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Kelly Wells approaches a boulder control on the Red course at Mt. Pinos, June 2001 (Photo: Joel Thompson, LAOC)

Briones Regional Park

Date: Sunday, October 10, 2004
Location: Martinez, CA.
Event Director: - 925.934.6567
Course Setter: Gavin Wyatt-Mair
Event Type: B; Regular BAOC event & Scout-O Championships
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Scout-O Championships

We are pleased to announce the twelfth annual Bay Area Scout Orienteering Championship in Briones Park, Martinez. This is a cross-country map and compass adventure designed to test the map reading ability, compass skills, and woodsman savvy of any troop, regardless of size or experience.

Unfortunately, the Park District had to cancel last year's event due to high fire danger. So we will repeat it this year. Who will be champions this year? Everyone stands a chance!! Some practice, some fitness, and some thinking will get you a long way. So come on out -- bring your compasses, running shoes and your brains -- and have fun!

Boy scouts, girl scouts, brownies, daisies, cubs, tigers and webelos of all ages are welcome! Instruction will be offered at the event so that all scouts, regardless of prior experience, will be able to take part in the actual competition. There will be courses of four distinct levels of difficulty, so that no scout should encounter a challenge beyond his or her capabilities.

Scott Aster spots a control on the Green course at Briones, 2001 (Photo: Trevor Pering)

The park has been mapped to International Orienteering Federation (IOF) standards. The details shown on these 5-color maps far exceeds those available on even the newest U.S. Geological Survey topographical maps. Teams may keep their maps so they will be useful for instruction and reference after the event. This year's new map is expanded again!

Preregistration is required for the event. It may be necessary to constrain the number of participants, so register early (first come, first served).

The format for this year's championships will be similar to prior years', and is described below. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of all ages are welcome, and the competition is arranged to accommodate any skill level. In addition, the courses are arranged to satisfy the map and compass requirements for First Class, Second Class, or the Orienteering Merit Badge.

Ev Beuerman punches a boulder control on the Orange course at Coyote Hills, 2000 (Photo: Angelica Riley)

A regular Bay Area Orienteering Club (BAOC) event will be held simultaneously at the same location, so anyone wishing to do the BAOC courses is also welcome to do that.

Yes, there will be patches. Anyone who has not yet received a patch for a prior year's event can get it at this year's event, or by contacting the Event Director. The patches are "progressive", so that a scout can participate in multiple Scout-Os and add to his or her patch sequence.

We will have electronic punching again, as in previous years.

Competitive Categories

Scouts will compete against other scouts with the same orienteering experience. Four courses will be offered for scouts.

Course 1:  Daisies, Brownies, Cub Scout dens, Webelo dens, Tenderfoot
           and Junior Scouts, and scouts with very little (less than 2)
           prior orienteering experiences.  Dens and younger scouts will
           run in groups of 2-6 with an adult advisor who should follow
           his or her group (not lead it).  Tenderfoot scouts will run
           in pairs (or a group of three).

Course 2:  Cadettes, Seniors, Second Class and/or First Class scouts, or
           scouts with minimal (2 to 5) orienteering experiences.
           Compete in pairs (or a group of three).

Course 3:  Star, Life, and/or Eagle Scouts, or scouts with substantial
           (more than 5) orienteering experiences.  Compete in pairs (or
           a group of three).

Course 4:  Advanced, highly-experienced orienteers of any rank.  Run
           alone on a typical United States Orienteering Federation
           (USOF) Orange-level course.

Adult Course:  All leaders and parents are invited to compete on a
               course similar to but separate from Course 3.  They may
               run in groups or alone.  Leaders/parents should also
               pre-register.  Leader results are for bragging rights
               only, and will not affect troop scoring.

Rubin heads to the finish at the 2001 Morgan Territory A-meet, shadowed by proud papa Van Boughner (Photo: Tony Pinkham)

NOTE: Choose your courses carefully -- there are more points available for doing the harder courses (we are encouraging scouts to "move up" a notch), but don't get on a course you can't finish, because then you will likely lose points. As a rule of thumb, the points available for Course 2 are about 10% more than Course 1. Course 3 is about 20% more than Course 1, and Course 4 is about 30% more than Course 1.

Score Event: All scouts may compete in a troop "Score" event in the afternoon. Both morning and afternoon events will contribute to the troop total score to determine the Troop Championship.

Hint: The more scouts that attend from a given troop, the better the troop usually does. We combine the top N scouts' scores from the morning and afternoon events to get the troop score. The value N is set by the Event Director on the day of the meet, based on conditions and attendance.

Registration

All troops participating in the Scout-O must be pre-registered and prepaid. Registration will close on October 1, 2004. The cost of the event is $5.00 per scout and participating leader. Choose your teams carefully, because they must remain together all day. Mixed-category teams are possible, but will compete on the course of the higher-ranking scout. Each troop may have one 3-person team to allow for odd numbers.

Syd Reader sprints to the finish at Las Trampas (1999)

The registration form is available here as either a Word Document or HTML file. Troops may also obtain registration forms and detailed information from the Event Director:

   Gavin Wyatt-Mair
   20 Folin Lane
   Lafayette, CA 94549
   Tel: (925) 934-6567 at home
   

Registration forms and information will also be available at the registration desk at other BAOC events in June through September.

Start Times

The event will be held on Sunday, October 10, 2004. Instruction will begin at 9:00 am. The start time of each individual team will be determined by the entry date of their troop. In general, start times will begin at 10:00 am and go until about noon. The Score event will run from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. The awards ceremony will begin at 3:15 pm, and the event will be closed at 3:40 pm. It is advisable to arrive at the event by 9:00 am. We will stick to the pre-assigned start times -- it's less confusing that way. You may call the Event Director for advance notice of your troop's starting times. Bring compasses, and remember, we go rain or shine!

Interesting rock formation at Castle Rock Park

Prizes

Awards will be made to the best teams on each course. The champion troops will be determined by the results in all categories including the Score event. As before, there will be medals, certificates, and a Troop trophy. There will be awards for the top "Junior" Scout troop (Cubs, Webelos, Daisies, Brownies, etc) as well as the top Girl Scout troop if a Boy Scout troop wins, or the top Boy Scout troop if a Girl Scout troop wins. Each participant will receive a progressive (by course) participation patch.

Equipment

You will each need strong trail shoes, long pants (Briones has stickers!), a pen or pencil, a watch, and a compass. You may want a water bottle, hat, sunscreen, etc. if it's hot, or rain gear if it's rainy. Bring your own lunch.

Regular Event Information

We return again to the southwest portion of Briones, where the map extension provides options for new terrain and interesting route choices. Last year's meet was cancelled by the Park District due to high fire danger. That's unlikely to happen two years in a row, so be ready to run! This should provide a good tune-up opportunity for those going to the U.S. Championships in Wisconsin the following weekend.

Louise Madrid at Coyote Hills in 2000

All courses will be pre-marked. All courses will have e-punching. White, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Green, Red, and Blue courses will be offered. Grass stickers and thistles are usually abundant, so be sure to wear gaiters and long pants.

The annual Scout-O will be held concurrently with the regular event, so expect a sizable crowd. Although pre-registration is required for the Scout-O, it is NOT required for the BAOC B-meet. BAOC members please note that your showing is very good publicity for the club, and sets an example for hundreds of scouts and adults to see!! Please do come, with your best o-gear, a smile, and a word of encouragement for the youngsters.

Click to enlarge - Montebello Open Space Preserve, looking from the start toward the finish (2004)

Registration opens at 9:00. Starts will be at the usual times -- from 10:00 to 12:30. Allow an extra 10 minutes to get to a slightly remote start.

If you are able and willing to help out on the day of the meet, or before, we sure could use your help! Please let me know.

Driving Directions

Registration will be at the West entrance to the park, off of Bear Creek Road. To get there, take route 24 West from 680 or East from 80. Exit in Orinda heading North on Camino Pablo. After about 2 miles, turn right onto Bear Creek Road. After about 3.5 miles, the park entrance will be on your right and is well sign-posted. (Don't be fooled by the parking area on the left -- that's not it.) There is a park charge of approximately $4.00 for parking. Please car-pool if possible, since there will probably be many scouts attending the event.