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More than 50 people took part in NEOC's Memorial Day Weekend training camp. In addition to many NEOC members, there were also orienteers from New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Quebec. And our ages spanned seven decades!

Coach Greg Ahlswede designed four challenging training sessions, including terrain familiarization (slower pace, with discussion about mapping style), line-O (detailed map reading and map contact), mass start course (ignoring distractions), and downhill intervals (navigate while running faster). He also gave a great informative talk on Saturday evening, with "interviewer" Jeremy Colgan (HVO). Intermediate orienteers also completed a course with Greg on Sunday, discussing how to make route choice decisions and then execute the routes correctly. It was a fantastic learning and training experience.

The younger crowd (and it was a crowd!) developed their skills, too, with daily activities designed and led by Wendy Johnecheck and Ian Finlayson.

And training was only part of the weekend. There was also plenty of time to socialize, including board games and charades during a rather intense rain storm on Saturday. Thankfully the weather cleared, and folks were able to head out for an early evening training. Sunday was a beautiful day for orienteering, some lounging in hammocks (or vigorous swinging, for the younger set), and a perfect evening for a campfire (and s'mores). Finally, on Monday almost everyone headed to Norwottuck (less than 10 minutes away) to test out their new skills.

I really enjoyed meeting so many new people, as well as the opportunity to run at some of NEOC's most interesting areas. Many, many thanks to Greg for organizing the training and providing the coaching; to Wendy and Ian for organizing the youth training; to Phil and Will for putting on Monday's event; and to everyone for pitching in to help with cooking and dishwashing throughout the weekend.

- Kristin Hall