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Event Organization

From the Director

Weather you’re a beginner, expert, or somewhere in between, I hope you will accept my warm invitation to attend what will surely be an exciting, memorable, and enjoyable week of radio orienteering in this scenic and tranquil region of Michigan I am so fortunate to call home.  No matter where you’re at in your journey in radio and navigation sports there will be events for you!  Beginner help, training and practice events, challenging competition for all skill levels, an amateur radio guest speaker presentation, and even several enjoyable outings and socials.

My first contact with radio transmitter hunting was as a teenage Civil Air Patrol (CAP) cadet learning how to track down aircraft Emergency Locating Transmitter (ELT) distress beacons.  My instructor stressed the importance of locating the signal quickly, efficiently, and smartly, because in search & rescue every additional second could be the difference between life and death for those we’re trying to save.  I immediately fell in love with the thrill and sense of civic duty that came from this skill set.  That’s one reason why I am so excited to debut a search & rescue exhibition contest during the champs week!  

The courses were all designed to be worthy of their international and national championship designation.  Elite racers will be challenged in all aspects of the sport including the technical homing, navigation, and physical components.  Fall color changes will be starting, but there will still be enough vegetation to keep forest visibility difficult.  Your terrain and spatial awareness will reward or punish, and route choices can make or break your results.  Three of our venues served as prior national orienteering championships or Team USA trials venues.  And if that’s not enough, many of the world’s best radio orienteers from at least three continents are planning to attend, so elite competition will be formidable!  

I invite you to also take some time during the week to enjoy Michigan, our host region, and the fall splendor.  Don’t miss out on our planned socials, dinners, and outings during the championship week!  It’s a great opportunity for us all to get together again, enjoy the friendships in our hobby and sport communities, and have some fun and memorable moments.  Looking forward to seeing you in October!  

Joseph Burkhead, KE8MKR

Joseph Burkhead, KE8MKR

Event Director

Joe is a 2018 World ARDF Championship bronze medalist, 2019 144 MHz Classic M40 national champion, and has competed as an athlete for the USA Radio Orienteering Team.  He also competed on the Armed Forces USA Orienteering Team at the 2013 World Military Orienteering Championships in Eksjo, Sweden.  He is a member and frequent Event Director of the Southern Michigan Orienteering Club and has designed local, regional and national orienteering races.  He has served on the ARRL’s Radio Orienteering Committee since 2019.  Joe also is a professional pilot, Air Force Reserve officer, and is in his 30th year of volunteer service in Civil Air Patrol. But his greatest joy is his wife and two children who are often found at orienteering and radio orienteering events with him!


Event Director: Joseph Burkhead (KE8MKR)

SMOC Club President:  Jens Christiansen

Assistant Event Director and Training Camp Director: Charles Scharlau (NZ01)

Technical Director: Bob Frey (WA6EZV)

Operations and Planning Assistant: Thomas Chen

Operations and Planning Assistant: Michelle Dye (KD8GWX)

Logistics Specialist: Rebecca Burkhead

Training Camp Assistant: Nadia Scharlau (KO4ADV)

Map Coordinator: Igor Guskov

Registrar: Ruth Bromer (WB4QZG)

Course Designers: Charles Scharlau, Gavin Burkhead, Joseph Burkhead

Results Specialist: Joseph Huberman (K5JGH)

Website Designer: Alan Murray

Canine Field Checker: Ahnah the Alaskan Malamute


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