Navigation Games needs help. We have huge opportunities opening up. We need people and equipment and money.
Today was a big day for us. Ethan and I met with the top Athletic Director in Cambridge public schools. He is actively supporting setting up orienteering as a club sport at the high school. We talked details, like the season, number of NEOC and CSU meets to attend, number of days of training, the staff needed to support it, where the money would come from, bus transportation to maps. This is going to happen in the fall.
In addition, we are likely to have orienteering added as an interscholastic sport at the middle school level next year. Practices once a week; final race probably at Danehy. Five schools. Five coaches. We provide advice, equipment, maps.
And finally, there have been some issues when teams (of various sports) from different towns compete. Inappropriate language from fans and athletes, including racist remarks. So he is organizing a "Leadership Conference" in August. Each high school sends 20-25 kids. They confront the issue and befriend each other. We can do an orienteering exercise - team poison score-O, probably. We need a map of the school grounds, Lincoln Sudbury. Lincoln Sudbury's Athletic Director is on board; I just contact him and visit the school to see where to make the map. Which means contact with another Athletic Director in the Boston area.
IS Champs 2018 is going to be interesting.
We do get some grants and program fees, but Dave and I have been funding this too much for it to be sustainable; I haven't had time to do fundraising or grant-writing. We could use people to do those things; could use an accountant; could use team advisors for the fall; old equipment; new equipment; team warmup jackets (OK, that's optional); and, of course, money.
We are a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to raising awareness about the sport of orienteering and teaching kids map-reading.
If the athletic directors are behind this, can't there be some support from the schools? The soccer team doesn't have to turn to its outside travel teams to support the school team.
I know you need more than this, but is there a way we can set up monthly donations to the 501(c)3?
I can't offer any help till I'm fully in Boston, but I'm a good science grant writer. I may be able to put those skills to good use in the fall. But not right now.
Would organizing a national meet or fun O-race (e.g. Billygoat) to benefit Navigation Games be realistic? I imagine NEOC and CSU would be willing to let Nav Games use their maps, and I think we could rally folks to put it together.
Your progress is excellent, and hopefully we can find some ways to sustain it.
I know money is the most useful but I will donate 13 new O' flags and an Epson T88IV thermal printer---the same type used to print results at most A-meets. Do you need pin punches too?
Hi all! Thanks for suggestions and support!
The schools are indeed going to provide several thousand dollars: $3600 for a head coach at the high school, plus additional money for aides and coaches at the middle schools. In addition, it looks like they'll provide some bus transportation to trainings and events, which is huge. This is dependent on the athletic director convincing additional money to be released, because the budget has already been submitted for next year. So not a sure thing but I feel that if we pull together our written proposal this weekend and it looks compelling, then we have a good chance.
So the schools will provide money - but in the first year, we will provide training for coaches, equipment, and advice.
Plus, we have lots of other projects. The biggest example this summer is the 6-week 4 hour-day summer program for teens. We did not get the $3k grant this summer to pay for staff, and we have 2 or 3 paid staff working around 30 hours a week. It's a valuable program, because it provides twice weekly O training plus 3 days of working on developing lesson plans and bringing orienteering to other summer camps, so lots of exposure to O for the local populace.
Thermal printer - very helpful, and O flags always useful. Pin punches helpful for training.
Yes, a benefit race is a good idea.
With a solid set of teams in Cambridge, I think we'll have information and materials developed for coaches that we could send to other schools in the area, with a goal of having a bunch of MA teams at IS Champs 2018. Probably will need advisors from NEOC/CSU for those teams, or at least some coach training sessions this summer and fall.
I won't be here Aug 23rd for the opportunity to work with 200 teens at this leadership conference. I will plan tne event with the help of the young people in the summer program, but will need volunteers to be available on the day of Aug 23rd to make it run smoothly and hopefully engage the coaches and athletic directors in conversations about starting up orienteering at their schools.
Becks, let's talk in the fall about grant writing.
Monthly donations - I'll ask what the best way to do that would be.