Georgia Orienteering Club
September 2002 News

Well-Fencing Report - Sam Smith 

Laurie Searle, Ron Tansill, Bill Farrell, Robin & Steve Shannonhouse and I gathered at Sweetwater Creek State Park on Saturday to fence off the last remaining open well. 

The park gave us huge metal fence posts and chain link fence - not exactly the best choice of materials. Five foot posts and light fencing would have been enough to keep people from running into the well.

Anyway, we man-handled the supplies down there and erected a fence. Our post-pounder was not big enough for the huge posts, so we had to dig holes. We only went down 30 inches into the rocky ground, which gave us all new appreciation for the well diggers - how did they dig that hole?

Three quarters of the way around we ran out of chain link fencing! We had to improvise with barbed wire and hog-fencing from the old homestead. So it's not pretty, but it will do the job. Now the map is out of date!

Green Mountain A-Meet Trip Report - Robin Shannonhouse

Steve & I just returned from absolutely the best A-meet we've been to in years. The Green Mountain Orienteering Club of Vermont held it's first-ever A-meet on the farm of Vivien & Mike Fritz.

Vivien was meet director, Mike was course setter. And Mike had as his assistants 2 former U.S. WOC Team members, so you know the courses were challenging and fun.

Open woods floored with ferns & moss, stone walls, open fields, and an extremely complex trail system on as perfect a map as I've ever seen.

Sat night dinner to die for (yummy chicken & biscuit casserole & sweet potatoes, beans, salad, etc.).

HQ was Vivien & Mike's brand new 3-story barn that has it's own inside golf driving range and a huge woodwork shop, Steve was drooling.

Absolutely the smoothest meet crew, local high schoolers selling bakery goodies, local hams doing split times, relay announcer keeping you abreast of the competition, even the weather was excellent.

Instead of meet t-shirts they had Vermont Turtle Fur "Speedy Beanie" hats that were embroidered "Orienteering Vermont".

Saturday was regular courses, Sunday was the U.S. Relay Champs.

The GAOC Relay team consisted of Steve running the opening leg, then I took off on the shortest leg, then Craig Pepin who moved from Georgia to Vermont but kept his GAOC membership dazzled us with a super-fast 3rd leg, then Chuck Ferguson anchored the team's 4th leg. We never came close to the top finishers, but getting a full GAOC Relay together in Vermont was a victory in and of itself and we had a blast. Linda Ferguson couldn't run due to back problems, but cheered us on. Also saw Daniel & Mark Pittman there, so GAOC was well represented.

BTW, former Georgians Peggy Lipscomb and Craig Pepin said to say "Hi" to everyone. They both live in Vermont now and love it. I can definitely see why -- it's a beautiful state.

USOF also held it's Annual General Meeting at the event and the USOF Board of Directors met also. The Board passed the USOF Rules changes Laurie & Sam requested they consider for the Interscholastics, so we're a "GO" on those. And USOF has established a new College Development Committee chaired by Liz Kotowski so that former high school orienteers who are interested in getting clubs/teams started in their colleges could get advice and help from USOF.

GNC'03 Registration is Officially Open - Laurie Searle & Guido Nordmann

While the Georgia Navigator Cup is still over four months away, 89 participants were first in line when registration opened on September 15th. 

With only 600 available slots for the Jan 18-20, 2003 weekend extravaganza, participants are encouraged to register quickly to reserve a slot in the GA Navigator Cup or Interscholastic Championship. 

The GAOC website will keep a running total of the available registration slots on the GNC Home page and the GNC Registration page.

Trip Report - Guido Nordmann

I discovered a great new Orienteering area. Just imagine: The clue sheet shows "bare rock", "boulder field", "stony ground", etc. Suggested course length is 19.6km (12.2mi), the climb is 974m (3,195 ft, first down and then back up). Any ideas what I'm talking about? Yes, the Grand Canyon National Park. It is such an awesome place!. Hiking is a must and a great experience! 

After "1,000 days" reports from our travelers, I can add a "1,000+ miles" report from seeing 6 different National Parks in Utah and Arizona.

Arabia Mountain Photos - Dainius

I got some pictures from Arabia Mountain!!!!! You can find them at You might not have a chance to see a real picture size at Yahoo, so if somebody wants to get any pictures of 1800x1200 pixels, just mail me and I will send it for you.

Arabia Mountain Meet Report - Robb Stanek

And to think that Rick actually expected me to do this in just about an hour, hah!

It was great to hit Arabia again, tons of attack points for the controls, if I could just find the attack points! Seems like I was always close, yet not quite there.

The rock was pretty slippery, so running was more like a slow jog. Had a devil of a time with #2, for the rest it was a matter of getting within shouting distance, then trying to circle in to find the control. At least I managed to avoid a plunge into the creek.

Lot's of fun and a great challenge. Can't wait till the leaves are gone!

Arabia Mountain -Brian Goble

As my first pure orienteering event, I had a great time also... even despite swimming a couple of times. Rob, you're going to have to give me some pointers about how to avoid the bodies of water.  

Bryan Goble - Atlanta TrailBlazers Adventure Racing

Arabia Mountain Meet Report - Kevin Haywood

Rick's meet was a complete success. The preprinted maps with both courses and clues made this C-meet more like an A-meet. It's good to be back at Arabia Mountain with it's unique landscape and scenic beauty.

The Atlanta TrailBlazers showed us how to make your own adventure race. One adventure is not enough. To turn an orienteering event into an adventure race, start at a remote location and ride your bike to the start triangle!

The recent rains added several new creeks to the map, and added a waterfall to the scenic rocks of Arabia Mountain. The clear water in the creek produced an optical illusion and we all got a big surprise when the water came up to our waists!

Good job Rick. Kevin.

Arabia Mountain Meet Report - Bill Farrell

Thank You Rick and helpers!!

Rick tickled my gray cells and my funny bone today. He gave us a new look at an old friend -- Arabia Mountain! This is one of my favorite parks and Rick did his best to confound and confuse me -- I Loved It!

I started off, unbalanced by an "already printed map"... just like an A meet. This luxury befuddled me so much that I ran by the first control... dastardly hidden... in plain site. Martha caught me from behind, so I ran away much faster only to arrive at the second control after Martha. Now I am really laughing at myself... and Martha was having a pretty good laugh at me too! I was able to settle down to my more usual -- minor mistake filled, snail's pace.

I was cheered up by our young friend from Lithuania, who had been doing a little "walk-about" and reminded me how old my bones are getting as he flashed by me. I had to smile when, after an extreme effort not to dose off on the long leg, I came up on Dainius running back and forth in the distance -- at top speed! Now I was inching along, but got there in time to encourage him that it was very close.... he gave me that "but I have looked everywhere stare"! In complete frustration he turned around again to see the control, right where Rick had hung it -- in the middle of a small pond! We both were laughing our heads off. Rick is developing a real Southern humor! I understand a few others got a cooling off too -- What Fun!

It was a joy to see our friend Mary Terry, the park ranger and to see all the improvements since I was there last. She has a nice "new" building and a new movie about the park, to educate us about all that there is to see at Arabia.

I had great time seeing all my friends and running around... plenty! It was another great day with GAOC! Bill.

Arabia Meet Report - Laurie Searle

I had a great time at Rick's Arabia Mt meet yesterday. I finally got to meet his better half and adorable kids. He put the whole lot of them to work and they did an excellent job running registration.

I signed up as a volunteer and Rick put me to work giving beginner instruction. It really helped having the first control on the white course nearby. I used it in my instruction to ensure each group could navigate to number 1, then understand how to get to number 2. I think that increased everyone's comfort level.

I provided additional instruction to two groups who had completed the white course and wanted to learn to use their compass on a yellow course. One group was practicing for an adventure race, while the other group had an experienced orienteer and a new comer.

The adventure racers started out with the misconception that following a compass bearing "should" get you "exactly" where they wanted to go. I told them about Sam's explanation of exponential error in doing this. I introduced them to pacing, map reading, attack points, and aiming off, and by the time they were half way through the course, both groups had improved drastically.

I really enjoyed going out with this group to provide intermediate instruction. It gave me a chance to observe their techniques and offer on-the-spot corrections. It also gave me the chance to enjoy orienteering while working a volunteer job.

Arabia Mountain Meet Report - Bob Domine

Yes, it was fun. Though we had a wet night, the rain was nice to us during the entire meet in that it held off. Rick put out some very interesting courses. I thought that I knew that park, but found myself bobbling on several controls. On #3, I really fumbled around and it cost my first place to Bill Farrell of all people. :-)

Mary Terry graciously welcomed us and I believe we will have opportunity at Arabia for many years to come. Arabia is a fun and unique park. I really enjoyed the new video of the park too.

Thanks again Rick for a great meet and thanks from us also for the great volunteer support. We couldn't do it without you. 

Thanks to all of you for all you do to support our club. - Bob.

Orienteering Community Mourns the loss of Al Smith - Laurie Searle

The Orienteering community mourns the loss of Al Smith, long-time orienteer and partner to Edie Smith in life and their business, A&E Orienteering. 

Edie Smith wrote: Al passed peacefully yesterday evening, 17 SEP. 

Visitation & memorial service location:
Bopp Chapel
10610 Manchester Road
Kirkwood, MO
(314) 965-7680

Visitation from 2-5 pm (open to all),  Memorial Service at 5:15 pm (open to all)
Private burial on Monday (family only)

Remembrance donations may be sent to The Al Smith Memorial Fund to support Scouting and Youth Orienteering (fund is currently being formed by Laura & Chuck Kaiser and Mark & Peggy Earley), c/o A&E Orienteering, 74 Decorah Drive, Creve Coeur, MO 63146 or to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, P.O. Box 9031, Pittsfield MA 01202. Al's obituary will be  printed in tomorrow's St. Louis newspaper.

Martha Carr provided Al's obituary from the Internet: 

SMITH, ALAN THEODORE, at peace, on Wed., Sept. 18, 2002; beloved husband of Edie Smith (nee Dorrance); dear father of Karen (Edward) Robinson of Sandpoint, ID, Dale (Deana) Smith of Baldwin, KS and Laura (Charles) Kaiser of Chesterfield, MO; dear grandfather of 7; dear brother of Howard P. (Margaret) Smith of Freemont, CA and Gordon S. (Renee) Smith of Livermore, CA; dear brother-in-law of Richard T. (Terry) Dorrance; dear uncle, cousin and friend to many. Visitation on Sat., Sept. 21 from 2 p.m. until time of service at 5:15 p.m., at BOPP Chapel, 10610 Manchester Rd., Kirkwood. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, P.O. Box 9031, Pittsfield, MA 
01202-9031. (Pub. 09/20/2002)

First-timer has a Good Time - Dr. Dennis Young 

A quick note to thank you for your kind attention to our e-mail concerning orienteering. My family and I went to our 1st meet in Pine Mountain this Sept. 8th. I was greatly surprised to see ALL of the people and especially the young kids.

We had a marvelous time and even though my wife and I aren't youngsters anymore we still managed to complete both the white and yellow course. 

You will be receiving our family membership before long. My only regret is not knowing about this sport years ago.

Thx again for a great time.
Dr. Dennis Young and family.

Pre-printed Maps at Local Meets - Sam Smith 

Get me your courses and course descriptions a week in advance and I will preprint the maps. No need for map copying. Send me map updates - well in advance - and I will make the changes. Getting maps for your meet is your responsibility. I prefer to leave the maps in the GAOC clubhouse - you can get them when you pick up supplies.


Don't wait till the last minute to contact me.
Don't assume I know what you need.
Don't rely entirely on email - call me.
Don't assume I can bring the maps to the meet - I may have other plans.

GAOC Website Gets UpdatedLaurie Searle

A permanent domain name, more file space, and a fresh new look are just a few of the changes we've implemented in the GAOC website this month. We're also moving the monthly newsletter online in order to provide more timely news.  

What else is new? You can now order GAOC orienteering maps online. Once we get the kinks worked out, we'll send our link to the DNR and Parks & Recreation so they can inform the public about our resource. 

We'll also do some experimenting with online registration, now that our website is on a server that supports added features. If anyone else has some additional ideas or comments, contact Laurie Searle

Well Fencing Party at Sweetwater - Sam Smith

We have gotten permission from Vince Taylor to fence the last well at Sweetwater. This one is probably the most dangerous of them all, but is in an area we almost never visit - except for next January's A meet, when several courses will run right by it.

Vince will supply posts and fence material. We will supply tools and labor. It is located in an easy spot to drive "close" to, although we should car pool since it's behind a locked gate.

We'll meet on September 28 at 9 a.m at the new park office near the parking loop. Bring work gloves and some tools.


GAOC Bids on 2004 USOF Convention - Laurie Searle

GAOC and COK (Carolina Orienteering Klubb) submitted a bid this month to host the 2004 US Orienteering Federation Convention. 

We proposed that GAOC and COK co-host the 2004 USOF Convention during the week of June 26 through July 4, 2004. The week will be divided in three Phases with COK events in phase 1, convention activities in phase 2, and GAOC events in phase 3. The convention site will be at Truett-McConnell College, located in Cleveland, GA, approximately 100 miles from COK's events and 10 miles from GAOC's events.

PHASE 1 - COK Events - COK will kick off the week with an A-Meet and another event (possibly bike-o or night-o) at DuPont State Forest, located in western NC between Hendersonville and Brevard. DuPont State Forest offers more than 10,000 acres of forest, trails, and waterfalls, and provides excellent orienteering terrain. See: 

PHASE 2 - Convention Activities - GAOC and COK will co-manage the convention actives, which will take place at Truett-McConnell College and Smithgall Woods, with optional sightseeing/fun activities in North GA. Possible activities may include in-class seminars, orienteering activities, hands-on orienteering technique session (with separate junior activities), try-it-pods, tourist activities, and of course the official convention meetings.

PHASE 3 - GAOC Events - GAOC will close the week with much fanfare as it celebrates the July 4th Holiday with its Georgia Navigator Cup A-Meet. The events will be held on new maps at Smithgall Woods-Dukes Creek Conservation Area, which offers 5,555 acres of varied terrain and unique topography.
See: and

The Vote - GAOC has requested that USOF review and vote on the proposal at the upcoming November 2002 USOF BOD meeting.  This will allow GAOC & COK ample time to work on the new maps, secure facility contracts, a plan the events.

Planning Party - Once we receive the vote, we'll have a planning meeting to get the ball rolling. Stay tuned for more information later in November.


Junior Training Camp - Laurie Searle/Robin Shannonhouse

GAOC co-hosted the third annual Junior Training Camp with Stockbridge High School at F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Sept 6-8, 2002. 

Robin & Steve Shannonhouse provided the technical direction, which included designing and preparing the course material and organizing and the technical staff of 14 GAOC coaches.

Liz Curcuru provided the logistical and administrative direction, which included organizing a staff of highly-qualified volunteers to prepare meals, registering schools and students, and assigning accommodations.

Approximately 190 participants attended and were divided into groups ranging from 10-17 students, according to ability.  

Friday night included an event orientation session then a two-hour, in-class session to review skills. Saturday offered a full day of training including: A Map Walking,  Memory-O, Contour-O, Draw-O, Line-O, 1K-O, and Night-O. Participants were invited to attend an optional GAOC Class-C meet on Sunday to try out their new skills.  

Plans are underway for next year's Junior Training Camp. It's in need of a technical director and course setter team from GAOC. If you'd like to volunteer, contact Liz at:

Linda & Bob Domine
Bill Farrell
Martha Carr
Rick Shane
Shawn Callahan
Allan Wadsworth
Laurie Searle
Sam Smith
Dainius Maciulis
Mike Ferguson
Frank Campbell
Steve & Robin Shannonhouse

Schools attending:
Abbeville High School NJROTC Abbeville Al
Bayside High School NJROTC Palm Bay Fl
Brunswick High School NJROTC Brunswick Ga
Central High School NJROTC Phenix City Al
Chapin High School NJROTC Chapin Sc
Cross Creek Comp High School NJROTC Augusta Ga
Dunedin Comp High School NJROTC Dunedin Fl
Henry Co High School NJROTC Mcdonough Ga
Jefferson County High School NJROTC Louisville Ga
Kennesaw Mtn High School NJROTC Kennesaw Ga
Lassiter High School NJROTC Marietta Ga
Laurens High School NJROTC Laurens Sc
Lee County High School NJROTC Ben Hur Va
Lithonia High School NJROTC Lithonia Ga
Mceachern High School NJROTC Powder Springs Ga
Milton High School NJROTC Milton Fl
Allen Nease High School NJROTC St Augustine Fl
Pace High School NJROTC Pace Fl
Parker High School NJROTC Jacksonville Fl
S. Florence High School NJROTC Florence Sc
St Lucie West Centennial High School NJROTC Port St Lucie Fl
Stockbridge High School NJROTC Stockbridge Ga
Summerville High School NJROTC Summerville Sc
Sw Dekalb High School NJROTC Decatur Ga
Strom Thurmond High School NJROTC Johnston Sc
Titusville High School NJROTC Titusville Fl
Union Grove High School NJROTC Mcdonough Ga
Valdosta High School NJROTC Valdosta Ga
Volunteer High School NJROTC Church Hill Tn
Woodham High School NJROTC Pensacola Fl