Running intervals (track) 31:50  6.0 km (5:18 / km)
5xK ~3min rest
At the most recent Cascade board meeting and subsequent to it, we've been discussing the OUSA 50th anniversary fundraising drive and whether/how to contribute to it. I find myself conflicted on many of the current issues surrounding the national federation: the funding drive, the ED question, the OUSA general philosophy, etc, but what seems objectively clear is that the orienteering population is aging, and there is little or no reason to suppose this will somehow change on its own. Therefore, if on the whole we keep doing what we're doing, the sport is likely to die a slow death in this country. This appears more or less indisputable.
So - action is needed. I have no answers, but I can at least identify the problem - namely: not enough new orienteers are being created. Ergo, the singular aim of everyone who cares about growing (or even maintaining) orienteering in the US (and I guess this probably applies to Canada too, though I'm not as familiar with the situation there) should be to get as many in the 10-25 age range orienteering, as much as possible. Doesn't matter how, when, where, why, or what you call it. Get. Young people. Orienteering. All else is insignificant in comparison.
Obviously, none of this is an earthshaking revelation and any number of brilliant people across the country/continent are already doing great things to counteract the trend, but it seems that many others either do not see the problem or do not appreciate the urgency of the situation.
I guess this is where I would like to see OUSA take leadership - A. Raising awareness that, hey, yes this IS a major problem, B. Here's ideas on what we as a national body and you as clubs can/should do about it, C. Here's material aid for the various successful ongoing youth programs around the country (Barb, Erin, ARK, WIOL, ROTC in places like GA and TX, others?) and D. Coordinating and organizing the knowledge and experience of the aforementioned programs to fast-track creation of new youth programs such that we don't have to re-invent the whole thing every time.
Maybe these are not realistic with the resources OUSA has, I dunno. But if I was the big Czar-man this would be, like, the entire mission statement and we would pour whatever resources we do have into it. If nothing else, when (if) our ship still sinks at least we can say we went down fighting the right battle.