Georgia Orienteering Club
October 2002 News

Cochran Mill Meet Reports - Compiled by Laurie Searle / 10/28/02 

Robb Stanek wrote - It was a terrific event, I had a blast. The leg from 1-2 at night was definitely challenging, but even 2-3 had it's own brand of accomplishment. I think there were at least 6 of us all looking for that darned rock, and we all got together again trying to find the earth bank in the middle of the swamp. Somewhere along the line, I decided walking was better than running, and one of the AR teams lost a person for awhile, so a little SAR was in order.

I feel pretty humbled since Sam did the BLUE at night nearly as fast as I could have done it during the day. Add to that the fact that I ran the RED during the day. Oh well, that's what separates the pros from the amateurs. Hats of to you Sam.

Thanks to everyone who made this event possible. I have to say it was a welcome change from Dausett.


Sam Smith wrote - 

Thanks for the compliments - I think it's just experience. There are many in the US who could have done it in half the time that I did. Here's an example of what I did:

#2 - The easy way to get there was to go up the horse trail system to the creek and down the creek to the second spur. Since it was night and I was moving slowly anyway I decided against that option and just went sort of straight through the marsh areas, with the idea of deciding where I was after I got to the first spur (simplification). I carefully kept checking the compass on the way - it's very easy to wander off in the dark. I saw nothing I could identify. I should have paced here, but didn't. I saw the ditch before the spur after what seemed an awful long time, then started up the spur. It was time to decide where I was. I saw no rock and no ditches, which meant I was probably somewhere in the middle of the spur. When I crested it I thought I saw the "hill" to the right, so I angled off a little to the right on the way down and picked up a bunch of large boulders, so I guessed I was just east of the small cliff at the bottom. As I crossed the small stream I saw the "light green" mapped cane patch to the right - now I knew exactly where I was and went into the control OK. It took 13:26 to do this leg, the longest of the night.


Martha Carr wrote - The moon has set on yet another Night-O. Even though we had numerous "non-finishers", I think (hope) everyone had a good time. Thanks to Cathy and Gary especially--the food was sooo good that it took some of the heat off the difficult courses. Even though the rain held off pretty much, it was still plenty wet, muddy, horsey, and humid out there, and I'm told it was also---DARK!! 

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who donned their orienteering clothes and started on a course deserves commendation. The young-uns did especially well, most of them finished their yellow course. As you all know the advanced courses didn't fare so well. For the Night-O, I have, without the Shannonhouses permission (I'm a maverick) created a new category for course attendance--TPDHTF--Tried Pretty Darned Hard To Finish! I've also posted the number of controls visited--it looked like anyone on the advanced courses who got to control #2, should  be very proud of themselves! Also note that Shawn Callahan, who came between an hunter's gun and his prey during the Day-O--now that was spookier than the Night-O--got a sporting withdrawal--SPW, otherwise know as a Shotgun-Prompted Withdrawal.

I hope people will share their travails, 'cause the stories I was hearing Saturday night were pretty doggone funny! If you didn't get enough of Bad-Billy-Farrell's courses at the Night-O, be sure to attend the next meet at Red Top, Sunday, November 10. See you there!


Bill Farrell wrote - Martha did it again... the weather held out and plenty of folks braved threatening conditions that never got beyond a light drizzle. Some participants arrived Friday night, ready for the fun which began a little after 2:00. Many wished to try a course in the day time and another one after dark.

A minor control fix by Robbie and Steve fixed the Orange and a major problem: Shawn, was confronted by rude hunters and forced to abandon his run early -- most un-settling, for they were well into the park -- where no hunting is allowed! Shawn must have scared them off, for we had no further reports of problems, but it sure spoiled his day run.

After a fun afternoon of Orienteering... the Nehers' cooking was superb! Soooo Good! After too much fueling, eager Night-O'ers got off with only minor waiting! We were trying to give good advice for ability levels... some took our advice... most did not. The rather high DNF's is fairly usual with Night-O. But just look at ol' hurt Sam -- he made me look good! GAOC sets hard Night-O, but they are fun! The stories were most entertaining and that is what it is all about!

McIntosh Meet Reports - Complied by Laurie Searle / 10/20/02

Bryan Goble wrote - Had a great time at McIntosh on Sunday. Thanks to everyone who set up the course and volunteered to staff the event. The red course was great and was I thought I was flying through it until I fell victim to the infamous #6(DI). I must've spent at least 50 minutes out there hunting for it before finally stumbling upon it. Lesson learned - Never say DI! Nyuck, nyuck, nycuk. :)

The good part was that I ended up teaming up with a few other TrailBlazers in the same predicament and we enjoyed the rest of the course at a nice, relaxed pace. Definitely worth the drive out there!


Bill Farrell wrote - Thank You Mike and Nancy... and all who helped today.

It was another great day in the woods. Mike offered some great courses. I thought that they looked too easy until I could not find #6. Too bad for me... others found it. I knew that a bag was hung... and I ran full blast -- all over the neighborhood -- but no luck. I was discouraged enough, but then Steve proceeds to tell me how easy it was! I still had a great workout and enjoyed Mike's efforts! I still love spending time with my friends.


Laurie Searle wrote - I was so happy when Nancy told me that the Green course didn't have the swamp control. I hate that control! Every time we have a meet at McIntosh, I have that control and every time I get lost -- no matter how hard I try.

So I started off on my green course in high spirits. Stayed that way too as I zoomed around the course hitting the first 4 with no problems. All the time I'm thinking -- Yeah, this is cool. Lots of catching features but still Mike did a great job of giving us challenging route choices.

After bobbling on 5, I was fine until the control towards the end that looked like a shallow reentrant in the rectangle open area, with the tall grass. This brought back déjà vu from Sammy's meet at Joe Kurz where he hung the control in the tall grass on a shallow reentrant. So I thought I was ready. Rather than run the trail all the way up, I ran the trail from the maintenance house then cut straight into the open field. I found the shallow reentrant but not the control. After hunting around for some time I gave up and got back on the trail towards the next control then what do I see but my control! Mike (or Nancy) must have decided to make it a little easier on us:-)

It was a beautiful day at McIntosh and Mike & Nancy did a great job of handling all the kids and newcomers, thanks in part to their volunteers.

Junior Mapper's Guide goes Online - Laurie Searle / 10/10/03

Kevin Haywood's "been there and done that" when it comes to figuring out OCAD -- the orienteering mapping software -- field checking, and other things related to making an orienteering map. And like many others before him, he largely figured it out through trial and error and by picking the brains of other, more experienced mappers.

So when a group of novice mappers started picking Kevin's brain to learn the "ins and outs" of orienteering map making, Kevin decided to compile the information he's learned over the years into a Junior Mapper's Guide so others could benefit from his wisdom and mapping experts like Sam Smith, Bill Farrell, the Shannonhouses, and the many others who have helped him over the years.

The Junior Mapper's Guide is available under the Education tab on the GAOC website. The Guide is a work in progress so if you'd like to add your input, send it to Kevin or Laurie.

Bert Adams Meet Reports - Compiled by Laurie Searle  / 10/10/02
Competitors at Bert Adams Click here for more pictures...

Frank Mills wrote - Sunday afternoon, I had a discussion with the Ranger, David Barron, at Bert Adams Scout Reservation. He told me in the sincerest terms how pleased he was with the event, and is looking forward to welcoming back the GAOC for future events.

For my part, I have talked to many Scouts and Scouters (adult leaders). All were complimentary and many said it was the best event of the Saturday "Adventure Day". I personally think the connection between Boy Scouts and Orienteering is a natural one, and have repeatedly informed all scouts and scouters that it is one of the BEST things in which a scout troop can participate. The skills are indispensable for anyone who is competent in the woods. It is also much more fun, and MUCH more conducive to learning than merely shooting a bearing and walking "so man" feet. Cross pollination between the GAOC and the Boy Scouts has been a long time goal of mine, and it seems to be coming to fruition. Both organizations will benefit.

I have come to a new appreciation of the work that goes into the maps produced by the GAOC. What I have done is miniscule compared to the work of Sam, Laurie, and Bob and Linda and sooo many others that directly affected this map and this event, and without which this event could not have taken place.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this event directly or indirectly over the many years, and many rounds this map has been in production. This is obviously a work in progress, as I am all too aware the map is not yet up to GAOC standards. And there is much more property, as yet unmapped. I hope this "marriage" will be a long a fruitful one.

Thanks again to everyone for the map, and everyone who helped on Saturday with the Scout event, Bob & Linda, and everyone who helped on Sunday with the regular GAOC event. It came off without a hitch from the GAOC end. I understand one Scout group of Scouters apparently did not get the word and barred some participants from part of the course. I apologize for this gaff. We will do everything we can to make sure that is not a problem in the future. David Barron, the Ranger, is on our side.


Bill Farrell wrote - We had an excellent days with the scouts at Burt Adams Camp. Our new "old" map was pretty good and the map gang got it out in time for the meet.

I understand that Frank Mills, Linda and Bob Domine, with the help of many scout leaders, gave an instructional session for 800 kids on Saturday and a GAOC Score-O on Sunday. We tried to collect as many points as we could in 90 minutes. The great guys got them all in less -- sometimes much less -- time than was given. In the score-o format, you pick your own route. Most of us had a plan... it worked for a few, but not me! "The plans of mice and men..."

It was another grand event from GAOC. Thanks to all who helped... I had a great time! Bill.


Bob Domine wrote: 

My hat is off to Frank Mills for an outstanding weekend of orienteering. Frank laid the groundwork planning and permission with a number of both onsite and offsite Boy Scout of America contacts. We had very good cooperation which allowed us to integrate our activity into the full Bert Adams Scout Reservation usage schedule.

Though impacted somewhat by my personal schedule, Frank Mills, Richard Knieriem and myself spent several days field checking and mapping a few new areas, as well as minor updates to the existing map. We early on realized there was much left to do and all the more appreciated the mappers that have done so much in our club. It was fun and we all learned a lot. Thanks to Sam Smith for speedy effort on a tight schedule in making our amateur field work into a reality.

On Saturday, Oct 5th Linda and I were privileged to work with Frank and his team of three scout leaders as five sessions of scouts visited our orienteering station. The groups of scouts were lead from one station to the next by "senior" scouts referred to as "Trail Guides." Adult scout leaders also accompanied the groups. After a short instruction the scouts were sent in mass start to get as many points as they could and be back by a specific time approximately 50 minutes later. It all worked well and the competition heated up as the day went on. All seemed to really enjoy it and considering the numbers we had, it all went quite smooth.

On Sunday, Oct 6th, another nice weather day, we had our first GAOC Bert Adams event in many years. As suggested, we did it in a Score O format. This was very popular with the young folks, as it was the day before, as no one DNF'ed. Youth leaders also enjoy it, with the time fixed rather than variable, as when a specific course is chosen.

The 36 controls were divided into two groups of 24 matching the punch card blocks for "Novice-Intermediate" or "Intermediate-Advanced." Dainius swept the entire Intermediate-Advanced set, while Sam Smith and Rick Shane came real close in the 90 minutes allotted. I hope to do this well when I grow up! Several others did real well too.

On the Novice-Intermediate the competition was tough with times needed to split the several ties. I was amazed at how good many did on their first time out or first attempt on a Score O format.

A third format for the Score O was taken on by 2 teams who went out for all of the points. These teams strategically split up and in search and destroy mode almost did it. They tied in points and the winners beat their competition by only a few minutes. This had to be fun!

Congratulations to all the competitors. Thanks again to Frank Mills for coordinating and heading up a fine event. Many thanks also to the many who supported throughout the preparation and conducting of the event. Volunteers are the Heart of our success.

Meet Support Volunteers: Robin Shannonhouse, Mike Ferguson, Dainius Maciulis, Steve Kalatska, Rick Shane, Linda Domine and myself. Thanks to all of you for all you do to support our club,

Bob Domine
GAOC President


Linda Domine wrote: Frank Mills really did an Excellent coordinating effort with his Team of Scout leaders on Saturday. The readiness of so many details by Frank for all the Scouts who participated in the O-exercise and then for all the other Orienteers who came for Sunday's Score-O was most evident. Frank was ready to do "any and everything he could do" to help in whatever way it took to bring the world of "GAOC Orienteering" to as many Scouts and Scout leaders as was possible this weekend.

With each troop having several exercises available on Saturday besides Orienteering, Frank did not know until Saturday's event how many Scouts and Scout Leaders would actually participate in what he had prepared.

Although there were many more Scouts at the camp, Scout and Scout Leader O-Training participation on Saturday was upwards of 300 according to David Barron, head of Bert Adams, as he discussed the O-Training success with Frank on Sunday.

Although the other Scout Leaders assisting Frank, Bob and I on Saturday would likely not yet be able to do the Orienteering Preparation and Training Instruction that Frank did, they were very responsible with the Scouts' Training, giving individual instructions as needed. It was obvious to Bob and I how much they were picking up by the last of Saturday's sessions. Bob and I were there for assistance as needed, but it was truly Frank and the Scout Leaders who were most responsible in O-Training to the Scouts.

So this was how Saturday was able to be managed by Frank, his 3 other Scout Leaders, Bob and I and yet, process many youth through out the day on a Score-O Training exercise. With the interest from other Scout leaders requesting "how they could get a map" of their home-base scout camp for training Orienteering more themselves, the Mapping Primer that Laurie and Sam with Kevin, Rick, and Shawn are developing will be a timely tool that the club can have available to help "train up more of the leaders' O-skills, already involved with the youth of GA."

Also, I want to Thank You, Robin, for being so available for Instruction on Sunday. I thought we'd need Instruction help, but Bob felt he could support it, along with Frank at Start / Finish too! Needing to calculate the Scores tho at Start / Finish truly did require 2 volunteers there, so Thank You for freeing Bob to assist Frank and also, freeing Rick Shane, to get his Score-O run in.

I do Much Appreciate and Thank All the flexibility expressed by All the Volunteers who came out, sensing we may need help, which we did. The bag pick-up was done by 3:30 because of Mike Ferguson, Rick Shane, Steve Kalatska, Dainius, Frank, Bob and I. It truly was a good weekend and wonderful getting home so early!!

Thanks to All,
Linda Domine

Bert Adams Map - 10 Years in the Making - Sam Smith / 10/03/02

The introduction of a new map is usually a cause for much excitement and I feel that we haven't gotten the word out about this "new" map. I say "new" but this map has had a contorted history:

Sometime in the late 1980s Bill Cheatum made a base for this area.

Robin, Steve and Ron went out and started field Checking.

Somehow we lost permission to use the area. It's a Boy Scout Camp - I don't know what happened, but it's ancient history now.

The map was never drafted or used, but we saved the field notes, which, remarkably enough, were still pretty good.

In 2000, Laurie got a half dozen Scoutmasters interested and I drafted the old field notes and went out and added some trails. She had a "Show and Do" event with the scoutmasters assisting for several hundred scouts to introduce them to Orienteering.

Now, in 2002, Bob and Frank Mills have added more area. Frank is having an event for the scouts on Saturday and GAOC will use the map for the very first time (over 10 years in the making!) on Sunday.

I am sure that you will be kind and considerate in your comments to all the mappers involved now that you know the history of this once orphaned, now born again map :-)

Volunteer Incentive Program - Laurie Searle /10/03/02 

Our VP of Volunteers, Linda Domine, has been hard at work brainstorming and compiling ideas on ways we can reward our volunteers. The Result? Three, count them 3, new volunteer incentives.

Fall Promotion - Free Map Coupon
Volunteer at any GAOC function and receive a coupon for a free map! You may redeem your coupon at the current or future local meet, however you must present your coupon in order to receive your free map. This special promotion runs Oct-Dec 2002. Meet directors - you may download your coupons at:

I-Heart-Volunteers Raffle
Every time you volunteer at a GAOC event, you'll receive 1 chance to win at the I-Heart-Volunteers Raffle. Volunteer at 10 meets, receive 10 chances to win! Our club president may also award additional chances based on volunteer work outside of event jobs, such as leading educational programs, creating club maps, or developing club material. I-Heart-Volunteers promotion runs from the AGM to the AGM, beginning on 06-27-02. So check the list and send me any corrections.

GNC'03 Volunteer O-Rama
Volunteer at the Georgia Navigator Cup and receive a free event package, including event registration, t-shirt, and 2 I-Heart Volunteers chances! Award is nontransferable. One award per person. Check the A-Meet Volunteer List for available jobs: