Grizzly Orienteering's first two-day event is over now. Photos and maps from both days can be found at https://photos.app.goo.gl/QLTZxheU4FjTY3wt8
I think overall it was a very positive experience. It was awesome to have out-of-state visitors come in for the event. I think that added to the feel of a real orienteering competition. They seemed to largely enjoy the terrain, map, and course design, which leaves me emboldened for GrizO's first NRE to be held at Lubrecht in June 2022. A huge thank you to Greg Balter for all the work he did, both on site and remotely, to make us a usable Lubrecht map, and to Greg Ahlswede for doing the initial Lidar processing.
Attendance was really good, especially on Saturday (78 individual people), when the weather was decent. It was still fairly robust (42 people) on Sunday, when the weather was absolutely miserable (wet snow coming down all day).
One of the bigger criticisms I heard was that the snow weighted down many of the branches that I hung controls on for Sunday's event, leaving them very low to the ground. The obvious solution is control stands, which I sacrificed this time in favor of actually being able to put out all the controls for both days in a timely manner (I can run with a few bags of controls, but that becomes much harder with stands.) Clearly, I shouldn't be cutting corners like that.
On Saturday night we hosted an outdoor gathering for the out-of-town crew. Will, Eileen, John Harbuck, J-J, Nancy, Steve, Sue, and Gavin all attended. It was really nice to have an in-person gathering of orienteers like that.
We are developing a fantastic volunteer crew here, which makes things very doable on the day of the event. The next big step towards sustainability is to teach our volunteers the bigger tasks, which include course setting and event directing. We also need to find a dedicated marketing/outreach volunteer and someone to take over permits from us (though we do have some help there).
Next up we have the summer series with five events, as well as five clinics for the YWCA and YMCA. Also trying to see if there is enough interest in a regular kids' weeknight training series, but I am guessing that may have to wait till next year.