Puzzle Friday: Southwest Spring Weekend ’21

Happy Friday everyone! This week’s puzzling excursion takes us to Arizona where, in a normal year, the annual Southwest Spring Week Orienteering Festival (SWSW) would have taken place. But, like most things over the past 12 months, this year’s festival was reduced to a mere Spring Weekend ’21 but that still beats no orienteering at all. Three great maps, 3 great events. Thanks to the hard working folks at Tucson Orienteering Club (TSN) for keeping the tradition alive and sharing their event with us.

Mark your calendars for next year! SWSW 2022 will take place February 19-27, 2022.

YMP Map of the Month – February 2021

The Youth Mapping Program February Map of the Month feature is the William A. Hough High School in Cornelius, NC.  Due to Covid-19, the Hough HS JROTC unit has not met in person, says Walter Siegenthaler who provided the ‘eyes-on-the-ground’ field checking of the new map.  A multi-session series of virtual classes has been conducted via Zoom to about 45 cadets and it is anticipated that in-person use of the map will commence toward the end of the month.

Mapper Chris Gkikas (WNCOC) notes “This was my first time working with the YMP and it was a great experience from start to finish. Jon (Campbell) is a fantastic map consultant and effectively raised my mapping and drafting skills to a whole new level.  The map was drafted entirely in Open Orienteering Mapper, a free and open source alternative to the industry standard OCAD.”

Are you interested in flexing your cartography skills and joining the growing team of YMP mappers?  Sign up here.  Note: Mappers for the YMP are remote cartographers with field checking performed by persons from the recipient organization collaborating with you remotely as well as support from the core YMP consultant.

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

Puzzle Friday: Smokey Glen

Good morning campers! This week’s puzzle takes a look back at last years QOC Bumble – the last event I ran before coronavirus set in. It was a really fun time… The Bumble is a goat-style race with a score-o twist – controls are arranged into windows, controls within a window can be visited in any order, but you must visit all controls in a window before moving on to the next window. Do as many windows as you like and windows can be done in any order.

This years Bumble (modified for COVID compliance) is tomorrow (Feb 6th) at Hoyles Mill, MD and as of this writing, there are still a few spots open. Pre-registration is mandatory and will close at 6pm this evening. Event link. Have a great weekend!

Overlook NRE & Letchworth BillyGoat

IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of September 6th 2021, the fall event is postponed and will now be held on May 7th, 2022. And Sunday’s goat event will be the 42nd running of the venerable BillyGoat. Mark your calendars!

Rochester Orienteering Club (ROC) is taking the optimistic route choice to the end of the Covid Pandemic and is scheduling an orienteering weekend September 18/19, 2021.  The following announcement is from Race Director Rick Worner:

“On Saturday we will host a one-day NRE middle distance event on a new map at Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area and on Sunday we will offer a GOAT-style event at Letchworth East so that people can enjoy a full weekend of activity in the woods.

The plan at this point is to start the Saturday event at 1PM to give people an opportunity to drive in on the morning of the event. Harriet Hollister is around 40 minutes south of Rochester, NY overlooking Honeoye Lake. It has a moderate trail system, interesting contour detail and very open woods. Mark Dominie is the mapmaker. Stina Bridgeman will be the course setter.

The GOAT event at Letchworth East will start and finish at an area outside the park gates to avoid any crowding in the park . Tom Roycroft is the course setter and plans to offer a long (10K+), medium (6-8K) and short (4-5K) versions of the courses. It will be a mass start at 9AM if Covid permits, otherwise it will be some sort of interval or socially distanced start procedure to comply with the OUSA and NYS Parks guidelines.

The park is open at this time of year and offers camping and cabins.  https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com/camping/letchworthstatepark/r/campgroundDetails.do? Motels south of Rochester are about a 45 minute drive and there are a limited number of motels closer to the park. With the early start on Sunday people should be able to head home by noon. We will likely wait until later in the spring to open registration to see how the vaccination process proceeds and to avoid having to refund fees in case we have to cancel the event. Due to parking and NYS  Park regulations we will likely have to limit the number of entries to 150 people. More on this as we get closer to the event.

We really look forward to seeing many of our orienteering friends again. Fingers crossed.”

OUSA Seeks Part-time Administrator

1/20/21 – OUSA Administrator position is no longer accepting applications. Thank you for your interest in Orienteering USA.

Orienteering USA seeks a part-time contractor to handle administrative functions. 

Duties to include:

  • Serve as the primary OUSA office contact.
  • Handle deposits, invoices, and check requests and interface with OUSA accountants to ensure processing. Work with Vice-President of Finance to review financial reports and maintain efficient processes.
  • Serve as OUSA membership administrator.
  • Administer the annual club recharter process.
  • Handle Safesport training requests and maintain OUSA Safesport certification database.
  • Provide administrative support to the Board of Directors and committees as necessary, including handling preparations for the Annual General Meeting.
  • Attend board meetings approximately quarterly and phone meetings with the finance team monthly.
  • Other duties as assigned

Candidate will work remotely and should have a computer with internet access and experience using typical office suite software such as Microsoft Word/Excel or Google Docs/Sheets. Basic bookkeeping/accounting knowledge is a plus, as is experience with GSuite and/or NeonCRM.

Starting contract rate of $800/month plus expenses, including travel to board meetings.
Anticipated start date: February 1, 2021

Please send resume and cover letter via email to Clare Durand, president@nullorienteeringusa.org.

Orienteering USA is the national governing body of all orienteering activities in the United States and is a member nation of the International Orienteering Federation. We support over 60 chartered orienteering clubs nationwide. Our mission is to: increase participation in the sport of orienteering (including rogaining/map trekking), teach map reading and navigation skills, promote enjoyment of, and respect for, the environment, and establish world-class competitive excellence within our national team programs.

Puzzle Friday: Black Hills State University

Happy New Year everyone!! Just a quick post to bring you a puzzle version of the January YMP Map of the Month: Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD. We’ll be highlighting the Map of the Month in a future post, so stay tuned for more details on this brand new map.

Winter Training Challenge

Looking for that little bit of extra motivation for your winter training this season? Orienteering USA is excited to unveil a new peer-to-peer fundraising platform that will allow you to enlist family & friends to support your training and help advance orienteering by making donations on your behalf to Orienteering USA.

We make it simple by providing a platform to easily create a personal fundraising page, track your progress and process online donations in a secure fashion.

The Winter Training Challenge will run for three months from December 1st, 2020 through February 28th, 2021. Your personal challenge can span the entire 13-week period, focus on a smaller range of dates or target just a single event – the choice is up to you and your own goal setting. A few possibilities:

  • Weekly Mileage Goal – supporters can donate for each week you meet your personal goal
  • Streaker – challenge yourself to do some training every day over the challenge period
  • Controls Visited – how many training/event controls can you visit during these three months?
  • Enter a Fat-Ass style timed ultra – how many miles/laps can you do in a fixed time period?
  • Find more ideas here, here and here.

How to Build Your Own Custom Fundraising Page

  1. Visit the Winter Training Challenge Campaign Page
  2. Click the ‘Become a Fundraiser‘ button in the upper right
  3. Log-in with your Orienteering USA credentials
  4. Enter content for your custom Fundraising Page
    • Fundraising Page Title – use default
    • Fundraising Page URL – use default
    • Your Fundraising Goal – enter the dollar amount you would like to raise through your challenge
      • NOTE: leaving this blank will default to the overall campaign goal of $20,000
    • Current Photo – upload a personal photo for your fundraising page
    • My Page Content – Create a paragraph describing your personal challenge goals using the editing tools to get creative.
      • You can include additional photos and links to AttackPoint or Strava training logs so supporters can follow your activity.
  5. Click on the ‘Save‘ button. It is that easy!
  6. Click on the ‘View My Fundraising Page‘ button in the upper right to review your custom page.
    • Copy the URL from the browser address bar and share with family, friends and colleagues once you are satisfied with your page design.
  7. Happy Fundraising!!
Click on the image to view a typical Fundraising Page

How will funds raised be used?

All funds raised through the Winter Training Challenge will be designated as unencumbered funds and will be used to support Orienteering USA essential operations as well as national initiatives such as TeamUSA, Youth Mapping Program EventReg registration services for clubs, online training courses and much more. 

Orienteering USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization so all donations are tax deductible!! Please note that your supporters can still donate to targeted OUSA initiatives such as TeamUSA through the standard donation portal, but such donations will not count toward the Winter Training Challenge campaign totals.

2020 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 seven individuals. Congratulations to all of you and Thank You for your efforts!

  • John Brady (COC) – John has worked tirelessly to promote youth orienteering as long-time coach of Tahoma Orienteering in the Washington Interscholastic Orienteering League as well as mentoring a new generation of coaches in the WIOL. He is a prolific mapper and this year with the reduced orienteering due to the coronavirus pandemic has developed a extensive series of DIY options for youth and their families, hosted a summer training camp and is currently running a fall covid-safe series of sprint events.
  • Shane Dawalt (OCIN) – Shane regularly manages download at local events and is a member of the results team for the Flying Pig NRE events. He has taken it upon himself to improve the software for results display screens which are used for both local and NRE events. He has implemented and administers a database which helps the club grow and track competition status for the Tri-State Orienteering League (TROL). Shane regularly serves as course setter for both local and national events.
  • Mary Jones (OK) – Mary has served as President of Orienteer Kansas for decades and was the meet director for the 2013 US Interscholastic & Intercollegiate Champs. For the past 5 years she has directed the orienteering event in the Kansas State Sunflower Games inviting participants from across the state of Kansas to the sport of orienteering. She has been actively promoting Orienteering for Women in the Kansas City area and has run events at Fort Leavenworth Army Base benefiting military families for a number of years.
  • Cristina Luis (TSN) – Cristina was a founding member of the OUSA Tech Committee launching numerous initiatives such as the website revamp. She has also served on the selection committee for the US National Team, serving many roles including WOC Team Manager for three years. She is also a primary organizer and webmaster for the Southwest Spring Orienteering Week Festival.
  • B Brooke Mann (RMOC) – Brooke has been an instrumental volunteer assisting with promotion and organization of Laramie Daze in Wyoming as well as the Southwest Spring O Fests in Arizona. She is a skilled photographer providing engaging media content for both local/regional events and providing media to Orienteering USA national media channels. She handles webmaster, secretary and registrar duties for RMOC, her primary club in Colorado as well as being involved with most of the local events.
  • Allan Pincus (LAOC) – Allan has served on the LAOC board and is the point person for EventReg handling registration duties for at least 6 National events including the US Trail-O and Relay Champs in 2017. EventReg is used for all local LAOC events and Allan coordinates all event configuration to ensure a smooth registration process.
  • Jon Torrance (QOC) – Jon has been involved with QOC in a variety of volunteer positions for over 2 decades and is also involved at the national level presently serving as the OUSA Vice President of Competition. Jon takes on key leadership positions in nationally sanctioned events including meet director of the US Night & Ultralong Champs in 2014, heading up the course setting & vetting team for the US Classic 2-Day Champs in 2017 and returned to the meet director role for the Junior Nationals held on the Marine Corp Base at Quantico in 2019. Jon is also involved in the mapping process for many of the maps used for these high caliber events. He is a strong advocate for QOC hosting at least one NRE each year including an event coming up in December on a new map at Prince Willian Forest.

Once again 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.

OUSA Recommendations for Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Transmission at Events

Orienteering USA has approved the following recommendations for holding events in the new coronavirus era. These recommendations are required for OUSA sanctioned NRE events. Clubs holding local events are strongly encouraged to follow these recommendations as well, in conjunction with local, state & federal guidelines in place at the time of the event.

These guidelines will remain effective through December 31st, 2021 and will be updated by the OUSA Board as necessitated by the shifting realities of the pandemic. Please note that certain OUSA Rules of Competition are waived or otherwise modified for the duration of these guidelines.

Any additional suggestions for these guidelines should be directed to Joe Huberman, VP Club Services.