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OUSA Youth Initiatives
  • Topic created by Sandy on Tue Oct 10, 2017 at 11:02 am
    Sandy Fillebrown (Sandy)
    Sandy
    Num Posts: 258
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Hickory Run 1:15000
    First O: 1993
    I don't know how many of you subscribe ot USOFClubnet - the yahoo group that distributes orienteering related information.  It's open to anyone; you do not need to be an OUSA member to subscribe.  (Orienteering USA or OUSA used to be the US Orienteering Federation or USOF).  Anyway, this recent USOFClubnet post is important enough that I think it deserves to be re-posted here.

    Just recently I was contacted by a PA school district interested in adding orienteering to its PE curriculum.  It would be so great to be able to send them lesson plans or videos or tell them how their teachers could get continuing ed credits for learning orienteering.  Anyway, if you're interested please join the group.  And if you're interested in representing DVOA in the group, please let Nancy Sharp (President) or Nate Ohrwaschel (OUSA board member) know.
    Sandy
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    Dear OUSA clubs,

    Thank you to those who have responded with contacts for club members. I am still seeking contacts for most clubs. At the bottom of this message is a list of clubs for whom I do have contacts. There is a new email/discussion group for Youth Initiatives, https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/ousa-youth -- if you go to that link you should be able to request to join. If you are on that group, please make sure that your email reader is set up so that you see messages sent to that group. Board members, feel free to join if you like. Anyone interested in youth orienteering is welcome to join; the intent is to have an open conversation while being sure to reach all clubs.

    One of OUSA's priorities is to grow the sport through youth participation. We are currently collecting feedback on how OUSA can best spend money toward this goal. 

    It's important to make a distinction between the national junior team, and broader youth initiatives to bring more kids into the sport. It is the latter that I will be focusing on in my role, and that I'd like to discuss with the community in terms of funding possibilities. Here are some of the ideas that I have heard so far; I'd like to hear more, and I'd like your thoughts on how much value (in terms of expanding participation) we will get for a dollar spent in each area:
    1. Development of lesson plans for PE classes, after-school classes, one-hour introductions, youth activities at club meets, and other formats. There is a lot of material out there, but we are hearing that busy teachers and club members do not have a lot of time to do research and would appreciate being handed a set of instructions tailored for their teaching/coaching situation.
    2. Start-up kits for sale or rent for clubs and schools: manual or electronic punching equipment, materials for specific activities, plus lesson plans, for a 2-week PE unit, tailored to one of these grade level groups: preschoolers, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12. 
    3. Flyers to be sent to administrators, PE teachers and coaches, about orienteering, including local club contacts and a separate letter with schedule.
    4. Posters
    5. 2- or 3-month internship to travel to different cities, be hosted by clubs, and help jump start an increased youth program in the club. (Similar to the program decades ago when a European couple came to the USA and helped start local clubs.)
    6. Presence at conferences relating to physical education, health and wellness for children, such as MA-HPRED. This could be in the form of grants for local club members who attend, and financial support for printing flyers and other materials.
    7. Development of a workshop for which teachers could get required continuing learning credit, and payment for the person who teaches it, if required.
    8. Paid administrative support to maintain regular contact with all clubs around youth activities, and/or ensure a strong social media presence for OUSA and individual club youth activities, and/or maintain communications among a network of local teachers and coaches.
    9. Development of a marketplace of goods and services, both free and paid, in support of youth orienteering.
    10. A resource for quick and inexpensive creation of adequate maps for schools to use, so that this is not a barrier to entry. This could be a combination of people willing to help a school for free or pay, basic maps of an entire region, and so on. A database of existing maps would be helpful.
    11. Financial support for Clare Durand's new patch program, if needed.
    12. Grant-writing support for clubs interested in starting a program with schools or a summer camp program or other youth initiative
    Ultimately, it may be that Youth Initiatives receives some amount of money in the budget, with flexibility and discretion to spend it on things that come up during the year and seem likely to give good value. In other words, we may not need to decide now in detail how every dollar would be spent; however, it would be very useful to know from you your suggestions for how to spend that money, should it come to exist.

    A few words on the junior team - which is under the supervision of the VP of Competition (Alex Jospe): Thanks to national coach Erin Schirm, and the donor who has funded his position for the past few years, there is a strong program at the national level open to any junior meeting certain criteria. In 2018, for the first time, OUSA will help support the junior coaching position (in the past few years, it has been entirely supported by a donor). Also for the first time, the coaching work will be split between Erin and another part-time coach, and I anticipate a new uptick in activity and ideas from that collaboration. As a Board member, I will also be advocating for restoration of the junior team funds to support this very active team as they travel for training and competition. However, again, these national team projects are separate from the broader junior initiatives that OUSA can now turn its attention to.

    Finally, here is the list of clubs from whom I have received information for a contact person for youth matters:

    Arctic O Club
    Cascade O Club
    Cambridge Sports Union
    Georgia O Club
    Greater Phoenix O Club
    Hudson Valley Orienteers
    Minnesota O Club
    New England O Club
    Navigation Games
    OCIN
    Orienteering Louisville
    Suncoast Orienteering
    Western Connecticut O Club

    Please help me get contacts for the remaining clubs.
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