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.

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 Coach communicates 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 Junior Development Team aimed at youth age 20 or younger; and a Junior Standing Team which is chosen from applications each year, consisting of up to 24 dedicated youth committed to training at a high level. The Team selected to represent the U.S. at the World Orienteering Championships is selected largely from these two pools of athletes. For more information, and how to contact the Junior Coach, 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. In addition, the Georgia Orienteering Club has a GOAT (Georgia Orienteering Advanced Training) camp (information PDF) for Juniors, also scheduled for early June 2014.

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.

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 until December 31.

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: