Connie Carpenter/Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series
Family members were greeted by cool spring temperatures and brisk northerly winds as they applied their newly found navigational skills during the Spring Orienteer Meet March 26 on post.
For most of the participants, this was the first time they had ever participated as a family team in an orienteering event. Upon receiving their race maps, family members huddled to develop race strategy and to discuss attack plans.
Participants had the option to choose from introductory, intermediate and Olympic distance courses.
Team Blom — dad Chris and children Bo and Summer Blom — chose a southern route, capturing markers along the southern portions of Sheridan Road. Team Blom secured nine markers in one hour, 52 minutes, topping the introductory division.
Newcomers Team Gauge — dad James, mom Chrissy, and children James, Rowan, Kallum and Maddox with dog Gauge — also chose a southern route, capturing seven markers around Smith Lake and the Lewis and Clark Center. Gauge mushed his family members across the finish line in 1:05, placing second.
The intermediate course proved competitive with two teams finishing within 60 seconds of each other.
Veteran family Team Thornton — dad Chris, mom Melissa and son Greg — applied a south-north approach, capturing markers at the southern border of the map and progressing to the airfield. Junior orienteer Greg took charge of the team executing the navigation plan while Chris and Melissa served as lookouts. Team Thornton topped the intermediate division capturing 14 markers in 1:52.
Newcomers Team Tacos — dad Mark, mom Jeannette and children Aiden and Zachary Balboni — applied their team management skills as they huddled to develop their attack strategy. Similar to Team Thornton, junior orienteers Aiden and Zachary led the way in the capture of 13 markers in 1:51.
Newcomers Team Smith — Jack and Alex Smith — welcomed the endurance challenge of the Olympic course, which encompassed 10-kilometers of various terrain. The father-and-son team chose to proceed north, punching markers along the northern course boundaries and then dropping down to the south border of the course. Team Smith secured 15 markers in 3:08.
The next Fort Leavenworth Outdoor Adventure Series event is the Bunny Hop Orienteer April 16. See https://www.ftlvadventure.com for more information.