events, though they facilitate the local organiser in his efforts. The Annual Meeting of IC EFOL decides on organisers for EFOL events based on received applications. The Annual Meeting takes place at the annual EFOL championships.
An EFOL arrangement consists of:
Training day as first offer to the participants prior to the competitions.
Team Leaders’ meeting at the beginning of the event.
A Forest Information Evening for further professional forest training purposes.
A full day with forest and culture excursions for the purpose of further professional forest training.
An evening with a joint dinner/party for the participants.
Championships in orienteering:
- Middle distance
Annual Meeting of IC EFOL.
The competitions follow the rules of the IOF, the International Orienteering Federation, however, EFOL has its own distribution on age classes both for men and women.
EFOL has been organised in:
2000 Czech Republic
2009 Czech Republic
2019 Czech Republic
2020 Corona Break
Normally around 350 foresters / wood industry employees participate every year at EFOL. The number of countries varies, but as an average there are between 11 and 14 countries at each event.
It is regarded extremely important that the competitions will be organised by experienced orienteerers representing an OL club with substantial experiences from previous professional championships, so that it will be safeguarded that the competition will meet highest quality standard regarding new and not previously used maps in the right scales covering appropriate terrains for the EFOL participants, regarding the competition tracks and controls, and regarding the electronical punshing system and timing.
Furthermore, there are high expectations on the forest professional further training program (see above) and the possibilities for international forest networking.