Occassional thoughts about orienteering
Friday, June 06, 2003
Part II: A typical day at the TJOC1:00 p.m.
I drop by the classroom to see if there is anything that needs to be done (putting out controls or vetting other courses, for example). If I'm lucky, I'll get a chance to rest a bit. I like to spend some time reading on the couch in my cabin (air conditioned).
While I'm relaxing, the kids aren't. The TJOC features a number of non-O' events that the kids do: rock climbing, "drown proofing", rappelling, for example.
TJOC is a Junior ROTC camp. I'm not exactly sure what that means. I think the kids enrolled in Junior ROTC programs get credit for attending the camp. It also means the camp is sponsored by Junior ROTC. The sponsorship is important. It keeps the price low and the quality high. Most kids at the camp have to pay $100 for a week long camp. That includes all of the training, accommodations and food. That's a good deal.
Orienteering, at least junior orienteering, in Texas is largely a Junior ROTC activity. TJOC reflects that. The camp has a mildly military flavor. A lot of the adult camp workers and organizers have military backgrounds and are active in Junior ROTC programs. A lot of the kids are in Junior ROTC programs.
Another meeting in the classroom. After an hour or so of relaxing in my cabin, the heat feels oppressive. It is hot out. The sun is strong. On the way to the classroom, I make sure to pick up another bottle of water and one of sport drink.
Staying hydrated is important at TJOC. Most of the kids wear Camelbaks. I carry a water bottle in a fanny pack.
It is actually a TJOC rule that you've got to have water with you at all times. If you don't, you might have to do 25 push ups!
After another short meeting, we pile into the buses to drive out to the day's last O' session (though some nights TJOC has night O'). The afternoon session might turn out to be O' on a contour only map (which turns out to have contours and rock features only).
I have a really tough time with the afternoon session because of the heat. Even if I try to start out easy, I quickly begin to suffer. I walk the hills. If I push just a bit too hard, I have to rest in the shade. I probably lose a good minute per kilometer to the better local kids.
We arrive back at the cabins after the afternoon session. Dinner is ready at 6:00, but a quick shower is a bigger attraction.
Dinners at TJOC get better every year. The menus are a bit heavy on meat for me, but the food is good and plentiful.
After dinner, I wander out to the picnic tables in front of the dining hall. The sun is lower in the sky and the temperature feels not-too-terrible. I don't stray far because in a few minutes the "ice cream social" begins!
The rest of the evening is relaxed. Some kids swim in the lake. Some play volleyball (don't these kids every get tired?). You see a lot of kids sitting or walking around with mobile phones to their ears. Most are probably just sitting around talking.
As the evening wears on I wander back in to the dinning hall to discover an Austin Power's movie is playing on the big screen DVD! Cool!
I crawl I check to make sure my alarm is set for 6:40 a.m. and crawl in to bed.
posted by Michael | 9:10 PM
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