Mt. Tabor, January: Your map is not securely in your hand as usual, but was attached to a tree back a ways. Your mission, given this constraint, is to plan ahead, be aware of your surroundings and to look for prominent features.
After this honing of memorization skills, the second part of the exercise was to complete a course with map in hand but with the goal of looking at that map as little as possible.
Reed College, February: Your partner has the map and is steaming along. But where? You have a map, too, but the controls are missing. Thumb that map! Stay located!
Participants paired up with a fellow orienteer of similar fitness and ability for this exercise in maintaining map contact. The partners ran the same course together, with the exception of different controls missing from each of their maps. This forced paying attention to the surroundings, matching them to the map, and then being able to quickly pick up where the partner left off -- though that control was not on your map!
Laurelhurst Park, March: It's raining and muddy, but so what? Your focus has to stay on the challenges of maps with missing features (like, almost everything) or worse, a map you drew yourself.
Two maps had significant things erased; requiring compass practice. A third map was drawn by participants, with only the details needed to complete the course. The exercise helped to understand which features are critical to navigation.
Sue Grandjean, Abra McNair, and Dan Grabski put together these fun and challenging skill-sharpeners and reported how the events went.
Sue: "Memory Training was a good exercise for planning ahead as well as a good drill to be aware of your surroundings and to look for prominent features. Club members enjoyed the training and it made them look at Mt. Tabor a different way."
Abra: "I heard that it was fun to follow someone else and see how they orienteered in comparison to how you might do it. Creating the event was pretty fun -- a great opportunity to be on maps while course setting and setting out controls day-of. "
Dan: "We had ten people for my training in hard rain and muddy conditions at Laurelhurst Park. Most people did at least the corridor and no-map training. Everyone was challenged by the training and had a good time!"
The spring series of CROC member training events are on the schedule!