Newsletter, July 2011

It is a good thing that the Ramblers Association has a policy of holding events “Rain or Shine’ because otherwise in 2011 we would have had no activities. This is in stark contrast to 2010 when the weather was bright and sunny for every event. Hiking in the rain can be quite pleasant and just as in Canada each of the four seasons brings a different perspective to the scenery of a hike so does different weather conditions. A forest during a heavy rain shower is a very different place than during a hot windless day. We do draw the line though when lightening and thunders is present or in the case of a severe ice storm in the winter. These conditions can be dangerous and the Ramblers Association would cancel or postpone a scheduled event in the case of such adverse conditions. An email is sent to all members and others on our mailing list one hour before the scheduled start of the event. The cancellation notice is also posted on our website www.lesrara.ca .

Survey

The results are now in from our 2011 survey, 35 people responded and 100% of responders indicated a general satisfaction with their membership and considered it of good value. Most (85%) were pleased with the distance covered during the hikes with the balance being split evenly either way, too long or too short. Again the vast majority (79%) like an 8:00 am summer 9:00 am winter starting time, with the balance preferring 9:00 am all year.

Support for our bi-monthly all day hike stays high (79%) with another 9% wanting these all day hikes more often. Many people (41%) showed an interest in Saturday morning hikes and I have more to say about this later in this newsletter. There was general majority support for all of our other activities, wine and cheese (69%), breakfast (58%), partnering with other groups; Federation Quebecoise de la Marche (91%); Town of Hudson (94%). Everyone finds the website both useful and user friendly and want the Association to continue to be fiscally responsible with each events cost being balanced with income. I would like to thank Anne Bourel and Claude Fortier for their hard work in conducting this survey

The Board of Directors of the Ramblers Association consider these responses to be very positive and an indication that the association is doing what the members want and are managing these events well. . I would like to thank Anne Bourel and Claude Fortier for their hard work in conducting this survey

We have also made a very conscious decision  to limit expansion of the program we offer at this time, not that we don’t feel there would be an interest in more and different activities but because we have a very limited volunteer base and no one has come forward offering to get involved.

Calendar

A full schedule of hikes is planned for every second Sunday; visit our website www.lesrara.ca for full details. The next full day hike will be held on Saturday July 16th at the Centre touristique et éducatif des Laurentides near Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré.

Hikes

One of our founding directors, Heidi Wright has agreed to take on additional responsibilities and will be leading Saturday morning hikes on the weekend between our existing Sunday hikes. These will be at the same pace as the Sunday events and over similar distances, more details will be announced via the website in the near future.

Hudson Street Fair

The Ramblers Association will have a booth at the Town of Hudson Street Fair scheduled from 10:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday July 30th. This will be a good opportunity for the association to let the community at large know what we do and at the same time recruit new members for while we currently have 76 paid members these numbers will tend to fall with attrition and need to be replaced. Volunteers are again required to help man this booth.

We continue to submit articles to the Hudson Gazette to enhance the image of hikers and walkers in the area and have embarked upon a project to write a series of Hudson Walking Tours.

Projects

There is no shortage of opportunities for hikers and walkers and the Board is constantly exploring a range of other potential ideas. We have made contact with the Rideau Trail Association and La federation Quebecoise de la Marche and will look into ways of travelling further afield to join other groups as they discover other areas of Canada. It has even been suggested that Gros Morne National Park would make a wonder extended weekend hiking excursion, one can always dream…

All these ideas will come to fruition if more people get involved in the planning and leadership of club events, contact me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you are interested in helping.

Good hiking and I look forward to seeing you on the trails

Terry Browitt