I am writing on behalf or Barb Bryant. As some of you may know Barb created a non profit organization called Navigation Games with a focus to grow orienteering in the Boston area. She has been doing a lot of great work with after school programs, getting high school kids to come out for orienteering, putting on cool events that introduce orienteering to the Cambridge community, and taking classes on fun school day adventures! Up till now Barb has done most of this out of her own initiative bringing in volunteers and doing most of the work herself. This effort has grown to a place were Barb is ready to take the next step!
This past summer Barb was able to hire Ethan Childs through a grant from the Cambridge City and support from NEOC and CSU. With the fall approaching the demand for orienteering after school programs, school teams, regular training possibilities is high. Barb is looking to higher Ethan full time to do this work but she needs the communities support. I am hopping to get everyone fired up to donate to Navigation Games to help fund the position that Ethan will be filling.
You may ask how this opportunity fits into the bigger picture. Here are a list of reasons.
1. There are many opportunities to grow the sport in Cambridge. All of us want to see more kids and Families in the sport and it starts with local initiatives such as this one. The potential growth with a full time employee is massive and its worth your consideration to support it. This is an opportunity happening right now with a willing person to do it.
2. Up till now there have not been many successful sustainable youth efforts that bring more families, kids, volunteers, and resources to the the orienteering community. The WIOL league is maybe one example of school league success but nothing like Adventure Running Kids has been tried in the US. This means we don't have a bunch of research on what work's and what does not work. Your support to this program now will insure a lot learning will occur. If your thinking about starting one of these efforts in your local area it can seem daunting. With support from programs that are already going and information about what they have learn it can be much easier. Your investment in this endeavor supports the future of orienteering in Boston and more importantly orienteering in the US. The experience gained will help become more effective, develop best practices, and gain traction for everyone else.
3. Its a commendable act when a member of the younger generation steps up with the willingness to try something new with the goal of insuring a future for orienteering. Ethan was one of the first athletes to start in the new junior program developed by Barb and I. It says a lot that after finishing college he is willing and has the courage to take a job in its infancy and do the work that was started and see it grow. Supporting the youthful effort to get work done is one of the most essential needs for our community. It also sends the message to the younger generation coming up that you can make orienteering your life's work and the community will support it. This is the future and it will take all of us to see it happen.
4. Finally Barb has given so much of her own to see orienteering grow both locally and Nationally and now she is willing to give more without knowing weather she will be supported or not by the community. She needs our support now.
Simply put Navigation Games needs seed money to cover Ethan's costs to get the job off the ground. There is plenty of work lined up for Ethan, including after-school orienteering programs, coaching local teams, putting on training events for the local kids to get more practice, putting on promotional events etc. Ethan will be organizing and coordinating these efforts with guidance from Barb and support from me. I am asking individuals and clubs to support this position. You can email me if you have further question's about this effort at firstname.lastname@example.org or post your support on this discussion and I will be in touch with you about how to proceed.
This is your opportunity to support laying the foundations for long term sustainability of our sport in the US! Thank you for taking the time to read through this post and any support you can offer is greatly appreciated. Please pass this message along through any forum you can think of.