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.