National Junior Program Update

At the end of 2019, Junior National Coach Erin Schirm, and Junior Development Coach Greg Ahlswede, are both stepping down from their coaching roles in the National Junior Program (NJP) to get back to working on their respective career paths. They are not stepping away from coaching altogether, or from being part of the Orienteering USA (OUSA) community. They will remain involved as volunteers at the club and national levels, Erin as the Chair of the Executive Steering Committee (ESC) of the senior National Team and Greg as an elite athlete on the National Team.

The Junior National Team (JNT) program was initiated by the Junior Team Executive Steering Committee (JTESC) in 2012, and the program has since grown and advanced under Erin’s leadership as Junior National Coach (JNC) and as the OUSA Director of Sport Development. The current NJP includes the JNT and the Junior Development Team (JDT) providing the program’s benefits to a growing talent pool of young orienteers. Junior orienteering in the U.S. has made significant progress since 2012, as seen not only in the results of NJP athletes at U.S. and international competitions, but also in the considerable increase in the number of juniors aspiring to and selected for the senior National Team.

Erin and Greg have laid the foundation with an effective coaching philosophy that past and present athletes have engaged with and appreciate, and it is JTESCs intention to continue building on that foundation. Beyond providing coaching, the NJP aims to reduce, as much as possible, the impact from the unique challenges to juniors in this country due to the geographic spread of athletes and low density of events. The NJP is a framework for our junior athletes to work together to create a team environment that encourages competitive excellence, a professional demeanor, and an enthusiastic work ethic. It also provides a strong support network for national and international travel, fundraising, lodging, and other assistance needed to enable our athletes to compete at home and abroad.

We would like to thank Erin and Greg for their dedicated work as coaches and Erin, as the main architect of the NJP. JTESC will need some time to redefine the position of the JNC, with possible further engagement of local and regional coaches as proposed recently by the OUSA Executive Committee. The JNC will provide unity and support so that our juniors are prepared to compete at the highest stages, including the Junior Nationals, the North American Orienteering Championships (NAOC) and at the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC). NJP athletes will meet as teammates at regional and national events and will take advantage of training and coaching opportunities coordinated for them through the efforts of JTESC and the JNC in cooperation with regional coaches, clubs, and the community of NJP supporters.

We would also like to thank former JNT and NJP athletes who have come forward with an interest in contributing to the continuation and growth of the program, and to give back to a community that provided them with opportunities and support for their development as elite orienteers.

JTESC is looking forward to the next phase of the NJP. Be sure to look for the 2020 National Junior Program Application package, to be posted on the OUSA website around Nov. 15, 2019. Coaches Erin and Greg will be available with advice to current NJP athletes on future coaching options at least through the end of this year.

Mark your calendars, 2020 will be an exciting year for the juniors. JWOC team trials are slated to be held at the Junior Nationals on April 18-19, and JWOC will be in Turkey in July. With WOC 2020 being the first Sprint format year, and with many current juniors showing recent strong performances in Sprint competitions, we are looking forward to some of them trying out for the WOC team. We are further hoping for a strong showing by our college and college-bound NJP athletes in the Team Trials for WUOC. And please, everyone, mark your calendars for NAOC 2020, where NJP juniors are hoping to help the U.S. bring the Future Champions Cup home again.

Any questions to JTESC may be emailed to, or contact the JTESC Chair Guy Olsen directly by using the email address indicated on the Orienteering USA website, under Committees/U.S. Teams.

Senior Team Coaching Position

 The U.S. Team is looking for a coach to review individual training plans, training logs, be a general source of information on elite orienteering, and help provide a basic communication structure for the team. The position would be as a private contractor with Orienteering USA.

If you are interested in pursuing this possibility, select the PDF document below to see more.


New Website Launched

Welcome to the new Orienteering USA website. We hope you like the adjustments.

Please update any links to Orienteering USA website as our site organization has dramatically changed. If you don’t update the link, you will be redirected to the homepage.

Thank you to Bob Forgrave and the many people who made up his focus groups for providing great feedback. Thanks to Dave Yee for selecting and to Dave Yee, Ken Walker Jr., Julie Keim, and others for providing us with great photos. Special thanks to Jennifer Laughlin for server-side backside support which made this all possible.

If you visit the member portal or make a donation, it will still look like the old website for now but still function appropriately. We are working on updating this section of the website. If you do attempt to visit any link on the old navigation, it will redirect you to the new homepage.

Also, keep in mind that this is a dynamic project. It is a living site that can be edited and updated as needed. Please submit any comments, suggestions, corrections, or compliments using the Contact form.

Call for 2019 Competitive Award Nominations

Nominations Open for 2019 Orienteer of the Year Competitive Awards

The Competitive Award Program’s goals are to recognize and reward outstanding competitive accomplishments by U.S. orienteers at the end of every year.

The Program Committee is currently soliciting nominations from Orienteering USA membership for athletes and teams who demonstrated outstanding performance during the 2019 national and international orienteering season. As usual, the Committee is looking for nominees in several different award categories, listed below. The winners will be selected by the Committee and will receive prizes and recognition. In certain cases, honorable mention will be made for deserving athletes. A list of past winners is included at the end of this announcement.
This year, once again, there will be voting by you, members of Orienteering USA, for the athletes who have been nominated. After the nominations are received, the Committee will select several finalists in each award category.  Each member of Orienteering USA will then be able to vote online for one nominee in each category. The committee will then use the results of the voting to help determine the winners of the awards. It is expected that the voting will be a dominant factor in the committee’s decision.

In addition to public recognition, the winner of each of the individual awards will receive a $500 stipend to be used on orienteering expenses during 2020.  The honorable mention winners will receive a $100 stipend.  The 2019 stipends have been made possible thanks to a very generous donor.

Nominations are open now and will close on Friday, November 15th. See below for the description of the awards, eligibility rules, and where to send nominations.  Nominate an outstanding athlete or team and, in a few sentences, state why your nominee deserves the award.

The awards:

1.    Orienteer of the Year is awarded to the best USA orienteer in 2019, based on results at national and international events.
2.    Junior Orienteer of the Year is awarded to the best USA orienteer no older than 20 in 2019, based on results at national and international events.
3.    Comet of the Year is awarded to the most improved USA orienteer in 2019, based on results at national and international events.
4.    Orienteering Team of the Year is awarded to the best USA national or club orienteering team in 2019, based on results at national and international events.

Eligibility rules:

To be awarded any of the individual awards a nominee has to be a USA citizen and must be a member of Orienteering USA in good standing during the current calendar year. Additionally, for the Junior Orienteer of the Year award, the nominee must be no older than 20 at the end of 2019. To be selected to the Orienteering Team of the Year award, all team members have to be Orienteering USA members and represent the U.S. or an Orienteering USA member club in competition. Competitors in any forms of orienteering are eligible, including Foot-O, Ski-O, Mt.Bike-O, Trail-O, and ROGAINE.

The committee making final selections from among those who are nominated includes Ken Walker Sr, Jeff Saeger, Sue Grandjean, Boris Granovskiy and Linda Kohn (chair).

Please send nominations (due November 15th) for any or all of the awards, along with a brief discussion of why the nominee deserves to win, to Linda Kohn.

2018 Awardees
Previous award winners

BoardNet and ClubNet Transitioning

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 
Visit!forum/boardnet and click join

Sign up for the NEW ClubNet
Email: orVisit!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 ending.  If you are interested in doing this, please send an email to  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

2019 Orienteering in Europe with Keegan Harkavy

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

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

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}


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.


$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.


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


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.


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

OUSA Mapping Clinic at Older Dash

You can orienteer at the Older Dash in Gunstock, NH and learn more about mapping, too. Friday October 18th, the day before the event, a mapping workshop will be held at a nearby site for those interested in learning how to map. The workshop will use LIDAR data to assist in the mapping process.

The workshop will start at 9:00 AM and end around 4:00 PM (you can probably leave early if you want to run the model event). LIDAR use and how to get it will be part of the discussion.

This workshop is for people new to mapping and people who want to learn a bit more about the process. Experienced mappers may also benefit because of discussions about what and how to map. You can talk with others about the process that is often done in the woods, alone, so feedback and discussion about how to map is always helpful.

At the workshop, attendees will work with a basemap, aerial photos and other data to learn the basics of making field notes with the goal of creating orienteering maps. Discussions will be focused on what and how to map particular areas. This will be hands-on and materials will be provided for making field notes. The materials provided will be traditional map boards and colored pencils. There will be no charge for the workshop although you must pre-register so there are enough materials for all the participants. 

Email Peter Goodwin to register or to get more information.

2019 Golden Service Award Recipients


Here is a bullet list of Glenn’s accomplishments and activities promoting our beloved sport:

  • Longtime Board member and current Vice-President of Greater Phoenix Orienteering Club (GPHXO)
  • Organized and directed dozens of local events for GPHXO, TSN, JROTC and Arizona high schools
  • Created over 30 new event maps in Arizona and at least 10 teaching maps. Glenn has stayed on the forefront of mapping technology, and produces the highest quality maps we have.  He explores different event formats, such as Score-DOH! and JOM (Just One Map) which add to the fun and improve skills.
  • Significant support for the 2018 and 2019 Southwest Spring Weeks. Glenn helped the TSN club with their NRE events, and he served as Meet Director and Mapping Coordinator for the First Water Classic NRE event in Phoenix.
  • Sponsored and coached Nakai Lake, a candidate for U.S. Youth Team 2014-2016, at national events and tryouts.
  • Formed lasting relationships with Prescott Air Force JROTC, Embry-Riddle University, Prescott High Schools, and Arizona scouting organizations
  • Glenn is the GPHXO equipment manager.  In addition to making sure we have enough materiel, Glenn designs and builds equipment specific to our terrain and needs.
  • Conceived and conducted numerous beginner’s clinics in Arizona.


1st SGT Toby Henson has provided outstanding and dedicated service to Florida Orienteering and to the entire national high school JROTC Community. Toby, from the beginning of his affiliation with FLO, has coordinated all Florida based High School JROTC participation at regular FLO events. In recent years—approximately the past five years—these efforts have culminated, in particular, with:

  1. Spearheading the creation of an online pre-registration system for all high school units attending regularly scheduled public orienteering events hosted by FLO, averaging over 120 cadets at each major FLO event through the years.
  2. Single-handedly establishing and heading up his high school unit’s serving as host to an annual JROTC 3-day training camp (about to hold its 15th season!), assisted by FLO officers and attended by 200 to 400 high school cadets from across Florida each year.
  3. Heading up his high school unit’s hosting the 2018 U.S. National Navy JROTC Championships, again assisted by FLO officers, attended by over 300 pre-qualified cadets from across the United States, including Florida and Southeastern U.S. units.

Furthermore, Toby contributed vital contacts and encouragement during the formation of member club Suncoast Orienteering and Adventure Racing (SOAR) to assist that club in its foundational efforts. SOAR is now fully established and thriving with a largely JROTC clientele. In summary, Toby has been invaluable to the historic and ongoing success of orienteering in Florida and has proven to be a significant factor in the growth of JROTC orienteering participation far beyond the local club level.


Thurston and Bonnie Miller are recognized for their service to Orienteering Cincinnati, OUSA, and to their community in propagating orienteering to the South Bend, Indiana, local region. Thurston and Bonnie home school their four kids and for many years have brought the entire family to OCIN events, often a five-hour drive each way. They advocated for and convinced Orienteering Cincinnati to have four parks in the Michiana, Indiana, area professionally mapped. They have used those four maps to support numerous events in their local area, typically involving very long drives to pick up gear either in Cincinnati, or halfway to the Indianapolis area. They’ve hosted orienteering teaching events in Indiana and near Cincinnati for Home School Families. They’ve gotten interest and attendance from Notre Dame ROTC units. Bonnie and Thurston are reliable volunteers for OCIN’s Flying Pig and Winter Pig National Ranking Events, where they often work as start crew, as well as Junior Team fundraiser support by organizing the sandwich sales or putting on various maze-orienteering challenges. They have, along with their children, become proficient at course setting, vetting, and the various computer skills needed to run events, including SportIdent download. We recognize and thank Thurston Miller and Bonnie Miller for their exemplary service to orienteering at the local, regional, national, and international level.


Mike has been a member of LAOC for over twenty years and in that time has served as President for a few years. Most importantly, Mike is one of our regular course setters who is especially supportive of our national events. He has served most recently as the middle distance course setter at our Camp Scherman national event a few years ago. He also directed our first national meet at Vasquez Rocks, which was the 2001 Relay Champs. Additionally, he has vetted courses for a number of other national events. Mike is a significant asset to OUSA due to his support of these events and we wish to honor his commitment to the sport.


Mike is recognized for his dedication as course setter for 20 years of The Possum Trot, the mass-start “goat” race hosted annually by PTOC. Mike has designed all the Possum Trot courses. This event has become an important fixture on the midwest schedule and draws repeat competitors from Missouri, Illinois, Wyoming, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Canada. Mike tirelessly designs the course, vets the area and puts out tapes over an approximately 13 km course every year.

List of Award Recipients