2019 Fall Scout-O and Night-O
Nobscot Scout Reservation, October 26, 2019
What do you get when you mix 450 Scouts, 24 volunteer instructors, 15+ volunteers, and the enticing woods of Nobscot Scout Reservation? Fall Scout-O, one of the largest orienteering events organized by NEOC annually.
This year we hosted participants from 32 BSA and Girl Scout Troops hailing from MA, RI, CT & NH. With 167 starts on 5 courses (2 whites with 45 total starts, 2 yellows with 91 total starts, and an Orange with 31 starts.) and countless attempts on the 3 mini-courses, we had a steady stream of Youth and Adults learning how to navigate in the woods for close to 6 hours.
It was a perfect Fall day for orienteering, with blue sky, mild temperatures, and open woods just calling for runners. Many of the younger scouts had never before seen an orienteering map and knew only vaguely how a compass worked, and for these scouts having an experienced NEOC instructor available to walk them through the basics and help them find their first controls makes for a great introduction to orienteering. For older, more experienced scouts, we taught more advanced orienteering techniques to prepare them to try their first Orange course.
After a mid-afternoon break and a chance for the scouts to rest and eat some dinner, the activities continued with the Night-O — because, after all, what better way is there to spend a beautiful Fall evening than running around the woods in the dark?? Over 130 scouts were sent off into the deep dark woods, and amazingly enough all of them made it back safely! Congratulations to the 10 Scout groups that managed to find all the Scout Night-O controls.
Club members also came out for some more challenging courses, with 15 starts on the Long Score-O and 10 on the Medium. No one found all of the controls on the harder courses, though a few people came close.
Many thanks to the 30+ volunteers who made the Fall Scout-O possible, including the 20+ NEOC members & friends (Mikal, Ed, Mark, Neil, Tori, Anna, Jon, Peter, Steve, Doug, Steve, Dorina, Xevi, Bill, John, Hop, Jim, Janet, Elizabeth, Jane, Barb, David, Ryann, Flo, Barb, Dave, Mori, and Wendy) who volunteered their time as instructors; Pete Lane for course design and overall organization; Jim Paschetto for organizing the instruction, hanging & picking up controls, and helping for 12 hours straight; Bruce Wester for managing parking both Friday night and all day Saturday, and interacting with Mayflower council; Dave & Matt Searl for manning the finish station, designing the patch, and control pickup; Ken and Diane Menzies for manning the start table; Jon Campbell for control pickup; Pam Smith & Julie Baldwin for helping with day registration; Andy McIlvaine and Judy & Bruce Wester for helping with night registration; Mark Niedzielski & his Crew for having concessions available all day; and all the Scout leaders for bringing their youth and providing additional volunteers to help with parking, registration, starts & finishes.
And, of course, a big thank you to all the competitors who make the effort worthwhile! The next Scout-O event is Saturday April 18, 2020 at Hale Reservation. If you are interested in showing your enthusiasm for orienteering to the next generation, we would much appreciate your help.