NEW! CROC Members Training Series-winter edition

Build fitness and sharpen your navigating skills (or just have fun) at the CROC Members Training Series. Each event will focus on a particular skill, close map-reading, remembering what you've seen on the map, keeping track of where you are. Exercise has never been less painless!

Free for CROC members only, events are scheduled for January 28, February 19, and March 12. See events page for details.

Mary S. Young Park meet review

Lots of families came to the orienteering meet at Mary S. Young Park on Sunday, September 11, 2016. The age of participants ranged from 4 years to 74 years. The four-year-old let his six-year-old brother do most of the navigating. Orienteers included neighbors who regularly walk in the park, and frequent orienteers for whom this was the first time at the park. 

Participants liked the stretch along the water, and some liked running faster to keep ahead of the younger folk. The fastest runners appreciated the water views even when they were off the route.

The park is well-loved, well-cared-for and often visited by people in the vicinity. Ten neighborhood volunteers keep litter picked up and keep the paths maintained. Every time the CROC course designer went there with map and clipboard,  a local neighbor would ask with curiosity about orienteering. At least four of the local neighbors came to the registration table.

As always, lots of CROC members helped to make this event happen:  Virginia Church, John Godino, Mike Holliday, Julie Pohl, Mike Poulsen, David Rogers, Debby and Ken Wenzel. On behalf of all the participants, thank you all!

Meet Director Anndy Wiselogle

Winter Workshop - Course Design

Twenty CROC members learned about Course Design in the January workshops. A booklet reviewed the teaching skills for legs of Beginner, Advanced Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels. Everybody had the chance to evaluate legs on maps, and then to design a course with a partner. Basic truths of course design were emphasized, such as: the Map must agree with the Terrain, and the Control Description must agree with both. Participants left the workshop with new ideas to incorporate to their course planning.

CROC thanks Anndy Wiselogle for creating and hosting this event, twice!

California A-meet report

By Anndy Wiselogle

When I get the chance, I like going to a nationally-approved orienteering event, for three reasons. One: They’re at terrific places for excellent orienteering, good views, and new adventures. Two: The courses are impeccably designed and mapped, so any errors in navigation are mine to fix. And Three: I get to do three orienteering events in three days. What could be better?!?

In March, a total of eight CROC members went to the A-meet (as these nationally approved events are called) put on by the Bay Area Orienteering Club in California. We all perhaps had different goals and reasons for participating. I went to hike in a new interesting area, with the mental challenge of navigating. 

A lot of logistics and volunteers are needed to host an A meet. A participant has to be ready to start at an assigned time. You may have to walk a flagged route (not always on a trail) to the start location. You can’t keep your map after you finish, to make sure it doesn’t get seen by others who haven’t started. But once I got used to all these hassles, I can have fun on a good course.

While most participants are competitors who want to finish fast, I like orienteering as I like a good restaurant dinner. Who would want to rush through a good meal, or eat faster than their companion? There’s a handful of us at A meets that may take photos of wild flowers (as Rolf did), or pause to watch the lizard scamper up a tree (as I did), or take several minutes to figure how to avoid climbing the steep hill and still get to the next control.

In fact, my proudest moment was on the leg where I spent a total of 38 minutes. I didn’t find the control as soon as my pacing would expect, and I thought I re-oriented. But after another attempt to get to the control, and observing that my sense of north did not agree with the compass pointing east, then I realized I really did not know where I was. Here’s where the real navigation skill is needed, along with enough self-confidence and determination. So I studied the hills, studied the map, hiked to the top of the hill, looked around, and figured exactly where I was, and exactly how to get to the control. That’s the triumph I like.

So it’s awkward every time someone asks me “How did you do,” meaning did they beat me. (Answer: Yes, always.)  But I always add: But I probably had more fun.

Deschutes Daze Wrap Up

By event planner Scott Drumm

To Virginia, Vanessa, Anndy, Glen, Abra, Sue, Ali, Mike, Mike, Mike, Linda, Jill, Rick, Julie, David, Peter, Teri, Kerie, and Jason -

Thank you so much for all the time, effort, and support you provided to make Deschutes Daze the incredible success that it was.  As many of you know, having been inspired by many a Laramie Daze I have long wanted to try something like this on our collection of Bend maps. Well, we did it, and in a big way.  That was one of the highest quality and most fun events I’ve ever had the privilege of being a part of.  And it’s all because of you.

I lost track of the compliments I got over the course of the week and again last weekend at the US Classic Orienteering Champs at Little Truckee Summit.  In fact last weekend Eileen Breseman said, “I heard your big event went swimmingly!”

The Hood River weekend was appreciated by all who came.  People enjoyed getting know Hood River on the Urban-O and were amazed at the Catherine Creek terrain at the Zer-O event.  Most of all, people were highly impressed by and greatly appreciative of Jill and Rick’s hospitality.  It was one of the highlights of the whole week for those who participated.  

As we moved over the Bend, the number of participants grew and the gratitude grew along with it.  The course setters spent a good deal of time planning their courses and dedicated an entire weekend to flagging, vetting, and map checking; Anndy and Virginia made 3 trips over.  The multiple trips paid big dividends as everyone raved about the 4 Maps 2 Feet event, courses, and format.  Sue, Abra, and Ali, thank you so much for spending that weekend with us and designing such fun courses even as you were all focusing on rapidly upcoming World Championship competitions.  Our event was an added burden, I realize, and I’m grateful you were willing to take it on.  And Julie and David were about to leave on a long trip immediately after the vetting weekend; thank you both for your commitment and help.  The dedication to quality showed through.  Think about this:  you all designed courses that delighted and surprised a group of people ranging from 80-year olds (who on some days even completed the green-ish course) to US Team members and people in between, representing a variety of skills, fitness levels, and mobility levels.  Now everyone wants us to do it all over again next year.  Kerie and Jason, no good deed goes unpunished - - - thanks for putting us up over our vetting weekend and we may be knocking on your door next year, too.

No event is without little snags, but our planning, organization, and our great team cohesion minimized the impact.  Glen’s ideas on how to divvy up the flags and epunches so that we didn’t rely on the same gear on two consecutive days worked like a charm.  He also provided clear instructions on how to do a mass start using epunch, which none of us knew how to do before that. You’d think registration would be easy for something like this, but it wasn’t and Vanessa’s notebook of lists of who was participating on which day made check in, safety, and control retrieval much more efficient.  Her ability to provide updates to participants prior to the events without having it be irritating is a real talent, and a critical one as we faced a change in venues between Thursday and Monday, potential air quality issues, and the need to organize carpools to drive up Todd Lake Road due to potential forest closures.   (And her responsibilities didn’t end there; she also drove the event center equipment to the sites every single day.  She got there as early as the course setter and left almost as late as the control retrieval teams.  Every.  Single.  Day.)  Thanks for stepping into both of those critical roles.  It took some of the load off the course setters, which we appreciated mightily.  We had our challenges, but we pulled together and figured it all out without impacting the event’s quality.  Speaking of team cohesion, not only did Teri take on the tough job of getting USFS permits, she was over in Bend during part of our event supporting a bike ride, but took time to come all the way out to Lava Butte just to support us and see how things were going.

Having 3 first-time volunteers at a big CROC event helped us not be shorthanded. It’s not easy coming into a big event and helping if you’ve not done that before.  Mike, Linda, and Peter - thanks for jumping in with both feet.  And now that we know you’re such a great fit for the CROC team, watch out - - - we’ll be calling you! 

Of course we could not have pulled this off without our campground mayor, Mike Kacmar, another first-time volunteer.  Having a camp host able to be in contact with the event director was a big plus for us and lowered my anxiety a bunch!  And Mike wasn’t just the campground mayor, he was also a tour guide taking folks on a hike at Smith Rock after the sprint.  That link at the campground both for participants and for event organizers was a one of the keys to our success.

What many of you might not have realized was that there was an unofficial event advisor, Mike P.  Countless times I sent off an email or picked up the phone asking, “How do we…?”, “Should we…?”, etc.  Mike helped organize and stage the gear.  While in Bend, he helped me think through each day.  We were on the US Trail-O team together at the World Champs in Ukraine back in 07, where we quickly learned that while it’s great to be able to quickly solve problems, it would be all the better to anticipate and prevent the problems to begin with.  To that end, Mike helped me do a lot of that on the ground in Bend.  

You all made this an fun event for me.  You stepped up when you saw something that needed to be done, asked if there were things that could be done, and offered to help in myriad ways.  I was able to be a floater on most days and talk to our guests, learn more about what their clubs do, and get to know them and their orienteering lives.  We had such a great group of folks, I hope you all got to talk to at least some of them.



CROC members (once again) at World Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships

Sue Grandjean in action at the World MTB-O Championships.

Sue Grandjean in action at the World MTB-O Championships.

Abra McNair in action at the World MTB-O Championships.

Abra McNair in action at the World MTB-O Championships.

Our big congratulations to CROC members Sue Grandjean and Abra McNair, who represented both their club and their country in the world mountain bike orienteering championships held in Liberec, Czech Republic, in August 2015.

This is the third consecutive Abra and Sue have traveled to compete in the world championships with the United States national team.