[Empire Orienteering Club]

Grafton Lakes State Park
September 18, 2005

National Orienteering Day

Hurricane Ophelia seemed slow to clear as clouds lingered through most of the day for NOD at Grafton. And probably a few folks who planned on orienteering at one point decided to go to the mall instead. But the event stayed busy enough with instruction and course running nonetheless.

Leading up to the event, Rob & I prepared in the usual manner, orchestrating all of those things that need to be done prior to holding a meet. Due to the size of Grafton park, we decided we should hang some of the controls the evening prior to the event. We ended up greeting the night sky with our headlamps on Saturday eve while we hung the last of 16 or so controls (the one that I couldn't find independently with the low light conditions). On our way back out to the car on Long Pond Road, we were welcomed by headlights, in fact it was the local Park Police wondering what we were doing! We gave our usual orienteering pitch and hoped perhaps we would see this potential recruit in Sunday's daylight, but to no avail. No doubt he meets all types when out on evening patrol.

Sunday's event was attended by very experienced orienteers as well as folks who had never before participated in the sport. And all shared verbal accounts of their Grafton Woods experience. Cathy and Jim, first time orienteers going out on Yellow, enjoyed thorough instruction before heading out on their trek around Shaver Pond. Jim says he's going to order his own compass on-line now and wants to read a book about orienteering. The Beesley family learned new information about how to use a compass, and mastered their Yellow course. The McIntyres had a fun time on their first White course, and hikers Denise & Mark had fun checking out potential fishing sites while on their Shaver Pond route.

Troop 502 had the times of their lives, or so it seems. Earlier in the week, Jim Kelley, Assistant Scoutmaster, contacted us to discuss the courses that the 10+ Scouts would like to go out on. Some of them had attended Scout-O events before and were interested in moving up to Orange (Intermediate). Others would probably go out on Yellow. When Sunday arrived, and the boys had had time to reconsider, the stars were now what they were reaching for. Four groups of two would do Orange, and one group of two would do Red. Jim had a radio to keep track of the less experienced boys, who also had a couple of adults with them. As you can see from the results, none of the Scouts were able to complete their courses. But that did not dampen their spirits. They expressed that they really liked having to think and pay attention "out there". And they loved the challenge - one boy described one of our experienced orienteers running through the woods as "Psycho". He'd obviously never before seen anyone as crazy as that!

With National Orienteering Day, and the sponsorship of Brunton, we had the opportunity to raffle off 3 compasses and a MapTech CD. We decided this year to open the compass raffle to all participants, and the CD to EMPO members who ran courses. The winners of the compasses include Omar Beesley (one of our young second-time orienteers), Verna Engstrom-Heg (who happened to be our oldest-in-age participant of the day!), and Sue Hawkes-Teeter (who has been an avid teacher of orienteering for several years). The MapTech CD went to Omar's father Bruce Beesley, who, because of concern for his family awaiting him, didn't dare take more time to complete his Red course, but was certainly pleased as could be to win the CD.

We owe many thanks to Janet and Glen Tryson & Kathy and Grant Staats for their assistance with registration, start, and instruction, and to the members of Troop 502 for their assistance with control pick-up, and lastly to Grant Staats for his extensive control pick-up efforts above and beyond the call of duty.

- Rita Reed

White - Individual
Kathy Staats 26:45
White - Group
McIntyre Group (4) 60:00
Yellow - Individual
Melissa Behr 29:00
Johna Peachin 50:56
Yellow - Group
Khalah/Beesley family (4) 63:56
Fairbanks/Fitzgerald (2) 70:02
Alan Dunlavey (2) 71:34
Engstrom-Heg (2) 74:45
Coffey/Chambers (2) 75:00
O'Neill (3) 77:58
Orange - Individual
Maria Dunlavey 90:22
Martin Donnelly-Heg 99:08
Sue Hawkes-Teeter 99:15
Stuart Poole 124:56
Bruce Shenker 195:32
Orange - Group
Matt & Denis (Troop 502) HFA
Karl & Colby (Troop 502) HFA
Travs & Anthony (Troop 502) HFA
Kyle & Jonathan (Troop 502) HFA
Zach & Evan Staats (2) HFA
Matt Erby & Ethan Staats (2) HFA
Green - Individual
Pat Dunlavey 53:26
Bob Lange 106:40
Jason Norray 114:10
Heather Williams HFA
Red - Individual
Grant Staats 64:45
Glen Tryson 92:00
Janet Tryson 127:23
Gabor Bobok HFA
Rob Tryson HFA
Bruce Beesley HFA
Red - Group
Kelley & Pasenen (Troop 502) HFA
Part of Troop 502
Beesley children Pat Dunlavey, Gabor Bobok, and Grant Staats talk it over afterwards.

last updated: --Wed Sep 28 2005 10:13:55 PM EDT--