Girl Scouts USA National Convention

It was possible for Orienteering USA to have an exhibit and indoor orienteering course at the Girl Scout USA national convention this October in Columbus, Ohio, thanks to very generous cash donations by Barb Bryant, Clare Durand, and Mike Minium.  Volunteers Shin Shimizu, Chiori Shimizu, Earl Reisinger (all of COO) and Mike Minium (OCIN) staffed the exhibit and introduced many girls and leaders to the sport.  Several thousand convention participants passed by our exhibit, and many stopped to pick up information, ask questions, or try the indoor course.

Many girls tried and enjoyed the short indoor score-O course.  Many people said they enjoyed the course, and at least one scout leader commented that they had really missed us at the last convention 3 years ago.  Girls who completed the course received an Orienteering USA keychain whistle (which also has a red LED light). The whistle has the Orienteering USA name and website so it will serve as a marketing tool throughout its life.

We collected several pages of names and email addresses requesting information from local clubs, which I will sort and distribute to the closest OUSA local clubs.  I've already sent an email to the ones in COO and OCIN areas about upcoming events by those respective clubs.

We also sold 19 copies of "Orienteering and Map Games for Teachers"; we gave away one copy as a promotion, and we gave out at least a couple hundred mail order forms for the books.  We also gave out at least 100 sheets promoting the new patch program Clare has initiated.

This also was a good opportunity to talk with many GSUSA leaders and paid staff, and to promote the idea of mapping camps and working with local orienteering clubs for programming and use of the camps.  We emphasized the idea that clubs will generally be willing to produce a map and set up a permanent course in exchange for periodic free access to the camp to host public events.

A 20-minute "campfire" presentation on Friday morning was well attended by perhaps 25 people, filling almost every available seat, making positive comments about the presentation.  Many presentation participants also tried the indoor course, including a wheelchair participant, who praised the indoor course for having all of the punches accessible and low enough to be easily reached.

The Orienteering USA tabletop 3-panel display in the photo above is available for OUSA member clubs to use at events; contact Mike Minium for details.  Clubs or vendors wanting to purchase a supply of the Orienteering USA keychain whistles should also contact Mike Minium.

posted 29 Nov 2017