Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

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CraigRat
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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by CraigRat » 19 December 10 10:09 am

Can I jump in and thank The Farmers 5 and Mr Coffee for addressing the issues raised.

Can I ask these 2 people if Homedg and Mr Router are on the organising committee as well, because they appear to be responding to queries here in a way that makes me assume they are representing the Mega in some way, is this a correct assumption?
I say this because they seem to be responding to concerns about the management of the event like they have a personal stake in it and it would help me understand what's going on a bit more. However if you don't want to reveal the committee thats fine, I understand.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by Cached » 19 December 10 10:14 am

Mr.Coffee and the Clan wrote:
[*]1 Good question, The event is not a race and was designed for you to move at your own leisure. Yes there may be times where a few cars park but this is a good chance to meet other cachers and talk. Just like any other event, 4wd trip or a 4wd association trip it requires common sense and safe driving to suit the unfamiliar roads conditions. be it 15 vehicles or 200 with caravans it is run the same, follow the advice from the organisers and dont attempt anything stupid. One thing I find useful at 4wd events is a UHF radio to communicate with other drivers. driving with 5,000 others on the South Eastern Arterial at 8am is also an accident waiting to happen but I don't say I better not drive it today.

[*] 2 We have all the infrastructure in place but if the numbers are 100 it would not be viable financially for the participants or sponsors.

[*] 3 As far as i know you can drive a caravan in this area and i will find out if there are any restrictions on the roads in the area and how many can be accommodated for in the camp grounds

[*] 4 coins have not been discussed at this stage.

[*] 5 as per page 1 $95 Per Team Registration Includes:

Free camping for Thursday and Friday nights at the Gundagai Showground.
Your registration pack which will include the “Oz Mega Adventure “ game sheets.
Your Gundagai Tourism large gift pack.
Your coloured logoed wristband for Laurel Hill Forest Lodge.
Entry to the Easter Egg Hunt.
All Friday night entertainment.
All Saturday night entertainment
All Sunday night entertainment.
Entry to all lucky draws and special events.

so Yes.

[*] the area is listed as a state park not national so according to the law yes, it depends on the camping parks, wont dont you ring them and ask.

MY QUESTIONS TO YOU:
[*] Are you planning on attending?
[*] do you own a dog?
[*] do you own a caravan?
[*] I thought you main concern was music and too much hassle
As I have said several times, I am not just writing for myself. I represent others, and I am entitled to do that.

I may attend, but I still don't like the idea of picking up stumps. The listing of two events certainly has some attraction for me - that way I could choose one and not have to move.
Schnapps Schnauzer accompanied us to Oz Mega @ Wagga and always camps with us. This is a big factor for a lot of geocachers.
Caravan - I don't, but others in my "group" do.

I still can't see in the list of inclusions where it says "Free camping for Saturday and Sunday nights at Tumbarumba".

I'm starting to feel like reasonable questions of the committee are not allowed.

Yours,

Cached

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by winterdragon » 19 December 10 10:26 am

I started writing this early this morning & have written it between numerous interruptions, and now that I go to post I see there have been a flurry of responses since, but I'll go ahead and post it anyway...
Mr.Coffee and the Clan wrote:If they fear being attacked then maybe they need to learn a new way of suggesting things or ideas.
:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
Perhaps you haven't read the same threads on here that I have.... The pattern goes something along these lines:
1. Someone posts a calm, rational observation, or suggestion
2. There's some sensible discussion
3. The usual suspects weigh in with a semicoherent, rambling, and/or emotive post, attacking the other posters for being "negative", or "emotional", or "out to get them", or some other gripe I can't quite make out
4. The topic goes off the rails
5. It all ends in tears
6. Occasionally... someone is banned and/or someone terminates their GCA account

If you can propose a better way of suggesting things or ideas other than rationally, coherently and logically, I think we'd love to hear it! But is it any wonder that people are loathe to post on a topic that may be slightly controversial?
Mr.Coffee and the Clan wrote:I am not attacking you but think about it, why all the negative posts
I don't think you're one that people want to avoid. Your responses have been pretty civil and measured. Though calling posts "negative" is the start of the path to the dark side.
Mr.Coffee and the Clan wrote:come on offer something I can take to the committee for discussion
I think people have made positive suggestions.... e.g. "Have the event in one place", and "Have the event somewhere different to the last mega" seem like entirely clear, reasonable and positive suggestions to me. I'm not sure how much further they can be expanded on. The response so far seems to be along the lines of "Nup, not up for negotiation", which is the organiser's prerogative, as it is their event to run how they see fit.
Mr.Coffee and the Clan wrote:but dont hide behind the "fear of attack" angle.
Who's hiding? Some people have posted to the forum. Even some of the people from the FB discussion. Others choose not to post here because it's not worth the angst - life is too short. Still others cannot post to the forum because they've terminated their GCA account after being attacked previously. The fact that people may be discussing the event in other forums seems to have little bearing on the discussion here, and I'm not sure why some people seem so hung up about it. Cached was just making the point that she isn't a lone voice. If you want to know how many people support her concerns, well I don't know how to measure that, short of doing some market research...

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by the farmers 5 » 19 December 10 10:35 am

The answer to Craigrats question is no, they are not on the organising Committee. But are probaly like everyone else ,just wanting things to run well and they " are "at the Committees end.

To cached questions.We answered the question about Accommodation on page 3 of the 'launching topic '. Here it is again.........

"Congratulations. After 2 hours ,we have reached 100 intents which includes the Committee and kids of 12.
Many more pieces will be added soon including food and camping at Laurel Hill Forest lodge." :D

We felt that over 1300 words in our first release was as stated by pprass " an avalanche of information.' Its only been 2 full days so far, so please give us a break. We stated camping / lodge / meals prices will be added to due course. We have not stated anywhere ,that the Tumbarumba part is free.If you can convince Management there that your a speciality case and deserve a free start ,go for it.The Management at Laurel Hill Forest Lodge is calculating that all out for us at present including great group discounts. Calculating meal prices is not easy for something 16 months away.Of course caravans are going to be at both. If you have a look at the website again for Laurel Hill it will give you the details re/ dogs. :D

All points will get constantly streamlined as we edge closer. The committee thanks all for their concerns and questions.We understand it will take many months for teams to even be aware the event is on.
Thank you from the Committee. :D :D :D
Last edited by the farmers 5 on 19 December 10 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by CraigRat » 19 December 10 10:46 am

Thanks.
I only wanted to know as it helps from a moderation point of view if you know what personal involvment individuals have in a emotive topic such as this.
People deeply involved would be expected to be defensive as it's their planning and work that's being questioned, and as moderators we understand that and usually cut people a bit more slack.

For the sake of sanity in this thread can I please ask that any questions posed to the committee be answered by the committee wherever possible, not by someone questioning the question. If we behave like adults things will flow more smoothly.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by Just a cacher » 19 December 10 11:03 am

I've had a look at the Laurel Hill site, and it clearly states that pets are NOT welcome.

I couldn't find anything about pets and the Gundagai showground, although I assume that they are a bit more relaxed there.

As our pets are our family, that would automatically eliminate us from attending.

Wendy

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by Mr Router » 19 December 10 11:07 am

i feel i have to have a say here as i seem to be one of the 2 targeted as getting defensive over the event, yes i am, as i saw what the committee did for the last mega , only to have the eyes picked out of it for weeks after ! i have full understanding that we still live in a free society and all are entitled to have a say , but hey it's early days.
i am not here to flame anyone, but a light warming where needed is not out of the question , as all others have claimed to have the right to have a say , so do I, so why should Homie and i be ostracized for voicing an opinion that goes against the "band wagon"
If Homie and i were on the committee i do think that i/we would put forward to squash it all together and then see what the rest of the caching community could come up with better !!
So yes I am on the committee's end.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by mark_rattigan » 19 December 10 11:40 am

Is the Tumbarumba camping included in the fee? The information provided thus far suggests not.
[*] 5 as per page 1 $95 Per Team Registration Includes:
<snip>...</snip>
so Yes.
We have not stated anywhere ,that the Tumbarumba part is free.
So the question was, is camping included in the fee? You answered 'Yes'. But that's not correct?

Please take this as a suggestion, and not an attack in anyway, but where a straightforward question is asked, you should provide a straightforward answer, without the need to quote from 'a release' or mention how many words it contained.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by Papa Bear_Left » 19 December 10 11:49 am

winterdragon wrote:3. The usual suspects weigh in with a semicoherent, rambling, and/or emotive post, attacking the other posters for being "negative", or "emotional", or "out to get them", or some other gripe I can't quite make out
Ah, that explains the change in tone. Since "the usual suspects" are the two members on my blessed "ignore" list, I never saw their posts!

I haven't seen any of the actual conversation turning into "You're drongoes for your opinion" yet, so if we all keep in mind that we're talking about an external topic, not each other, we'll all learn some useful things. It's hard for the Committee, I know, since they've invested so much time and energy into this already, but they need to remember that it's all new information to the rest of us (and we need to remember that this is their "baby!")

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by honeysucker » 19 December 10 12:27 pm

I have been sitting here reading the post that have been put up and it is very disappointing that in all the negative comments that have been put up about location travel music and the rest of the criticism of the work done so far there has been no suggestions of other locations in the region or music suggestions. Or to any other ideas that will help the organisers.

As we are at day 3 now of the release i feel it would be good if people slowed down allowed the committee to go over what has been said and compare it to what else they have in the pipeline that we as general cachers not privy of their thoughts and ideas dont know about. To this point they have put something together that is special.

The NZ mega event will be good but to this date there is nothing put together other than the thought of one. how can anyone compare the 2
and i hope we see something concrete from NZ soon Good luck guys

As i have said well done Guys it looks good
and to those with concerns get together talk about it its your right but put your ideas on how to make a great idea even better to the committee

I have put a suggestion forward and who knows they might like it or they wont so be it its there event other than that i have no great concerns yet i need a lot more details before i can get to that point.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by SA_ParrotHead » 19 December 10 12:32 pm

I’m not sure why those who are 100 percent on board with this event and not on the committee are posting here surely they have a thread where they made it clear they want the happy comments to go. It was asked to take this discussion to another thread which has occurred. If they don’t care about those who don’t attend why have they followed it over here.

It seems to me this is an area for those sitting on the fence, unhappy with the format or with a concern to voice an opinion. I would have thought that this would have been a great venue for the committee to market their event and address peoples concerns.

However even the committee seem to be mocking those with questions with comments of "having to kill you if we tell".

It seems to me that a Mega event as a cache type is not dissimilar to a Travel Bug Hotel cache in that owner puts out a listing but the contents represent an investment by the geocaching community. Put out a traditional cache and people don’t much care what you do but if you put out a TB hotel saying this is the rules it is going to operate under and people will want a say.

I would image the operators of this event would be concerned if people were expressing resistance to attending as they need the geocaching communities support to raise their 500 attendees before they can get a Mega status.

So people deriding cachers who feel they have valid comments and question can’t be doing the committee any favours.

I know that if I could get in my car at 8 am and be at the venue by 12 I would be wondering what all the fuss was about when I came across this thread.

However for some of the community this will be a big investment. They will have to use their annual leave to attend and there will be significant effort required to get to and back home from the event.

People are sifting through all the information that has suddenly been dropped on them and talking it through.

Some of us love camping while others struggle but still want to be involved. People are thinking and talking about the event and because of Cached posting the committee are getting an insight in to what some of the community is saying.

Instead of taking those fears and working with them this is turning into an us verses them situation.

As a person who has been involved in a rear end collision in a geocaching convoy (sorry Skippy) I understand the concerns some people have and why they think it might be dangerous. (We now have a UHF :D for travelling in a convoy)

Image

If nothing you have created for some passionate discussions in the Parrot household.

As for me I read the listing made my mind up and moved on however I find myself debating Mrs Parrot and I am sure she will have more to post.

Good luck with your event.

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by shrek4 » 19 December 10 1:06 pm

I'm a teacher (Deputy Principal in fact) and this thread reminds me of the bickering and antognistic behaviour the kids demonstrate. Surely as adults we could raise to a civil level, ask politely the questions we have, expect polite responses from whomever is answering them and curb the personal stuff i.e 'I statements'.

If the thread is kept to a civil tone with fact, no emotion, then surely this would be easier for the organising committee to read, consider a response (which may not be immediate) they, who after all have put their hand up to organise the thing have the right to a final say.

At the end of the day if you don't like what has been put on the table and aren't prepared to offer an alternative suggestion for the committee to consider (or not) whilst remaining civil, and don't wish to compromise (i.e I don't like Country music either but this isn't a deal breaker) then don't go.

When running a school you can imagine the number of people who want a say in how it is run. You can't please everybody despite the widest consultation, effort, performance surveys etc. Doesn't mean you stop trying or listening. Some things you take feedback on and make changes others you cannot (or make deliberate choices not too). I'd be more concerned if the committee wasn't listening at all, not answering questions or demonstrating good will (although that appears to be stretched at the moment) towards setting up an event for the benefit of the Australian Geocaching Community and international visitors.

Whist I too am waiting for details of the NZ event, they have gone awfully quiet at the moment. To be honest they need to declare their hand very soon for their plans. People keep referring to the NZ event as a done deal I.e the OZ vs NZ or OZ and NZ events when technically both are in the planning stages, only one has pencilled a date, and whilst the NZ crew declared their 'intention of interest' first, they weren't the first to lock a date in. Personally I'd suggest (with respect) they take 2012 off the table and look to another year. This suggestion is to afford as many participants the opportunity ($$$ and leave) to hopefully attend both.

Good luck committee, chin up and don't let the 'rough' comments undermine the great work you are doing. Keep listening to the questions, take in the suggestions, offer some compromise and we'll see you at the next Oz Mega which I'm sure will be fantastic.

Tobias

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by The Coffee's » 19 December 10 1:16 pm

Cached wrote:Quoting myself from the "Launch" thread.
I'm sorry, but I would like to be a voice of dissent.

I doubt I will make the effort to attend this one. For the expense of attending, I, and many others, cannot see the value in a bag drag across essentially the same area as last time. I'm not convinced by the "progressive" nature of the weekend.

Discussions off forum - which nobody else is game to mention here - are suggesting that it appears to be :

too much hassle for families
too much focus on competition rather than opportunities to find listed caches
many despise country music/boot scooting
striking camp after one or two nights is too big an effort, especially after driving across the country, and particularly for those with small children
very difficult for those who cannot drive in to the event, such as international visitors
too close to the previous event to warrant the travel expenses
and finally, little justification for the $95 entry fee.


I speak not only for myself, but for many others. I feel this "surprise" mega event could have benefitted from much more community consultation than has been given.

Yours

Cached
Cached this is what you first wrote when you created this thread and I would like to mention a few things.
Firstly this is probably the last time i will post on this thread as I am not into "she said he said" and if it keeps going it will lead to
damaging thoughts of the OZ mega overall.
When I first read this the word Dissent was taken in context as oppose and opposition and perhaps I see this as a negative start.

The area of this event is not Wagga Wagga but an area many have not visited and hopefully by the time the event commences there will be more caches at interesting locations throughout the area. The decision to make it a mobile weekend is designed to make it completely different and I hope many will see this as a Mega with a difference.
I hope this inconvenience of having to move will not be too much of a hassle.

It was sad to read that what we are try to organise has gone outside the forums and into private chats on Facebook, this can only be damaging to the event.

The focus on this event was one competition along the way and this was optional to enter, the total distance was 120 kilometres and I dont think it will upset families with children.

I am sure international visitors who attend will be able to bunk a ride or hire a vehicle for the weekend and I am happy to assist them with finding the best hire car prices. I will also be sure to create some Ozi explorer files and maps for everyone including coordinates for caches.

The last two comments I just don't understand. How can 2 years be too close to the last event? this just does not make sense, or should all events be made to run after 3 years from the last. I see there are 6 events in Victoria filling up most of the early months for 2011.
$95 for a long weekend of camping and activities is fair, most caravan parks charge that for one night with nothing else.

As I have offered all along feel free to contact me, after this post I will only add comments on the announcing the OZ Mega thread as it is silly to split the forum into two separate threads. I dont see why we cannot all post on one thread be it suggestions, comments, will-wont attend.

Lastly I have no desire to flame you or attack you for your opinion, We are listening and reading and with 16 months to go our commitment is to deliver a great, fun and enjoyable Mega event to whoever attends.

Regards
Mr.Coffee

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by SA_ParrotHead » 19 December 10 1:33 pm

mmmm just trying to speak through the gag!!!

Mrs Parrot

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Re: Concerns re 2012 Oz Mega.

Post by Princess Consuela » 19 December 10 2:29 pm

Mr.Coffee and the Clan wrote:[
The last two comments I just don't understand. How can 2 years be too close to the last event? this just does not make sense, or should all events be made to run after 3 years from the last. I see there are 6 events in Victoria filling up most of the early months for 2011.
$95 for a long weekend of camping and activities is fair, most caravan parks charge that for one night with nothing else.

Mr.Coffee

I can't speak for Cached but I think she means too close geographically.
Google maps says its only 1 hour and 10 minutes out of Wagga Wagga.
Part of the adventure is the journey and for me, the journey will be exactly the same :?

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