….and a wonderful time was had by all…..Just look over the results. Only one DNF on the whole day among non-JROTC; and that was voluntary after he’d been surprised by a rattlesnake.
The F.A.M. venue has been a mixed blessing for us in terms of orienteering terrain and vegetation, every year we’ve been there. The very welcome removal of non-native species in the pine plantations was ideal when those areas were wide open and easy for Novices and beginners to navigate. Lately however, as the re-growth re-grows, there has blossomed a full spectrum of density, visibility, undergrowth, briars, cacti, vines, etc., etc. I continue to design courses with route options through those so-called ‘open’ areas, but I’m getting the impression people are welcoming those navigational challenges less and less. Yet still they come back with smiling faces, so I continue to be encouraged.
On the Advanced courses – Green, Red & Blue – the sole option is to cross I-95, run around the Big Marsh one way or the other and then come back. I thought the variety by now would seem limiting to many folks, but not so, apparently. Big smiles and completed courses over there, too. But still, for next year’s F.A.M. event, I’m hoping to map new fresh forest east of I-95 and maybe even start the Orange course people over near the vegetated-bridge to give them some fresh variety, too. This enlarged map will be especially welcomed by the JROTC units in North Florida, who will no doubt declare the F.A.M. event their “North FL Champs” again next year and we’ll probably see a Georgia unit, or two, come compete again. You read that right! Georgia! This year a contingent of 6 cadets from North Cobb high school in Georgia came down to compete. A big shout out “Welcome” to them, and thanks for driving all that way for us. Of course the folks who came from Miami (Miriam Neville) or Naples (Tracy Acuff) or Punta Gorda (D. Sands) have a heck of a long drive, too, and they’re inside Florida! So, “Thanks” all around.
For next year: Bigger plans – and a definite slot on the schedule. Florida Ag Museum Rocks!
I want to thank all those who chipped in to help: Janet Putnam, Frank Kuhn, Ray Bruneau (for his service above-and-beyond), Mark Bussey, Cheryl McDonough, plus control retrievers Jerry Sirmans and Jack Cash, plus JROTC Coordinator-in-charge Lcdr Bob Peterson from Ridgeview HS, and from the park; Mary Herron and Volunteer Bob. And Thanks also goes out to FAM Exec Director Andy Morrow, who makes it all happen and who also ventured out on to the Yellow course with his entire family.
Bob Putnam, Course Designer
|BSA Troop 330||28:33|
|DNF||Did Not Finish|
|DQ||Disqualified (Missed Controls)|
|OT||Over 3 Hour Time Limit|