NEOC History

If you have any photos, articles, or memories of the "old days," send them to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Even if you missed the dinner [held after day 1 of the 2022 Masters National Championships], including an impressive array of memorabilia from the past 50 years, you can still try your hand at the quiz! 


Maps of an Orange course at Wells State Park, from 1978 and 2017. What a difference Lidar, OCAD, Purple Pen, and cheap color laser-printing make!
Thanks to Jim Holley, 70s-era NEOC member, for the vintage map.


Wells Orange course 1978

Orienteering for Sport and Pleasure

Written by two of NEOC's founders, Hans Bengtsson and George Atkinson; published in 1977 by The Stephen Greene Press, Brattleboro, Vermont. It is out of print, but copies for sale can be found on the Web.

From the back cover:

America's New Cross-Country Sport

Designed to help the newcomer orient quickly to his or her first meet, this new book covers all "the basics": proper use of map and compass, the various types of meets (cross-country, score, trim, relay, night, ski, bicycling, etc.) techniques and training, clothing and equipment, plus a nutshell review of the sport's history and the details of how to run a meet and form a club.

... The authors, HANS BENGTSSON and GEORGE ATKINSON were organizers of the New England Orienteering Club. Bengtsson grew up in Sweden, where orienteering is a major national sport; Atkinson, a graduate of Springfield College, is instructor in Recreation Education at Northeastern University.

10th Anniversary booklet

Kick off NEOC's 50th year by reading about our first 10 years (105 MB).

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

[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. 

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!! 


[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.

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.

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

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