History

Orienteering USA, officially known as the United States Orienteering Federation (USOF), was founded August 1, 1971.

The first orienteering event held in north America was on November 10, 1941 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH organized by a Finnish Army officer, Piltti Heiskanen.

Björn Kjellström moved to the U.S. in 1946 and began hosting events. However orienteering wasn’t catching on with any permanence.

In the 1960’s, Deleware Valley Orienteering Club began hosting regular orienteering events.

Bob Shoptaw and Jim “Yogi” Hardin, both assistant-directors at the US Marine Corps Physical Fitness Academy, saw the benefit of orienteering as a strategy for teaching military land navigation. They both began hosting events and were involved in founding USOF.

The first US Orienteering Championship was held at Southern Illinois University October 17, 1970

Want to learn more about our history? Check it out here!