2017 Golden Service Award Recipients


Ron Birks' dedication, effort and accomplishments in furthering the sport over the past 10 years have been truly exceptional. All of his work is on a volunteer basis. His scope has been all of Arizona (big state, two clubs) plus some regional/national involvement. And he has participated in many national and international events.

Ron has served as President of Greater Phoenix Orienteering Club (GPHXO) where he organizes and directs dozens of local events. Ron has created more than 25 new event maps in Arizona and at least 15 teaching maps. He conducts beginner clinics at events and local schools. He has been responsible for conceiving, mapping and organizing the Painted Desert National Park mini-rogaines (in partnership with TSN), drawing a wide range of domestic and international participants.

Ron also serves as the club webmaster, has established relationships with multiple land management agencies, including the U.S. National Parks Department, and has expanded the GPHXO schedule both in number and type of events, developing new course setters and meet directors along the way.

Ron’s not the only GPHXO member who has made big contributions, but by far he is the one who has done the most to help ensure the future of the sport.


Dave founded the BFLO club in 1976 and continues to serve as Treasurer. Dave is an expert mapper, patient trainer, and tireless promoter of our sport. He still competes competitively in his age class and travels throughout the country and internationally to attend orienteering events, including to this year’s world championships and world junior championships.

Dave’s impact on orienteering can also be felt regionally and beyond. He has been a key part of all of BFLO’s A-meets, as well as the annual Ellicottville Adventure ROGAINE that attracts competitors from neighboring states and Canada. He has volunteered his expertise as a vetter and in other roles at many national meets sponsored by the neighboring Rochester Orienteering Club. He has consulted on mapping projects for ROC and in Canada. He heads up his club's mapping committee and is personally responsible for bringing several new maps to fruition.

Dave is the heart and soul of BFLO, who would be lost without him.


Karen has volunteered many hours of time to the San Diego club and to Trail Orienteering in the U.S. She most recently helped with vetting of the Trail Orienteering Championships sponsored by LAOC. Karen has been a staunch supporter of Trail Orienteering since it's inception and has traveled the country helping to bring the format to many clubs as well as traveling with the Trail Orienteering team to support them at International competitions.

She also helps extensively with club events, especially as a course consultant and mentor. Karen's decades of service to orienteering make her a prime candidate for this award.


Marvin has been one of LAOC's dedicated e-punch volunteers for many years. In this capacity, he has served at a number of National level meets. Marvin also served as club president for a few years. He is very involved in Amateur Radio Direction Finding and has been responsible for sponsoring or assisting at the ARDF national championships for many years. He has also traveled with the U.S. ARDF team to the World Championships and served as an official at the international level. Although ARDF is not an official IOF discipline, in the U.S., this orienteering derivative is practiced primarily by OUSA members.

Marvin's service has spanned many years in multiple disciplines and impacted both orienteering and ARDF at the national level. He is highly deserving of this award.

GUY OLSEN (HVO) - nominated by Orienteering Cincinnati

Orienteering Cincinnati has nominated Guy Olsen for the Golden Service award. Guy, although a member of HVO, has been OCIN's A-Meet registrar for many years. They can't believe their luck to have someone reliable and eager who volunteers to do the registrar duty. It is a thankless job with a lot of hours.

As a Board Member of HVO, Guy is one of the core members of an important US Club.

Guy is also a core volunteer of OUSA's junior program. He's been on the Junior Team Executive Steering Committee, including service as the chair, as well as several other OUSA top-level volunteer jobs relating to the junior program. Guy is tireless in his support of junior development and the US junior team.


Alar has contributed to orienteering on the club and national level. He has been in charge of the mapping for UNO and has coordinated numerous mapping projects over the last few years, each of them culminating in the Boulder Dash national meet. He also was instrumental in getting the wonderful courses on the Burnt Mountain Map for the NAOC2016. He spent many hours in the woods working on courses, making corrections to the map and making sure that the controls were all in the right place. His blue course was rated one of the best courses in the World for 2016.

Alar is a wonderful person, a great orienteer and a person who has given to UNO and through his involvement with national meets, given to the entire orienteering community.

posted 27 September 2017