This was the second year of the NEOC Winter Challenge! This winter there were courses set at five parks in the area to offer some training during the break between seasons. We tried to mix it up a bit with some training for specific skills and some regular courses, and it seems like it was a hit! Some braved the icy woods, others found the warm days to go out, all had a good time. There were a total of 92 starts; perhaps more if others did not have the chance to add their times to the spreadsheet.
There were 7 people that made it to all five trainings:
A big thanks to Mori, Jon, and Wendy for helping out: Mori for the Mary Cummings Park training and the spreadsheet setup, Jon for helping with map issues, and Wendy for all the support throughout the whole planning process. Thank you to everyone that dealt with the few technical problems as well—fingers crossed for even fewer next time. And also thank you to everyone that put their notes on the spreadsheet. I greatly enjoyed reading what everyone had to say and I know I’m not alone in that!
Here’s to a fun spring season after a good winter of training!
At the Annual General Meeting (AGM), June 5, NEOC members will vote to fill four seats on the Board of Directors. At this time there are four candidates for those positions. Other candidates may be nominated before the election. This article will be updated as additional candidates are nominated.
Any current NEOC member who is 18 years or older may vote. A Family membership is entitled to two votes.
Any NEOC member may be appointed as your proxy, and must attend the meeting with your signed proxy form to cast your vote. Follow the instructions on the form.
I’ve only been involved in orienteering for a short time, but in that short time I have learned a lot and feel like I have a lot to offer NEOC.
In the Fall of 2020, some well-timed outreach introduced me to the Youth Mapping Program. In my role as a recreation manager for the City of Newton, I worked with OUSA’s Youth Mapping Program to create a map for Auburndale Park. By why stop at just one park? After learning more about orienteering, I wanted to create permanent courses in several of the City’s parks to help teach beginners how to do orienteering. It was a large effort that involved working with the City’s conservation commission, several park groups, Eagle Scouts, and other organizations, but after it was all said and done, I helped coordinate the creation and installation of 5 new permanent courses for the City.
In 2021 I took full advantage of the winter trainings, the BYOM courses, and the in person events to learn as much as I could about orienteering. I volunteered at several events, helped teach beginners at the Scout-O in the Spring and Fall, and met a lot of great volunteers along the way.
I love teaching beginners and introducing new people to orienteering. In March of this year I was lucky enough to work with several amazing volunteers to help coordinate and run the Introduction to Orienteering event at Auburndale Park. It was an incredible day to watch so many new people get excited about orienteering and fueled my passion for teaching beginners and wanting to volunteer with NEOC.
My passion, professional experience collaborating with a variety of organizations, love for volunteering, and desire to introduce beginners to orienteering are all things I feel I can bring to the board of NEOC.
I started orienteering as a child in the late 1970s, and have been a NEOC member for much of my life. I have experienced orienteering as a child, a teen, an internationally competitive athlete, a recreational participant, a parent, coach, middle school teacher, and volunteer. These diverse experiences motivate me to consider ideas, questions, challenges, and possibilities from multiple perspectives, so that we can make decisions and plans that benefit all of us.
The work that the board and other club volunteers have done in recent years is impressive, and it has been exciting to see so many new faces and names, and such a strong variety of club activities. As a member of the board, I would work with others to continue to build on this progress. I am particularly interested in working to provide consistent training opportunities for all levels, and expanding our outreach to schools and other organizations, including exploring ways to provide meaningful-but-not-too-complicated follow up. But I'm also ready to help out wherever the club's need is greatest.
I am very grateful to have been invited and encouraged to Orienteer and engage with this great community of people. My first encounter was over 40 years ago, of the Scout merit badge variety. Then in much more recent times our daughter Priya and I were exploring the CRLS building for her to get the lay of the land prior to starting her Freshman year, and we encountered Michael Commons. He spoke to us briefly and then pronounced we definitely should Orienteer. Not long after I met Barb Bryant, also at CRLS for Vilppu at the time, and along with daughters Anaka & Priya we did indeed wholeheartedly, map and compass in hand, set out Orienteering and engaging with the surrounding and supporting community. One of the CRLS O-team members said today that he felt supported but not pressured to develop and manifest his potential, and that with Orienteering he could really see the connection of getting out what he puts in. I am in the reverse: keenly aware of all that has come out of it for myself, family, student athletes and many others. I am looking to continue to "put in" to support that for all of us; especially for groups and communities who we may reach less often or not at all.
As other background notes that may be relevant, I am the current CRLS Orienteering Coach; have worked and volunteered extensively, including as a former Board member, with Navigation Games, with related youth work and coaching; and am currently a Cambridge Youth Lacrosse board member.
I was first introduced to orienteering in the mid-1990’s in North Carolina, but then got distracted by life, and re-discovered the sport when we moved to Massachusetts in 2009. As a Girl Scout Leader for 10 years and Venture Crew Advisor for 5, I became involved with NEOC through the Scout-O. I particularly enjoy seeing young people’s confidence grow as they become more and more adept at navigating through the woods, finally able to gleefully ignore the common admonishments to “stay together,” “stay on the trail,” and “don’t wander around the woods in the dark.” The Night-O course now offered as part of the Scout-O consistently ranks as one of the highlights of our scouting year.
In addition to working with youth, I would also like to actively encourage more outreach to promote gender, racial and cultural diversity in orienteering.