Letter from the President

November 5, 2022

Annual Update from the President
 

Greetings Wanderbirds. It’s been great seeing so many of you back to hiking both on the bus and for our trailhead hikes. We’re also welcoming a lot of new members, which is so important for maintaining the vitality of our club, as we can see our 100th anniversary on the horizon (it will be 2034).

The COVID pandemic brought many changes to the club and the hiking habits of many of its members. We restarted the bus this summer but have not seen the ridership we had in the past. As the cost of the bus has risen and we must pre-pay for it, the club loses several hundred dollars each time we run a bus that is half full or less. This of course is not sustainable so the board has decided to suspend the bus until the spring as we evaluate options to increase ridership. We will be increasing our publicity efforts, and learning more about the logistics of Meetup. Our ridership has been increasing in recent weeks—the fall here is so beautiful and we have such a good time! But we do expect the usual drop-off during the winter. In the meantime, we plan to go back to hikes where we will meet at trailheads. We know this is a problem for people who don’t have cars and we’re going to try to be more organized about arranging carpools, for example leaving from the metro stops.

We have dropped our policy for requiring documentation of COVID vaccination for participation in hikes. The pandemic is in a different place from when we instituted this—most people in this area are vaccinated and multiply boosted, especially in our cohort, and my perception is that a good proportion take sensible precautions with regard to masking. We continue to recommend masking in crowded indoor public settings; I think I always will during cold and flu season. We’ll continue to require hikers to sign our health and liability waiver.

Finally, we’d really like to continue to offer hikes every week and for that we need leaders. Leading hikes is a great way to give back to the club—it’s fun and a great way to meet other members. We pair up new leaders with experienced ones to learn the ropes. If interested, please contact me or Josh, our Director of Trails, or any of the board members.

Happy trails,

Susan Whiteman
Wanderbirds President