Junior Orienteer

Welcome to the website of the Arctic Orienteering Club, based in Anchorage, Alaska. Orienteering is the sport of cross country navigation using map and compass. To some it is a competitive race while to others it is a chance to get out and explore the countryside, challenge the mind, and enjoy the company. Either way, you are welcome to participate. Training is part of our purpose, and beginners and young people are encouraged to take part.

The Arctic Orienteering Club is a sanctioned club of Orienteering USA and is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Ski-O Canceled

cancelledWe are sorry to report that due to unsafe trail conditions at APU, the ski-O scheduled for Sunday (3/1) has been canceled.  If we are blessed with a late winter, we will try to re-schedule this event for April.

We will provide updates on the remaining ski-o’s as we get closer to those events.  Please keep your fingers crossed for more snow, but check back before proceeding to any events.

Also the classroom training that made a brief appearance on our calendar has been removed. We hope to offer more field training for orienteers at all levels in conjunction with specific events suitable for training.  Please check the training calendar as the summer season approaches.

Board Meeting Minutes – December 17, 2014



Meeting called to order at 7:10pm.

Members present: Dela Gray; Mike Robinson; Joyce Goodell; Trond Jensen; Dan Billman; Kathy Farnyiarz; Regan Sarwas; Lia Keller; Ann Billman; Ian Moore; Chris Tomson

Note Regarding Lars Spurkland: His memorial is January 4th at Kincaid. He was the President of NSAA, and a participant in Orienteering. There will be a tree dedicated to him, with ornaments made from picture of Lars. The club will make an ornament and deliver it to NSAA for the tree.

2014 thank you’s and recognitions: Cards were passed around and signed, and Trond will deliver the cards and a Club Glass, and also possibly information on our sport.

Finances. $1000 donated from Healthy Futures for 2015 so kids can Orienteer free. We will keep an eye on operating fees. ASD has high fees; MOA’s fee is usually $1/participant. BLM-fee depends on how much of the meet is on their land. Military, UAA; and APU fees are lowest. Discussion followed regarding varying the meet starting points. Also it was noted by Mike that depending on who you are working with, we may be charged different fees.

Permitting accounts for 20-30% of our expenses, then maps, then snacks.

Season Readiness. We have a few holes in the schedule for directors. Mike has some ideas of people to ask to volunteer. Trond will contact Bill for training on how to put on a ski-O. Ann will contact people to set up meet director training. Mike will again get the “O” meets into the runners’ calendar.

Regan on equipment:

  • Controls: 70-80 controls in good condition. 30 need to be repaired or retired; 30 new available. We have plenty of punches.
  • 2 tents are in usable condition.
  • We have several boxes of misc. junk, and Regan has permission from the board to clean them up/out.
  • AOC has authorized Regan to spend up to $200 to buy new bins and supplies as needed.

2015 Strategy: How does one get into the sport? What works to get someone involved. The most common thread is to bring someone to a meet (bring a buddy). Discussion followed on how to get people to meets, and continue to participate

  1. a. Have classroom training right before a meet; that is, run class-room training and beginner event on same day
  2. b. Have specific event with experienced orienteers to teach newbies
  3. Have “O” cards printed with “1 Free” meet event on it to pass out
  4. Have a third person at the table to help and encourage participants
  5. At the High School O, work on getting these kids to come back. Have o-schedule available at the High School-O.
  6. Specific meets that emphasize training events
  7. Buddy up with newbies
  8. Bring a buddy
  9. Message better to other user groups
  10. Develop partnerships (bikers, skiers, jr. nordic, mnt. runners, …)

Our Yahoo e-mail list is broken. Lia is looking into this. It was also noted that our events are not being listed in the paper (ADN); this should be fixed for the upcoming season.


  • Promo material for AMH, REI, etc.
  • Wallet cards with the schedules
  • Magnets with AOC information

New business tabled until next meeting:

  • Policy on misplaced/missing controls
  • FNBP Trails

Meeting was adjourned at 9:10pm

Next meeting TBD

Lars Spurkland

o-photo32Friend and fellow orienteer Lars Spurkland passed away suddenly on Friday, December 12th. Lars loved the outdoors which showed through his participation and volunteerism in skiing and orienteering. He will truly be missed. Our condolences to his wife and family.

IMG_1981 IMG_1666

Board Meeting Minutes – November 12. 2014

Arctic Orienteering Club Board Meeting, November 12th, 2014

Meeting called to order by President, Trond J. at 7:19pm

Members present: Lia Keller, Joyce Goodell, Dan Billman, Anne Billman, Mike Robinson, Dela Grey, Regan Sarwas, Chris Tomsen, Trond Jensen, Lexi Hill, Ian Moore

2015 Schedule:
Mike presented comparison sheets from 2013 and 2014. The 2014 season drew about 1076 participants, which is about 100 more than the previous year. The ski-O meets in 2014 were slightly better attended, possibly due to time of year.

Much discussion of timing of meets, and some switching of dates due to vegetation. Several meets have no directors, but there are several volunteers who have not signed up for a specific meet as yet. Mike will work on the permit for Bartlett-they have a different charging structure and the fee was pretty high. Mike will try and negotiate. We will attempt to get on base this coming year, and/or use Piaʼs as they are good areas. Chris would like to incorporate Jr. ROTC into a meet. It was suggested they come to our meets, and even attempt to run one at possibly Fossil Creek.

We will have a classroom training session early in the season (4-28), and tie it into the Sprint-O the next evening at UAA/APU. Jen J. will be the trainer. Anne will work on reserving the BP Center for training.

We have three field training events scheduled. More discussion on that at future meeting. Trond brought up the idea of having the end of year meeting/picnic a bit earlier and to change it up a bit. Possibly outside BBQ, something a little more diverse than we have had in the past.

Strategy Session:
The 15 ideas on the print out were all discussed. Lots of good ideas were offered. After a thorough discussion of each, all Board Members were given three “dots” to vote on the main ideas to work on. A compilation of results will be done by Trond, and summarize our priorities.

In brief, some of the ideas:
Get the word out- free for first timers again, bring a friend! Bumper stickers, tee shirts Host an “A” level meet, possibly a Ski-O, but the obstacle may be course design, so-

  • Lets ask Trond F/Bill S to put on a meet director training for ski-oʼs
  • Put on a day camp for kids, or partner with camps already in place, ie: Trailside, Parks and Rec.
  • Reduce the # of traditional meets, and increase the quality, ie: vetting, checking, better advertising
  • Short meets for beginners with helpers
  • Partner with another group for joint effort

Our next meeting will be mid December, please vote you preference on the web. We will continue the agenda at the next meeting, including:

  • Equipment Check
  • “Thank Youʼs” and recognitions
Policy regarding missing or misplaced controls AOB we have pending

Meeting was adjourned at 9:10pm, motion by Dan B, Second by Dela G.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Joyce G., Secretary

Training Course at Far North

A training course of 14 controls is set starting at Mile 1.1 on Campbell Airstrip Road in FNBP. It uses area we don’t see in the summer near the creek for the first half and the second half is in the best running terrain on the map. A new trail near control 1 will make this a little confusing. A trail has been added but it is not well mapped.

Be cautious on trails!!! they are icy and extremely slick, The woods are great running so you may find the woods faster than trails.

The controls are close together to focus on quick route choice selection and paying attention to terrain.

The course is set using very strong handrails to follow to controls on most legs or good catching features. Look for them as you run between controls. Examples include the abandoned channel leading to control 2, the channels and hill toe leading into control 5, the ridge of hills leading into control 6, and the bluff leading to control 13.

This course will be up through Thanksgiving weekend. This is NOT a club event. This is an individual training opportunity, so proceed at your own risk.

Print the Map!

Have a great time!

Training Course at Elmore Ball Fields

Woo Hoo, there is another training course! Maybe no snow isn’t a bad thing?

This course starts at the Elmore ball fields. It has a remote start, about a half kilometer from the finish in the parking area. The woods are almost snow free. Running is good. The downed trees can have ice cover and are slippery.

The course is set to encourage you to think about route choices. Many legs have multiple routes between controls. Think about which may be faster, less prone to error, or more fun.

This course will be up through Thanksgiving weekend. This is NOT a club event. This is an individual training opportunity, so proceed at your own risk.

Print the Map!

Training Course at Ruth Arcand

UPDATE: this course will remain up through Thanksgiving weekend!

Instead of doing a snow dance today, head over to Ruth Arcand Park and practice your map reading skills!

There is a training course now set at Ruth Arcand. This is set as sprint training. Look for small, not standard, control flags.

The control features are not difficult to find. The orienteering skill for these is quick route choice and executing it as fast as you can and still be able to think. While you can use a compass, I recommend trying to do this without one. The area is very well mapped and not using the compass will help you focus on map reading.

Note the start and finish are not in the same place. Try it as a Night-O on your way home this week!

This will be out through next weekend (11/16/14). This is NOT a club event. This is an individual training opportunity, so proceed at your own risk.

Print the Map!

2015 Executive Board

The officers of the Club and three elected at-large Board members shall constitute the Executive Board.

Officers of the Club

The President shall coordinate the affairs of the Club and preside at meetings.
Trond B Jensen
Trond Jensen
344-2634 (home) 575-5706 (cell)
Orienteering runner since 1971, AOC club member since 2002, AOC board member since 2006 (VP events 2006-2008, President 2008-present).
Administrative Vice President
The Administrative Vice-President shall assist the President and shall assume the duties of the President in the President’s absence.
Dela Grey
Dela Grey
I got introduced to orienteering in the fall of 2005 and was hooked immediately. I have always loved maps, and am happy to have found a place where being a map geek is cool! If I ever take up running, I could become seriously competitive. For now, it’s just great physical and mental exercise in the beautiful outdoors. AOC Board member since 2012 (At-Large 2012, Admin. VP 2013 – present).
The Secretary shall maintain current records of the general affairs of the Club, including meeting minutes and correspondence. The Secretary shall keep the Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Incorporation, Bylaws, Policy Guidelines and resolutions in a binder, and may post any of these documents on the Club’s webpage.
Joyce Goodell
Joyce Goodell
Orienteer since 2000, Club member for 10 seasons, on the board for the past three years as Member at Large.
The Treasurer shall maintain accurate and current records of the financial affairs of the Club.
Dan Billman
Dan Billman
345-1749 (home) 644-2042 (work)
Dan Billman joined ARCT in the mid-1990s and has been a Board member most of the time since. He’s served as President, Vice President of Events, and the past 4 years as Treasurer. He loves to run in the woods.
Vice President of Media
The Vice President of Media shall promote the Club and specific events, including disseminating news of Club activities (newspaper and website), and contacting potential sponsors for donations.
Lia Keller
Lia Keller
Running around the woods in orienteering meets for the last four years. My boys used to be in backpacks, but now they run ahead to find the flags!

Vice President of Equipment
The Vice President of Equipment shall store, care for and monitor the Club’s equipment, including providing forms and supplies for Club functions.
Regan Sarwas
Regan Sarwas
345-1915 (home) 230-0433 (cell)
Regan followed his Alaskan bride to Anchorage in 1992. Once his three kids were mostly grown, he needed a new hobby and fell in love with orienteering in 2011. Being an engineer and a computer programmer, he enjoys the intellectual challenge of orienteering. As he nears 50, he also appreciates the fact that he has a lot of room for improvement in orienteering, despite the fact that his body is slowing down.
Vice President of Mapping
The Vice President of Mapping shall identify and review locations suitable for Club events and coordinate the preparation of suitable maps.
Ian Moore
Vice President of Training
The Vice President of Training shall organize and direct the teaching of orienteering skills in schools, lectures and workshops.
Anne Billman
345-1749 (home) 903-4779 (cell)
Vice President of Events
The Vice President of Events shall propose a schedule of events, secure permission from land owners, designate meet directors for events, and coordinate assistance and training for meet directors.
Kathy Farynairz
Mike Robinson
Mike Robinson
Mike moved from Florida to Alaska on a whim almost 20 years ago and discovered his love of the outdoors. He likes orienteering because the running is optional but the thinking is not.
Vice President of Membership
The Vice President of Membership shall maintain an accurate and current list of members and interested non-members, and shall notify those whose membership has expired.
Art Harmon
Art Harmon
Art loves the thrill of the “hunt” and sharing that love with others, especially children.

At-Large Board Members

The at-large members have no specific officer duties beyond the responsibilities of the Executive Board. Nevertheless, the at-large members are typically responsible for some non-official duties.

Member At-Large
Lexi Hill
Member At-Large
Liason to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
Chris Tomsen
Member At-Large

Prior Executive Boards

Annual Meeting Door Prizes

The Orienteering Club thanks the following shops for donating door prizes for our Annual Meeting

Alaska Mountaineering & Hiking
Great Harvest Bread Company
Skinny Raven
The Sports Shop

These stores are awesome. Please show your support for those that support orienteering in Alaska!

Individual donations:

  • Healthy Futures – enabling children to orienteer for free
  • BP Fabric of America Fund nominated by Kyle Sanford
  • The Dekreon family
  • Stephanie Kesler

and everybody else making individual donations to the Arctic Orienteering Club