The Ramblers Association
Newsletter April 2010
The seasons are rapidly changing again in Canada as we put our snowshoes into storage and prepare for the muddy season. Change is also taking place within the Sentiers Vaudreuil-Soulanges, as I have alluded to in other correspondence outlining the growing pains of the S V-S. After much consultation and discussion the Board of Directors of the S V-S, we have decided to amicably divide into two separate and distinct groups. Those members whose interest lies principally in hiking for social and health benefits would form a new group, leaving S V-S with the mandate to work with governments at all levels to lobby for the maintenance and expansion of hiking trails within the county of Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
This has now taken place and the new group will be called The Ramblers Association. A new Board of Directors was appointed and I was named Interim President until elections can be held. From this point on, I will only speak on behalf of The Ramblers Association, as the SV-S will have its own Board of Directors and spokesperson. This split was very amicable and the by-laws of the new club specify a seat on their Board for an SV-S director. I know I am joined by everyone in wishing continued success to the SV-S, as their mission is critical to the future of hiking and snowshoeing in our area.
Other board members appointed at that time were Gaetan Allard, Interim Vice-President; Anne Bourel, Secretary; Jim Duff, Director and SV-S liaison, and Rosalie Shewchuk, Director with membership responsibilities. There are presently 2 vacancies on the Board. Also named at this time were those people who, while not members of the Board, have board level responsibilities: Martin Hofton, trail exploration; Claude Fortier, web-site and Ann Peters, communications.
Other people have volunteered to become involved and they include:
Diane Boileau: Heath, fitness and medical issues
Al and Barb Gibb: Hiking archives
Denise Hofton: Social activities
Louise Browitt: Bookkeeping and accounting
Claude Fortier: Mapping
Jerzy Wiater: Photography
The following people have agreed to be trail leaders:
More people are needed as I will outline later.
It was agreed that the club will continue organising hikes every second Sunday and would experiment to see what other activities would be of interest to the membership. The new mandate does not specify Vaudreuil-Soulanges and we feel there will be interest in hiking in areas further afield such as Eastern Ontario, Gatineau or the Laurentians. These activities will be scheduled initially for Saturdays on the “off weekend”. The first experiment in this area we hope will be on May 8th when we will explore the Glengarry Trails in Alexandria, Ontario.
The current fiscal year for the club runs from July 1st to June 30th,necessitating an AGM in the latter part of July which is not a convenient time as many people are away on vacation. Also, the membership year runs from October 1st until September 30th, further complicating the issue. The Board will review this matter and make a recommendation at a future meeting. In the meantime, it was decided that until a change could be made the membership year would be unchanged; members joining after May 31st 2010 would only be required to pay 50% of the annual membership fee to be a member for the balance of the year. Everyone who has paid membership fees to SV-S before March 31st 2010 will be considered members of both organisations until the end of the membership year, September 30, 2010.
The by-laws of The Ramblers Association were presented to the Board and unanimously approved; a copy is attached to this newsletter.
It was felt that an attractive and current bilingual web-site was essential for the efficient operation of the club. An amount of money was approved for this activity and Claude Fortier would be approached to set this up and become the web master.
Motions were also presented to approve The Ramblers Association joining the Federation Quebecoise de la Marche and to purchase Directors liability insurance through that group.
I truly believe that as a hiking club we have a very active, exciting, challenging and rewarding future ahead. The Board doesn’t operate in a vacuum and we need your input. We need your suggestions for activities and your willingness to lead hikes maybe in areas unknown to most of the members. Hiking is one of those activities where the opportunities are endless and I would like to believe that the same is true with The Ramblers Association.
Please let me know your thoughts, I look forward to meeting and talking with you on the trails.