“Clearly, I shouldn't be cutting corners like that.”
I’m going to challenge this. Are you sure the trade off (easier to set controls) wasn’t worth it? Or that at least the lesson learned might be more insight into the downside / risk of this particular decision rather a more blanket “don’t cut corners”?
I guess I just feel like it’s worth considering both pros/cons, and not considering it “cutting corners”. Sounds to me like it was more that: “you made a call to prioritize ease of control setting, and in this instance you wish you’d made a different call based on (a) the weather and (b) how competitors were affected due to the weather + no stands + low hanging branches”.
Possible better plan: hang the control from the middle of a string slung between two trees.
I'm with Suzanne.
Yes it would have been "better" to have stands. (Not only to keep the control at the right height even if snowed on, but also a lot less fiddly to get the punch in the hole when the control unit is on the stand rather than dangling from a string, and insures that the control is visible in all directions compared to being hung on a fat tree trunk that hides it from some directions.) But these considerations are way way down the list in rank of importance, given the context. For a local event, it was just fine. And how often are you going to have heavy wet snow at a May 23 event, even in Montana?
In general, everything at this event was at least "perfectly serviceable" (e.g. partially field-checked map; controls hung from tree branches) but mostly at the "absolutely excellent" part of the spectrum (friendliness and helpfulness of meet crew, following your great example; the very fine terrain; the course design which used that terrain well, with both interesting route choice legs [especially Sunday] and sections of challenging technical quick-thinking-required middle-style legs; prompt posting of full results and splits).
I could go on but the bottom line is that both newbie locals and long-experienced out-of-towners all seemed to have a fabulous time.
This was a local event put on by a limited staff. The event totally met, and in most ways far exceeded, all of what one should expect for such an event. When you hold a National Ranking Event, expectations are somewhat higher and then you should probably be a bit more concerned about things like control stands.
Another way to put it: You (and your wife and your families and your newly-minted local helpers) are already doing an incredible amount of incredible stuff: in particular, a series of fine-quality meets to attract and retain the interest of Montana orienteers. And as your log shows, you have intentions of doing even more, e.g. youth and school oriented events. So, as amazingly energetic as you are, your available time is finite. Would it be better to invest a few hours of that time in more-perfect hanging of controls, or would it be better to work on any of myriad other things you could be doing (say, making contact with physical educators at local schools, or exploring for new potential venues, or training volunteers to be able to do some of the tasks you are doing all yourself)? I think the latter.
Brilliant work! Yours is the core activity of orienteering organization without which we wouldn't have orienteering in our communities at all. It has been excellent to see how quickly Griz-O has become a reality and how rapidly it has succeeded.
Sounds like a positive experience for volunteers and runners. We have always been amazed at commitment of some volunteers. Many are not necessarily the best or most competitive orienteers. This core group seems to enjoy being around orienteers and doing tasks like registration, food etc. They are just as important and the course setters, letters etc. We have many volunteers who have been with us for more than 20 years.
The first solo even I put on, I didn't bother with control codes. The one non-beginner who attended complained. :)
And +1 on the amazement. Really what we need to be working on is the Boris-cloning machine. (And on finding some more Alis - Alibis? - to get those Boris clones to move to different US cities which lack orienteering.)
Yeah, Alibis, that's the word.
If only the championship were in club formation...
Agree with all the above. Also, there are control stands and there are control stands. The latter are lightweight aluminium ones, of which I can carry 16 at a run when correctly stacked into a plastic tube.
It's a little hard to run with all 16 but they soon thin out and it gets easier.
Effort is one matter. Finances is another consideration.