BoardNet and ClubNet Transitioning

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OrienteeringUSA along with many of its clubs use yahoo groups to manage email lists.  Yahoo is removing most of Yahoo Groups’ capabilities very soon.  

On 28 October the ability to upload files to Yahoo Groups was removed.
On 14 December all remaining functionality of Yahoo Groups ceases with the exception of email capability.  All historical records of emails or files of the group will be removed.

OrienteeringUSA uses has two active groups which use Yahoo Groups – BoardNet and ClubNet.  We are replacing our Yahoo Groups with Google Groups. No one currently signed up for the BoardNet or ClubNet will be automatically transferred.  You must sign up for the new Google groups yourself.

The easiest way to sign up for the new groups is to send a subscribe email as shown below.

Sign up for the NEW BoardNet 
Email: Boardnet+subscribe@orienteeringusa.org
or
Visit https://groups.google.com/a/orienteeringusa.org/forum/#!forum/boardnet and click join

Sign up for the NEW ClubNet
Email: Clubnet+subscribe@orienteeringusa.org orVisit https://groups.google.com/a/orienteeringusa.org/forum/#!forum/clubnet and click join

No later than 14 November, OrienteeringUSA will no longer use the yahoogroups BoardNet or ClubNet for any messages.

If you manage a group for your club, you can transition your group to using an @orienteeringusa.org ending.  If you are interested in doing this, please send an email to tech-committee@nullorienteeringusa.org.  Please include the proposed group name, group type (i.e. club email list), and club point of contact.  OrienteeringUSA will not archive any data and will only assist in setting up the group and providing information on usage.  If you want to learn more about the feature reduction or learn how to archive your data, visit https://help.yahoo.com/kb/SLN31010.html.

2019 Orienteering in Europe with Keegan Harkavy

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This summer I was given the chance to go to Europe with the U.S. Junior National Team. As an alternate on the team, I was able to participate in a week-long training program, as well as compete in a week of JWOC spectator races. Training, traveling and racing with some of the best junior orienteers was an incredible experience and made for one of the best summers of my life. I learned a lot about orienteering, and played a lot of cards.

My summer officially began with the Boston Sprint Camp which was held the first weekend of June. This was the first time since the April team trials where I could see some of the Junior National Team members and it was super fun to spend time with them, both racing and socializing. The races themselves were also awesome and it really got me pumped for the rest of the summer. Winning the sprint camp was also very nice.

My next stop, a couple of weeks later, was the Philadelphia training camp run by Greg Ahlswede. This training camp was designed by Greg and was for any junior orienteer, with the goal of training and being together as a group. While the woods weren’t the nicest, there was a lot of good quality orienteering. A lot of juniors participated and it was great to bond with them by playing cards and getting my nails painted. When the training camp ended, I had four days before the Junior National Team was scheduled to leave for the JWOC races in Europe, which I spent with fellow teammates Bridget, Julia, and Siri, and Gata (Greg’s cat) at Greg’s house in Pennsylvania. We trained some more, made some pasta, and floated down the river. All in all a pretty good week. From there we were off to Europe.

JWOC was held in Denmark this year, and we were there for a little over 2 weeks. About 16 athletes traveled to Denmark, to race and train. Of those, 12 were competing in JWOC. We were also traveling with three coaches: Erin Schirm, Greg Ahlswede, and Sam.

The trip was pretty much all training or racing. The first week of the trip was focused on training and preparing for the races. This consisted mostly of going out to the Danish woods and doing technical trainings, like line-o’s, contour-only o’s and control picks. The terrain in Denmark was amazing and I would love to go back and race there again some time. It was mostly an open forest with large pine trees. The woods were also quite hilly and the contours very visible. Besides just woods training we did some very weird other training. This training was a mix of team-building and skill practice. For example in one, we had to balance sticks on different parts of our body and then throw the sticks at people. When we were not training, we were playing cards. I played more cards in these two weeks than in the rest of the year combined. The second week was focused on racing. At this point, the JWOC athletes and the tour athletes separated.

My favorite race of the summer was the JWOC spectator long course. I loved this course for two reasons. The first reason was that this was my first good race while in Europe. The sprint race I had done the first day did not go quite how I had wanted it to go and nailing this race felt really good. The other reason I liked this race so much was that it was a mass start. This made the race much more competitive and was really fun to run in. This race really reminded me of the BillyGoat, which is one of my favorite races in the U.S., but it was bigger and more competitive. The first couple of controls were a blur to me, akin more to a cross-country race than a normal orienteering race. At around control 6, I found myself alone for the first time in the race and it really caught me off guard. I was executing my route perfectly to the control and knew exactly where I was and where I was going but being alone really shook my confidence. I could not imagine why I would be alone except if I was lost. This resulted in me missing my control by a bit and losing two to three minutes. Looking back on the control I am pretty sure the course setter did this on purpose by separating the two different courses that started at the same time on this control, this drastically reduced the number of people going to this control and thus I ended up alone. The rest of the race I was running mostly by myself. Yet I never felt really as alone as I do in the U.S. The vast amount of people in the woods really just changed the whole mood of the forest. I ran the rest of the race pretty cleanly and fast. The navigation was mostly reading the broad contours or finding the right trail route to the control. The course, while not being overly technical, was very physically demanding. When I finished it I was more tired than after any other race of the summer. One of my biggest surprises when I finished the race. I felt like I ran a very solid race with few mistakes and even still, I was a good five to ten minutes back from the leader. This level of skill, in the nonelite category, really surprised and amazed, me and l found it cool to see such good orienteers.

After the races, I headed back to the United States. As I was going home I was surprised at how sad I was to be leaving. Not only was I sad about leaving the amazing terrain and races, I was also really going to miss all of the other juniors I had become friends with over the past month and had lived, trained, ate and played cards with. We were a fun group and really liked hanging out with each other. When I got home I took a little break from training to recover, but after that recovery, I was back in the woods. Being back in familiar terrain I realized how much better I got in Europe and how much faster I was now. It also helped me really enjoy the sport and show me how far I can still go.

2019 Orienteering in Europe with Bridget Hall

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Bridget Hall, NEOC

In 2018, I set the goal of being selected to represent the U.S. at the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC). A year of steady training, both physical and technical, led to good runs at the Junior Nationals in April; and, thanks to a generous grant from NEOC, I was on my way to Denmark!

When we first got to Denmark we had a week with all 18 U.S. athletes (JWOC team, JWOC alternates, and just very involved National Junior Program members) during which we did lots of technical training to get used to the Danish terrain. Danish terrain is quite different from the terrain here in New England—they barely have any rocks! Some of the woods barely had any undergrowth, because it was maintained, which made for some fast and easy running. Other areas had young pine trees that made for some thick green. During that week of training we worked to get our technical speed up, did team building exercises (check out the Junior Team Facebook page for some pretty entertaining videos), did strength training (before breakfast every morning as a full team), and, most importantly, played cards. Oh wait…that’s not right. Sorry. Orienteering was definitely the main focus….

After the first week, the JWOC team headed to the official JWOC accommodations, the dorms of a local university. Being in the official accommodation allowed us to get to know and socialize with teams from different countries. We all ate dinner together in the dining hall, and a lot of times we were joined by the South Africans and Lithuanians who we got to know quite well. The relationship building between teams is something that the International Orienteering Confederation prioritizes during JWOC.

U.S. JWOC Team during Opening Ceremony Parade

The week of JWOC started with an opening ceremony in which all of the teams paraded through the host town. It was the first time all of the teams were together which was overwhelming, but also very exciting. Following the opening ceremony, we went to the model event for the long and sprint which allowed us to see the terrain and what the mapping style was like. The long training helped me to see what each type of green was vegetation-wise, which would be possible to push through, and which to avoid completely. While out in the woods there were athletes from many teams, so there were constantly people running near you which was interesting and very different from running in the U.S. For the sprint model the whole team walked around together and discussed mapping styles, especially what features would be mapped, and what wouldn’t. When we got back to the dorms we also attended the technical model. This involved learning the start procedure–when to get the GPS tracker, all the different SI Air checks, and what would happen at the start line with maps—as well as the types of control stands that would be used for each race, and the finish procedure.

2019 U.S. Juniors in Europe

The first race was the sprint which was in a small town about an hour away from the dorms. I didn’t have a perfect run, but it was a good way to experience my first JWOC race, and I knew I still had many to go. The second day was the long which required an interesting style of orienteering with lots of finding routes to connect trails and avoid climb. I made a lot of mistakes as I learned to deal with the pressure of international competition, and I physically crashed halfway through, but it was still fun.

Start of JWOC women’s relay
(photo: Pål Runde)

Two days later it was time for the middle qualifiers—the best race of my week. With one three-ish minute mistake and limited others under 90 seconds, I managed to qualify for the B-final, which was quite exciting as a first year JWOC athlete. Sadly, the middle finals the following day and the relay the day after did not go as well as I had hoped. This did leave me extremely motivated for next year, though, and I learned a lot that I can take with me for years to come.

The JWOC races ended with a coaches race for which athletes from all over joined together to cheer on each other’s coaches, which was a cool bonding experience. The day after the team moved out of the dorm and spread all over as some headed back home and others stayed in Europe to travel and orienteer more.

2019 JWOC – Coaches’ race
(Athletes hanging around talking while waiting for the coaches to
come through the spectator loop)

I continued my travels in the UK, spending a week at the Scottish Six Days. I stayed at the event campsite where many juniors from the UK were also staying, so I got to know them a bit. It was a really interesting week with many different types of terrain which required different skills. Some days were a lot more technical and others less so, requiring more physical speed. I was able to apply my experience from Denmark, and with that came a number of strong races. There were 28 athletes in F17-18, and I finished 8th overall.


Me covered in mud after my first race at the
Scottish 6 Days

NEOC’s generous grant helped to make this trip possible. Thank you to everyone that supported my trip to Europe and my year of training—I couldn’t have done it without your support.

Orienteering Map Program for Schools and Non-Profit Youth Organizations

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Download this announcement (PDF)

Please Note: This page is for reference only and the links in this post are no longer valid and have been disabled. Please refer to this link for the most recent updates and current forms. {As of June 5th, 2020}

Goal

Our goal is to make it easy for any school or non-profit youth-serving organization in the United States to get a standard orienteering map and isometric drawing made of their school or nearby park to help in teaching orienteering. OUSA will take information from mappers and schools, and match them up.

Cost

$2000 per square kilometer, with a minimum of $500 for each school campus or park. (A typical urban school or small park will be $500.) The school or organization must supply a field checker to work with the map maker. Schools will be asked to report back how they have used the map within one year.

Application

Schools and other organizations may apply using this application form (Google Doc).

Grants

Schools may apply for a grant to pay for some or all of the map. Grants will be awarded based on available funds, whether the school is cooperating with a local orienteering club or service provider for advice and support, and how the map will be used. A pilot project has been selected, and volunteers are currently being identified to serve on the Map Grant Committee.

Mappers

Map makers are encouraged to register using the same form. You may be paid or volunteer your time.