Happyland Training Camp

QOC's 2024 resumption of its annual training camp tradition, after a hiatus of five years, took place in near-perfect weather with a beautiful sunny day on Saturday, a clear, starry sky for the Saturday night score-O and a mostly sunny Sunday.

Flickr photo album for the training & Sunday event is here.


Training Director Matt Smith provided training opportunities for all skill levels with a view to engaging the entire club membership in the QOC training camp. It took a lot of time and effort to coordinate three different training tracks, find the instructors, and design and set training courses for each training block plus the night score-O, but Matt rose to the challenge and made it all happen.

And speaking of time and effort, master chef Florence Tan and the other two members of the traditional QOC training camp culinary troika, Shirley Tan and Mary Snieckus, were on their game as always, preparing and planning ahead of time to provide us all with great fare in the dining hall. Florence had been event director for QOC's Greenbelt event the weekend before the training camp and left directly from Prince William Forest to fly out to a conference she was hosting! Now that's dedication to QOC. (And she even managed to provide yoga instruction on Sunday morning as well!)

Behind the scenes, event registrar Greg Lennon devised a very effective pre-registration process and information display that captured all the data generated by the various options open to participants so the event director and others could manage dormitory assignments, amount of food to purchase, special dietary needs and other considerations. Meanwhile, Kathleen Lennon and Sharmagh Yepremian did great work in publicizing the event and producing an excellent turn-out.

A lot of great work from many other individuals as well went into making this training camp happen:

  • The trainers/instructors who lent their wide range of orienteering expertise--Dave Onkst, Ken Walker, Jon Torrance, Michael Dickey, Diana Aleksieva, Vido Aleksiev, Erin Brandt, Lydia Andrews, Nadim Ahmed, John Baker, Elina Breton, Will Hubsch, Ted Good, and Peggy Dickison
  • Those who jumped in to help put out controls when crunch time arrived--Bill Wright, Jody Landers, Rob Field and Michael Dickey.
  • Dasa Merkova and Harry Jones who checked in arrivals and directed them to their accommodations.
  • Bill Wright who transported all the food and supplies down to Camp 5.
  • And all those who helped Florence, Shirley and Mary preparing and cleaning up after various meals from Friday night to Sunday early afternoon--Jane Leggett, Sharmagh Yepremian, Beatri Bennet, Jody and Cecilia Landers, Dasa Merkova, Harry Jones, John Baker, Bill Wright, John Ashley, Jenny Kuenz, Jens Wira, Michal Jarnik, Franciello Dalla Costa, Adrianna Mabery, Stephen Pepe, Michael Dickey, Katherine Canalichio, Jon and Eve Cummings, Rob Field, Becky Patterson and Susan Shoemaker.
  • Valerie Meyer who made an unscheduled appearance on Saturday evening that allowed us to use e-punching (and its superior accountability function) for the night Score-O as well as reprising her regular e-punch role during the Sunday club event and Aaron Linville who helped with e-punch as well.
  • Paul Collinson and Rob Field, the event director and course setter for the Sunday regular QOC meet who were fully integrated into the planning and execution of the training camp.
A special thanks to those who stayed late to help clean up the camp, an effort that elicited high praise from the Camp Host--Jody and Cecilia Landers, Emily Smith, John Cumings, Ted Good, Michal Jarnik, Mateus and Vitor Dalla Costa, Tom Wells and Victor Lin. Thanks to the diligence of the clean-up team, the close-out with the park was almost painless.

I apologize for anyone I left out, as many jumped in unsolicited to help along the way.

And a final thanks to Camp Host Tim Stull who provided responsive support to QOC the entire weekend and in the weeks before the training camp.

If you have feedback on your camp experience--and many have already shared some thoughts--don't hesitate to send your recommendations for next year to me or to Matt Smith.

Thanks again to all who participated,

- Charles Carrick, Event Director