Keystone State Park
Comprehensive Orienteering Workshop
7 April 2013

WPOC held its second comprehensive orienteering workshop on the east side of Keystone State Park; it included instruction for beginners and exercises for those with experience.  We had a significantly larger turnout than last year.  It may have been because it was the only the second decent spring day we had this year; but whatever the reason, there were a lot of people there.

There were two beginner sessions, one starting at 11 am and the other starting at 1 pm.  In both, the plan was to teach map reading and basic compass use in orienting the map, to take the class as a group to a few controls and then to release them in small groups to find as many more of the remaining 17 controls as they could in a reasonable time.  The primary difficulty with this workshop was that 48 people showed up for the 11 am session.  Joe Logan was scheduled to teach but there were far too many for him to deal with all at once.  So, the group was split in half and Jim Wolfe taught a beginner session in parallel with Joe.  There was a minor issue of keeping out of each other's way during the sessions; but generally they went off well.  The 1 pm session was taught by Dave Battista; he had a more reasonable size group to deal with (13).  Everyone in the beginner sessions seemed to have a  good time.

Jim Wolfe had to rush back from the beginner session to teach the intermediate instruction session at noon.  This covered pace counting and following a bearing, and included a lot of discussion about adjusting to the terrain  The workshop drew 9 participants.  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.

Three of the four advanced exercises were tried by a number of competitors.  Fog-O drew 9 participants - generally, they found this challenging after making the adjustment to a mostly blank map.  Donut-O had 12 participants - once the participants latched onto the idea of finding a good attack point for each of the controls, this went well; not telling the participants what the control feature was added a little additional challenge to this exercise.  The third exercise was a Park-O course, laid out mostly around the public areas to the east and west of the pavilion.  E-punching was used along with a 1:4000 scale map for the Park-O.  We had a couple of the 13 participants cover this 2 km  course in less than 15 minutes.  All but one group of participants eventually got their split times on paper.  The one that didn't was the result of a paper jam that it took a while to fix.  The fourth exercise which no one did (and no one needed as there was plenty for them to do in the other three exercises) was a test of control  flag placement).  We will save that one for a future workshop.  Most who participated in the advanced exercises did more than one of them.

We had one family and one individual renew their membership..

Thanks to Sherry Shank and Laurie Opila for handling registration.  Thanks to Sherry Shank and Dan Marincel for handling start/finish.  Thanks to Joe Logan and Dave Battista for teaching the beginning workshops. And thanks to Gordon Huang  for helping pick up the control flags.