|Extreme-O Stories - compiled
by Laurie Searle 1/25/03
Sam Smith wrote - I've done all the
extreme-os. First time this ever happened:
I was playing "tag" on the long course with a
young, strong military type. The kind that runs very fast all
over the map, but arrives at the bag the same time as the slow
old-timer. We got to one of the controls down at the bottom of
the west map. The instructions said: "go 350 meters at 120 degrees
to a saddle, trust the course setter". Yeah, right. Halfway
there I meet Mr. Young&strong coming back.
"Maybe he dropped his punch card", I think.
I get to the saddle and there's no bag. Mr. Young&strong
shows up. He says he has looked all around and there's no bag.
This is not good at the extreme-o, since we have no instructions
and no map past this point - we are dead in the water if we
don't find it.
I say there's a saddle to the right, you look over there,
I'll look to the left.
I go over to the left saddle and see no bag. I start back and
what do I see but Mr. Young&strong running down the spur
with the bag! I yell at him. He hangs the bag in the saddle and
takes off. I go and punch it and get the next map, a strip map.
I figure if this strip map works from here I'll be lucky. It
does, sort of. As I leave I see Mr. Young&strong arriving.
Later I told Mal what happened and he said the bag was
probably in the wrong place.
I have to say that's the first time I have ever seen a
competitor move a bag. Don't try that on one of my courses!
Bill Farrell wrote - Now, that is a surprise... I
thought Mal had done that on purpose... it is
Extreme-O. If the runners can bend the rules (electing not to
run the Blue ribbon through the swamp), I think the course
planner can do what he wants. If I were Mal, I would have used
my favorite -- "That bag was EXACTLY where I hung it!"
I must admit that I was flabbergasted to see folks NOT going
into the swamp... I barked at a few... some returned... the less
spirited ignored me. I feel that we owe a great debt for our fun
to the brave soul who "tested the waters" soooo deep,
soooo cold, so much fun! The broken ice in the swamps made them
look and feel like a mud slurppy. The "gator" was a
nice touch -- Martha didn't see it until she stepped on it --
nice scream, Martha! I now know how Mr. Christian felt -- check
out the canoe photo. My favorite Malism was the rope crossing...
placing the exit point on a 45 degree mud bank was perfect --
just when I was totally pooped, glad to be finished... a final
surprise! I have done enough of these to really listen to those
evil twins. I heard Linda ask someone if they had their
flashlight and I heard her answer --"You don't HAVE to have
a flashlight!" Well, the 250 meter "run" up the
lake drain pipe (the cave) was a real thrill without it -- Pitch
black, bone chilling water and you were out there under the
lake.... Oh, what fun!
Last, I really liked the fact that Mal picked the weakest
part of the map to place a re-entrant control... preceded by two
unmapped re-entrants --- many extra steps for me, but I need the
My Thanks to all who set and helped with the Extreme-O, it
was, as always, a hoot! Bill.
Interscholastic Champs - Big Success - compiled by
Laurie Searle 1/14/03
Mike Dvorsky, Patuxent NJROTC wrote -
Thanks for the wonderful meet, my kids really enjoyed the
competition and the well run meet.
Carl Muench wrote - Just wanted to add my 2 cents for a
job well done. The Navigator Cup is difficult for us to attend
because it is a long drive and FUMA, being a private school does
not take off for federal holidays (Monday morning was a bear!).
But we have been gone to the GNC the last several years because
we can count on the fact that they will be well organized meets
with all details attended to. This one did not let us down.
Thank you to all of you for your diligent labors.
Sue Hawkes-Teeter wrote - Thank you for all your efforts,
and those of the club generally, in putting on the
Interscholastics this year. Much as we were dreading the 17 hour
drive to Georgia in January, the weather cooperated and the meet
was well worth the effort. As a person who has tried to get kids
involved in orienteering for several years now, I can attest to
the fact that it is hard to compete with the other sports
offered, particularly as we get no financial or logistic support
from our school. I can't tell you how much the interscholastics
has done to keep the interest alive, and serve as a goal for the
year's activities. I know that there is a tremendous amount of
work involved, and I wanted to say thanks for taking it on, and
for doing a super job!
Bob Putman wrote - GAOC:
Congratulations on a first-rate Class "A" event. I had
great courses, great challenges and lots of fun. Everything I
saw was organized superbly. Your crew, and their wonderful
attention to detail made it entirely worthwhile driving 8 hours
from the land of fun and sun to the Very Bowels of Frigid
Winter, feeling my poor Florida face freeze as I ran out of the
start at 10:00am/25F, stepping into even colder water once and
then setting long jump records to avoid ever doing it again,
huffing and puffing uphill on all fours, picking and slashing
through 'wait-a-minutes' and endlessly retrieving that
stocking-cap-I-absolutely-had-to-wear from various beech
Please tell your crew they did a fabulous job. GAOC shows us
the way it should be done! Now about that weather......
Bob Putnam, FLO
Mike Urich wrote - DO WHAT ! ! ! 8 Hours ... all you had to
travel was a measly little 8 hours <grin> Round trip on my
vehicle (we had 7 total) was 1970 miles.
Yes, it was a very good meet and Laurie & GAOC did a
wonderful job. We in Texas have enjoyed going to the GNC because
of the reputation of GAOC meets, and professionalism that they
put into doing it right. Besides, I have it on good authority
that Laurie, Martha & Robin were doing anti-rain dances.
Robb Stanek wrote: I'd like to take this opportunity to
extend my thanks to all the volunteers who helped pull off such
a terrific event. It appeared that everything went like
clockwork (insert pun here).
You did a beautiful job, put in some long, cold hours, and
should feel really good about the whole event. Perhaps next year
I should try to make myself useful as a volunteer as I'm
obviously getting too slow to compete (no pun intended).
Again, great job!!
Bob Domine wrote - Hi GAOC Team, I
could not agree with Linda more! You all again put on a first
class act, overcoming challenges and produced outstanding
Laurie Searle headed up a wonderful effort so very well
organized and thought through. Uniquely, this event will be
remember at the event that in addition to all the great
performance of the past this also celebrated the volunteers. I
cheer for this!!!!
Many other original ideas were also successfully implemented.
New award "trophies", photography and more.
Despite the cold weather (several cities in Georgia hit 130
year lows this weekend) our volunteers really hung in there and
supported the effort. My deepest thanks to all of you!
Bill Farrell wrote - Hey All, GAOC did
another great job -- everywhere! I only saw smiling faces... one
of them was mine. Just about everybody was there, but we will be
telling you all about it, if you missed it! Much more later.
Thanks to all who helped... it was a team effort! Bill.
Linda Domine wrote - Congratulations GAOC'ers for an
outstanding 2003 GNC! Laurie did an Excellent Job
coordinating / organizing this event and the technical, as well
as practical talents of this meet's leadership are most
Bob heard a participant comment how GAOC does such an
exceptional job at putting on these events! Although my
experience outside GAOC is limited, I've no problem assessing
that our success is because of the good will, team-work and
talents of Laurie Searle, Sam Smith, Steve and Robin
Shannonhouse, Bill Farrell and Martha Carr, Guido Nordman, Rick
Shane, Shawn Callahan, Mike and Nancy Ferguson, Frank and Jeanne
Campbell, Gary and Cathy Neher, Charlie Cottingham, Charlie
Siler, George Wood and any other I may have overlooked,
including our newest volunteer, Valerie!
The short time I was at the Finish Line, it was thrilling to
see so many having such an exciting time as they encouraged
their team members or sought in earnest to see how they
placed. Seeing the youth gain these skills at such an
early age is a good "pay-back"! And seeing the
veterans continue to do very good times for their class, knowing
that most of their peers would likely never venture off a paved
path, leaves me with nothing but respect and appreciation for
their strengths and discipline.
Although I missed the Extreme-O, I heard Mal Harding, Chuck
and Linda Ferguson created a super challenging run for the best
weather day of our GNC weekend. However, as good as it
was, I'm still amazed Mal would go in 'barefooted' to collect
the control bag in that dark, wet tunnel! It wasn't
that warm, Mal! Mal, Chuck, Linda and their team's
strengths and skill level leaves me knowing, I'm not in their
league but grateful that they care enough to organize, entertain
and allow folks like me to participate if we can.
The refining of logistics for our A-meet events, is such a
clear example of the Club's continued refinement in
organization. It's truly amazing how much has come
together over these past 10-12 years! It is a privilege to be
involved with such a highly skilled, experienced
O-Team! I'm hopeful some of this skill will rub off on
my orienteering! You ALL did a Great Job!
Frank Campbell wrote - My congratulations to all of you
for hosting an absolutely perfect meet. Laurie's attention to
every detail in organizing this event is truly inspiring. With
the hard work of the volunteer crew, GAOC pulled off another
resounding success. I personally heard many favorable comments
from the ranks of the Interscholastic coaches and they look
forward to the next GNC event. Well done Ya'll!
Bill Cahill (Friends of Sweetwater) wrote - I
think you did such a good job of organizing this program.
With all the preparations you have, it must be a
think the cold weather up north stopped some participants from
coming. The snow
made the traveling harder and more dangerous so they were
probably some of the no shows. You
still had a lot of brave people out there.
I couldn’t believe the number that went out both
mornings. It was so
cold that it took me all the way to the park (12 miles) to heat
up the inside of that van.
you are planning Sweetwater Creek next year or any other time,
let me know and we’ll be ready to help again.
tell your members that we appreciate the contribution to the
make sure it gets added to our Nature Center/Museum fund.
And thank you for keeping us in mind.
Thomas Carr wrote - I want
to thank and congratulate GAOC and you for a great meet. My wife
Lisa and I had a great time. I thought you guys did a great job
of administering the meet. After my run yesterday I went for a
walk down the creed and discovered the old mill and thought,
"Ah-haaa! That's what that building was on the shirt."
It is really a pretty park.
Thanks again - Tom
Janet Pooter wrote - Thanks for all the work you did in
setting up the GA Navigator cup. Even with the cold weather, the
North Cobb/Harrison NJROTC students had a great time!
Ted Settle wrote - My wife and I participated in the meet
this weekend. We had a wonderful time. The organization for the
event and the helpfulness of the many volunteers just sparkled.
Thank you for such a terrific event. We'll be back (again).
P.S. One suggestion for your consideration: To make it easier
for folks to find the Friday evening registration, you might
consider some kind of reflectors on the signs to help them stand
Don Davis wrote - Just want
to say "Thanks" for a wonderful meet! Both Marit and I
had a great time and appreciate all the work you and your
crew put forth to make it a very successful event. We're
looking forward to attending the next Navigator Cup.
Announces The Junior Travel Grant Program - Laurie Searle
The Georgia Orienteering Club rolled in the new year with a
new program designed to aid GAOC Juniors in achieving national
The GAOC Junior Travel Grant Programs offers Juniors three
grant options they may use for individual, school, or
international travel to out-of-Georgia USOF-Sanctioned A-Meets
or designated International Orienteering competitions.
The individual Travel Grants are ideal for high school or
middle school children who have participated in at least 2 GAOC
local meets and one GAOC A-Meet, and now want to gain some
out-of-state A-Meet experience. This grant offers $50 to be used
for traveling expenses.
The School Team Grants, also intended for high school or
middle school children, are ideal for teams of at least 3
students who have GAOC local and A-Meet experience and want to
test the waters in an out-of-state USOF-Sanctioned A-Meet. This
grant offers $200 towards the team's traveling expenses.
The International Travel Grant is for the exceptional Junior
who has been named by USOF to one of the USOF Junior Teams for
International competition, such as JWOC. Juniors meeting the
criteria for this grant are eligible for up to $500 towards
their international traveling expenses.
GAOC has set aside $2,000 in its 2003 budget to fund this new
program however the officers may vote to replenish the funds if
this program proves a success.
The Junior Travel Grant criteria and applications are posted
on the GAOC website under club
information, or you follow the
direct link to: http://www.gaorienteering.org/Club_Info/junior_grant.htm
Special thanks goes to Robin Shannonhouse for heading the
development of this program and writing the grant criteria and
GNC Volunteers -
Laurie Searle 01/07/03
When company comes to town over the holidays, you might clean
up the house a bit and do some grocery shopping. But when
company comes to town for our annual Georgia Navigator Cup, preparation
begins months in advance to make sure all of our guests have a
great stay and a fantastic competition.
Did you know...
Sam Smith stared working on the A-Meet courses more than 6
months ago? And Mike Ferguson, Robin & Steve Shannonhouse,
and a host of others have run and checked his courses so many
times they could do it by memory-o now.
Guido Nordmann continued to perform his registrar duties
while he was on holiday in Sweden. Without skipping a beat he's
registered over 450 competitors and still has an upbeat
Bill Farrell, Mal Harding, and The Fergusons have been hard
at work designing Trail-O and Extreme-O -- two extras people
have come to expect in Georgia.
And of course I've got the t-shirts, awards, and other
details all sorted out (my fingers are crossed).
But the real fun begins the week before the A-Meet when
everything starts to come together, including over 50
volunteers who all play some part in making our event a success.
2003 GNC is going to be a great one and I thank everyone in
advance for all of their hard work and effort in supporting
- Laurie Searle, meet director