December 2013, Issue 6 - The Orienteering Year Ahead

In This Issue

Controller's Notes

Working on the newsletter, the Sass Peepre Committee, Vancouver Sprint Camp and 2014 COCs has me very excited for the orienteering year ahead. There are so many maps, controls and events waiting for us in 2014 that I can barely wait.

Let us know about your orienteering adventures in 2014. Email your stories to All contributions to the newsletter are welcome!

Meghan Rance 
O Canada Editor

Update from the Orienteering Canada Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is currently recruiting people for several Orienteering Canada committees. Some of these are existing committees and others are brand new committees. Please send an email to if being on one of these committees is of interest to you or if you would like more information. 

Here’s a brief look at some of the committees that are currently looking for new members.

Officials Program
The Officials Program Committee manages the programs of Orienteering Canada that recruit, train and educate officials. We have spent the last few years doing a major update of the program. We are almost there with the new materials and now the goal is to streamline the training process and encourage lots of officials training across the country. A couple new members are needed for this program committee.

The Technical Committee looks after the rules of the sport in Canada and also the course and category guidelines (e.g. who runs which course, how hard should the different courses be, etc.) One of the priorities for this group is a thorough review of our course structure to ensure a solid fit with our long term athlete development model and trends within Canadian orienteering. A couple new members are needed for this committee. This new committee is an amalgamation of the previous rules committees and the adhoc course and category guidelines group.

Celebration, Awards and Recognition
The Celebration, Awards and Recognition Committee will work on finding suitable ways to recognize, honour and pay tribute to outstanding athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers in Canadian orienteering. This committee will also be charged with implementing plans to celebrate milestones such as Orienteering Canada’s 50th anniversary in 2017. This crew will also look at existing award opportunities (volunteer awards, sport awards, etc.) and nominate orienteers when appropriate. This is a new committee.

New Participant Recruitment
The New Participant Recruitment Committee will look at how best to recruit, teach and train new and beginner participants in the sport. This is a new committee. Ideally, this committee will have a mix of both longer term orienteers and relative newcomers to the sport.

Long Term Athlete Development
Our long term athlete development (LTAD) model influences most of our Orienteering Canada committees: officials, coaching, technical, high performance, Sass Peepre junior development and new participant recruitment. This committee will act as the LTAD resource link between the various committees and work to drive our LTAD implementation forward.  

Ski Orienteering
Are you passionate about ski-orienteering? We are looking for a few individuals who would like to contribute to developing ski-orienteering opportunities and initiatives in Canada.

Mountain Bike Orienteering
We are looking for interested individuals who would like to contribute to developing mountain bike opportunities and initiatives in Canada.

You can find a complete list and more details regarding all the Orienteering Canada committees at 

Merry Christmas
Very best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Christmas season and an adventurous and fun-filled 2014.

With best regards from the Orienteering Canada Board of Directors & Staff: Alex Kerr, Dave Graupner, Ian Sidders, Jeff Teutsch, Bruce Rennie, Forest Pearson, Stan Woods, Tracy Bradley & Charlotte MacNaughton

3 Events to Put on Your 2014 Calendar

 2014 is going to be a great year for orienteering here in Canada and around the world. You could go to the Five Days of Italy and run in Venice while you watch the World Orienteering Championships; you could go to the Portugal O Meeting and try to navigate an event that has won the World of O best course of the year two years in a row; or you could go to the Antalya O Days and race through the streets of one of the Byzantine Empire's most important cities. If the Mediterranean isn't exciting enough for you, there are events all over Europe (including Iceland), Asia (like Japan and Kazakhstan), South Africa, North America and Oceania. Yes, I know I forgot South America. It is coming.

With so many events in so many places, it can be hard to choose which ones to attend. Here are three events that I think every Canadian orienteer should make a special effort to attend in 2014.
The Canadian Orienteering Championships and
Western Canadian Orienteering Championships

Where? Whistler, B.C. and Savona (near Kamloops), B.C.

When? August 2-10, 2014

Which Events? 2 sprints, 2 middles, 2 longs, a relay, the Sass Peepre junior camp and the HPP fundraiser race

Why should you attend? Whistler is famous as a year-round outdoor paradise. In the summer, you can hike, mountain-bike, golf and zip-line to your heart's content. Now Whistler is also a world class orienteering destination as well.

Participants will have to take a gondola to the start of the long distance race on the slope of Blackcomb Mountain and the HPP fundraiser and BBQ on the top of Whistler Mountain. The sprint will be run through Whistler village and the Sass Peepre Camp participants will stay at the athlete's village from the 2010 Olympics.

The Western Canadian Championships will trade the the coastal rain-forest for rocky interior grasslands. The sprint will be held on the Valleyview silt cliffs, a plateau overlooking Kamloops with myriad paths and steep valleys cutting through it. 

This event might be your only chance to take a gondola to your orienteering race outside of Switzerland.
North American Orienteering Championships

Where? Carp Ridge, ON and Arnprior, ON

When? October 10th -13th, 2014

Which Events? Model, Middle, Long, Sprint, Relay

Why should you attend? The North American Championships are shaping up to be a fantastic event for both orienteering and orienteering spectating. The middle and long distance races will be held on the Carp Ridge map, a famously difficult area of linear lakes, beaver dams and exposed rock. If one weekend of racing isn't enough, the event can easily be tied in with the US Champs in Rochester and many training events in the area.

In 2014, the World Orienteering Championships (WOC) will eliminate qualification races for the middle and long races. Both the USA and Canada have been awarded three starts (two female and one male) for the middle and long finals based on past results. The best North American orienteers will be at NAOC hunting for an additional start tied directly to an athlete. The orienteer who wins it receives a guaranteed place in the WOC final. The competition will be fierce and you will be able to watch since the elite juniors and seniors will start after age class competitions have finished.

The fantastic hospitality of the host city, Arnprior, will produce an unforgettable atmosphere at the event. The town is closing the streets in its downtown for the sprint race and have even changed local bylaws to allow for $5 camping at the event centre. There will be a shuttle service to the event centre from the airport and the races, an optional meal plan and a marketplace with the and other local vendors.

This will be an orienteering event that people will be talking about for years to come.
Twitter:    @ottawaofest

World Masters Orienteering Championships

Where? Porto Alegre, Brazil

When? November 1-8, 2014

Which Events? 2 models, 3 Sprints, 3 Longs

Why should you attend? 2014 will be the first time that the World Masters Orienteering Championships have been held in South America. The event will be held in the southernmost estado of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, which borders Argentina, Uruguay and the Atlantic Ocean. The region is known for its waterfalls, blue hydrangeas and gauchos (South American cowboys). 

The WMOC is for participants in M/W35+ but spectator races will be available for younger orienteers.

You have never had a better reason to go to Brazil.


Bonus: Vancouver Sprint Camp

Where? Vancouver, BC

When? February 7-9, 2014

Which Events? 10 Sprints - 5 SI Races (including farsta, set-up and chase), 2-person relay, 4 training events

Why should you attend? Look at the banner above; it is February in Vancouver and Graeme Rennie is wearing shorts and a t-shirt. As you may remember from the 2010 spring Olympics, Vancouver can be unseasonably warm and sunny that time of year. Of course, since it is Vancouver, it can rain too!

While we can't guarantee the weather, we can guarantee ten awesome sprint events on great maps. You can look forward to seven new maps offering complicated urban challenges, crazy trail networks and fast manicured parks; creative, well-planned courses close enough to jog between; and great evening social events.

For the second year in a row, GVOC will be awarding prizes to the top men and women for the best 4 of 5 SI races.1st = $200, 2nd = $150, 3rd = $100, 4th = $75, 5th = $50 

Sprint Camp is the perfect way to keep your orienteering from getting rusty over the winter.

Board Meetings or Bored Meetings?

By Tracy Bradley

“Our board meetings are often very long listening to reports, by the end of the meeting I’m tired and feel as though I didn’t contribute.  How can we make our board meetings more efficient?”

GREAT QUESTION!  First, let’s talk about how we run meetings.  Are your board meetings going over two hours?  Are you actually governing (as we are supposed to do in meetings) or are you simply reporting?  It’s very easy to slip into the same agenda month after month. 

One suggestion that I’ve used over and over with clubs and associations is a consent agenda.  By changing your agenda, you can change your meetings.  A consent agenda is a bundle of items that is voted on, without discussion, as a package. It differentiates between routine matters not needing explanation and more complex issues needing examination. While not difficult to use, a consent agenda requires discipline in working through the following seven steps:

1. Set the meeting agenda
2. Distribute materials in advance
3. Read materials in advance
4. Introduce the consent agenda at the meeting
5. Remove (if requested) an item from and accept the consent agenda
6. Approve the consent agenda
7. Document acceptance of the consent agenda

How do you choose which items should be included in the one vote item? Ask the following two questions.
Is the item self-explanatory and uncontroversial?
Is the item “for information only”?

Here is a small list of items to be included in one vote:
Minutes of previous meeting
Confirmation of a decision discussed previously
Chief executive report
Committee report
Information material
Updated org documents
Routine correspondence

One word of caution - it is not recommended to put the financials into the consent motion.  I would recommend putting that as a separate motion.
Now that you have removed a lot of reporting from your meeting - what do you talk about?  Now you get into the real work!  Your agenda should always include at least 1-2 questions for discussion.  Here is a sample of what your new agenda could look like!

High Performance Program 2014 Athlete's Handbook and Selection Criteria

The Orienteering Canada High Performance Program (HPP) is designed specifically to support athletes who wish to achieve excellence in international orienteering. The HPP offers coaching support, training opportunities, and other benefits that will assist athletes in achieving their goals. There are a number of changes to the HPP this year, as the HPC works to strengthen the HPP and support for athletes. 
The 2014 Athlete's Handbook is now available online. It contains all the information for Canadian athletes who want to learn more about the HPP.
The deadline for HPP applications is December 31, 2013

 2014/2015 Senior National Team Selection Policy  and 2014 Junior National Team Selection Policy documents are available separate from the Athlete's Handbook on the HPP webpage.

 Any questions should be emailed to


Sass Peepre Online Training for Teens 

For many years, the Sass Peepre Committee has organized an annual training camp for juniors from across the country. Junior athletes of all abilities from 10 to 19 years of age are invited to participate in the 3 day camp, which is often held in conjunction with the Canadian Orienteering Championships. The Sass Peepre Camp is not only a great orienteering training and learning opportunity for kids, it is a way for orienteering juniors from across the country to meet and forge friendships.
This year, the Sass Peepre camp will be held August 5-7 at the Whistler Athlete's Centre. More information about the camp will soon be available on the website.
This photo, from one of last year's camps, features juniors from B.C, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and the Yukon.
While the camp is still central to the Sass Peepre Committee's efforts, the committee has worked hard over the past three years to provide support to Canadian juniors all year instead of just one week a year. 

In 2012, an online orienteering coaching program, the Pre-HPP program, was launched to provide juniors with a year round connection to the sport. The Pre-HPP program was discussed in the April 2013 issue of the O Canada Newsletter

Now the Pre-HPP program is evolving.
The 2014 program will be launched in January with a fancy new name (SPOTT: Sass Peepre Orienteering Training for Teens) and a more comprehensive curriculum. 

SPOTT will expose juniors to increasingly advanced orienteering training, mapping, coaching, course setting and event organization. 

Athletes in the SPOTT program will meet on-line every 2 weeks from January through June. These sessions will include discussions, map study, guest speakers, Catching Features games and other orienteering activities. In addition to these on-line group sessions, SPOTT athletes will be encouraged to connect with each other directly, using a variety of networking tools. Where possible, the Sass Peepre Junior Development Committee will identify local mentors who are willing to assist with outdoor training for SPOTT participants in May and June.

We are excited to announce that this year's SPOTT coach will be former JWOC team member Graeme Rennie from North Vancouver. Graeme is currently a student at UBC.

Is SPOTT right for you?
  • Do you run at least a course 3?
  • Do you want to join Orienteering Canada’s High Performance Program sometime in the future?
  • Do you want to learn to be a better orienteer?

The cost to join the program is $80 ($65 for additional siblings in the same household), which will help cover the costs of program preparation and delivery. Sass Peepre funds will cover the remaining program costs. 

If you are interested in participating in SPOTT, please contact Anne Teutsch at by January 6, 2014 (even if you were a participant in the “pre-HPP program” in 2012 and/or 2013).

Questions? Contact any of the following members of the Sass Peepre Junior Development

Committee: Anne Teutsch (Ottawa), Meghan Rance (Vancouver), Marg Ellis (Vancouver), Sabine Schweiger (Whitehorse), Marsha Fehr (Calgary) and Kitty Jones (Calgary).

From the Archives

Orienteering Canada Fall 1989

Orienteering Canada has recently posted PDFs of all its old newsletters dating back all the way to the 1960s. Check them out to see young faces, vintage orienteering ads, and much more!

Here is an advertisement for Sage Stomp in the Spring 1998 issue.

Quiz Time

Match the control on each map segment control to the correct picture.

The answers are at the bottom of the newsletter

O-Store 12 Days of Christmas

It’s almost Christmas. The tree is up and decorated. A few mini-O-flags hang in prominent locations. The cat thinks he’s been given a new scratching post. The dog thinks he’s been given a new spot to sniff for friend or foe. The orienteer thinks he’s found a new significant tree. The shopper thinks, “Oh no! It’s almost Christmas and I don’t have all the gifts I need for my 12 orienteering friends! What can I do?” And then it comes to him . . . “Stop, admit I’m lost; relocate; look at the map, look at the terrain. . . no, that’s not it . . .stop, look up Orienteering Canada on the web; look up on the web! And so he does, and it all starts to make sense. He can visualize the route he needs  to take, he is back in contact with the map . . . no . . . that’s back in contact with the Christmas shopping . . . 12 gift ideas . . . 12 friends . . . almost like it was set up to be just so. 
So . . . what DO you get the orienteer on your gift list? Stop, check out or for those 12 great gift ideas. Or, easier yet – shortest route and all that, you know – here’s the list in all its glory:
Merry Christmas to all from the O-Store and thank you immensely to the orienteering community for supporting our little family venture. It’s great fun and the we love being a part of such a great crowd! We’re still growing, and we always appreciate feedback and input. Tell us what you would like to see us offer. Stay in touch! Happy winter, happy orienteering!

Around the Refreshment Table

Alberta Orienteering Association's Executive Director, Pascale Lesveque and, former AOA board member, Frank Henvey got engaged in November. We wish them the best in their life together.
November was a busy month for Canadian national team member Louise Oram. She finished her Master of Computer Science degree at UBC and moved to join her partner, Thomas Nipen, in Norway. Even though she arrived just in time for the snow, Louise and Thomas have been training hard with Nydalen orienteering club in the suburbs of Oslo.

Three other members of the 2013 WOC team (Emily Kemp, Robbie Anderson and Kerstin Burnett) are also living in Europe.
Happy birthday to Jean MacNaughton of FWOC. She turned 80 on October 8th.
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Quiz Answers
A-1 B-9 C-4 D-7 E-11 F-10 G-5 H-3 I-8 J-6 K-2

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