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This page is an event report for one of the Chapel Hill - Carrboro City Schools ARDF events directed by Kelly and Patrick Sears. For comments, suggestions, and questions; please contact Kelly Sears [ksears (at) chccs (dot) k12 (dot) nc (dot) us].
The day started out with a bit of rain but the sun was out by mid-event. We met on the edge of the Seawell Elementary School parking lot. The course was in Carolina North Forest. Three teams went out. In total, we had 8 participants (4 middle school students, 1 5th grader, 2 family members, 1 teacher). Dale Haiducek (Phillips Middle School teacher) was super, coming out again to support us.
We had two courses set, a short 80m classic and a super-short 2m with 5 foxes but no homing beacon. All foxes on the 80m course were a bit farther than last time. And with the course getting longer, we put out larger flags (30x30 cm instead of 15x15). Foxes 1, 2, and 5 were a bit closer in. Fox 3 was farther out. And fox 4 was way out there, about 800m from the start. The straight-line best path through all the controls was 2.2 km. The course used the area of Carolina North Forest between Seawell School Road and Bolin Creek. The longest distance across the course area was 1.5 km. Everyone was really excited to get on the course, and in the excitement, we forgot to write down start times. Oops. So no times on course are listed for this event, but most participants were out there for about 90'. It will be nice to have the course timing system to handle this. The 2m course was much smaller. The foxes were spread out in an arc about 300m from the start.
Everyone did really well with the longer course. This time we had enough participants that we could tell it was working. Also, the longer course meant we had to make sure the transmitters could be heard over longer distances. The tuners Charles Scharlau donated were on every fox and our only transformer was on the homing beacon. It made a big difference. We could hear every fox clearly from the start.
By the time everyone was done on the 80m course, there was no time to try out the 2m course. We're definitely going to get 2m going for some events, but we'll probably run separate 2m events instead of setting two courses. It was still worth putting out the two courses. It was the first time we put out this many transmitters at once, six on 80m and five on 2m. We learned a lot ☺ .
Thanks to all the middle school and high school teachers and staff who helped get the word out to the students. Rachel Hopler (Science Teacher, Culbreth Middle School), Christine Lippy (Science Teacher, McDougle Middle School), Dale Haiducek (CTE Teacher, Phillips Middle School), Haley Wamble (Science Teacher, East Chapel Hill High School), SaCola Lehr (Media Specialist, Chapel Hill High School), Libby Diesel (Library Assistant, Chapel Hill High School), Kara Watson (Media Specialist, Carrboro High School). Thanks also to Marny Ruben (Principal at Seawell Elementary School) for the use of the Seawell area and Greg Kopsch (Park Manager at Carolina North Forest) for the use of CNF.
We had a large group go out all together for Toby's birthday: Toby, Lucy, Henry, and Jacob -- very cool ☺ . Jason (parent) also went out with them to enjoy the event. He also got great pictures and shared them with us (see below). Even though they had a limited time and the course was longer, they still found four foxes including fox #4 that was farther than any we had ever put out. Excellent! Because we knew of the birthday plans ahead of time, we had time to prepare a small surprise. At each of the controls, there was a tupperware container with some party favors. Much fun.
We also had two new participants, Josie and her father Pete. We were super excited to hear that Josie was a 5th grader at McDougle Elementary School. She'll be at the middle school next year and we've haven't had anyone from McDougle Middle School yet. Thanks Christine Lippy, science teacher at McDougle Middle School! The efforts payed off! Patrick (volunteer) began the class with them at the start. We continued the class going out on course and started hunting for the foxes. And wow were they excited! Every time our target fox came on-cycle, they took off running, weaving through the trees and jumping over logs. Brilliant!
The entries in the table are not listed in any particular order, it's just the order in which the sign-ins were listed. The finds column notes the controls found: foxes 1 through 5 and the homing beacon (H). We didn't record times on course, so nothing is listed in that column. The middle schools are abbreviated, Phillips (PMS), Smith (SMS), Culbreth (CMS). Elementary school students usually come with older siblings and so we usually list them as family. But we were so excited to get someone from the McDougle Schools, we're making an exception: McDougle Elementary School (McDES).
|entry #||participants (school, grade)||finds||time(h:mm')|
|1||Toby (PMS 6), Henry (SMS 6), Lucy (PMS 6), Jacob (PMS 6).||1 2 3 4 H||-|
|2||Josie (McDES 5), Pete (parent).||1 2 5 H||-|
|3||Dale Haiducek (PMS teacher)||1 2 3 4 5 H||-|
Clicking pictures will bring up original full-sized versions. All participants are listed as seen in the picture from left to right. Pictures are generally listed in chronological order trying to keep groups together.
Henry, Jacob, Toby, Kelly (event director, behind table), Lucy, Jason (parent). Deciding how long to stay out.
Toby, Jacob (from back), Kelly (director, behind table), Lucy, Jason (parent, behind). Final preparations before getting on course.
Patrick (volunteer, from back), Josie, Pete (parent). Learning about receiver gain patterns and listening to the foxes.
Dale (teacher), Toby, Jacob, Henry, Lucy. Chance meeting at fox #3: Toby's group encounters Dale Haiducek. 
Toby, Lucy (in back), Jacob. Finding fox #4 among large boulders. This was the one farthest out - Excellent! 
Dale (teacher, way in the back), Pete (parent), and Josie. Josie just got back from her first experience with ARDF -- look at that smile!
Kelly (event director). Every one's gone and it's just us during pick-up time. We're at fox #2. The last control to pick up on the 80 m course apart from the homing beacon. Almost done!
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