Update from the President

January 30, 2023


Many of you are enjoying our hikes this winter meeting up at trailheads. Thanks to our leaders for these hikes and also to those offering to drive for carpooling.

The Wanderbirds Board has been discussing how to move the club forward as we’ve learned to live with COVID. Our foray back into bus hikes in the summer and fall showed us how much things had changed since we had to stop the buses in 2020. Attendance on the buses had dropped to a low level and the club was losing too much money most weeks.

Since there are many other clubs that offer carpool hikes, and only one other that runs a bus, which we know often has more demand than they have available, we voted, after a discussion with many of our hike leaders, to start the buses again in April. To increase our ridership, we will use Meetup, which Capital Hiking Club (CHC) has used for years to help fill their bus. Our Board members discussed the CHC experience with a few of their Board members and the positives appear to far outweigh the drawbacks. Besides increasing the visibility of Wanderbirds—making us much easier to find on an internet search, it is an easier way to sign up for hikes and also to collect hike fees (all online). Fees for the bus hikes will be $30 for both members and non-members.

So, why become a member? To participate in our social events for one thing—we have started these up again—beginning with a very successful and fun holiday party. We have picnics planned April 16, June 11, and our holiday party December 9. We are going to explore a Jamboree in the Fall and occasional Saturday dog hikes as well! You’ll also be able to vote on the officer slate, and other major issues that come up for the club. We are planning on lowering our membership fee to $20 annually. The fees go towards operating expenses, covering excess costs for bus hikes, supporting social events, and an annual donation to the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, which does so much to maintain many of the trails we enjoy.

The Board and I are excited about getting more Wanderbirds together in 2023—both our old (established : ) members and new members and hikers we look forward to meeting.

Susan Whiteman
Wanderbirds President