Picture of TRREC Birthday Cake at Falls Lake
On April 4, TRREC will have been around for one year. Let me tell you about what I had in mind when I started this group. I had previously been a member of a group where the owners had complained that the events were only being attended by the same 25 or so people. I thought “What’s wrong with that--why not let the group be for the people that actually get outdoors and do something? Those are the people I want to hang out with!"
It’s a bit like a joke I once read on a backpacking discussion board: one of the members claimed he had joined in order to socialize with other anti-social people. Well, no, we’re not really anti-social at all, but we’re also not primarily a social group. So we’re not throwing parties in the woods to see what happens, because we already know what happens. And we’re not a dating club either; single women should have the right to attend events and not be constantly hit on by every available male. (Not to say TRREC members don’t sometimes date—I believe TRREC may have been the genesis of a successful romance or two.)
Here’s what TRREC is: we are event-centered. You can always be sure that doing something is the focus of each meeting. The great thing is, you’re doing it with friendly like-minded people who are also serious about that activity. And if you don’t feel you have the skills or equipment necessary to participate, our members are always willing to help you learn.
And that has been my guiding principle since TRREC’s inception. TRREC is for active people who like to camp, hike, backpack, pedal, and paddle. I figured we’d remain small for several reasons: 1. the general population doesn’t move more than a few hundred yards from their automobiles—those of us who are active in the outdoors are a small minority. 2. I wasn’t going to waste money advertising but rely on word of mouth, the Meetup search engine, and well-placed flyers to recruit new members. 3. I really didn’t care if TRREC remained small. After all, many outdoor activities require a certain level of fitness, expertise, and expense, and you’re safer on the water and in the backcountry when you know the attitudes and skill levels of the people with whom you travel.
Still, we have grown considerably. We now have 220 members. Good news travels fast, and after all, we’re not a clique--new members always compliment our friendliness. Here are some statistics: at least half our members have been active in the group at some time or another, and over 60% of those active members have felt the experience was good enough to donate $5 to support the group’s operating expenses.
We’ve had 143 Meetups in the last year. I didn’t know in the beginning if we’d have anything aside from my weekly hiker conditioning classes and monthly overnight trip, but thankfully we have had a long list of wonderful members who have stepped up to organize quality events. So let me personally thank Emily W., Jennifer M., Greg C., Lauren W., Michael V., Neill Barrow, Nel Roberts, Robert McLawhorn, Rick Zablocki, Steve Cohn, Thomas F., Von C., James Gautreau, Laura, and Margaret Harrison for their successful efforts. And of course I’d like to send out a loud shout to Rufus and Rufus Jr., whom I think of as our Paddling Tsars. By the way, if you’re out there thinking there’s an activity you’d like to organize and share with other members, contact me about it. There are no quotas, I only ask organizers to make sure they really care about the activities they organize.
We have a wonderful sponsor in the Great Outdoor Provision Company and I’d like to again thank Chad and his expert staff for all their help to myself and our members. And I’d also like to welcome our new sponsor: the Rum Runner Dive Shop.
So for the coming year, I hope we’ll stay event-centered with the spirit of a tough, small group, but I invite all of you to join us when you can—and let’s hit those trails!
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|Letter to Members on TRREC's first Birthday||April 7, 2010 2:58 PM||anonymous|
|Member Policies||October 22, 2013 12:29 PM||anonymous|
|About Trail and River Rovers of East Carolina (TRREC)||October 22, 2013 12:39 PM||anonymous|