As has been the case in recent years, this Columbus Day's orienteering
event was no different and once again rewarded EMPO with a solid
turnout of young and old, novice and experienced participants. We
were pleased to see many familiar faces, and likewise to meet new
folks, all ready to be challenged by the O courses that Rob set on the
Grafton trail network and back woods terrain. Fall foliage of bronze,
gold, and orange was abundant, and the temperature was near perfect
for comfortable orienteering.
As evidenced by the results attached, we had an unusually large number of Orange (intermediate level) participants. Some teens from the Berne-Knox-Westerlo schools have progressed to this level, and some other advanced-beginner folks apparently decided that it was time to test their orienteering skills beyond what Yellow may have demanded from them in previous meets. No doubt some of the participants would say that Orange can be and was challenging. In talking with one of the individuals who made it about two thirds of the way through the Orange course but was unable to complete it, Rob reassuringly stated, "Yes, advancing to Orange is almost like moving up two levels".
With all due respect, even the Yellow course can provide more of a challenge than may be bargained for. For example Kath Scheib discerned after starting out on Yellow with her group of several youngsters that they may be in 'over their heads'. And so she reconnoitered, returned to registration with her group, copied the White course, and proceeded to satisfactorily complete that level.
For many new orienteers, carrying out the decision to progress from doing a course with others to attempting it solo can also present a new challenge. Such was the case for Stephen Samela, who, on Columbus Day, independently completed his first Yellow course. But he did have his father, Brian, a bit concerned considering nearly two hours had passed and there was still no sign of the young orienteer. Brian decided to go out on Stephen's course, in reverse order, and before long, both returned and Stephen was indeed okay, just 'needed to use his compass a little more often', stated Brian.
Advanced orienteers, who ventured into the southeastern section of the Park, had their own share of challenges as they scrambled up, under, around and through blow-downs. They also noted that the map does need some updating, which we've known for some time. We'll just have to look forward to the next A-meet at Grafton and hope for those revisions.
If the above folks claimed to have fun, we must add that humans were not the only ones to enjoy Monday's meet. We even had a jubilant Golden Retriever team up with some of the Berne youth as they navigated their Yellow course around Shaver Pond. Of course, when they got back to the registration area with 'Fido' tagging along, no one knew to whom this beautiful dog belonged. He was in fact quite content to stay with his new friends, enjoying an occasional pretzel. Communication with the Park Staff revealed that he did indeed live to the west and north of Shaver Pond and was eventually returned to his rightful home by the Park Naturalist and Superintendent.
In closing, we would like to extend sincere thanks to all those who helped make the meet a success. Special thanks to Reid Smalley and Jack Norray, Sr who spent time copying additional Orange-course maps, and to everyone who helped with control pick-up: Barb Sleight (CNYO), Glen and Janet Tryson, Phil and Sue Hawkes-Teeter and teens, and to our Adirondack Orienteering Club friends, Maryanne and Bill, David and Brian Ellsworth.
-- Rob and Rita Reed
last updated: --Thu May 27 2004 07:58:28 PM EDT--