2014 Silva Award Winner, Bob Turbyfill

Over the past five years this former North American Orienteering Champion and United States Champion has contributed at all levels to the mission of Orienteering USA. Bob Turbyfill has been a leader in educating others about Orienteering for fun and recreation, while striving to improve the orienteering skills and achievements of those who compete at the highest levels of the sport.

Bob Turbyfill has developed a systematic approach to teaching and coaching the sport over a 20-plus year period. He has taught every skill level over the past five years. His teaching sessions vary from providing basic skill instruction for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, to teaching advanced coaching courses across the country, which he did at the 2011 Orienteering USA national convention in New York, as well as for the AGM in Colorado in 2007, and for the West Point Orienteering team in 2014. During every course, teaching assistants are trained and certified as instructors to go out on their own to teach and coach, thereby expanding the skills and abilities of countless numbers within the orienteering community.

When the need arose to certify adventure racers in the Orienteering/land navigation portion of their events, Bob stepped up and developed the detailed outline for a multilevel certification course, successfully working hand-in-hand with the adventure racing community. The certifications have also proved to be popular among the youth of the orienteering community.

Many talented orienteers and orienteering coaches have taught and written about orienteering skill development over the years. However, an examination of available Orienteering books reveals a hodgepodge of approaches, descriptive language and definitions. Each author provides a different notion of what skills are essential and which training techniques are best applied. Bob’s in-depth and broad involvement and his intimate familiarity with the sport enabled him to apply a common, worldwide language to understanding the sport, based on a logical and systematic progression. His skills and techniques development scheme makes good sense; is easily taught and understood; and has the potential to revolutionize the instruction of orienteering far beyond the borders of the USA.

In 2013, Bob Turbyfill co-authored, along with Chuck Ferguson, a comprehensive guide to the sport entitled Discovering Orienteering, which was published in cooperation with Orienteering USA. The royalties from the sale of the book will benefit American orienteering for decades to come. The book was based in large measure on a course that Bob developed and has taught for a number of years known as “Zero to Orange in Three Days” — a college level introduction and review of the sport that benefits all who take it whether they have zero knowledge or are well experienced. After finishing the book, Bob went on to teach a class of Navy JROTC instructors on the finer points of orienteering and a copy of Discovering Orienteering was supplied to each instructor as a reference resource and guide to aid the instructors in developing JROTC recruits’ orienteering skills.

Bob has tirelessly dedicated himself to raising the level of proficiency among volunteer coaches, by developing and teaching a coaching course aimed at building and strengthening all of the skills, techniques and processes necessary to enhance performance and add to the enjoyment of the sport. The coaching course is offered on request and has been taught every year at minimal expense to the participants.

In addition, Bob Turbyfill almost single-handedly created a coaching certification program for the United States, specifying standards and requirements at each coaching level for local, national, and international certification. When bullying and child molestation became a focal point of prevention for Orienteering USA in 2014, Bob quickly incorporated the SafeSport Training into the coaching requirements. All current and new coaches must now take this training in order to maintain certification beyond 1 January 2015. Bob personally maintains and issues each numbered coaching certificate and the certificates for each graduate of “Zero to Orange in Three Days.”

In addition, to the thousands of hours he spent developing and refining these courses, Bob has spent countless hours on the road traveling to various venues across the country, in order to present the courses and enhance the quality of the coaching being offered at orienteering groups throughout the U.S. Except for some small stipends, most of the expenses for these trips Bob paid for out of his own pocket.

Bob Turbyfill has demonstrated time and time again in numerous ways that he is deeply committed to furthering the best interests of the sport of Orienteering and to improving the quality of the orienteering experience for all participants, regardless of whether they are novices or advanced competitors.

13 Aug 2014