Organising a big event is a pretty thankless task – the only participants who’ll really appreciate your effort are the ones who’ve done a similar organising job elsewhere. And though people say how wonderful it was, nearly all the discussion is about the mistakes. That’s life. You get 2,990 things right, but the 10 things you get wrong stick out like a sore thumb.

I’m here to say it was a fantastic weekend but there are three things I think need looking at. One was specific to the event and the other two are more general. The specific matter was the Start. This is what the map issue looked like on day 3:

Is it any wonder that some people picked up the wrong map?

The general issues are more important. One is also about the Start, and it’s a topic that’s come up often enough before: where the White and Yellow courses should be. When there’s a high, remote Start, I really do think that the White and Yellow courses should have a low, near Start. Some events do do this, but I think it should become standard practice.

The final problem I want to raise is Entries. Once upon a time the courses were numbered and divided up between the age classes. Nowadays they’re coloured, which is leading more and more people to enter major events by colour. This is all very well if people are fully informed about what the correspondence is between the colours and the age classes, but often these days people just go to fabian4 (Other online entry services are available) and enter without checking the event information. Much more than in the past, people (including me) weren’t running the right course for their age class. Somehow fabian4 needs to be improved to inform entrants which age classes correspond to the colours shown on the online entry form.

So, what was good about SINS? Well, apart from the fact that Catherine and I both enjoyed our courses, it was brilliantly organised. The arrangement of campsite and assembly was excellent, and the evening centre was a triumph. I think next time the event areas will have to be more spread out, so there’ll be a bit more travelling, but it won’t matter if we can return each evening to such a good venue.

It was my 7-year-old daughter’s first camping/multi-day experience, and she loved it. Enough said.

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