Newsletter - September 2014
 

The seasons are changing again but unlike sailors, golfers and skiers hikers and walkers have nothing to fear whatever time of year it is, there are always some good and challenging trails nearby.

So far it has been a full year for the Ramblers Association with half-day hikes every Sunday morning, full day hikes at least once a month and even weekend away events. There is more to come as we enter September and October, considered by many to be the months offering the most clement weather and optimum conditions for walking. Our schedule of events is being updated on a regular basis, for the latest information check our web-site at www.lesrara.ca

One innovation was introduced in April which many people may not be aware of, The Ramblers Association has set aside $1000.00 each year to pay the entrance fees to government and other parks and recreation areas for members in events organized by the Club. The Board will also consider financial support for other initiatives proposed by club members. Based on a recommendation from Barb Gibb have hired an arborist to accompany the members on the next hike in the Morgan Arboretum on September 28th, this promises to be a very interesting walk.

We have started a project under the direction of Anne Bourel to analyze and rate our trails based on the system established by the FQM. This will give participants a better idea of the degree of difficulty of the walk before setting out. Walkers are reminded that they should always inform the trail leaders if they have any medical condition they should be aware of or if they are taking special medication or carry antihistamines or anti-asthma treatments etc. 

It should be remembered that The Ramblers Association is completely governed, managed and run by the members and we need the members participation and feed back to properly function. We have noticed that while overall membership has remained relatively stable over the last several years at 80-100 people, participation at individual events seems to have declined. We are not sure why and talking to participants has given no clear answer. Perhaps it is the time of year a lot of people are away on holidays and lots happens in all our communities during the summer month.

But we need your feed back, are the events too short or too long, too strenuous or not strenuous enough, are some destination more popular than others, are some too boring and should be dropped from the repertoire. The Board of Directors and Trail Leaders try to provide what the members want in a hiking club, but without feed back we are not sure what that is. As always we need more volunteers, primarily to come up with new location to walk and then to lead the hike. A volunteer does not necessarily have to start by leading a hike, they can assist in event planning and move to tail leader while they gain experience.

We have always felt that 20-30 participants from a membership of around 100 is a perfect situation, more than 30 hikers becomes a difficult group to lead and manage especially in the case of someone becoming ill or having an accident. When we reached this level a few months ago we stopped putting announcements of our events in the local press, but considering the current situation we will return to our earlier practice. We also welcome suggestions from the members on how to increase participation.

Thank you for your participation and for reading our web-site. The Ramblers Association has now been in existence for four and a half years and I think we all have fond memories of our times on the trail. I for one am looking forward to more exciting and challenging times with the club in the future.

Good hiking and I look forward to walking and talking with you on the trail

Terry Browitt

August 27, 2014