This week: JST captains named, March junior training camp, 2014 Intercollegiates & relay champs, summer trip updates, Safety committee report, Where's Erin?, upcoming events

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Interscholastic champions at the Georgia Navigator Cup. ISVF winners Hannah DeVries of T. L. Hanna (3rd), Elizabeth Mitchell of Fort Dorchester (2nd), and Sholonda Snell of Henry County (1st). Photo by Mike Minium.

Announcing the March Junior Training Camp!

Becky Carlyle (British Orienteering Federation Level 3 coach) and Erin Schirm (US National Junior Team Coach) will run a junior training camp March 28-30 in Peekskill NY on the Blue Mountain map. The camp is for all juniors, from those who can complete a White course independently, through those running Blue. Meals and accommodation are included (Friday dinner through Sunday lunch); accommodation for the first 30 registrants will be at the lodge on-site; others will stay off-site. Volunteers are needed; please contact Becky or Erin to be considered. More information and registration is available at this link.

2014 Intercollegiate and Relay Championships, April 26-27

DVOA will offer a weekend full of orienteering. In addition to the Championships, there will be a one-day classic orienteering A event and a Temp-O event. The location is near Newark, Delaware on revised and expanded maps.

If you are a full-time college student, you may compete in the Intercollegiate division. (See the OUSA rules for complete details on championship eligibility.) The Intercollegiates will be slightly different this year with Intercollegiate Relay Championships contested on Saturday, Intercollegiate Individual Champs run on Sunday and Intercollegiate Team Champs determined by a combiend score from both the relay and individual events.

For the relays, each team consists of one male and one female athlete, alternating legs and each running twice. There are varsity, junior varsity and varsity club divisions. (For varsity club, team members must be full-time college students and have the same primary OUSA club.) Each college or club team may enter up to two 2-person relay teams. If you are not participating in the Intercollegiate Relay, consider running for your club in the US Relay Champs instead; they will be held Saturday morning.

In addition to all this, on Saturday, in between running and watching the relays, you can try out Trail-O's newest format: Temp-O. 

For more details, go to the DVOA website, and click the Mason-Dixon Classic logo. Email with any questions.

Summer Europe trip update

For more information on the developing plans for advanced junior orienteers, please see this page.

Summer North American trip update

We plan to schedule a phone call to discuss this trip, sometime in the next couple of weeks. Please let Erin Schirm know if you are interested in participating.
Zumu Li from Fork Union. Photo by Mike Minium, from the Georgia Navigator Cup

Junior Standing Team news

New captains

Congratulations to team captains Matej Sebo, Isabel Bryant, Ethan Childs, Addie Nolan and Anne Wilkinson. The captains have already been discussing how to communicate more effectively within the team. Anne has ideas for different ways to do armchair training involving Google Docs and Routegadget.

Each responded to a question about their goals as captain in 2014:

To help build a more active team by sharing what experiences I have with others and asking other juniors for input and ideas for trainings, exercises, and trips; a good team involves everyone and thus strengthens everyone. To spread enthusiasm about orienteering and encourage juniors to be ambassadors for the sport by course-setting, mapping, advertising, or volunteering for their local clubs. 

As a captain, I hope to motivate my teammates to train hard and reach their goals. I want to be someone all of my teammates feel comfortable talking to, whether about problems they're facing, questions they have, or goals they want to reach. I hope to lead as an example of a successful student-athlete by balancing my time between orienteering and school. Most importantly, I want to inspire my teammates and younger juniors to strive to be the best that they can be.

I'd like to bring the team together more. I want to contact my teammates to talk about armchair training, and do it with them. I want to Skype call them and do my strength and conditioning workouts alongside them. When I first started on the team, training seemed like it would be a really overwhelming task, especially because I didn't have any of my teammates in my area to train with. I don't want my teammates this year to have that same kind of feeling. I think if we become closer together, and work together, the physical distance between us won't matter as much. And the team-specific training will be a more enjoyable and fun experience. Hopefully as captain this year I can help our team better mesh together.

I want to be an example to other juniors of how persistence and effort can allow them to be great orienteers, and hopefully inspire some of them to be patient and keep working to become as great as they can be.

As captain, I hope to encourage everyone to reach for their goals. I'm here if anyone ever needs someone to talk to. I would like to see the team continue to connect at A meets, training camps, phone meetings, and through social media. I think we have a great team, and I'm excited to help out wherever I can.

General training plan for the year

Coach Erin has posted the general training plan for the year. Coaches and other orienteers are encouraged to review it. All of Erin's training emails to the JST are available here; you can subscribe if you'd like to have them sent to you automatically.

Individual coaches

Each JST and JDT member should have an individual coach/mentor, or be working with Erin to identify one. Please contact Erin or Barb if you have any questions.

Where's Erin?

Erin Schirm, the US Junior Team Coach, is traveling over the next months to work with juniors and clubs in different parts of the country. He attended the Georgia Navigator Cup, where he put on afternoon trainings, recruited juniors and coached the Junior Standing Team members. This week he will visit several schools and JROTC programs in the Atlanta area. Saturday he'll attend a local meet, doing a pre-race warmup and strategy session, and a post-race course review.

Next he'll travel to Seattle, visit a WIOL event, a school in the area, and work with Junior Standing Team members. Please contact Eileen Breseman if you would like to connect with Erin while he is in Seattle.

After that Erin will travel to Boise ID, where he will work on developing a school orienteering program with a group that was awarded a grant from the JDT grant program. One aim is a training plan with a goal of attending the Interscholastic Championships.

Erin's next stop will be in Arizona, where, together with coach Becky Carlyle, he will run a junior training camp. This is one of three events this year we ask the Standing Team members to attend (the others are the Selection Races in March and the North American Orienteering Championships). 

Safety Committee Report

For a little over a year, Maryjane Stout has worked to promote safety for orienteering juniors. The Junior Safety Committee was formalized last fall, and held its second meeting on Sunday afternoon at the Georgia Navigator Cup. The committee has already worked on a wide range of topics, including
  • Conduct code for Juniors and chaperones while at JWOC 2013
  • Medical insurance while overseas
  • Creation of a group of folks that juniors or adults can go to with concerns about the safety of themselves or others. For more on this, including the named members of the Go-To Group, see Newsletter #5.
  • Defining a network of volunteers willing to help stranded unaccompanied teen traveling to/from A meets. Outside the purview of OUSA, this network of volunteers, ideally throughout the US, would be called upon if teens had rerouted flights, missed their flights, had a medical emergency, or otherwise needed help away from home. We’ve identified three occasions in the last two years when this network could have made an important difference. If you’re willing to serve, email
At its most recent meeting, the committee
  • Continued evaluation of the US Olympic Committee’s SafeSport program, designed to deter hazing, harassment and abuse (whether emotional, physical, or sexual). If adopted by OUSA, this program would involve free training for parents, coaches, chaperones and athletes that would contribute to a safer environment for our athletes. Check it out and email your comments to Maryjane.
  • Discussed adopting the Rule of Three for all junior orienteers – meaning that no junior orienteer would ever be alone with a coach or chaperone at an OUSA event or trip. 
  • Discussed possible expansion of our background check policy, and is carefully weighing the costs and benefits.
  • Discussed ways to ensure that adults driving groups of junior orienteers are properly licensed and insured.
  • And more. Above all, committee members, especially National Junior Coach Erin Schirm, are committed to building a community of trust and respect, in which concerns can be communicated.

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.

Calendar & book

All copies of the 2014 wall calendar have been sold. 
You can still purchase the 2013 Junior Yearbook (paperback book); Kindle format from AmazonePub format for Nook or other eBook readers.

About this newsletter

This newsletter will be 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.

If you have an idea for an article, send us email!

Previous newsletters can be found here.

The newsletter is edited by the OUSA Junior Team Administrator. We are seeking additional newsletter editors; please let us know if you can help out in this way.

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