The organizer meeting and dinner last April 2, 2010, Friday, went very well. Eleven were present - Alla, Bill, Gary, Jenny, Mike, Peter, Rich, Rob, Rollo, Ruchik and Tony. We shared fun stories about past hikes, discussed many good ideas on future outings, and of course, made consensus on many principles we think are needed to further promote the group's goals and growth. We discussed many concerns regarding membership as well as building a solid organizer team. It was a good two hours spent well on reconnecting with friends.
Noted below are some of the ideas discussed and principles agreed upon.
BEAR THIS IN MIND: The two things that NHP2 is most serious about are (1) promoting a caring team, and (2) not condoning No-Shows.
We always enjoy hiking with a group that is fun and active. For those of us who've been with several of our outings in the past months, we can all agree that our hikes were so much fun and memorable primarily because we were with fun, caring friends. During our past hikes, many members expressed the same opinion - they enjoyed hiking with us because we are connected. Active participation, responsible RSVPs, and promoting goodwill are some of the fundamental values that will help a connected group like ours grow. And we want to keep it that way.
We are not looking to become a big loose group. We prefer to have 100+ good hiking fellows, than be in a meetup of 1,000 with many we might see once or not at all except from a photo and name on a page. We welcome new faces because we want to meet like-minded enthusiasts and share the fun experiences in our outings. But they must take the serious effort to become part of a connected group. As such, a new member will start as a GUEST and will become a REGULAR member only after doing two major hikes and two local hikes with us. The Cat3500, ADK46, and similar peaks are some of our major hikes. The Harriman hikes are considered local, except when rated as strenuous (ie, a 20-mile Harriman hike is super strenuous).
Being inactive for a long period generally means that one is not serious with our group or has lost interest with our outings, and, therefore, will be used as basis for removal from the group. A guest member who has not participated for 6 months will be taken out from the group. Similarly, a regular member who has not hiked for a year with us could also be considered as a sign of resignation.
(This section was not discussed in the meeting but I am adding it after consulting with the core group.) A member who has done an accumulated total number of hikes, or total hiked miles or total major hikes with us will be recognized a special honor of FULLTIME member. At this time, we are putting the targets at 50 day hikes, or 300 hiked miles or 20 major day hikes. Leading a hike is considered equivalent to doing a major hike. We will review this further and come up with a final set in the next months.
Connected members always care for the group and its organizers, and, therefore, manage their RSVPs responsibly. But when a member is imprudent with his/her RSVP, not only that it projects a lack of care/focus and preparation for the outing, it also disrespects the group and organizer. We will NOT condone No-Shows or same day (of the outing day) changing of RSVPs to NO. On some outings that require a few days of preparation, such as backpacking and far upstate hikes (ie, Adirondacks, Whites, etc), changing the RSVP the day before may not even be acceptable. If taken by any member, three No-Shows will be ground for expulsion from the group.
(This section was not discussed in the meeting but I am adding it after consulting with the core group.) To give chance to guests who joined last year and ALL who have not hiked with us for more than six months, we will give them time, up to June, to try our group else they will be taken out from the group as well. A fulltime member will no longer be subject to any action against inactivity.
We also agreed that to support the group's growth and build a solid and caring atmosphere, we will continually promote a strong active organizer or core team. The organizers must contribute in promoting outings and cannot be inactive for 6 months. We will be reviewing our core group and reshaping it in the next months to support NHP2's growth and evolution.
After brainstorming our ideas on hike types and locations, we realized that the NHP2's focus is on five areas:
1. local hikes - harriman, gunks, taconics, parsippany/NJ, CT trails, hudson valley
2. backpacking and camping
3. high peaks - northeast and far travels
4. series hikes - AT sections, Catskill3500, Adk46, highest points, etc
5. photography outings - sunrise/sunset/overlooks at the high peaks and parks
We agreed that we will require the signing of the Liability Waiver and Contact Form on each hike. This will give the hike leader a chance to remind members about the risks associated with any hikes and that they are responsible for their welfare and that of their guests.
We also discussed ideas on recognizing outing contributions and hiking achievements made by members. There are varying approaches on how to employ this. We will explore these ideas and see how we can best use it to further promote active participation and support of our goals.
Thank you all for your input and continued support of NHP2. If you have questions or ideas to further support our group, we will be happy to discuss.
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