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The Spring Orienteering Season kicks off next weekend! And the new NEOC GEAR has arrived: See pick-up dates highlighted below.

  • Here are a few highlights of the upcoming Spring Season. See the Coming Events page for details and updates.
    • March 24-26: BYOM Event at Auburndale Park (Newton, MA). Gear pick-up during the March 25 training event window (10 am - 1 pm).
    • March 25: Beginner Training Event (Newton, MA): Pre-registration Required. If you have time, volunteer to help out.
    • April 2: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Training Event (Baldwin Hill, Ashburnham, MA). Gear pick-up available.
    • April 15: Spring Scout-O at Hale Education
    • April 16-30: BYOM Hale Education (Westford, MA)
    • April 24: Beaver Brook North (Waltham, MA) - Updated Map
    • May 13-14: The 43rd Billygoat and Camping/Training Weekend at Pearl Hill (Ashby, MA). Beginner and intermediate courses also available on May 14. Registration info coming soon.
    • May 21: Mary Cummings Park (Burlington, MA)
    • May 28: Forest Park Sprints (Springfield, MA)
    • June 11: Houghton's Pond (Milton, MA)
  • In addition, here are a few additional regional Spring activities to keep you busy!
    • Spring Park-O Thursday Series (SPOTS): CSU and NEOC are organizing a series of 8 Thursday evening spring park orienteering events in the Greater Boston Area. Pre-registration will be live soon. Register for the series or for just one of the events. Series runs April 20-June 8: 6:00 pm. Tentative Schedule listed here.
      • April 20: Boston Common - Boston
      • April 27: Nahanton Park - Newton
      • May 4: Horn Pond - Woburn
      • May 11: Herter Park - Boston
      • May 18: Jamaica Pond - Boston
      • May 25: Menotomy Rocks - Arlington
      • June 1: Historic Beaver Brook - Belmont/Waltham
      • June 8: Pine Banks - Malden
    • May 6-7 - Boulder Dash in NH: Up North Orienteers are hosting a 2-day National Ranking Event near Hollis, NH. Early Bird Registration ends on March 19.
    • Newton Recreation Spring Development Series: Register for this exciting beginning training 3-event series in Newton Parks. Learn the basics of navigation and then try out your skills at the 2023 events.
  • CHECK OUT this segment from the NBC Nightly News w/Lester Holt: 'Orienteering Keeps your Brain Healthy'.. See you in the Woods soon!
  • Join/Renew your NEOC membership for 2023. Membership gives you free entry to NEOC standard events and allows you to skip the queue at registration. It also gives you access to the 5 courses included in the 2023 Winter Challenge (runs through April 1).

Yesterday's NBC Nightly News had a short piece on a recent research report, "Orienteering experts report more proficient spatial processing and memory across adulthood." The video features Kathy Bannister, who often competes in NEOC NREs.

The authors are on the faculty of the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University, Canada. One of the authors, Emma Waddington, keeps a log on Attackpoint.

  • Volunteer Meet directors: We are looking for meet directors for the following 2023 event locations and dates. These events will help fill in our 2023 schedule. The NEOC events team supports meet directors or individuals who haven't directed meets in a few years when taking on this volunteer role. We also support with obtaining permits and other tasks associated with putting on an event. Come give it a try—contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
    • Mary Cummings (Burlington, MA) - May 20 or 21: The map for this location is relatively new and the event would support beginner, intermediate and a short advanced course (brown).
    • Houghton's Pond (Milton, MA) - June 4: This event is run side-by-side with the Annual General Meeting and typically includes a Score-O and a beginner courses (white and yellow courses).
    • Boojum Rock (Medford, MA) - October 21: This event will be held on an updated map (currently being updated) and can support beginner/intermediate and advanced courses.
    • Noon Hill (Medfield, MA) - October 14- 27: This event will be a Bring-your-own-Map (BYOM) event, so easier than in-person events. We have had a lot of feedback that many folks like to have BYOM events as well as in-person events
  • MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL: Join/Renew your NEOC membership for 2023. We have some exciting plans for 2023 and we look forward to you joining us!
  • WINTER CHALLENGE: The 2023 Winter Challenge is live and people are getting out on the 5 maps. Details are included with your member card, emailed when you join/renew for 2023. Be sure to check out the comments from members on the spreadsheet before heading out!
  • MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL: Join/Renew your NEOC membership for 2023. We have some exciting plans for 2023 and we look forward to you joining us!
  • WINTER CHALLENGE: The 2023 Winter Challenge is live and people are getting out on the 5 maps. Details are included with your member card, emailed when you join/renew for 2023. Be sure to check out the comments from members on the spreadsheet before heading out!
  • Registration for the Introduction to Orienteering event on Saturday, March 25 is now open. Please create an account and then register for the time slot that works best for you. NEOC members can register for free for this training, just enter code NEOC Member to apply the discount before checking out. If you are registering multiple family members you will need to apply the code for each NEOC member.
  • Volunteers are needed for the Introduction to Orienteering event on March 25. Sign upto be an instructor, help with check-in, and promoting NEOC; or help hang or pick up controls. The BYOM courses will be set up all day so you can do a course (or courses) before or after volunteering.
  • NEOC at 2023 Junior Nationals: Check out the write-up and photos from NEOC juniors who attended the event in January! What a great showing and experience!
  • HVO/WCOC Winter Series: For more winter fun in the woods, check out the BYOM event at Bigelow Hollow (Union, CT). It is open until February 26.
  • Beginner skills training classes are being offered through Newton Parks and Recreation on Saturdays this Spring. Check out the program flyer or go online for more information and to register. [These trainings are being run through Newton Parks and Recreation and don't qualify for NEOC member discounts.]

The depths of winter are a perfect time to look back with nostalgia on those crisp autumn days ... and for the coordinator to type up a long-overdue summary of the 2022 NEOC Fall Point Series!

Hundreds of NEOC members and non-members enjoyed the fall season at Pearl Hill, Bigelow Hollow, Rocky Woods, and Hale. 39 people ran the same level course at three of these events. The series used "cross country scoring" again this year, with first place receiving one point, second two points, and so forth. Each athlete's lowest three scores were totaled, and the athlete with the lowest score on each course was victorious. However, sharp-eyed observers noted that there are some people who ran regularly, but not always on the same course. Couldn't there be a way to recognize their achievements as well? And are there still more achievements worthy of commendation, other than just being the fastest of the season? We added a few new awards this year, and are already planning for a couple more in 2023.

Isla Finlayson-Johnecheck was the only white-course runner to complete three events, and the only runner on any course to achieve a perfect score of 3. On yellow, Paul Williams was very consistent, finishing at the top of the leaderboard with 4 points, followed closely by Peter Campbell.

Orange featured a wide array of competitors: high school students gaining technical skills before "moving up" to advanced courses, veterans short on time or energy on a given day "running down" from their usual course, usually-yellow runners looking for an extra challenge, and more. Sometimes Orange is the "Goldilocks course" - not too long or hard, not too short or easy, but just right. Still, it doesn't seem to be many people's "usual course" as only two club members had three results on orange ... and they are both Board members! Wendy Johnecheck edged out Channon Ames for the top slot. Lukas Webb (moving up from yellow in 2021) had a first and a second place finish, but didn't make it to a third event this year.

Brown is another Goldilocks course, with many runners mixing in a brown run here and there. 13 people made it their main course, with Michael Cooper topping the list and Stephen Tarry right behind. This course also saw a lot of loyal runners: with three people completing four brown courses, and two: Dorina Nimigean and Jim Crawford completing all five.

The battle of the generations played out on Green, right down to the last race between young Mori Finlayson-Johnecheck and not-so-young Andy Hall. Some friendly-trash talking was noted in advance of the final event at Hale. The result? Tied for first with five points each. However, Zephyr Newman earned the Award for Awesome Improvement over the course of the season, running green at all five events and improving steadily from not finishing at Rocky Woods to third place at both of the final events!

While the purple division (blue/red combo) didn't have anyone complete three races, the red course featured some heated competition. Alison Crocker showed everyone how it's done with a near-perfect four points. J-J Cote edged out Isabel Bryant for the second place slot by a mere one point.

Finally, the Movin' Up Prize is being awarded to two runners this year. Conlan Doran started the season with three strong runs on green, then moved up with 8th and 2nd place finishes on the red course. Min-Jae Kuo also competed in all five events, beginning on yellow, then two runs on orange, and finally jumping up to brown with excellent results.

Hurrah and congratulations to all NEOC members who got out in the woods this past fall. Being in the woods with a map in hand is a reward in itself, but for those who like a bit of friendly competition, we hope the point series delivered.

See you in 2023!

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