Jon <firstname.lastname@example.org> <djon@...>
For those of you who may not have been read postings on the topic to
date, a number of people have weighed in on the proposal that we ought
to change the club name. Though this is far from being a
scientifically run poll, traditionalists appear to be in the majority.
Seven people (assuming holders of family memberships don't
necessarily speak for their entire family) have expressed opposition
to changing the club name without explicitly coming out for or against
the use of an alias for publicity purposes. One person has expressed
opposition to changing the name while explicitly endorsing the use of
the "National Capital Orienteers" alias approved in the past. Another
person has said they would favour keeping the name while perhaps
expanding on it to make clear the geographical rather than
military/civilian nature of the division of ourselves from the rest of
the orienteering universe. Five people have expressed approval for
the idea of changing the name, though not necessarily in this forum.
I think the case for changing the name could stand to be aired more
and trust that one or more of its more fervent proponents will step
into the breach.
Note - since I wasn't there, the foregoing takes no account of what
Greg Lennon said on the topic at the Winter Meeting last Sunday nor of
any other discussion of the matter that may have occurred there. A
summary thereof would be welcome.
This is probably not the correct way to send a message to the QOC group,
but perhaps you can forward this.
At the potluck after the Little Bennett meet, I spent a long time
talking with a family (parents and grade-school-age daughter), who had
come out for their first meet. After the meeting, I thought I would get
their reaction to the QOC name issue. The father said he had not
connected "Quantico" in the name to military or FBI. The only thought
he had had was that it might be more connected with Virginia, but since
the meet was in Maryland, this was not a concern. As for
"Orienteering," the parents had read a magazine article (in
"Prevention") and so had some idea of the sport. They volunteered that
since the name had a long history, it should probably be kept.
My own feeling as a long-time QOC member agrees with this. Within the
orienteering community, we are known as QOC, and I would think a name
change could cause confusion. At least for the one first-time family I
spoke with, it caused no problem. For publicity purposes, perhaps an
additional phrase in parentheses after the name would be useful. I
definitely think we should keep "Orienteering" in the name. We are
after all an orienteering club. I'm not sure it is as obscure a
sport as we sometimes think. I see articles about it popping up all
over, and often people I speak to say, "Oh, yes, I've read about that."
By the way, I was very surprised to hear our Publicity Chairman say (or
at least imply) that those who want to keep the old name, are opposed to
growing the club and would rather it stay an "exclusive" group. I have
never heard anyone in QOC express this feeling. To the contrary, it has
been my experience that old members are always happy to see new people
coming out and are eager to offer help and make them feel welcome. If
an additional descriptive phrase in meet announcements is thought to be
useful, fine, but I don't think a name change is necessary.
I might mention that the first-timers I spoke with said they had found
out about the club on the web. Do we keep track of where people first
learn about the club?