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Discussion: 2017 Junior Program application is posted

in: Orienteering; General

Dec 24, 2016 6:32 PM # 
Hey All,
The application for the 2017 Junior program is up at this link.

Please forward this to any junior interested in stepping up to the next level. Every applicant makes one of the teams and will gain access to a community of juniors working towards common goals.

Here is the Official JTESC cover letter and rational for some of the changes.

The Junior Team Executive Steering Committee (JTESC) would like to invite junior orienteers who are members in good standing with OUSA (born in 1997 or later) to apply for the 2017 US National Junior Program. The US National Junior Program (USNJP) consists of two teams, the Junior National Team (JNT) and the Junior Development Team (JDT). Membership on each of these teams is a 10-month commitment, from January 1, 2017 through October 31, 2017.

In 2017, all applicants who meet the basic requirements will be accepted to the JDT. JDT members who meet the JNT performance criteria will be given the option of joining the JNT. There will be no limit on the number of athletes named to the JNT.

This year, JTESC is introducing points for JNT membership to the JWOC Selection Criteria, as a strong incentive for athletes to commit to year-round training by adherence to the JNT membership criteria. US JWOC team members will be selected from the pool of JNT athletes who have declared their intent prior to the JWOC team trials, based on the JWOC Selection Criteria.

Our goal is to build a large and strong base of American Junior orienteers from which the best JWOC team possible will be selected. We believe that the Performance Targets for membership on the JNT will allow athletes to demonstrate athletic potential and their commitment to the sport and their development as an orienteer. We further believe that a group of athletes who bond as a community and train as a team will perform better than a group of individuals who come together to train for a short time immediately before the JWOC competition.

To help cover the costs of the Junior training program, we have instituted a graduated application fee of $100 for JDT membership plus an additional $100 when accepted to the JNT. JDT membership provides access to monthly team conference calls, weekly group training calls, and course reviews at National meets. JNT membership further provides personal training plans from the Junior National Coach. JTESC will continue to subsidize national training camp registrations for JDT/JNT members.

Financial hardship should not be a reason to not apply to the Junior program. Athletes are encouraged to ask their local club for support, to hold a fundraising event, and to inform coach Erin Schirm or JTESC that financial support may be needed.

We expect that members of JDT and JNT will be committed to their improvement as orienteers, will follow training plans set by local or national coaches, will participate in team fundraisers, and will contribute to their local clubs and OUSA. We ask local clubs to encourage their strongest athletes to apply for the USNJP, to help them find a local coach, to provide opportunities to contribute to their club, and to offer financial support to those in need.

Please contact US Junior National Coach Erin Schirm with any questions at: (
Dec 24, 2016 8:38 PM # 
As a parent of two juniors who live in an area that has by far fewer opportunities for short travel to national meets, small to virtually nonexistent peer competition at local meets, few if any other juniors to train with, I have immensely welcomed the formation of JNT in 2013, the continued development and the peer group they have around the country and the World. When living in Asia, we planned every home leave to be able to attend at least 4 ranking events in the USA in the summer. It is costly for a junior to travel to many races they want to go to be able to compete against as many other national juniors as possible, so being able to cut the costs by not having the a parent accompany them is a blessing. It is thanks to a great community of people supporting juniors that this is possible, from financially supporting the Junior Program to offering a ride to and from the airport, a place on a couch or helping shuttling. Not to forget the clubs who support their athletes at the national level: thanks MNOC.
Kind of paying it forward, our family is hereby pledging $300 to OUSA Juniors to be used for JNT application financial support where needed. Go USA Juniors! I wish others could join me....
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!
Dec 24, 2016 11:30 PM # 
Great stuff Erin!
Dec 26, 2016 3:15 PM # 
Thanks, Erin. One thing that's confusing is that in one section it states (through a combination of various statements) that attendance at JWOC Team Trials is mandatory for both JDT and JNT members, yet in another section it states that JDT members are welcome to compete at JWOC Trials but will not be considered for team selection. Is this what was intended or did you intend for Team Trials to be mandatory only for JNT?

The other thing that I find surprising is the tentative scheduling of the required summer training camp on the same week as the Canada 150 Orienteering Festival. This is the only major week-long festival on the calendar in the entire North American region. For all the talk that goes on about how our two countries should collaborate more to develop our respective programs and teams, it seems that it would make a lot of sense to either a) schedule the mandatory summer camp on another week, thus allowing juniors who have the time and means to attend and benefit from both events, or b) if that's the only week that will work, schedule the camp to take place in conjunction with the Canada event. Canada is having a junior training camp during part of that week already so there might even be potential opportunities for some junior camp collaboration.
Dec 26, 2016 4:47 PM # 
+1 on coordinating with the Canada week. Sad to see opportunities missed when we struggle to have enough. OUSA isurance would have to be checked, though, to make sure it covered organising a training in Canada.
Dec 28, 2016 7:07 PM # 
Thanks for the feedback guys. Yes the conflict between Canada's races and the camp was brought to my attention. We will be changing the dates so there is not a conflict.

Yes its mandatory for JNT and suggested for JDT. Since we are trying to have one application for the junior program and that includes both JNT and JDT there are a few disconnections which we are just finding out. Thanks for bring it up so we can adjust for next year so its more clear.

As always our goal is to work with juniors and their families. There are some things set in stone but the program is built on good communication. When something does not make sense, does not work etc please contact me or JTESC to see what the options are.

Thanks for asking and bring up the questions fossil and Jim. Thanks Andrea for your pledge!!
Dec 30, 2016 2:29 PM # 
I echo and call Andrea. $300. Restricted to kids who have asked their local club for money first.

Erin, I went through the JNT application in some detail in order to start recruiting local candidates. You are really emphasizing to kids the commitment you want, and the steps they will take, in order to get USA skills to a higher international level. And by including the JDT in the same application, you teach kids early, giving them several years of notice of what they need to do to make (and even captain) the JNT and compete internationally for our country. Way to get serious and raise the bar.

My recruits will be JDT, because their miles are not quite there, and they are not running advanced courses yet. But with the goals you lay out, I could see them getting to JNT candidacy within a year.

This discussion thread is closed.