by Brenda Giese
Present: Evan Custer, George Minarik, Bob Cooley, Ian Tidswell, Joe Scarborough, Aileen Abernathy, Mark Blair, Nancy Lindeman, Nick Corsano, Leslie Minarik, Gary Kraght, Steve Gregg, Stacy Goss, Rosemary Johnson
The meeting was called to order at 6:55 p.m. at the Alta Imaging conference room in Oakland. The minutes of the March 16, 1998 board meeting and the April 5th annual general meeting were approved as published in the May issue of the Bulletin.
Evan reminded people of the intermediate clinic to be held on Tuesday, June 9th. He announced that the Presidio map has been drafted into OCAD, and that Aileen Abernathy and Mike Poulsen will make some map corrections prior to the August 2nd Presidio event. He also reminded people of the USOF Convention June 22-25 in Ohio. Gary Kraght suggested that we discuss the contested positions for the USOF board to instruct our delegates at the annual general meeting. There was no strong feelings one way or the other for any of the candidates. It appears that Ian Tidswell may be the only BAOC member to attend the convention and AGM, other than Gary, and he was given authority to use his judgement for whom to vote after hearing the candidates' presentations at the meeting. We will look into giving HVO via Ian a proxy since he did not change his primary club membership to BAOC soon enough to act as a delegate for BAOC. Evan announced that he has donated start and finish banners for all three of the club's equipment boxes. He also encouraged as many members as possible to attend the US Champs in Washington state Aug. 7-9, and hoped we would field several BAOC teams for the Relay Championship. He also announced that Lisa Wylie, who did the membership survey, has relocated to Portland.
George Minarik stated that our bank balance is $7256.76. Event income is down secondary to El Nino and the wet weather in the early part of the year. We have taken in $8,037.25 in event income, with an annual budgeted income of $21,310, and about half of our events have already taken place. Our event expenses are running slightly more than budgeted because of increased costs of printing pre-marked maps using OCAD. However, we budgeted $7,000 for the Boca Reservoir map which we have decided not to map this year. $1600 of the $7000 has been allocated to mapping a portion of the northeast corner of Briones, and $800 has been transferred to publicity.
The Presidio has been entered into OCAD. We have receive the Burton Creek base map, and George Kirkov will start field checking in July. George will field check the northeast corner of Briones this month. We will receive the Tamorancho base map this month, and Scott and Gary have volunteered to do the field checking. We should get the Morgan Territory base map in August or September. Mike Poulsen asked that we give 20-30 of the Presidio maps to the YMCA. Instead, the board said that we would sell them the maps at a discount for only $1.00 each. We could use a volunteer to do further field checking at Golden Gate Park.
At the March board meeting, it was decided to have the 1999 A meet at Morgan Territory in November if we could get the map done by then and also if we could find increased parking. However, since then, Cascade and Sammamish O Clubs in the Seattle area have announced that they are hosting a Pacific Northwest Orienteering Festival July 21-26, 1999. Rick Breseman, PNWOF director, has asked if we would consider having our A meet the preceding weekend July 17-18 at Spooner Lake. After discussion, it was decided that having our event the preceding weekend probably would not attract more people to the two events because of the distance between the two, but may actually decrease attendance because those up in the Seattle area probably would not attend ours because they would be busy working on their event. However, the board decided to change its decision to hold our 1999 A meet at Morgan Territory, and instead hold it at Spooner Lake, either in August or September. We have the Spooner Lake map finished, and it has never been used. It also has the better terrain, and there is no poison oak. It would also help us work out the bugs of holding an A meet in the Sierra, and allow us to have a better event the following year for the Sierra 2000. The vote was 11 for, 1 against, and 2 abstentions.
Evan presented the information he has obtained regarding the site for the USOF Convention and headquarters for the Sierra 2000 event. He investigated Northstar, Heavenly Valley, Incline Village, Granlibakken Conference Center, and several other resorts including Cal Neva, Hyatt Regency, etc. He stated that Northstar was ideal except for the fact it was a little pricey compared to other USOF Convention rates. Northstar has plenty of housing, restaurants, conference rooms, and also has a large area of forest that would be good for outdoor events and skill sessions. It even has a small black and white orienteering map with some permanent controls. Rick Oliver has indicated that GCO may be making a color map of Northstar. Preliminary discussions with Northstar are that they would give us 1998 group rates for 2000. A studio condo or lodge room would be $100 or $50/person. 2BR/2 bath condos (1 Q/2 twin beds) would house 4 people and would be $185 or $46.25 per person. 3 BR/2 bath (2 Q's/2twins) would house 6 people and would be $235 or $39 per person. All the condos have full kitchens, a living room, VCR's and a TV, plus the bedrooms and baths. Northstar would hold these rates for up to 90 days before the event, and we would have to do the assignment of the housing. There would be a slight increase in rates up to 60 days, and after that, the rates would be current individual rates on a space available basis. The board agreed that Northstar would be a good location to hold the convention, and authorized Evan to negotiate further with Northstar.
The Convention would begin Tuesday afternoon, August 1st. There would be a 1 day A meet, possibly a short course, Wednesday morning, Aug. 2nd. The convention would continue Wed. afternoon through Friday. The AGM would be Friday, Aug. 4th. The 2 day A meet would be Saturday and Sunday, Aug 5-6. We will indicate that we would be willing to host the US Champs that weekend, but not also do the North American Champs.
There had been some proposals on the BayOnet to change the Bulletin, from decreasing its frequency to increasing its use by mailing it out to all first time competitors. The board agreed that the bimonthly Bulletin was important, even though much of its content may already have been place on the Website and on the BayOnet. Only half the members subscribe to the BayOnet, and many of those that do indicated they still like the hard copy of the Bulletin. It also serves as a reminder that there are orienteering events coming up.
The costs of printing the Bulletin have increased, mainly because the editor has switched to having it copied at Kinko's instead of using an offset printer because of the more rapid turnaround and convenience. Stacy indicated that she will investigate some more printers in her area to try to get some less expensive quotes.
It had been suggested that one of the reasons why membership has been falling is because many people get their information about events and results from the Web page. It was suggested that we create a new membership, an electronic or e-membership, that would allow a person to have all of the rights of a member (such as decreased entry fees) but not get the Bulletin. Gary Kraght expressed skepticism that this was the main reason for falling membership. He thought it was more due to ineffective promotion. The board agreed to re-discuss the e-membership proposal again next meeting.
Ian suggested that we increase our regular membership dues to the $25-30 range, but then offer a low income membership at $12-15 range for those who would be affected by the higher rates, such as graduate students. It costs about $18 per year for the Bulletin, and another $3 per member per year for USOF dues, or $21 for an individual membership and $24 for a family membership. This issue will also be discussed again at the fall board meeting.
Despite our increased efforts at publicity, we are continuing to have decreased participation at our events by beginning orienteers. Much of this has been due to the wet winter, but even on nice days, the number of white and yellow participants has been less than previous years. Gavin Wyatt-Mair had commented on the BayOnet that direct mail works, particularly if we know the target audience. We have the names and addresses of beginners on the entry forms, but never do anything with it. It was suggested that we create a database of non member participants, and then mail them out a copy of the Bulletin and entry form that has the article and results of the event they attended. We could also mail them a postcard every three months or so with our schedule. Stacy Goss volunteered to manage this database. Event directors should send her the entry forms of non-members who filled in the address section. We will try this for 1 year, and see if the increase in retaining beginning orienteers (if any) justifies the increased cost.
Ian suggested that we should also use e-mail more. He suggested that we should send to everyone who has given us their e-mail address an e-mail update of the next month's events. This would be a separate list from the BayOnet, and would only come out once a month or so. The board agreed with this, and Stacy also volunteered to maintain this list.
Ian passed out his proposal for improving the quality and consistency of our events. He stated that despite the fact that we have many experienced course setters in the club, there still is variability in the quality of the events, particularly in relation to the white, yellow, and orange courses. He suggested that we should raise awareness of the importance of good course design, improve feedback to course setters by participants, improve the dissemination of the course design criteria, and have all courses reviewed by a course consultant, similar to what we now do for A meets. The board generally agreed with these proposals, but did not like the idea of asking finishers to complete a written evaluation of the event and course. Instead, it was suggested that we have a designated person at the finish line during the peak finish period (11 to 1) to greet white and yellow finishers, ask them if they had any questions or problems with the course, and encourage them to come back to future events and become a member. Hopefully, this position (?name, perhaps "greeter") be incorporated in all of our events, just as we have someone designated to give beginner's clinics.
Joe gave a follow up to our discussion last month. He stated that several other members (John Pagendarm and Julia Tussing) have volunteered to help him enter data for rankings purposes. In addition to the course rankings that he has produced in the past, he will also develop another list that combines all advanced orienteers in one list, and use all C meets, in addition to the B and A meets, for computing these rankings. He will also produce orange rankings on a more frequent basis.
Currently we have no policy for accepting advertising for either the Bulletin or Web page, and have no ad rates. We have been allowing ads for Scarborough Orienteering at no charge on a space available basis in the Bulletin, since Joe provides a service to members, and gives a member discount. However, what it if other vendors want to place ads? Also, we have had requests from several people to place ads on our Website. It was suggested that we limit ads in the Bulletin and Web page to orienteering related activities. Evan stated that ONA charges $54 for a 5.5 x 8.5 inch ad for USOF member clubs, and $33 for an ad half that size. Evan suggested that perhaps we should charge $10-15 for a half page ad for club members, and $20-25 for non club members. Similarly, perhaps we should charge $10-15 per month for a banner ad on our Web page for club members, and $20-25 for non members. (It costs us $360 per year to maintain the Web page.) It was decided to form a committee composed of Evan, George, Stacy, Wyatt, Abby, and Ian to come back at the next meeting with proposed guidelines and rates.
Since the club paid to have maps printed, it was agreed that we should charge $1.00 for maps used at the practice sessions.
After discussion with Michael Schneiderman, USOF Vice President for Administration, it was decided that event directors should keep liability releases for 1year after the event.
Evan presented the implementation of the recommendations, including increased promotion, training events, and converting our maps into OCAD.
Evan complimented Ian for a fantastic job on this year's Golden Goat. It was excellent from a distance and technical point of view, and after modification of the women's time limits, fair for the participants. After some discussion, it was decided to continue to have a T-shirt and also time limits for the participants at next year's Goat.
Next meeting. Monday, September 21, 1998, Stanford.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.