40th AnniversaryToday is NEOC's 40th Birthday!

Hans Bengtsson, NEOC's first President, described the birth of the club in a booklet assembled for its 10th Anniversary. [Original artwork by Lena Bengtsson]

NEOC-The Beginning

by Hans Bengtsson [first president of NEOC]

As we finish our tenth year of official existence, perhaps many of our current members wonder how NEOC started. I'll try to satisfy your curiosity a bit.

In a sense, the time had come and all the needed ingredients happened to be available and get together.

Hans Bengtsson (first NEOC President), sends this: The Very First NEOC Newsletter

the Troll

[originally published in the NEOC 10th Year Anniversary booklet, 1982]

by Lena Bengtsson

During the spring of 1972 we scheduled our first "fancier" meet on May 28 for Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover, Mass. There were quite a few classes on the invitation: H12-14, H15-16, H17-18, H19A, H19B, H40, D12-14, D15-16, D17-18, D19, and D40, plus two Wayfarer classes. We also offered awards - "Practical items in classes with sufficient entries."

However, any "practical items" would cost more money than we had. Hans instead managed to talk me into making hand-crafted awards. When I had lived back in Stockholm, I worked as an instructor-supervisor at a Workshop for handicapped people and we made stuffed animals among other things.

[originally published in the NEOC 10th Year Anniversary booklet, 1982]

Those of you who have attended some of our recent meets have had the pleasure of crossing the finish line under a superbly designed and hand-crafted "FINISH" banner. The great art and needlework was done by Pat Hatton and Elaine Early. Many thanks for a well done job.

Report From The Boss — Summer 1979 

So another spring season has streaked by. 19 foot-O' meets is a good recovery after the poor winter season which permitted only two ski-O's. 

We continue to grow on all fronts, as usual. Our membership count is steadily climbing and I expect that we will break the 500 mark shortly. Since a lot of these memberships are for entire families the head count is far higher somewhere close to 1000, maybe? 

We need more workers for our meets, something that hasn't worked out too smoothly recently. Too often you see the same faces at registration, etc. That's not fair. If the club gives you the opportunity to attend lots of meets, you in turn have to pitch in and work at meets. You can both work and run by sharing a job. Volunteer!! 


[as published in the NEOC 10th Year Anniversary booklet, 1982]

NEOC Breaks Up Into Chapters (sort of) 

At this year's meets you might have noticed some new club abbreviations, like NEOC-WM and NEOC-MQ. And here we have some new and exciting developments. We have started to get local chapters (WM = Western Mass.; MQ = Musketaquid, made up of Acton, Concord and adjacent towns).

The idea is to bring orienteering in on a more local level, more local meets and clinics, more community involvement, less traveling, more car pooling, easier administration of meets, etc. The chapters will schedule their own meets and clinics, make maps, etc., but still enjoy a central newsletter, treasury, and equipment pool. A committee consisting of Peter Gagarin, Skip Knuttgen, and Tom Taylor are looking into establishing guidelines for the chapters right now. 

Hans & Lena at the 2012 Traverse
NEOC's premier president Hans Bengtsson with his wife, artist Lena Bengtsson.

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