The season began with beginner trips galore. There was an overnight led by Jane Dudley and Michele Morris. (That trip apparently got out of hand. I wont mention details here.) Walter Lepuschenko and Brynne Lazarus led a beginners snowshoe hike with equipment loaned from Tubbs. Forester Mike Snyder led a head-spinning dendrology hike up Mt. Philo in March, when buds, bark and branch architecture were the only clues to identifying deciduous trees. Summer brought a paddle with geologist Jon Kim and a short, simple hike led by Walter 18 Miles, Difficult Lepuschenko. There was another dendrology hike in the fall, along the LT.
In addition to the educational outings organized by the Education Committee, there were many others. Dave Booth led a wild edibles trip, Mary Lou Recor showed hikers how to identify wildflowers, and Dave Blumenthal organized a Mt. Washington trek led by naturalist Lexi Shear. Phil Hazen taught regular map and compass workshops, and Maeve Kim led birding expeditions.
Consider sharing your skills, talents and knowledge. Organize an educational outing. Call Walter Lepuschenko at 849-6493 or Brynne Lazurus at 860-0724.
The Burlington Section membership hasnt increased a lot this year. We now have 640 memberships, compared to 634 last year. Because weve got fewer family memberships than last year, the number of adult members is actually down from 871 to 854. (We dont have a count of the children who are included in family memberships.)
We gained 111 new memberships in 2002 and lost almost that many. A look at a small sample of the dropouts shows that most were members for two years or less. How can we work toward keeping existing members, along with signing up new members?
Other facts about our membership:
- Exactly half of us live in Burlington, South Burlington, Essex or Essex Junction.
- Another 32% come from elsewhere in Chittenden County.
- The rest come from other parts of Vermont, other states, and even other countries. (See "Thoughts from a distant hiker".)
- A little more than a third of us have been members for one year or less. Almost that many have been in the Burlington Section of the GMC for 6 years or more.
In the past year, a total of 116 outings were offered. There was a wide variety of activities including bird watching, snowshoeing for beginners, map and compass workshops, a wild edible trek, botany and geology hikes, trail and shelter work, and of course many hikes from easy to very difficult. The Outings Committee wishes to thank the thirty-two volunteer leaders!