Georgia Orienteering Club
January 2003 News

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 training.

My Thanks to all who set and helped with the Extreme-O, it was, as always, a hoot! Bill.


GNC / 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 branches.

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 results.

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 admirable. 

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 tremendous task. 

I 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.

If you are planning Sweetwater Creek next year or any other time, let me know and we’ll be ready to help again. 

Please tell your members that we appreciate the contribution to the organization.  I’ll 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).

Ted Settle

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 out.

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.

GAOC Announces The Junior Travel Grant Program  - Laurie Searle 01/07/03

The Georgia Orienteering Club rolled in the new year with a new program designed to aid GAOC Juniors in achieving national USOF Ranking.

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: 

Special thanks goes to Robin Shannonhouse for heading the development of this program and writing the grant criteria and application.

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 attitude.

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 GAOC.

- Laurie Searle, meet director