[x] Sherry Litasi, President
[x] Sverre Froyen, Vice President
[x] Rich Gostenik, Treasurer
[x] Brooke Mann, Secretary
[x] Brian Coleman, Scouting Coordinator
[x] Mil Plant, Membership Coordinator
· Other Members:
[x] Jennine Amato
[x] Neal Barlow
[x] Doug Berling
[x] Kathleen Brennan
[x] Bill Campbell
[x] Don Clever
[x] Paula Clever
[x] Sharon Crawford
[x] John Crowther
[x] Plamen Djambazov
[x] Vessie Djambazova
[x] Violeta Djambazova
[x] Bob Ellis
[x] Adam Feerst
[x] Nancy Hobbs
[x] Gordon McCurry
[x] Kyle Peter
[x] Michael Rounds
[x] Sarah Tantillo
[x] Bob Ward
We established that we have a quorum for voting purposes. (RMOC Bylaws Section 4.4: "A quorum at any general meeting of the membership shall consist of twice the number of elected officers plus one voting member.")
Sherry Litasi gave some opening remarks, and we all went around the room to introduce ourselves.B. President's Report from Sherry Litasi:
Sherry emphasized that having a robust volunteer staff is crucial to the success of the club and our events.
C. Vice-President's Report from Sverre Froyen:
Sverre gave an overview of permit status at our map areas.
El Paso County (Fox Run, Palmer Park) -- Overuse is a big concern for the El Paso County land managers. They's also concerned about other user groups seeing us off-trail and assuming that we get special treatment for our events. This may become an issue for us when we try to get permits in the future. The staff has suggested that we consider mapping other El Paso County parks that aren't as heavily used. One of the areas they suggested is just south of Peaceful valley (name?).
City of Lakewood (Bear Creek Lake Park) -- They imposed a more formal process this year, with a somewhat burdensome waiver form (in addition to our standard waiver). Also, we can expect to have to pay a permit fee in 2008.
Colorado State Parks (Chatfield, Cherry Creek) -- Generally, these people are easy to work with; no issues. Chatfield has a new ranger and a new permit fee ($20). The ranger at Cherry Creek has some concerns about us using certain areas (wetlands, horse trails); the 2008 course setter will need to take that into account.
Jefferson County Open Space (White Ranch) -- These people are very easy to work with. We should try to develop more maps in JeffCo. Note that JeffCo prohibits racing on their trails, so we can't do any more Bike-O courses at White Ranch.
US Forest Service (Kelly Dahl, Observatory, Buffalo Creek, Saylor Park, Lake George and Woodland Park areas) -- All of our permit requests were approved for 2007. However, our permits for 2008 may be in jeopardy due to an issue at the Manitou Lake Sprint Relay that was part of the 2007 Convention/Five-Day meet. (The Sprint Relay start/finish area did not coincide with what was specified in the permit; also, we didn't have a porta-potty at the start/finish area.) We need to be more precise about delineating our start/finish areas and our parking plans in the future. Sherry and Sverre would like to have our 2008 permit application submitted to the US Forest Service no later than 12/31/2007 (which means we need to have our 2008 schedule finalized by that time, too).
D. Treasurer's Report from Rich Gostenik:
Rich provided a financial summary report for the 2007 Convention and Five-Day meet.
Rich reported that we are financially secure and solvent.
E. Secretary's Report from Brooke Mann:
Brooke provided some reports about the number of events and the number of volunteers we had in 2007:
- RMOC hosted 19 local meets in 2007.
- Our meets were staffed by 65 different people filling 219 volunteer roles at the 19 local meets.
Brooke also presented a summary of RMOC membership fees and meet fees in comparison to other clubs of a similar size (BAOC, QOC, NEOC, CROC, COC, LAOC and DVOA). This comparison was requested as the last monthly meeting, so that we can decide if fees should be raised to cover the cost of E-Punch equipment. But, we haven't made a decision about E-Punch equipment yet (see item "J" below.)
F. Membership Report from Mil Plant:
Mil reported that our membership has grown significantly in the past year. In 2006, we had fewer than 100 official members; currently, as of November 2007, we have 162 members. Also, we have more people who are signing up for two-year memberships.
Mil reported that the membership expiration reminders can be difficult; email addresses change over time, and some people just ignore the reminder emails.
G. "2007 Volunteer of the Year" Award:
Sherry presented the "2007 Volunteer of the Year Award" to Brian Coleman. Here is the full text of her presentation:
Brian is motivated by his love of maps and love of scouting. As Scout Liaison and Mapping Coordinator he has found a way to marry the two. His unbridled enthusiasm is contagious! Heâ€™s always thinking of ways to promote the sport and RMOC. Here is a list of his accomplishments:
Scout Liaison, Promotion, Program Development:
- Serves as RMOC's primary point of contact for Scouting (answering emails and phone calls and working with the Denver Area Council of the BSA).
- Served as a collaborative planning-team member for the 2007 USOF Convention, held at Peaceful Valley Ranch.
- Taught scout leaders and scouts how to set up and run their own courses.
- Developed sets of loanable controls and punches for troops to do their own courses.
- Set up and provided equipment, maps and training for 10 district level events (400-750 participants).
- Developed demo maps for scouting events using OCAD.
- Developed and installed a self-taught permanent O-course at Peaceful Valley with booklet, quiz sheet and map for completing the requirements for First Class Scout Orienteering requirements.
- Set up a club table at many scouting events, such as Chatauqua (for Boy Scout adult leaders), Pow-Wow (for Cub Scout adult leaders), and the annual Scout show.
- Established an email list to keep adult scout leaders in touch about upcoming events.
- Promoted National Orienteering Day within the Scouting community to increase participation by first-time orienteers.
- Taught beginner instruction to scouts and the public.
- Developed a GPS-based method to improve mapping efficiency and got credit for it in his GIS Certificate program at Front Range Community College.
- Researched and purchased a mil-spec tablet PC that RMOC rents when actively mapping. It was used successfully for mapping Peaceful Valley.
- Developed and utilized geo-referenced datasets to expedite completion of the Peaceful Valley map, including contour lines, hydrologic features, and man made features.
- Researched and obtained aerials and datasets for existing and new club maps.
- Coordinated mapping at Peaceful Valley. Worked with Plamen Djambazov to use the tablet PC for field work, cutting field work time in half.
- Maintains and coordinates RMOC's OCAD 9 licenses.
- Supplies USGS maps as needed.
H. General Award:
The RMOC board members decided in October that Sherry was deserving of a special award, too, having served as President for the past four years (since November 2003). Brian presented Sherry with a custom-made award with a nice speech, and we all gave a standing ovation!
According to the RMOC bylaws, the roles of President and Treasurer are up for election in odd years. We elected Bob Ellis as Treasurer, and Sherry Litasi as President.
J. E-Punch Discussion:
John Crowther presented a cost estimate for purchasing all the necessary E-Punch hardware and software. John researched all the details with Valerie Meyer, USOF's E-Punch expert, as well as several equipment vendors.
So far, John Crowther and Bob Ellis have volunteered to become RMOC's E-Punch experts. But, we would still need a few additional volunteers to thoroughly learn the system.
We then discussed all the pros and cons of investing in the E-Punch system:
- From a participant's perspective, it's very cool to have instantaneous results and splits.
- The electronic "beeping gadget" aspect would probably appeal to kids and teenagers.
- E-Punch is becoming the expected norm at "A" meets.
- E-Punch timing is much more precise and accurate.
- While a member of BAOC, Neal observed that the E-Punch system added a fair bit of extra work for the course setter.
- We still have a fair number of events where a single person is the Meet Director, Control Setter, AND Control Vetter. Not only does this highlight a general lack of volunteer resources within RMOC, but adding e-punch responsibilities to that single person would be a significant burden.
- BAOC would usually lose one E-Punch unit per year, due to theft. This might be a concern at our events at the urban parks (Cherry Creek, Chatfield, etc.). If we want to use security cables to prevent theft (as some clubs do), that's an additional cost and an additional burden on the Course Setter.
DECISION: After a lot of discussion, the general feeling was that we're not really ready to invest in e-punching, primarily for manpower reasons. We decided that RMOC needs to focus on getting the basics right in 2008. In other words, we need to show that we can fill all the fundamental roles with an adequate number of volunteers at our local meets. Then we can decide if we want to "take it to the next level" with e-punching in 2009, if we have a solid volunteer track record in 2008.
K. Mapping Update:
Plamen Djambazov is starting to map a new area at Chatfield.
We'd like to regain access to the Land Navigation area at the US Air Force Academy. Can we leverage our USAFA contacts -- Maiya Anderson and new member Scott Fullerton?
Brian and Michael rounds think we should investigate the suitability of the "Sledge Hammer" area adjacent to the Camp Alexander Boy Scout Camp.
We'd like Plamen to work on mapping Monument Preserve. This is an area Steve Willman and Bob Ward have both endorsed. Plamen will get details from Bob.
What about Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs? Steve Willman has mentioned previously that it's somewhat steep, similar to our Devil's Thumb map in Boulder.
El Paso County parks staff recommended "Homestead", which is just south of Peaceful Valley.
J-J Coté recommended to Brooke (via email) that we check an area he mapped about ten years ago, in the Colorado Springs area: Sondermann Park.
"It just occurred to me that there's an area that might be usable for a sprint or just for a club local meet. It's in Colorado Springs, and it's called Sondermann Park. What makes it interesting is that there's an orienteering map of the place, in 0CAD. Sometime in the mid 90s somebody got a grant, I think, to map the place, and Steve Willman and I were hired to do the fieldwork. I drafted it up and sent files off to the woman who the city had hired to put together a pamphlet, and she took it from there.
As far as I know, there has never been an orienteering meet at Sondermann. I guess it's considered a wildlife refuge or something, and the Beidleman Environmental Center is part of it. They may (like a lot of land managers out there) be dead-set against anyone going off-trail. Or maybe not, I never dealt with the administration there (Beatrice handled that), and the administration may well have changed, anyway. And I don't remember what the parking situation is. But it might be worth asking."
Adam Feerst suggested that we map the Alderfer/Three Sisters area, since it has recently been expanded.
L. 2008 Schedule:
Sherry will work on the filling out the 2008 schedule. Ideally, we'd like it finalized by 12/31/2007, so that Sverre can start working on permits (especially the US Forest Service permits).