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Section Notes (4/07)

Report from the Outings Chair

The Burlington Section had over a hundred outings scheduled for 2006. In spite of the bad weather that plagued many weekends, a good percentage of the activities were successfully completed. The average number of participants per outing was six.

All of our trips are led by volunteers. In 2006, there were eleven volunteers who led four or more outings each. (Pat Collier and Herm Hoffman were the most dedicated trip leaders, with 12 and 9 outings respectively!) Eighteen other volunteers led 1, 2 or 3 outings each. This Outings Report would not be complete without a loud THANK YOU to the trip leaders. There would be no outings without the great work of volunteers.

In the coming months, we’d like to offer an even more robust schedule of outings and get more participation. We’ve started encouraging trip leaders to describe the “expected pace” of each outing: strong, moderate, or leisurely. We’re hoping this will clarify things. Hikers who might worry that they’re too slow won’t find themselves in a group of speed demons. Hikers who get frustrated by a slower pace can choose trips that will move along. There’ll be less chance of participants feeling out of sync with the group.

If you’re interested, please contact Rich Larsen or Paul Houchens. We greatly encourage new leaders to step forward, especially folks who think they have a “fast pace” or a “leisurely pace”. We’ll be able to serve a wider base of members if we can offer activities with all the various paces.

We encourage every reader of Ridge Lines to think about leading an outing in 2007.

Vermont is full of beautiful places for walks, hikes, paddles and meanders. Challenging hikes to impressive summits are always exciting, but there are so many other possibilities as well.

What about participating in the Side-to-Side Challenge? Lead some hikes on local side trails. Organize a picnic at a lodge or shelter.

Is there a beautiful beaver pond near your home where you often walk your dog? Want some company on a summer evening?

Do you have a favorite trout stream you might want to share?

Do you love to walk along slowly looking at wild flowers or hunting for mushrooms?

Think ahead to fall. Do you have a special place to look at foliage? If you lead a walk there, others can share in the beauty.

Want to know about upcoming GMC activities?

Go to and click on Events. Every one of the GMC’s fourteen sections offers hikes, walks and other activities, and everyone is welcome.

Read about outings that have already taken place??

To all our readers

Helping out with trail maintenance is a great way to celebrate hiking! There are several work days scheduled for spring and summer. Each hike has work for people with a wide range of abilities and expertise, from clipping brush to building waterbars. This year, there’s even a Women-Only Long Trail work hike. Check out the Activities Calendar for dates and contact information.

Report from the Shelters Chair

It was a quiet year for the Shelters Committee because no major repairs were necessary. We tallied seventy hours of volunteer time, split among sixteen dedicated members. Our eight shelter adopters did impressive work: John Bennett at Taft Lodge, Scott Buckingham at the Twin Brooks Tenting Area, Jon Boyson at Butler Lodge, Jen Andrews at Taylor Lodge, Jeff Bostwick at Puffer Shelter, Clem Holden and Herm Hoffman at Buchanan Shelter, Kerstin Lange at Duck Brook Shelter.

Bark mulch was hauled up to Puffer and Duck Brook Shelters. A new shutter was installed on the door of the privy at Twin Brooks. General housekeeping took place at all eight shelters within our jurisdiction, and all sites are presently in excellent condition.

There will be several work hikes scheduled this summer. All members are encouraged to join us. We have lots of fun and we make a big difference. (And we don’t work anyone too hard!)

Report from the Trails Chair

We had five outings dedicated to trail maintenance during 2006. There was an average turn out of 7.6 volunteers, including the leaders. That’s down from the previous year’s average of 10 workers per outing, but the rain may have discouraged folks. It rained every trail work day but one. Most days the rain was not continual, but unfortunately we had steady, heavy rain on National Trails Day.
The trails had more blow-downs than usual this year, so we concentrated on removing trees. We also did clipping and clearing of water bars. Our section now has a new hazel hoe, bringing the total to three. Hazel hoes are excellent tools for clearing water bars and digging drainage ditches.

Report from the Membership Chair

There are currently 726 memberships in the Burlington Section. 504 of these are individual memberships and 222 are family memberships. Individual members can vote at the section’s Annual Meeting and the main club’s Annual Meeting. In addition, each family membership is counted as two voting members. In all, the Burlington Section now has 948 voting members.

We don’t have a count of how many additional members – such as children – are included in family memberships. In the future, we’d like to keep this kind of data. Children who grow up with the GMC might want to be members when they grow up. (This year at least one person who was in an active family when she was a child rejoined on her own as an adult.)