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George in the jungle rogaine

Posted on 24 Aug 2010 | 0 comments

I have always wanted to set a rogaine, find out what it is all about and experience rogaining from a different perspective, so when I saw the invitation in the newsletter to join an experienced setting and vetting team (Ian, Owen and Warren) I decided to give it a go. We had two more setters / vetters in the team (Sheryl and Richard) so a plan was made to split the map in half so everybody could try their hand at both setting and vetting.

I thought that was a great idea and we started off with our first meeting to determine map location. I guess in terms of contacting landowners our team had a very easy job as the area is bush only, but we did have to arrange permits for setting and vetting as the area we selected is a die-back disease risk area.

My first setting experience was held in the comforts of Ian’s living room, where 4 of us poured over the map and tried to find enough interesting features to hang some controls for you lot to find. Owen had already done a great job in selecting many sites and we then added some more to fill the map in.

A few weeks later the time had finally come to get out there and see what the bush really looked like. Ian and I went out on a Wednesday although at first it was hard to establish exactly where we were on the map, we soon were sorted thanks to the power lines! We spent the whole day pace counting, checking features and driving around non-existent tracks and looking for tracks that were meant to be there, but had been swallowed over the years by the ever-expanding jungle.

Ian setting a control

Ian setting a control

Jude setting a control

Jude setting a control

I really enjoyed myself and must say that actually spending time in the bush navigating whilst not competing is a great way to learn a bit more about those brown lines on the map that I sometimes struggle to find on the ground (I strongly suggest somebody change the colour of those contour lines to pink so we have half a chance of finding them on the ground – seriously who picked brown?!)

I went out once more with Ian a few weeks later, followed by joining Warren for some vetting and reading the dozens of emails that came in from the others after a day spent in the bush. Then it was time to do our homework before we got together to decide on point allocations! I invented my own ingenious system to play with points (yellow stickies) which was great until the time came to finalise it all… I was expecting a lot more banter on this night, but the team agreed on it all quite quickly.

Ian went through a very steep learning curve to get familiar with the ins and outs of OCAD to create the map and we saw many colourful versions fly past in our inbox, all one step closer to the great map you ended up using during the event.

In the midst of this we also still had to come up with a name for the rogaine… I always thought rogaines have quite clever names and I think I now know who is responsible for these clever names: Owen! We all had some crazy (and some boring) ideas, but I knew immediately he had found a winner when he came up with ‘The George in the Jungle Rogaine’. It might have been a mystery for some of you before the event, but hopefully it all became clear when you finally did see the map!

The weekend before the rogaine was spent swapping the setting plates for the real controls, and the volunteer’s were all briefed at Jim’s place. During the hanging of the real controls we bumped into a daddy emu with 9 eggs and 1 emu chick! That was an amazing experience!!

Jude and Jon removing a setting plate and hanging the real control, Marty also joined in the setting

Jude and Jon removing a setting plate and hanging the real control, Marty also joined in the setting

9 more eggs to hatch

9 more eggs to hatch

the emu eggs, if you look closely you can see the first chick has already hatched

the emu eggs, if you look closely you can see the first chick has already hatched

the dad keeping an eye on us

the dad keeping an eye on us

Then it was finally time to see the teams pour over the maps, just as we had done many, many weeks ago. Seeing the teams plot a route and then head out into the bush we all have become rather familiar with was fantastic!

So next time when somebody asks you if you would be interested in setting or vetting an event, jump at the occasion as it is a great way to see what goes on behind the closed doors of the setting and the vetting team in all those months before the event! Many of you might wonder if it helps with your rogaining skills… Am I going to be a better rogainer after the setting and vetting experience? – of course! So watch out Wil and Ricky in your next event as I now know all the tricks and I hope you all made sure to ‘Watch out for that Tree’!

The actual weekend of the rogaine in pictures:

the site before we start preparing

the site before we start preparing

we plan the space for the fire first

we plan the space for the fire first

setting up of the admin tents

setting up of the admin tents

signage goes out

signage goes out

picking up more firewood

picking up more firewood

and arranging the firewood around the campfire area

and arranging the firewood around the campfire area

we find a big log for the fire!

we find a big log for the fire!

some of this wood is very heavy

some of this wood is very heavy

Jude on top of the campfire wood

Jude on top of the campfire wood

the toilets arrive

the toilets arrive

or should I say polling booths... (it is election weekend too)

or should I say polling booths… (it is election weekend too)

pitching of another admin tent

pitching of another admin tent

the truck with supplies arrives

the truck with supplies arrives

we use bunting for everything, including marking out the kitchen area

we use bunting for everything, including marking out the kitchen area

it is starting to look good, kitchen tent up, admin tents up and campfire ready

it is starting to look good, kitchen tent up, admin tents up and campfire ready

setting up of the water points, some controls also have water supplies and they all need to have the water delivered to them before everybody arrives

setting up of the water points, some controls also have water supplies and they all need to have the water delivered to them before everybody arrives

admin crew ready for the first people to arrive

admin crew ready for the first people to arrive

we don our reflective vests...

we don our reflective vests…

and others put on their favourite outfit for a rogaine

and others put on their favourite outfit for a rogaine

another waterpoint is prepared

another waterpoint is prepared

and the campfire is lit!

and the campfire is lit!

the first marshmellows are already being toasted

the first marshmellows are already being toasted

and the kitchen gets into full prep mode

and the kitchen gets into full prep mode

it is getting busy, around 500 people attend the george in the jungle rogaine!

it is getting busy, around 500 people attend the george in the jungle rogaine!

team meeting

team meeting

the kitchen setup, it always works perfectly and everybody loves the food

the kitchen setup, it always works perfectly and everybody loves the food

the fire is looking better and better

the fire is looking better and better

teams coming and going

teams coming and going

a huge group of fathers and sons enjoying a bonding weekend

a huge group of fathers and sons enjoying a bonding weekend

Jude and Owen out on patrol

Jude and Owen out on patrol

Jude checking a control

Jude checking a control

winners are grinners...

winners are grinners…

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