Keystone State Park
Comprehensive Orienteering Workshop
10 June 2012

This was WPOC's first attempt at a comprehensive orienteering workshop, one in which there was instruction for beginners and exercises for those with experience.  By all accounts that I've heard, it went very well even though the temperature was in the mid-80's and the woods were full of poison ivy.

Jen Livingston conducted the two and a half beginner instruction sessions.  In each one, she taught map reading and basic compass use in orienting the map, took the class as a group to a few controls and then released them to find as many more of the 14 controls as they could in a reasonable time.  The 11 am workshop drew only seven participants; but the 1 pm workshop had sixteen participants.  In addition, there were two people who arrived late and Jen gave them a shortened version of the instruction so they could try their skills as the others did.  One other person went out on the beginner course just for practice.

Jim Wolfe conducted the intermediate instruction session.  This covered pace counting and following a bearing, and included several tips such as map folding, using your thumb and adjusting your pace.  The workshop drew 16 participants; we started with 18 but two did not have appropriate clothing for the situation.  Participants got to measure distance using pace counting, to follow a bearing to various features across different terrains, and to combine terrain association with following a bearing.

All four of the advanced exercises were tried by a number of competitors.  The pathless exercise (map with no trails or other black features)  drew the most participants, about 12-15.  Participant counts are only approximate because not everyone was recorded as they went out on an exercise course.  The line-o exercise drew 6-8 participants; the corridor-o drew 3-5 participants; some people went part way on the corridor-o course and then switched to the line-o course because they were the same.  The map simplification (draw your own map) exercise also had about 6 participants.

We had one person renew his membership and two new memberships.  Welcome to Christy Freeman and the Mike Opferman family.

Thanks to Dan Bigart, Barbara Johnstone, Giuseppina Mecchia, and Laurie Opila for handling registration.  Thanks to Sherry Shank and Laurie Opila for handling start/finish.  Thanks to Jen Livingston for teaching the beginning workshop. And thanks to Anneliese Steuben, Andy Strat, Dave Battista, and Alexis Rzewski for picking up the controls.

The club now takes it summer break and will have its next event on August 26 at Blue Spruce Park.