Brian Hanley assists his daughter Avery in aligning the orienteer map to the next direction of travel during the Great Pumpkin Orienteer Meet Oct. 31 along Sherman Avenue. Team Hanley secured 13 control points in one hour, 13 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens

Connie Carpenter | Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series

The Great Pumpkin Orienteer on Oct. 31 featured fall colors, light winds and sunshine, setting the perfect conditions for 16 family teams to navigate urban and trail terrains.

Team Penny — Mark Vidotto and Penelope Saunders with dog Finn — compare their orienteer map with the passport punch at control point No. 8 during the Great Pumpkin Orienteer Meet Oct. 31 along Grant Avenue. Team Penny captured five control points in 45 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens

The event offered three courses designed to match the orienteers’ skill levels and to accommodate all ages. Competitive teams sought to develop an attack plan that captured controls in a sequential pattern minimizing time and distance. Other participants chose to take a leisurely walk with family members through the post’s autumn splendor.

The one solo competitor, Hannah Love, sought to improve her navigation skills as a new member of the Leavenworth High School Junior ROTC Raiders team. Love and dog Cody secured 10 controls in 57 minutes.

John Thomas discusses Team The Show Plus’s attack plan with his son Ethan during the Great Pumpkin Orienteer Meet Oct. 31 off Hastings Avenue. Team The Show Plus cleared the Olympic course of 16 controls in one hour, 47 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens

Orienteer courses specify distances using “as-the-crow-flies” measurements. While the Olympic course listed the distance as approximately eight kilometers, the actual distance depended upon the orienteer’s attack plan. In developing their attack plans, orienteers’ choices included following trails, using a hybrid hardball and trail running route, or bushwhacking through vegetation and woods.

Angie Murray guides daughters Ellie and Molly, along with Aiden and Evie Thomas, toward control point No. 8 during the Great Pumpkin Orienteer Meet Oct. 31 along Grant Avenue. Team Murray scored six controls in one hour, 18 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens

Family Team The Show Plus — John, Joy, Ethan, and Gavin Thomas, with Wyatt Murray and dog Maximus — leveraged their team’s strengths of excellent terrain recognition, map reading and high spirits to propel them to the top of the Olympic leader board clearing 16 controls in one hour, 47 minutes.

Both the five-kilometer intermediate and three-kilometer introductory courses proved competitive with seven family teams in each division.
Team Hanley — Brian, Melissa, Brendan, Sara and Avery Hanley with dog Cooper — applied their winning attack plan to secure the top spot in the intermediate division by capturing 13 controls in 1:13.

Armed with a compass and binoculars, father-and-daughter Team Bogle-inski — Everett and Claire Bogle — followed closely behind, snagging 13 controls in 1:44.

Team James Bond — Benjamin, Madeleine, Erika and Chris Baldwin with Anna, Janet and Alex Walther — climb the stairs toward control point No. 8 during the Great Pumpkin Orienteer Meet Oct. 31 by Riverside Apartments. The participants selected their team name in honor of actor Sean Connery, who died Oct. 31. Team James Bond secured 10 controls in one hour, 43 minutes. Photo by Susy Stephens

Newcomers Team Conrardy — Peter, Rachel, Charlotte, Abigail and Evelyn Conrardy — joined forces with Team Montazzoli —Matt, Jane, Helen and Tess Motazzoli — to form a dynamic team of girl power as the young daughters romped through the terrain on the introductory course. Both teams secured seven controls, topping the division.

Team Eshelman — dad Erich, mom Diana, grandma Evelynne, son James and dog Lola — introduced the newest member of their team, 1-month-old Olivia, to the sport of orienteering. The three-generation team scored nine controls in 1:43.

For more event information, visit or call (913) 683-5634.


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