The FAQs


Select a category that interests you

Online Start Box

OSB club information

Walks

AVA Convention

Accounts


What is wrong with good-old physical start boxes?

Start boxes require visits by club volunteers to stock them with materials and to record quarterly participation for payments to AVA. Other issues are vandalism, pilferage, loss of the host (or no suitable host could be found).

What is the Online Start Box (OSB) and of what value is it?

The OSB eliminates many of the problems of a physical start box. Registration, directions, stamps, payment, and reports are handled on-line 24/7/365. Users are assured of up-to-date directions before they leave home. Clubs save time and money because no supplies need to be replenished, no checks processed, etc. Event directions can include unlimited pages users can print (or not) at the user’s expense (not the club’s).

Must I use the OSB to participate in AVA events?

All AVA Traditional Events and most Year-Round/Seasonal Events do NOT use the OSB. However, the number of Year-Round/Seasonal Events requiring the use of the OSB is growing due to the benefits cited above.

Do I need a computer or smartphone to use the OSB?

Yes, unless you coordinate your registration and completion through a trusted friend. This option is described in a separate FAQ. Some clubs arrange for a computer-savvy member to assist registrations and completions for club members without computers or smartphones, or for those less comfortable with using a computer or smartphone.

Do I need an e-mail address?

Yes. The e-mail address must be unique; that is, it must not be the same as an e-mail address used in the credentials of another authorized user of my.ava.org. The internet has many sources for free e-mail accounts. For example, Google G-mail (www.google.com).

I want to sign up to use my.ava.org and the OSB. Give me step-by-step instructions to create my account.

Open an internet browser (e.g., Internet Explorer, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari) on your computer or smartphone. Enter “my.ava.org” in the browser address bar. [You must have done something like this to reach this webpage]. Click the “New Account” tab above the center of the Home Page. A sequence of pop-up screens appear with step-by-step instructions.

Do I need an Event Bank?

The OSB is of limited value until you fund your Event Bank. The minimum deposit is $3 plus fee. The maximum is $100 plus fee.

How do I establish and maintain my Event Bank?

Go to "My Event Bank" tab. Click "Add Funds." Follow the sequence of instructions to enter your chosen amount and credit card information. A fee will be added, ranging from 49 cents for one event, to about 10 cents per event if you buy the maximum $100 event credit.

It used to be Paypal payments and now it is EVO. Why?

By popular demand, many volkssporters asked for the ability to use their credit or debit card to fund their Event Bank. EVO was selected as the platform to accept credit and debit card payments securely. PayPal is no longer accepted as a method of payment.

Why must I pay for directions if I'm a no credit walker?

There are strict legal issues that require us to protect the clubs and AVA from abusive use of our directions when they are available on the web. One requirement is to set a dollar value with no easy way that they can be obtained for free.

Why can't I use a check to pay when using the online start box?

When was the last time you used a check to make an online purchase? How do you think we might do that? One way is if someone volunteers to handle this onerous task. With checks, you would have to plan weeks in advance so that a check could be received and processed before you can get the directions.

I forgot my username or password. What should I do?

If your username is an e-mail address, you won’t be able to recover it from my.ava.org. If you forgot your password, at the Home Page, click Login tab, then “I forgot” [do NOT enter your e-mail here]. An “Account Recovery page” appears. Enter your OSB e-mail here. Enter 6-digit code. Click “Send the email”. Go to your computer’s (or smartphone’s) e-mail app and follow instructions e-mailed to you.

Can I have a simple user name with which to login?

Yes. Click “My Self/Login” tab, then “My Self/Login” tab. At the bottom under “CHANGE LOGIN/PASSWORD,” enter your choice for a user name. From here on, you may enter either your simple user name or your verified e-mail address (along with your password) when your log in.

Is there a way to preserve my account access in case I forget my e-mail address or it no longer works?

Yes, by providing a secondary e-mail address. Click the “My Profile” tab, then “My Self/Login.” Under “Secondary e-mail,” enter any e-mail address you have access to, even an address used in the credentials of another my.ava.org User.

I’ve chosen an OSB event I’d like to do. What do I need to do BEFORE I walk or bike the event?

Download the trail directions PDF, then print the pages you need or access the PDF from your smartphone. Make sure you have sufficient funds ($2.00 for directions) in your Event Bank. You may register for the event before or after you walk or bike.

How can I tell if an (YRE or SE) event is available via the OSB or has a physical start box?

Click “Find a …” tab, then click “Event” tab. You can access lists of YREs and SEs using the blue buttons, or by zooming into the U.S. map. OSB events will be labeled “OSB” in brown letters on the right of the event listings.

Is there a list of OSB-only events?

Yes. After logging in, click the “My Start Box” tab, then the Registration tab. A new page entitled “OSB event registration” will appear, listing all OSB events by State.

Can't find the answer to your question? Hmm ...

Please send an email to the HelpDesk by clicking the 'Contact us' link in the lower right corner of this page.

How do I manage a minors account for the online start box?

The minor's account will be automatically linked to yours so you can manage it. You can also give that privilege to others from the minors account information page.

If I register for an event today, how long do I have to complete the event and obtain a stamped insert card?

You have 4 weeks to complete an event from the day you register (with exceptions). You can register for an event and enter a completion date up to 2 weeks in the past. This gives you effectively a 6 week window. Exceptions: a) If you register for an event prior to its opening, your registration will expire 4 weeks after the opening date. b) If you register near the end of a quarter (less than 2 weeks), the registration will expire 2 weeks into the new quarter unless the event is not yet open, c) You have 2 weeks after an event closes or crosses a year boundary to catch the event and obtain the previous year’s stamp.

How do I locate what I need in the OSB?

Every screen has a row of labeled tabs at the top. Tabs are the primary tool for navigating the OSB. The selection of tabs changes as you select other tabs. They are organized based on what most users are expected to do next. To learn what the OSB has to offer, try all the tabs!

I just want event directions now, but plan to do the walk or bike within the next 60 days. Can I obtain directions only?

Yes. Click “My Start Box” tab, then Registration tab. [Alternately, click “Find a …” tab, then Event tab. This will allow you to find OSB and non-OSB events.] Scroll to the OSB event of interest, then click Register. [Alternately you can click View to see the sanctioning information, then click Register.] Click “Register for the event”. If you are sure you have sufficient funds in your Event Bank, click “Download directions now”.

What is the fee for directions only?

When you request directions, the OSB draws $2.00 from your Event Bank. The OSB provides a virtual coupon for $2.00 off the $3.00 fee for IVV credit. Note this offer expires after 60 days. The coupon is now like any store coupon; that is, “A single use with a specific discount on a specific product for a limited time with no cash value.”

I just want event directions now, and may not do the walk or bike within the next 60 days. What happens in this case?

See above. When you complete the event and request stamps for IVV credit, the OSB will draw $3.00 from your Event Bank, even though you’ve already paid $2.00 for the directions. This is because the coupon has no value after 60 days.

I’ve chosen an OSB event I’d like to do. What do I need to do BEFORE I walk or bike the event?

Download the trail directions PDF, then print the pages you need or access the PDF from your smartphone. Make sure you have sufficient funds ($2.00 for directions) in your Event Bank. You may register for the event before or after you walk or bike.

What do I need to do AFTER I walk or bike the event?

Follow the instructions on the My Start Box, Registration, and Finish Table screens to enter the date, distance and applicable books for the event. You may download and print insert cards, or defer until you have up to 8 stamps.

I’m planning an OSB walk or bike for a small group. Some have no OSB account. Can I register and pay for them via my account?

Use this opportunity to enroll new OSB users! If there is a WiFi hotspot near the starting point, assist by enrolling non-enrolled participants. [they must have a unique e-mail address]. Use the "My Connections" tab to add Walk Friends and Account Management Connections to register and pay for enrolled users.

I’m planning an OSB walk or bike for a large group, many of whom have no OSB accounts. What are my options?

If there are too many un-enrolled participants, you can use pen-and-paper registration to get a signed athletic waiver for those not using the OSB. If authorized, a Regional Director's IVV stamp can be used for their IVV credit. Participation counts and fees must be added to those captured by the OSB for quarterly reporting to AVA.

Can a minor (under age 18) use the OSB? Please explain the steps.

Participation of minors must be done within an account of an adult. Go to "My Waiver" tab and select "Manage Minors." Follow the directions on the subsequent page. In effect, the adult will be including the minor in the adult's athletic waiver.