Coaching Course

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Interested in being certified to coach orienteering? Here's your chance! Email Bill Ferguson to indicate potential interest.

WHEN: Later This Year (to be scheduled)

EVENT: OUSA Level I Coaching Certification Course, Little Bennett Regional Park, Nature Center, Clarksburg, MD

LOCATION: Little Bennett Regional Park, Nature Center, Clarksburg, MD


Advanced registration required. Five candidates will be accepted on a first-come basis; others will be waitlisted. The staging of this course is contingent upon achieving five paid registrations. Applicants will be notified about the status of the course as soon as possible. (Demand is typically high for this course and it is highly probable that the course will proceed.)

Candidates should have at least one year of orienteering experience and be highly motivated for this intensive three-day course. Certification requires attending ALL sessions; passing an in-course examination; and designing and setting a 20-minute, 5 to 6-control orienteering course in the field. Candidates must also complete free SafeSport training online PRIOR to arrival and present their certificate of completion upon arrival.


The registration fee for this course is $150, which covers course materials; use of the park’s Nature Center and grounds for three days; orienteering maps; and staff expenses. Candidates must bring a bag lunch for Saturday and are responsible for their own food, lodging, and transportation during the weekend. (A minifridge and microwave will be available in the Nature Center.)


Compass, whistle, and weather-appropriate apparel for orienteering.


4:30 p.m. Check In and Classwork Begins
8:30 p.m. Classwork Ends for the Day

8:00 a.m. Resume Classwork
12:40 p.m. Lunch Break
1:30 p.m. Resume Classwork and Prepare for Field Exercise
5:45 p.m. Final Exam
6:00 p.m. Classwork Ends

8:00 a.m. Review Final Exam and Move to Field Exercise
11:15 a.m. Course Ends


Course Director: Bill Ferguson, Hudson Valley Orienteering
Course Instructor: Robert Turbyfill, Chair, Orienteering USA Coaching Committee


Little Bennett Regional Park
Nature Center
Clarksburg, MD

From I-270 exit 18, head east on Clarksburg Road. Go left at the intersection with Route 355, then enter the park at the main entrance.


In the early 1990s Orienteering USA designed a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) to stimulate and guide coaching activity in orienteering, using a grant from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

One of the most lasting effects of any sporting association is the development and training of individuals to teach, coach, and communicate the essentials of that sport to others. The NCCP prepares individuals to become coaches through educational workshops and clinics, written materials for study, and practical experience. The program's primary goal is to educate people to become coaches, rather than improve their personal performance, although the latter may eventuate from participation in the activities. There are three orienteering coaching levels. Level 1 involves basic knowledge of coaching and physical conditioning and the ability to communicate the principles of orienteering to newcomers.

Bob Turbyfill, Orienteering USA Coaching Committee Chair, is working to increase the numbers of Level 1 coaches, and to get those already certified more active within their clubs and nationally as well as working on their advanced coaching certifications. He is a former North American Orienteering Champion and United States Champion who contributes at all levels to the OUSA mission.

Bob has developed a systematic approach to teaching and coaching the sport over a 20-plus year period. His in-depth and broad involvement and his intimate familiarity with the sport enabled him to apply a common, worldwide language to understanding the sport, based on a logical and systematic progression. His skills and techniques development scheme makes good sense; is easily taught and understood; and has the potential to revolutionize the instruction of orienteering far beyond the borders of the USA.

In 2013, Bob co-authored, along with Chuck Ferguson, a comprehensive guide to the sport entitled Discovering Orienteering, which was published in cooperation with Orienteering USA. The royalties from the sale of this book will benefit American orienteering for decades to come.

Bob has tirelessly dedicated himself to raising the level of proficiency among volunteer coaches, and we are grateful that he has volunteered to lead this weekend’s course (which he developed himself) at QOC.