2022 Iain Wilson Award Applications

Iain “Dawg” Wilson was an accomplished orienteer who represented the USA in the World Cup in Norway and Denmark, in the Swiss Alps for the World Student Champs, and in the Scottish 6 Days. Although his life was cut tragically short in 2008, his legacy survives through the annual Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award and Wilson Community Growth Grants.

Now entering its ninth year, the $1,000 Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award is now accepting applications. This award recognizes junior athletes who demonstrate a competitive spirit, friendship and qualities that leave others feeling good about the world. Funds may be used to support travel and training opportunities.

Applications for the $1,000 Wilson Community Growth Grant are now being accepted. This grant helps to “develop and implement programs aimed at expanding access to orienteering for youth.” Applicants of all ages partner with an Orienteering USA-affilitated club, OrienteeringUSA or a registered nonprofit organization, which will disburse and administer funds. Funds may be used for equipment, transportation and other appropriate uses.

Applications are now being accepted for both awards and will be open through March 31st, 2022. More information about both awards can be found on the Recognition page and includes links to both online and downloadable applications.

Please contact Marc at iainwilsonaward@nullcomcast.net for additional details. Contributions may be tax-deductible and are administered by Orienteering USA.

2021 Wilson Community Growth Grant winners San Benito NJROTC

2021 OUSA Presidents Awards

Clare Durand, current Orienteering USA President, announced three recipients for this years Presidents Award at the 2021 Annual General Meeting, held last week as an online virtual event for the second consecutive year. This years awards honor members who through local efforts have helped to expand orienteering’s reach while serving as examples of what is possible. The three individuals receiving awards this years are:

  • Boris Granovskiy (GrizO) – Boris has been orienteering since he was young and is a former member of the US National Team. Upon moving to Montana recently, Boris sought to start a new club with his wife Allison Brown. In its first year Grizzly Orienteering has held 13 events, with the largest attracting over 70 participants. Boris and Ali have shown how proper marketing and quick start-up can build a thriving club in a new area.
  • Gord Hunter (SOAR) – Gord began orienteering in Canada many years ago. Upon retirement, he chose to become a snowbird, wintering in Florida. He quickly learned that demand for orienteering among JROTC units was high, so he chose to fill that gap. Gord started the SunCoast Orienteering and Adventure Racing Club in 2012. SOAR has grown to the point of having over 2000 starts annually with maps and courses put together by Gord. He enjoys adopting new technology and exploring new places through mapping them. He has recently enjoyed making many base-maps from LiDAR and will happily help clubs who need such a service.
  • Russ Myer (CRNA) – Russ has worked for many years with disabled veterans through the Capital Region Nordic Alliance in the Albany area. This organization has historically focused on Paralympic winter sports, but they wanted more summer activities and looked to orienteering. As Russ learned more about the sport, he became heavily involved with the Trail-O discipline and the OUSA Trail-O Team. Russ has been instrumental in bringing Trail-O to the populations that it was designed for and introducing many veterans and other challenged athletes to orienteering. CRNA has been the primary producer of Trail-O training and events in the US for a number of years. Russ regularly coordinates with experts from other areas to make events happen, most recently hosting the 2020 OUSA Trail-O Championships in Philadelphia.

Congratulations to all three award recipients and thank you for your service to the sport of orienteering.

2021 Golden Service Awards

Each year Orienteering USA recognizes several individuals that have provided service to the sport of orienteering beyond the club level by playing key roles at National Events, organizing training camps and festivals, serving on boards or committees at the national level and more. This year we award the Golden Service Award to the following individuals. Congratulations to all of you and Thank You for your efforts!

  • Doug Berling (RMOC) – Doug has been a member of the Rocky Mountain Orienteering Club since 1993, and his dedication to orienteering has been foundational to to the club’s ability to successfully host major events. From 2010-2016 he served as RMOC’s Vice-President, using his friendly demeanor to facilitate RMOC’s permit applications with local, state & federal land managers. Doug then stepped into the role of RMOC’s President from 2016 through the present (2021), handling administrative tasks as well as serving in more visible roles when RMOC hosted national events – meet director, course consultant, course vetter, and map printer, to name a few. Doug has also become one of RMOC’s e-punch experts for both hardware & software; has promoted orienteering regionally by teaching beginner workshops at local recreation centers; has created and updated several of RMOC’s maps and coordinates the club’s other mapping projects.  Doug is a model of reliability and a selfless volunteer for RMOC and the orienteering community at large. 

  • Paul Clatterbuck (PTOC) – Paul mapped Shawnee Mission Park for the 2013 US Interscholastic / Intercollegiate Championships and set courses for one of the day of that event which included a forked course design to help discourage interscholastic competitors from following. Paul’s map of Shawnee Mission Park still gets regular use as a permanent course. Paul also led the mapping effort for the Sunflower State Games. The Sunflower Games has included orienteering every year since 2013. He also assisted with the “Possum Trot”, a popular goat-style event that draws competitors from across the midwest annually. The Golden Service Award typically recognizes regional and national activities, but like many recipients, Paul was also very involved locally. In particular, he was an avid mapper and always helped out at local events. He most recently made a map of a newly opened local park and set the courses for an event there. Sadly Paul passed away a couple of months ago. His loss was unexpected and will be felt both locally and regionally. He was a good friend of the sport of orienteering.

  • Jim Hall (COK) – Jim has been a member of COK since the early beginnings of the club and has been on the board for many years. He has been meet director for many local meets and has always been willing to help out wherever there was a need. He has also been instrumental in the organization of A-meets (now NRE’s) by COK where he has held roles as Course Setter and Vetter and has spent countless hours preparing for these meets and to make sure that every control was in the correct place. Jim was a member of the USOF/OUSA board from 2007 to 2010 and for the last few years has been a course consultant for several National Meets.

Orienteering USA would like to extend its gratitude and congratulations to these tireless individuals who have given so much of their time and expertise to the promotion of orienteering in the US. A list of previous Golden Service Award winners can be found on the OrienteeringUSA website.

2021 Silva Award Winner: Ed Hicks

The 2021 Silva Award is posthumously awarded to Ed Hicks, who sadly passed away on New Year’s Eve, 2020. Ed was an active and invaluable member of the US orienteering community for over 40 years with Orienteering USA and Hudson Valley Orienteering as well as HVO’s predecessor the Westchester Orienteering Club.

Ed was a tireless and prolific promoter of the sport of orienteering through his teaching and map making activities. He taught a full day program for Avalon Preserves Stewardship Program for 13 years as well as conducting beginner instruction at local events over the entire course of his 40+ year involvement with the sport. Ed also promoted orienteering by authoring dozens of orienteering related publications for schools, Boy Scout groups, camps and nature center personnel; teaching programs and developing maps for World Orienteering Day events and presenting at GIS conventions and conferences throughout the United States.

Ed was perhaps most well known for his passion in making orienteering maps. His map projects ran the gamut from small park and scout camp maps to numerous NRE level maps. Some of his recent projects included developing maps for HVO’s National Meet at Mountain Lakes (North Salem NY), a pair of maps for recent West Point events, Trail-O and Ski-O maps at Windham Mountain, NY and a number of maps/basemaps for BSA Eagle Scout projects. Ed had served as OCAD’s US Sales and Service Representative since the early ’90s providing valuable feedback to the software developers over the years. He also founded Orienteering Unlimited in 1979, which was the first vendor of orienteering equipment and supplies in the US.

Ed Hick’s extensive contributions to the sport of orienteering in the US are far reaching and span decades of devoted service. Orienteering USA is honored to remember him with this years 2021 Silva Award.

Call for nominations: 2021 Silva and Golden Service Award

The Annual General Meeting of Orienteering USA will be held online Thursday night, October 21. One of the highlights of the AGM is the naming of the recipient of the Silva Award.

The Silva Award is given annually to an orienteer who has demonstrated outstanding service to orienteering in the United States over the past five years. The essential quality of every winner has been service to promoting and sustaining orienteering, to making the sport work in this country, and in helping to build the organizations needed to make orienteering successful.

The AGM will also include the announcement of the OUSA Golden Service awards recognizing those individuals who have provided exceptional service to the sport of orienteering that extends beyond the local club level.

Nominations for both awards are being solicited between now and September 26th.  Full eligibility criteria and lists of past award winners can be found in the attached announcements.  Nominations for both awards should be emailed to Susan DeWitt (skdewitt@nullsnet.net) by September 26th.

Full Silva Award Announcement: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-GdPkOS3ceKGSHvzdcgO9mIAG_-dN61D/view?usp=sharing

Full Golden Service Award Announcement: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jcHCxcTeknuD4A7nhzAgNRnpaop6kvc8/view?usp=sharing

2021 Wilson Community Growth Grant(s)

Congratulations to Grizzly Orienteering and the San Benito High School NJROTC Unit who have been chosen as the recipients of the 2021 Wilson Community Growth Grant. Winners of this year’s grants receive $1,000 to deepen youth participation through purchase of equipment and expanded event programming. While the impact of Covid-19 on the Orienteering community was significant, it only emboldened these organizations to focus on safe and inclusive ways to introduce new participants to the sport.

Photo Credit: Boris Granovskiy & Timothy Wilson

Grizzly Orienteering’s Allison Brown is a native of Missoula, and her husband Boris Granovskiy is a former member of the U.S. Orienteering Team. Their thorough approach to building from the youth upwards promises for a healthy future to their club.

San Benito High School is located near the southeastern-most tip of Texas. The area’s flatness and lack of vegetation offer a creative challenge when it comes to designing courses and hosting events. Chief Timothy Wilson brings his experience with navy ship navigation as a way to highlight the transferability of concrete skills as well as intangible skills like leadership, resilience and perseverance that Orienteering requires.

Read the full Press Release for more information. Applications for the 2022 Wilson Community Growth Grant as well as the 2022 Wilson Character Through Competition Award will be available later in the fall of 2021.

Wisconsin and Idaho based Clubs garner 2020 Wilson Community Growth Grants

Congratulations to Badger Orienteering Club (BGR) and City of Trees Orienteering Club (CTOC), the 2020 Wilson Community Growth Grant winners. Grantees receive $1,000 to be used for equipment and development projects. Nominated by Derek MacKenzie and John Murray respectively, winners were chosen through a selective process after a delay due to Covid-19. Established in 2016, the Wilson Community Growth Grant seeks to develop and implement programs aimed at expanding access to orienteering for youth. Read more about the 2020 awardees in the official press release.

Photo credits: Charlie Shabazian, Jen Fafinski

And don’t miss out, a little less than a week remains to apply for the 2021 Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award and the Wilson Community Growth Grants. Each program includes a $1,000 payment to support individual or community-based youth Orienteering programs. Apply by April 30 via the links below,

Email iainwilsonaward@nullcomcast.net or click here to learn more about the Awards and their impact.

2020 Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award

Philadelphia, PA — The Wilson Awards, in partnership with Orienteering USA, is pleased to announce the winners of the seventh annual Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award.  This award honors the memory of Iain Wilson by recognizing young athletes whose efforts demonstrate character through their commitment to growth and improvement in the sport as well as their contribution to the orienteering community through service and teamwork. This year’s announcement was delayed from spring 2020 due to the impact Coronavirus has had on training and competition.

We are excited to announce the winners, Bridget Hall and Keegan Harkavy  of New England Orienteering Club and Christiane Fletcher of Georgia Orienteering Club. Each athlete will each receive a $1,000  grant for orienteering travel and expenses. Additionally, applications for the 2021 Individual and Community Growth Awards are being accepted now through April 30, 2021 and can be found at  https://orienteeringusa.org/about/recognition/.

Read the full Press Release

2020 Silva Award Winner: Sandy Fillebrown

Sandy at Everest Base Camp in 2018

Sandy has been a long time volunteer for Orienteering USA. Most recently, she assumed a range of administrative duties when Orienteering USA, in financial difficulty, found it necessary to transition from paid to volunteer services in these areas. For three years Sandy served as the primary contact for Orienteering USA, handling correspondence and maintaining the membership database. She helped OUSA through a significant transition of financial procedures by coordinating with the finance committee, accountants, and team contacts to keep the Federation running until we were able to put our financial house in order and rehire paid administrative support.

Sandy also volunteers extensively in more traditional orienteering roles. As a member of one of OUSA’s largest clubs, DVOA, Sandy has served in multiple roles at National Events. This includes event director for three events, course setter for three events, and registrar for four events. Not to mention all the course vetting she has done over the years. Sandy also served as the Event Director for the 2012 North American Orienteering Championships. This event only comes to US soil once every four years and is the largest event hosting job in the country, attracting over 600 participants in the year Sandy directed. She is currently on the course setting team for the World Games, which will take place in 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Sandy also supports the US Team and directed three years worth of Sprint Series races which raised thousands of dollars for them. Sandy served on the OUSA Board of Directors for a few years in the early 2000s, including one year as Secretary. She also helped out with the transition of the rankings to Valerie Meyer. She continues to support orienteering every way that she can and has stepped up to fill roles that are not particularly exciting when she sees that there is a need. Sandy exemplifies the kind of service that the Silva Award stands for and Orienteering USA is excited to present her with this years Silva Award.

List of Past Award Recipients

2019 Competitive Award Winners!

The annual OUSA Competitive Awards are given to top American orienteers in several categories for outstanding competitive performance over the course of the past year. The Awards Committee members are Susan Grandjean, Boris Granovskiy, Linda Kohn, Jeff Saeger, and Ken Walker Sr.

This is the tenth year for these awards, and the fifth year that Orienteering USA members had the opportunity to vote for the candidates. The committee thanks all those who submitted nominations and who took the time to vote for your top OUSA athletes. We had a near-record number of votes cast this year! The vote totals were used as the main component in final award selection.

The Orienteer, Junior, and Comet of the Year award winners each receive a $500 travel grant to help them continue to improve their skills. Additionally, the Honorable Mentions in the three individual categories will receive $100 travel grants.

The Awards Committee would like to thank two anonymous donors for their generous contributions to the travel grants.

Previous Competitive Award winners

Here are the 2019 winners and recipients of honorable mentions (HM). Congratulations to all the winners!

Orienteer of the Year

Awarded to the best U.S. orienteer in 2019, based on results at national and international events

Anton Salmenkylä (CSU / Helsingin Suunnistajat, Finland)

Anton Salmenkylä, CSU

Anton had an outstanding WOC for Team USA. His 37th place in the middle distance final is the best-ever U.S. men’s middle result at WOC. He also ran an excellent second leg for the men’s relay team that finished 20th — the men’s best relay result at WOC since 1991.

Honorable Mention

Sharon Crawford (RMOC)

Sharon Crawford, RMOC

The ageless Sharon continued her string of top international and national results across a multitude of orienteering disciplines. Among her 2019 highlights were double gold medals in F75+ at the World Masters Championships in Ski Orienteering and a gold medal in the Women’s Ultra Veteran category at the World Rogaining Championships with her Australian teammate. In Foot-O, Sharon won all F75+ races in the U.S. Masters Championships, the U.S. SML Nationals and the annual West Point Meet. She is ranked in the top 5% of all brown course runners.

Junior Orienteer of the Year

Awarded to the best U.S. orienteer in 2019 under the age of 21, based on results at national and international events.

Julia Doubson (BAOC)

Julia Doubson, BAOC

Julia was the top U.S. female in the Sprint (62nd) and Middle (52nd in the A final) distances at JWOC and took a step up to F21 towards the end of the season, earning a gold and two silver medals at the U.S. Nationals. She is ranked third in F21.

Honorable Mentions

AJ Riley (DVOA)

Anthony Riley, DVOA

AJ peaked towards the end of the season, with a string of top results in the fall. The highlight was his weekend of forest races at the U.S. Nationals in California, where he became the U.S. champion in the long distance in M21 and won a silver medal in the middle distance. This helped him to rise to fifth in the U.S. rankings in M21 as an 18-year-old.

Thomas Laraia (MNOC)

Thomas Laraia, MNOC

Thomas won the long and sprint distance races at the JWOC selection races and followed that up with a strong JWOC. In Denmark, he qualified for the Middle distance A-final and finished 52nd in the final, following up on a strong 57th place in the Sprint final.

Comet of the Year

Awarded to the U.S. orienteer who has made the most progress in their orienteering results during the 2019 season.

Joseph Barrett (QOC)

Joe Barrett, QOC

Joe Barrett returned to competitive orienteering after a multi-year hiatus for college in Oklahoma and immediately made an impact on the national scene, with a bronze medal at the M21 U.S. Long Distance Championships as the highlight, in addition to multiple podium finishes at National Ranking Events. He is currently ranked eighth in the U.S. in M21 after being unranked in 2018.

Honorable Mention

Bridget Hall (NEOC)

Bridget Hall, NEOC

Bridget convincingly made her first JWOC team in 2019, after finishing second and third in the JWOC selection races. She qualified for the middle distance B-final at JWOC, was the top F-20 competitor at several National Ranking Events, and finished the year ranked second in F-20 with a ranking of 81.1, a climb from sixth place and 74.7 in 2018.

Team of the Year

Awarded for the best team competitive performance during the 2019 season.

U.S. Men’s Relay Team at WOC

Left to right: Greg Ahlswede, Anton Salmenkylä, Morten Jørgensen

The team, consisting of Morten Jørgensen, Anton Salmenkylä, and Greg Ahlswede, finished 20th of 36 nations, which was the best U.S. men’s relay result at WOC since 1991, when considerably fewer nations participated.