Course Setter's Workshop and Training @ Lakeside
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People of all ages and persuasions working together,
learning from and teaching each other. It was an awesome sight at the
course setting workshop, and that felt satisfying. I developed a new
course setting curriculum specifically for this event. I will be
publishing it on the terraloco website and tweaking it periodically as
I continue to learn from others about the art of course setting. To
create the presentation, I reflected on my experiences, and I read up
on all the resources I could - Adrian Zissos's guide, Evan Custer's
guide, and the array of documents at the British Orienteering
Federation's site. If you know of any resources I haven't listed,
please inform me.
Most of all, I've learned what I've learned from experience completing
different orienteering courses, evolving and adapting my style of
course setting as I incorporate design practices I found to be an
effective, fun, and a fair test of navigation skills. Steve Gregg and
Tapio Karras pioneered the use of "butterfly loops" at BAOC events, for
example. Perhaps some of the 23 participants will pioneer new styles of
their own in the future!
We learned quite a bit at the workshop from each other. Table groups of
five or six had small group discussions and did the activities
together, and we often shared out with the large group. The workshop
was presented from an orienteering perspective, and the adventure
racers shared some of the best practices from adventure racing - like
putting the challenging navigation towards the beginning of a long 12
hour or 24 hour race, since participants are too tired to appreciate
that towards the end of races.
The icing on the cake: the course setting exercises. Interesting
courses were developed, set, and tested on the Lakeside map by the
participants, and then they tested and commented on each other's
courses. Some people showed up just to train and had the chance to try
the courses out as well.
In the future, I look forward to more events where we can plan and set
courses for each other at the event. I'd like to organize periodic
events like this for the upcoming months of the year where we have more
daylight, for after work trainings. So, stay tuned for opportunities to
practice your course setting skills!
Thanks to Wendy Johnson and the staff of Oakland Parks and Recreation
for taking care of our room reservation and setting up the room for us.
Barbara Robben and Donato Polignone helped pickup extra streamers and
And many thanks to all the participants for bringing their good energy,
enthusiasm, and teamwork skills to make the workshop an enjoyable
experience for all.