2016 Golden Service Award Recipients

Olive Kearney - nominated by LAOC

Olive Kearney is rarely seen at orienteering these days, but she is still heard. Olive has been one of the most prominent orienteering promoters in Southern California for decades. Past member and webmaster for both Los Angeles and San Diego, Olive's biggest contribution has always been her enthusiasm for the sport. She continues to run her own website "The Thinking Sport" and the SCOnet Yahoo group. Both of these online endeavors bring orienteering news to the region and help regional clubs to better coordinate their scheduling efforts. Although she is not currently affiliated with a specific club, Olive continues to be the primary conduit for national information in the region. She follows Clubnet religiously and passes on noteworthy posts to the region through SCOnet.

Olive has also served as past Event Coordinator for LAOC and has trained legions of volunteers for both LAOC and SDO. She was always on the front lines talking to newbies and encouraging them to attend national events. Although Olive's style of service is different than many awardees, in an era when growth is our focus it is paramount to recognize those who have concentrated their efforts on recruitment, promotion, and communication to orienteers.

Pat Meehan - nominated by OCIN

Patrick Joseph Meehan started orienteering at the University of Dayton in approximately 1974. As a young runner and cocky orienteer, he noticed an old guy orienteering on apparently the same course who kept beating him to the next control. The old guy turned out to be Björn Kjellström, the author of Be Expert With Map and Compass, and founder of compass manufacturing company Silva Sweden AB.

Pat worked to found the Orienteering Club of Cincinnati in 1984, with three others. He has strong feelings that juniors are the future of orienteering; and that we should do everything we can to increase junior participation.

Pat was the primary force who started Orienteering Cincinnati’s Tristate Regional Orienteering League, TROL, specifically to bring juniors to orienteering. OCIN members look forward to cursing Pat as they walk out of their garages on the cold, windy, winter mornings, but recognize his genius once they get in the woods; which is always better, with zero exceptions, than sitting on the couch in their warm houses.

Pat has a remarkably long attendance streak at the Georgia Navigator Cup, a reliably awesome annual orienteering event.

Pat is currently the vice president of Orienteering Cincinnati, and he has served in all four of the elected offices, both separately and simultaneously. He is a reliable no vote on gratuitous monetary expenditures.

Pat’s current work within Orienteering Cincinnati is to make the changes necessary that will ensure the survival and continued leadership of Orienteering Cincinnati into the future.

Pat has further enhanced OCIN's national reputation by serving on the board of OUSA for the past several years. He is an elected officer to the Orienteering USA board, where he currently serves as OUSA’s VP of Finance, and spends a significant amount of his free time handling that duty.

Pat is an early riser, and a life-long runner, hasher, and orienteer. He has a casual relationship with craft beers. Formerly self-employed, he is a hard worker with extraordinary common sense. He once got a job offer based on answering an interview question with a description of his pre-race routine for orienteering.

Pat is a fine road trip partner, and literally every single person who has been on a road trip with him has stories about it that they will not disclose to others without either bribery or the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

He is married to Dottie, and father to three daughters, Christie, Victoria, and Jen. He is a former cross country coach and founder of the Badin Rams Orienteering Klub Stupid (ROKS) high school orienteering team. He has been and is the main presenter at the annual “TROL Camp” orienteering clinic. Pat is an orienteer with an advanced competitive nature. He uses unimpeachable logic
and occasional treachery to infer every knowable detail and leave competitors behind. He is a masterful course setter and map fixer.

Pat has been a long-time, trustworthy, and invaluable volunteer for OCIN's annual national event, the Flying Pig, as well as the other national events that the club has organized over its entire history. In this capacity, he is considered among the club's most thorough and critical course vetters, as well as a trusted expert in scoring and record keeping. He approaches these jobs and his life with great humor and lightheartedness. He is a scholar and a gentleman.

Pat Meehan’s service to the orienteering community reflects great credit upon himself, the Badin ROKS, the Tristate Regional Orienteering League, Orienteering CIncinnati, and Orienteering USA. We thank him for his initiative, drive, organizational skill, volunteer service, common sense, sense of humor, and friendship.

Debbie Newell - nominated by COC

Debbie Newell has provided more than three decades of high-impact volunteering to further orienteering in the Pacific Northwest. A big factor in the long-term success of any club is the existence of someone who is so dedicated to the organization that he or she volunteers countless hours over many years in many roles, circling the organization and contributing in critical roles wherever assistance is needed most. Debbie Newell is that extraordinary long-term volunteer for Cascade Orienteering Club.

Over the decades since her arrival on the Cascade board in 1983 in charge of mapping and publicity, Debbie has also served as vice president, president, equipment coordinator, newsletter writer, land use coordinator, events coordinator, and e-punch coordinator. But those are just position names; her true and lasting impact is in what she accomplished in those roles and beyond.

For nine years, Debbie and her partner guided the Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League (WIOL) through its turbulent early years, handling everything from venue selection to registration to mapping to course design, because teams for all those didn’t exist. Many of our maps still have her name on them, and this 300+ student program would not exist today if Debbie and her partner Dave had not had that level of long-term commitment.

Once the WIOL program was on solid ground with a consistent series director, with a simultaneous Winter Series for adults, she formed the follow-on Ultimate Orienteer event series of events in different formats such as classic, night, sprint, long, etc., all scored together. This series is now an established part of COC’s yearly schedule, pushing our club toward more challenging venues. This prior US Team member also introduced the “6 Degrees of Navigation” adventure race that attracted participants from beyond the club’s typical base.

When the internet became a factor, Debbie designed and administered our first website, then the website of Trioba, a local adventure-running organization that is part of a local thriving market of navigation organizations. Debbie also served as USOF webmaster for a number of years.

When a key COC volunteer retired from orienteering, suddenly leaving all our events without an e-punch operator, Debbie came to the rescue and turned the problem into a strength, mastering the software, building a finish line team, recommending new software, and writing the manual that has allowed the entire team to become experts in finish line operations. And in her “spare” time, she co-managed the Ultimate O’ series again this year, layering the NJROTC national invitational onto two days of it as an additional component.

Debbie’s contributions have been so significant over the decades that it is hard to imagine this club and OUSA without them; her contributions are the very definition of golden service.

posted 20 September 2016