I joined the club a year ago, after a long break. I was running orienteering
in my home country Norway in my youth, and I also participated several times
in competitions in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Austria. However, for job
reasons I have been living in South America many years and I just had the
possibility of taking up again the sport from my arrival to the US.
Based on my youth experience and knowledge of the orienteering development in
northern Europe, the main difference is that there it is a "mass sport" with
thousands of participants in the main events, while here it is an unknown
activity for a specially interested group. But I also found a similarity, in
the environment of the orienteers, where the people don't take everything too
seriously, where you can run just for fun.
To be able to develop our sport in the US in the future it is necessary with
recruitment. Today most of the people participating are seniors, and there
are very few children and young people. School orienteering is fine, but
there should be a link, to be able to bring the interested youth to the main
orienteering events. Another recruitment opportunity could be more "tour-O"
for families, with permanently marked controls in parks and other forest
areas. The maps could be sold through the park offices and refreshment sales,
to get people in contact with orienteering, while they go for a walk in the
Another recruitment opportunity would be to include prizes for children and
youth in Quantico events. In Norway they normally gave prizes to 10% of the
participants in all age classes, but I don't think that would be necessary
here, so to start I suggest only prizes for children and youth (may be
combined with season prizes for other classes). The children and youth in the
US like to compete, on the futball field or in any other sport. Even though
we try to get them out in the forest without public spectators, it doesn't
eliminate the joy of competing and getting a prize when they have done well.
-How could that be combined with the color course system? Simply by informing
in advance that if they like to compete with youth of their own age, they
have to sign up for a special color. The distances should correspond to what
they would have to run in national or international competitions, but could
be a bit shorter on smaller competitions, to promote the recruitment.
Please let me know your reactions on my thoughts.