For the past three years, CascadeOC has participated in a large summer festival (30k -45k people). We're one of a gazillion things going on, and previously, we've held a full-scale race (75-minute score-o) as well as a short demo course. Because our activity strays away from the ballfields and parking lots and into the forest, we don't get as many participants as I think we could be getting, so I'm thinking of other ways to engage visitors that stop by our tent.
So I'm thinking of a maze-o, the kind with stakes, streamers, and e-punch boxes.
I've only participated in one myself, and it was a long time ago (fundraiser at a national meet in California, ~10 years ago I think?).
For those of you who have organized them, or participated in a lot of them... what works and what doesn't work? What's a good size? How large should the grid be? Pathway width? What are ideal building supplies? How many controls? Point-to-point or freestyle?
I'd like the maze courses to be pretty short (less than 30 seconds), and I don't want to spend a ton of time to set it up. We'll be at the festival for 7 hours, so I think I'd like to have multiple courses throughout the day to encourage people to come back later.
Any thoughts and feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!
check out Go4Orienteering.org, not with streamers. very simple setup, 6 levels of difficulty for most of the games. Downside may be that many of the interesting layouts need 36 e-punch boxes. But some of the games can be done as 2 or 4 way elimination races, with equal-length-symmetric layouts
The link below is the maze we use for promotional type events. It doesn’t take a lot to setup but we also commonly use ones half this size at school events as well. The example has 2 courses each of which is mirrored to give 4 total. I don’t think you need different levels or to change courses during the day as you will find they keep coming back to try and beat there time ( or someone else’s ) anyway. Because of the different variations a maze this size will easily hold 30 people at once. The distance between the controls just varies with the amount of space you have. www.o-lynx.com\software\mazeall.pdf
For a public event, if possible put a tape around the outside so that entry is only from one end. This will help keep control of your chips so they don’t wander off. If using software like OE you just need to have someone with their finger on the enter button to override the ‘this chip has already been used message’. For O-Lynx I put in a special maze mode where it will just overwrite the last use automatically so someone doesn’t have to be watching the screen. It also has a course matching function that helps a lot as chips dont have to be assigned to specific courses.
Patrick, Tori Borish set up an actual Maze-O (as opposed to Grid-O) for us when BAOC hosted the US Nationals in 2016, so you might check with her.
OLOU has held about 5 or 6 of these so far and we are still trying out things. We have designed different shapes that include posts and streamer. So far, everyone seems to love the Mazes. A Typical Maze might take about 45 mins to set up and we use E-Punches. I would rather see something else rather than all those e-punches but have not really come up with anything. I do like the Grid-O and the Lynx methods listed above for simplicity. Although having an actual Maze with walls would be even better (like a mini Corn Maze). One of the advantages of using these Mazes is for visibility and increased participation. If we have been invited to rent a table and hand out brochures about Orienteering(Kind of boring), having the maze option encourages a lot of participation by all age groups.