I posted a note below on Feb 24th that the class was full. :-(
Once you have called & we agree on the requirements and your commitment, I will forward your name to the GPS Ranger Chair. Confirmed to date are:
Have you been looking for an opportunity to “pay it forward”? Do you enjoy the outdoors? Consider becoming a volunteer Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) GPS Ranger. Its purpose is to tremendously improve PATC maps, digital apps, and guidebooks as well as provide excellent trail reporting services. Its mission is to:
1. Collect high-quality GPS track and point data for all trails and fire roads shown on PATC maps,
2. Provide rapid trail scouting after major weather events at the request of the PATC Supervisor of Trails and District Managers, and
3. Perform a variety of other high-accuracy GPS work to support PATC volunteers in Lands, Corridor Monitoring, new trail construction, and other areas.
Potential Rangers do not need experience, however they do need to be PATC members (patc.net) in good standing and make the following time commitments
1. Attend a required one-day free training course March 15 in Vienna VA 9am-4pm. This is not to learn how to use a GPS but to learn the required protocols for surveying trails. The course covers how GPS works and how to collect GPS data for PATC trail mapping, reporting purposes and safety.
2. Join a group at least 4 times over the year to survey trails, collect and submit data. Part of the focus of the Rangers project is to help new Rangers learn correct GPS use. If you do not have a GPS, one will be loaned for the survey. If you do not know how to use a GPS, you will be paired with a mentor.
Rangers do not need GPS equipment. PATC can provide a loaner. If you don't already have a GPS, do not buy one before the class; the class will discuss equipment in much more detail. Most Rangers end up buying a GPS unit for themselves for the sake of convenience. Smart phones are also a potential GPS option, with some caveats.
The Rangers will ultimately consist of 50-75 active volunteers. It is best Rangers do their field work surveying in groups of 2 or 3. Special weekend trips are scheduled in areas that need the most survey coverage – staying in a PATC cabin or trail center, or group campground. The Rangers fan out to cover a large number of nearby trails over that weekend.
I am a GPS Ranger and can tell you we are a fun, active, and useful PATC group. It is very rewarding to see our work in print and on screen in future PATC publications. If the Rangers can develop a significant level of expertise, it is possible other organizations and other Parks will ask us for assistance.
If you are interested, please contact me (any day before 9pm). I will talk with you about expectations, etc. I do not make decisions but can forward your name.
Jayne Hiking Addict