Information for Young Orienteers

Attention Young Orienteers!

The best place to start learning about orienteering is through a nearby club. If there are no clubs near you, information on this website will get you started.

Find out about additional training opportunities on our events page, which is for all juniors, not just those aiming to be named to the U.S. Team.

Orienteering Skills and Orienteering Patch Program

Released in December of 2017 under the direction of Clare Durand, Orienteering USA has developed a four-level Orienteering Skills Program with relevant patches available once a given level is completed. Alternatively, your organization may come up with its own recognition process for each level.

Each level consists of a number of requirements to complete in three categories:

  1. Concept requirements require you to learn concepts related to orienteering and then explain them to someone to show that you understand.

  2. Skills requirements require you to show that you can perform a specific skill that is related to the sport of orienteering.

  3. Application requirements require you to participate in the sport of orienteering by completing courses, reviewing your performance, and helping at events.

Recommended training activities are also included at the advanced levels. These activities are particularly recommended if you are serious about competitive orienteering. If you cannot find someone skilled to coordinate these activities for you, they are optional and not required to complete each level.

Download the PDF for the Orienteering Skills Program Levels

National Competition

Orienteering USA offers a community for interested orienteering juniors who would like to advance their skills, aiming for the highest levels of competition at World Championships. Our National Junior Coaches communicate with and encourages all juniors looking to learn and improve their orienteering skills, have fun at orienteering events, and compete with other juniors. To this end, we have a National Junior Program allowing a progression of development up to and including Team selection for the Junior World Orienteering Championships. The team sent to represent the U.S. at the World Orienteering Championships is selected from this pool of athletes who join the National Junior Program. For more information, and how to contact the Junior Coaches, see:

All youth interested in competing for championships in national-level events must be active members of Orienteering USA. A student membership is inexpensive. This membership is only required to be eligible to receive championship awards (for an individual or a team at Interscholastic and Intercollegiate championships, for example). Regardless of championship eligibility, anyone can compete at national-level events and all are welcome.

Junior Training

There are typically at least two training camps for junior orienteers organized annually in the U.S., one in the spring in the northeast (New York vicinity), and one in northern Texas in early June.

Other training weekends are those hosted by BAOC, OCIN, UNO, and DVOA which include entire families as well as juniors. Check the Youth Programs page for information about upcoming training weekends, or individual clubs' websites to find something close to you.

Texas Junior Orienteering Camp is an orienteering camp for experienced young orienteers. Its goal is to field competitive junior orienteers from the Southwest who can compete and win at the national and international levels. The camp is a joint effort by the North Texas Orienteering Association (NTOA), Houston Orienteering Club (HOC), Ark-La-Tex Orienteering Society (ALTOS), Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC).

The Iain Wilson Character Through Competition Award

This $1,000 award is presented annually to two young orienteers who embody the spirit of longtime contributor to the sport, Iain Wilson. Individuals age 20 and under can learn more and apply here. Applications are accepted annually from October until late December to mid-January.

Are you a youth leader looking for information on coaching juniors, or a parent interested in learning more about the sport? Follow the links below:

updated 16 April 2019