Briones Regional Park, Orinda

Sunday, October 10, 1999

by Gavin Wyatt-Mair, meet director, 925-934-6567

As usual, this Briones event includes both a regular BAOC event and our annual Scout-O Championships. We are expecting 300 or more Scouts, and about 150 on the BAOC courses. Good grief!

If you can help out at the meet, let me know - I could sure use it! Thanks to all those who have already volunteered: Terry and Janice Gleason, Evan Custer, Kelly and Julie Wells, Nick Corsano, Esther Heller, Liz Butterfield, Nina Wyatt-Mair, John Anderson, Christian Froyd, Bob Cooley, Mark Prior, Aileen Abernathy, some Scouts....

The star thistles are still heavy in places, but are not too bad with leg and ankle protection. There is poison oak - mainly large bare stalks and areas of ankle-high plants. The terrain is rough. You will need good strong shoes, and advanced courses need good cleats.


Registration for both events will be at the west entrance to the park, off of Bear Creek Road. Please carpool if possible, as we expect a huge turnout!

To get there, take route 24 West from I-680 or East from I-80. Exit at Orinda, heading north on Camino Pablo. After about 2 miles, turn right on Bear Creek Road. After about 3.5 miles, the park entrance will be on your right (don't be fooled by the parking area on the left - that's not it), and is well sign-posted. There is a charge of approximately $3.50 for parking.


Our new Briones map, field-checked by Christian Froyd and Bob Cooley, is waaay better than the old one. It was a big hit last year, and this time around, we will be using some never-before used, previously unavailable Briones terrain.

The advanced courses were designed by Christian Froyd, and are a mixture of fast open areas and intricate forest, so stay awake! The start is about 500m from the parking lot, on the trail. Follow the streamers - it takes 10 minutes to get there. All maps will be pre-marked. There will also be a Start-O for the kids.

The Scout-O will overlap the White, Yellow, and some of the Orange courses. Please be tolerant. Also, remember that horses have the right of way, and try not to scare them. Skunks are a different matter.

Course statistics:

     Color    Distance    Climb     Navigational    Physical
                [km]       [m]      difficulty      difficulty

     White      3.7        120        Easy           Easy 
     Yellow     3.9        130        Easy           Easy 
     Orange     4.2        180        Moderate       Moderate 
     Brown      3.3        190        Hard           Moderate 
     Green      4.1        220        Hard           Hardish 
     Red        5.1        320        Hard           Hard     
     Blue       6.8        410        Hard           Very hard

Scout-O Championships

BAOC is pleased to announce the Eighth Annual Bay Area Scout Orienteering Championships. Register by October 1, 1999, to participate!

The winner last year was five-time champion Troop 32 from San Jose, the Polish Troop. Who can unseat them? Maybe Troop 24 from Berkeley, who has placed second twice now? How about Troop 139 from Davis, who has been third twice?

This year we are making a few subtle changes to the program to help with fairness, and maybe a Girl Scout troop will rise to the task...everyone stands a chance! Some practice, some fitness, and some thinking will take you a long way. So come on out! Bring your compasses, running shoes, and your brains - and have fun!

The format for this year's championships is the same as for last year's event, 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 meet the map and compass requirements for First Class, Second Class, and the Orienteering Merit Badge.

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 me. The patches are "progressive," so a scout can participate in multiple Scout-Os and add to his or her patch sequence.

Our computer automation of results is improving, and we are expecting to be able to announce results earlier this year, as well as post the in-between standings after the morning event.

Competitive Categories

The event is divided into two parts: a set of courses in the morning, and a troop "score" event in the afternoon. Both events will contribute to a troop's 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 meet director on the day of the meet, based on conditions and attendance.

Morning courses: Scouts will compete against other scouts with the same level of orienteering experience. Four scout courses will be offered, plus a course for the adults.

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 has about 20% more, and Course 4 has about 30% more points than Course 1.

Afternoon score event: All scouts may compete in this troop "score" event. Teams will remain the same as in the morning event.


All troops participating in this Scout-O must be preregistered and prepaid. Registration closes on Oct. 1, 1999. The cost is $4.00 per scout or participating leader. Make checks payable to BAOC and mail the forms to me (see below).

There are three ways to get registration forms:

When filling out the forms, 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.

Event Schedule

Instruction will begin at 9:00 am. The start time for 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 2:00 - 3:00 pm. The awards ceremony will begin at 3:30 pm, and the meet will be closed at 3:45 pm.

Try to arrive by 9:00 am. We will stick to the pre-assigned start times - it's less confusing that way. You may call the meet director for advance notice of your troop's starting times. Bring compasses and remember, we go rain or shine!


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. There will be medals, certificates, and a troop trophy.

This year there will be special awards for the top "junior" Scout troop (Cubs, Webelos, Daisies, Brownies, etc.), as well as for 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.


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. Also bring your own lunch.

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