I tried to update one way back when and gave it up in disgust. I drew a bush/park one last year and am in the process of drawing a park one now but am at the stage where there are trees in the way.
Drew two school ones late last year and they were bad enough yet they were fairly simple schools (other than the numerous building pass throughs). I'd hate to draw a really complex one.
Yep. You guessed. Its my third school map for the year. This one is the smallest of the campuses, so there is very little white on the map. Not sure I will say yes when asked to do another. Must be driven by that funding mentioned in the Australian Orienteer.
And I am not at all convinced that schools orienteering does much to develop the sport in any way that matters to me. Let me explain my heresy.
What matters to me is the recruitment of long term participants, and in particular, long term participants who donate time and effort to the sport. I see very little recruitment from school orienteering. Those who do get involved leave our town for tertiary education and rarely come back. The successes from junior orienteering come when it also involves the parents in the activity. The parents who get involved do not leave the town. Straight school orienteering doesn't do this. What seems to work is gradual recruitment from friendship networks. All advertisers know that the best advertisement is an unpaid recommendation from a close friend. Our Space Racing effort seems to have involved parents because there was very little school support. And parental involvement often came from the recommendation of other parents or children who were already involved in orienteering.
I look at all the effort that goes into school orienteering in our state and wonder how much better off we would be if those resources were directed to easing the load on event organisers. I am considering running an interview survey asking how our current members were enticed into orienteering.
"how our current members were enticed into orienteering?" Through a teacher at school
We got rid of our school program for the very reasons you mention but SSA has kind of forced us into at least doing the school champs each year, which is a burden on our volunteer workload and gets very little - if any - flow on to our regular orienteering program. As you say we'd be better off without it but we are required to run it. We also price the champs to break even so we don't even get a financial benefit from it.
Schools frequently ask us to draw maps for them but again, there's no flow on of members to OWA. The best way we've had getting kids involved is if a teacher at the school heavily promotes our association, as has happened in a few instances.
I got into rogaining through a friend from school back in the '90s but it was nothing to do with the school itself and in fact even when we won the school rogaining champs, no-one else took any interest. That interest eventually led into orienteering over ten years later.
I agree that a keen teacher at the school makes the difference. We once had one at the local private anglican school. I can point to Toph and Matt Schepisi as an outcome of that relationship. But teachers move on. And as the curriculum gets more crowded, it gets harder. There is some angst bubbling under the surface about the extent of subsidy between events and schools orienteering. I have no idea if this is the case. No-one seems to know the real numbers. I don't necessarily think the money is really an issue. To me volunteer labour is a scarcer resource.