There are two orienteering clubs in Florida. Usually we try not to hold events on the same day. However this year we have two conflicts - January 20th and February 24th. Yes our events are held on Saturdays.
Every year we get a few northern orienteers coming to Florida and getting a chance to thaw out in our parks. Too bad we can't stagger those dates.
But wait! We can. Here is the deal. If you are coming to Florida for either or both of those weekends and would like to maximize your orienteering experience we in Suncoast Orienteering will leave our markers out for the next day thus allowing you to participate at the FLO event on Saturday and at the Suncoast venue on the Sunday. OR come help put out the Suncoast markers on the Friday and participate at the FLO event on Saturday. We are easy and anxious to give you the best orienteering experience possible. Just let us know you are coming and 'we'll leave the lights on for you."
This is a really nice offer. However, at the risk of asking something that might be obvious, why not just have one of the events Saturday and the other Sunday?
That is a good question Boris and it goes to the heart of Florida orienteering. The 'bread and butter' of Florida orienteering events are the participation of the high school JROTC teams. They make up at least 80% of FLO and SOAR participants and therefore of our revenue. (The students are also very fun for this ex-teacher to work with) Their leaders have made it clear that they would not be able to bring their teams or even want to bring their teams to Sunday events so we schedule events on Saturdays to satisfy the market. The market is not the visiting orienteers. It is the high school orienteers. You visitors are the icing on the cake.
I also noticed this regrettable attitude of HS ROTC coaches,
as if they are forced to be there, but really they do not want to.
They behave like those laborers on plantations.
It is a striking contrast to what I remember from my childhood in Mordor,
where children's coaches were in the core of orienteering community, organized events, made maps, promoted the sport.
It may be because the majority of students are otherwise occupied on Sundays, with activities that they or their parents consider to be higher priority. (And perhaps the leaders likewise.)
Gents, I guess I should clarify something. Right from the get-go, even before the JROTC influx, Florida Orienteering decided to have their events on Saturdays. That is because a key organizer and founder, an import from the north, made it clear to his founding partners that if their events were on Sunday he and his wife would not be there to help. They would be in church.
That then worked out well when the JROTC started to come to events - they found an event on the day they preferred and matched up with the other competitions on their calendar.
Yes, there are other priorities on a Florida Sunday - family is one, church is another , having one day out of seven that they can count on as being 'off' is another. I can relate to a majority of those.
Finally all power to JROTC leaders. These are men and women who retire from the military and accept a 'second career' teaching cadets in a range of subjects AND then help their student organize for many extra-curricular activities and competitions of which orienteering is only one of them.
Very few - actually none that I know of - come in with an orienteering background. Despite not having the same burning love of the sport that we do they are there because their cadets love it.