This week: Junior camp 11/23, sandwiches!, Loudoun County HS NJROTC team, new JDT members, Harriman training camp, IOF news, upcoming A meets, awards nominations.

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Nice woods at the Harriman training camp,Nov 2-3
Participants at the Connecticut training camp earlier this year

November 23rd: Junior camp in OH

Nov 23 OCIN's TROL Junior Camp in Oxford OH.  US Senior Team member Ali Crocker will be the keynote speaker.  The camp is a full day mix of classroom and short courses. The following day is a regular local meet in the TROL interscholastic league with a full range of courses. Juniors from around the country are welcome to join.  Overnight lodging may be available with local junior families. Contact Mike Minium for more information.

Summer 2014: North American trip?

Coach Erin Schirm has proposed a North American junior orienteering trip for the summer of 2014. This would be a great opportunity for juniors from the USA and Canada to get to know each other and improve their orienteering skills. We are seeking parents and juniors to help with the planning for this idea. Please contact us if you would like to help out.

Sandwiches at the BAOC and DVOA meets

We will be providing sandwiches both days at the BAOC and DVOA meets, for all interested competitors, but you must order in advance. This is both a service for junior team members, and an opportunity for the rest of the meet attendees to buy a sandwich and support the teams. Sign up ahead of time and your sandwich will be waiting for you after your race! 

BAOC Ultra-Long Champs sandwich signup
DVOA Classic and Trail-O sandwich signup

Team member news

Welcome to these Junior Development Team members:

Matthew Jones, QOC.  Matthew's goal is to be the best NJROTC orienteer in the nation by the summer of 2014. Matthew attends Loudoun County High School in Leesburg, VA.

Brigitte Bordelon. Brigitte's goal is to be selected as a member of the Standing Team. She would also like to get her JROTC team, of which she is the team captain, to Nationals. Brigitte attends Providence High School in San Antonio, TX.

Jacob Teepen, LAOC. Jacob was introduced to orienteering during his freshman year, thanks to the NJROTC unit at his high school. His goal is to increase his orienteering speed to 9 minutes per kilometer, and reduce the number of mistakes he makes. He also hopes to attend as many A meets as possible, to gain points toward a national ranking. Jacob attends Troy High School in Whittier, CA. 

Kaitlyn Lindaman, MNOC. Kaitlyn's goal is to become better at navigating through the woods. Kaitlyn attends Winona Senior High School in Winona, MN.

Congratulations to Matej Sebo of BAOC, who is now a US citizen and therefore eligible to compete for the USA in international championships! Matej is a Junior Standing Team member. With his knowledge of the Slovak language, and his super helpful nature, Matej was a leader among the US juniors at the Karst Cup in Slovakia this summer. 

International Youth Orienteering

The international governing body of orienteering is the IOF.  IOF has recently started a "Young People" initiative. The long-term objective of the project is to attract new youngsters to orienteering and to prevent drop-out. In the short term, a database of existing projects is being created to provide models for best  practice. Material for beginners is being collected and a start package consisting of open source  material will be compiled and published on the IOF webpage. The intention is also to further promote the World School Orienteering Championships. 
The project aims at enhancing school activity and promoting training camps. The co-operation  with other youth groups such as scouts needs to be increased. Internet, social networks, and  GPS tracking will be used as means of attracting teenagers. Making easy courses for beginners  and allowing them to run in pairs or in small groups are examples of how to attract new  youngsters to orienteering. 
IOF has asked countries' orienteering federations to support the project in  various ways, for example by providing material and by sharing information on both positive and  negative experiences. 

-- From the 2013 IOF Presidents' Conference, 7/11/2013, attended by Frank Kuhn on behalf of OUSA.

ew editions of the IOF competition rules for all four orienteering disciplines are now available here

Harriman training camp

It shows how strong this team is that one junior came even though she was on crutches; another came just for the evening; and two were running post-season cross-country races with an eye toward nationals, and so could not orienteer on Saturday, but still hung out in the evening. This is a team that enjoys spending time with each other. 

Dave Yee: "The exercises were a nice mix of technical training such as corridor orienteering, and fun games that emphasized running fast through the woods, joyfully. In one exercise, the participants ran in a named direction ("Southeast!") to that streamer and back, as a group.  We played a pirate game. Pirates tagged the others to create more pirates.

There was a star format memory-O technical exercise; people worked in teams for that. There was a lot of emphasis on teams and people working together, in general. In the Memory-O, the map was in a central location. There were 8 controls. You'd look at a map and memorize one of the controls, run there, then look around for a nearby streamer on another feature, then run back to the central map and indicate where that streamer was on the map. Then go on to the next control.

In another, paired, exercise, each control was only on one team member's map. One might have controls 1-3, and then 8-12. The other might have 4-7 and 13-17. When you were not the navigator, your job was to stay in contact with the map and know where you were so you could pick up seamlessly at your controls.

Doing homework after a full day of training

Information and links for upcoming A meets

We encourage clubs to 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, as well as those already approved.
  • Nov 16-17:  DVOA, PA.  Pre-registration closed.  White and Yellow recreational courses available on-site.

Loudoun County High School NJROTC Team

by CDR Jeremy Gillespie, Senior Naval Science Instructor

Five years ago, I helped start the NJROTC unit here at Loudoun County High School in Leesburg, VA.  My only experience with orienteering prior to that had been instruction in basic Land Navigation as part of various survival schools I had attended during my Navy career.  Our first year, I and a handful of interested cadets stumbled through one or two Navy-organized meets.  In retrospect, we had no idea what we were doing, but the cadets enjoyed themselves and as word filtered out to other students about the team, I found that by the second year I had some 20 students who were interested.  About that time I also learned about the Quantico Orienteering Club in our area and in the spring of our second year, I began taking cadets to participate in QOC meets in addition to the one or two local Navy-sponsored meets.
By our third year, we were much better organized and we had a more aggressive schedule.  I bought a group membership with QOC and we attended a QOC meet virtually every weekend in the fall.  Our team was doing well at Navy-organized meets and we were starting to earn a reputation as a school that was taking orienteering seriously and developing as a competitive team.  That year, when a team that had finished ahead of us in our Area Championship competition was unable to attend the Navy National meet, we were invited to take their place.  I took 16 cadets to compete in Brooksville, Florida and it was a transformational event for the team.  We didn't win any trophies or medals...I think only two of my cadets actually completed a course within the prescribed time limits...but the cadets had such a great experience that they couldn't stop talking about the trip when we got home.  They also got a keen sense of just how good other schools were and that we would have to take ourselves and the sport even more seriously if we were going to continue to improve.
Our fourth year, in addition to QOC membership and meets, I also got junior memberships in O-USA for my varsity team members and I took a select group of runners to the North American Championships to expose them to an A-Meet format.  What a wonderful time for my kids.  Staying in a "Yurt" in the midst of runners from all over the world, it was like living in an Olympic Village for four days.  Again, we were exposed to runners performing at levels beyond anything we had seen before.  The experience at NAOC paid off when we took second place at the Navy Area Championships and qualified for the Navy Nationals.  At the Nationals last year, which were run in an A-Meet format for the first time, we took 5th place overall and I had one runner at the Yellow (Intermediate) level finish first among all NJROTC cadets in the nation and a runner at the Orange (JV) level finish in second place overall.
This year, we've continued expand and improve.  We entered the season with the expectation of qualifying again for the Navy Nationals and the goal of competing in at least two other A-Meets during the year.  I have a total of over 30 active team members and recently I took 9 of them to the U.S. Classic Championships in New Hampshire.  Unfortunately, the competition was pretty thin in our age groups, but the courses were very challenging and a great test for my students.  One of my cadets took 1st place in the M-18 Green division and another took 1st place in the F-18 Brown division.  It seems silly to say given that there weren't many runners in either division and our times weren't that great, but I currently have the reigning classic orienteering national champions for both men and women in the 18-and-under age groups.  We also took 3rd (2 seconds out of 2nd place) in the M-16 Orange division, which was a little more competitive, and 3rd place in the Open Orange division.  And many of my best runners weren't able to go on the trip because our school's homecoming was that weekend and they had dates for the dance, etc.
Long story short, my experience and that of my team with orienteering during the last five years has been wonderful.  I have a growing core group of students who are eager to run every weekend and their dedication has paid off in their steady improvement and enjoyment of the sport.  We have done well in the relatively small pond of NJROTC orienteering, but our exposure to higher level A-meets like NAOC and the U.S. Classic Championships has both sparked my students' interest in doing even more (we are already planning for NAOC 2014 in Ottawa), and has also shown them how far they can and still have to go.  Not only are we developing as a team, but we are also working to expand local youth interest in orienteering and to help the sport however we can.  For example, we hosted a Navy meet last year; I'm directing and my students are helping to run a QOC meet this coming weekend; one of my cadets has taken on a leadership role as an orienteering instructor for his boy scout troop and I am working with him and that troop to run an orienteering campout for a hundred or so scouts in November; and we are co-hosting the Area Championship meet for area NJROTC units in December.     
I am unable to bring the team as a group to the DVOA meet in mid-November, but I am encouraging some of the team members to go.  I would also love to bring my entire team to a training camp if one were ever scheduled in our region.  Because of school and transportation restrictions, it would be hard to bring the full team to Connecticut, New York or Arizona, but if something were ever planned for Maryland, Virginia, eastern West Virginia, or central Pennsylvania, I would jump at the chance. 

One thing I would like to emphasize is how helpful others have been to us.  One of my fellow NJROTC instructors, Mike Dvorsky, who teaches at Patuxent High School in Maryland, is sort of the dean of NJROTC orienteering in our area.  His friendly guidance really helped me in understanding the sport and my early development as a coach.  The folks at Quantico Orienteering Club could not have been more nice, welcoming and helpful.  Valerie Meyer, Jon Torrance, Greg Lennon and many others have been eager to help and have been a tremendous support not just in terms of us running at their events, but in helping us run events of our own by piggybacking on their meets, and encouraging us to look at attending A-meets like the upcoming DVOA event.  And even at the national level, folks like Robin Shannonhouse at O-USA have been very supportive and have offered great suggestions and advice.



Orienteering USA solicits awards nominations

OUSA is seeking nominations for Orienteer, Junior Orienteer, Comet, and Orienteering Team of the Year.  More information here. Nominations are due December 22nd to OUSA President Peter Goodwin.

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This newsletter is sent out each week that we have news to share. Please encourage your friends and clubmates to sign up to get it. This is the primary place we will make important announcements about teams, and opportunities for juniors and clubs.

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