In this week's news: Riverside School in Idaho; a homeschool orienteering curriculum; new required training in misconduct in sports; JST parent call 2/11; host sought for visiting teen orienteer.
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Ben Brock and Erin Schirm with junior orienteers in Boise, Idaho

Seeking host for visiting teen orienteer

We are seeing a short-term host family for a visiting Czech 16-year-old this summer. He would like to attend a training camp in North America. Perhaps a family with children already attending the Sass Peepre training camp in Canada, or with plans to take part in the 1-2 week summer orienteering trip in August would step forward. Please contact Barb if you can help.

JST parent phone call Tuesday

Erin has scheduled a phone for Tuesday Feb 11 6pm west coast and 9pm east coast time. He would like to address the following topics; contact him if you would like something else discussed.
  • Summer travel for the Juniors
  • Fundraising
  • Team trials
  • Juniors Traveling to Meets
  • How you can be more involved
  • Junior Safety
  • General Questions

A Homeschool Orienteering Curriculum

Bonnie Miller, of Granger IN, will teach orienteering as part of a homeschool co-op in the spring of 2014. Here is a link to her planned syllabus. (The content may change based on the interests and abilities of each student.) The elementary course is aimed at children aged 7 through 11; 16 students have registered for it. The junior/senior high course also has 16 students, and they are ages 11 through 14. Bonnie's husband Thurston writes that in their community, orienteering is a sport that no one has heard of. Bonnie is fortuante to have an assistant, Oksana Greathouse, who orienteered as a girl with her grandmother in Russia.

The Millers drew on other materials, including the WIOL Handbook, a video produced for the North Ireland Orienteering Association, Jane Mockford of Deeside Orienteering Club in England, and the British Orienteering material provided to help clubs with activities for their weekly club nights. They also discussed their ideas with US Junior Coach Erin Schirm.

The Miller family includes four children who participate in TROL and have attended the Flying Pig the last two years. They are members of OCIN and CAOC.

Orienteering USA maintains a page of educational materials here.

SafeSport Misconduct Training Course Adopted

The Safety Committee has recommended that OUSA certified coaches, trip chaperones, and JST captains be required to take the SafeSport training on misconduct in sport, and that the training be used as part of working with the Team. The Committee also recommends that all parents of junior team athletes take the training. Coaches will be required to take the training. Both our Arizona training camp coaches, Erin Schirm and Becky Carlyle, have completed it. (Becky is also certified in the UK.)

The SafeSport training is an online combination of videos and quizzes that takes about 90 minutes and raises awareness about the nature of misconduct in sport and gives you information about action that can be taken to protect athletes.

You can access the free training course here; click on "Add to Bag" and you will be guided to what to do. For a 3.5-minute preview of the material, watch this Youtube video.

For those that take the training, I encourage you to save a PDF of your certificate and forward it to so that we have a record of who has completed this training.

The Safety Committee evaluated this training and after several meetings worth of discussion agreed to adopt it as one piece in a larger approach to keeping our athletes safe. As with background checks, the training on its own is not sufficient protection, but we do think it will be valuable in conjunction with ongoing teaching, conversations and training. The toolkit comes to us thanks to Glen Schorr, as Orienteering USA Executive Director, working with the US Olympic Committee. Many thanks to Maryjane Stout for shepherding the Safety Committee to this decision.

Riverside School, Idaho

In 2013, we solicited grant proposals to grow local junior development programs, funded by Junior Development Team membership fees. Riverside School in Boise, ID was awarded a grant to help them with equipment and mapping. Erin followed up by visiting the school last week, meeting Ben Brock, who runs the outdoor program at the school, and several students interested in orienteering. Erin and Ben have been in communication over the last couple of months, talking about how to grow orienteering in the school and city.

On Monday, 13 kids, in grades 7 through 12, came out for a training session. They started with a team navigation exercise: the group ran in a line; the person in front navigated, and others would sprint up the line to take over with the map from time to time. They did agility exercises and micro-sprints, and a right/left navigation exercise to learn about what goes into route choice. They finished off with a relay. Teams of two tackled two loops, and Erin made it tricky to figure out which loop the faster runner should take.

On Tuesday, they went to a map that includes an open hill with bushes, and lots of contours. They did a contour following exercise. For picking up the controls, they made it into a game where they had one minute to decide who would get which control, and different controls had different point values. The smallest boy got the most points.

In December they put on a meet for the local orienteering club, which, at 50 people, was the largest the club had had. The Riverstone map includes the school campus, an adjacnet neighborhood and a large field with some trails and shrubbery.

Dates for major upcoming events

Clubs, please coordinate travel and accommodation so that juniors can get to these meets, with their families or another club member. The Planning Calendar includes information on events that are in the works.
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