What we're about

SOLAR (School for Outdoor Leadership, Adventure, and Recreation) is a Southeast Michigan based club with more than 400 members. Founded in 1975, SOLAR remains dedicated to helping its members enjoy nature and outdoor activities.

Membership in the club is required for full access to our Meetup site. Annual dues are $40 for individuals and $55 for families. Please read further if you are interested in becoming a club member. Questions about membership can be directed to solarmembership@solaroutdoors.org .


SOLAR members themselves organize classes and events in which other members can participate. Whether you are a beginner or experienced wilderness enthusiast, you will find classes, activities, and trips for all skill levels and many different interests including--but certainly not limited to!--backpacking, day hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, paddling, winter camping, orienteering, wilderness first aid, adventure racing, wildflower and tree identification, dogsledding, whitewater rafting, and geocaching. SOLAR members can also borrow gear from our store of packs, sleeping bags and pads, stoves, and other outdoor equipment.

To learn more about SOLAR and its activities we encourage you to visit our website, www.solaroutdoors.org (http://www.solaroutdoors.org/). There you will find a calendar of upcoming classes and events, and newsletter (SOLAR Ray) archives. These sources give more information about who we are, what we do, and how we do it. We also welcome anyone interested in the club to attend our monthly meetings, held at St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, 27475 Five Mile Road, just west of Inkster Road, in Livonia on the last Tuesday of every month (except December). SOLAR is not affiliated with St. Paul's or any other religious institution. Directions are available here: http://solaroutdoors.com/solarmeetings.html (http://solaroutdoors.org/About/Meetings.aspx). The business meeting is followed by a program on a topic of general interest to our members.

SOLAR uses Meetup as a tool of convenience for our members to quickly get information about upcoming classes and activities and to sign up and pay for these events online. That's why our Meetup group is restricted to paid members of the club and non-members have very limited access.

Once you have checked us out online and, we hope, in person by attending one of our monthly meetings, you can decide if becoming a member is right for you. If so, you can join the club by downloading the membership form (http://solaroutdoors.com/downloads/S.O.L.A.R_Membership_Application.pdf), filling it out, and either submitting it with a check for the dues payment at one of the meetings or mailing both to the address listed on the bottom of the membership form. Once you are a club member we can grant you access into this Meetup group.

Thank you for your interest in SOLAR. We hope to meet you soon.

Upcoming events (5+)

Eagle-Watching Weekend at Starved Rock

Starved Rock State Park

"As the weather becomes colder and bald eagles migrate south down the Mississippi Flyway, people travel to those same places in hopes of catching a glimpse of the national bird. Some of the best places to eagle watch are near locks and dams along the Mississippi River, where water continues to run and eagles can feed on fish." Midwestwanderer.com One of the best places to watch for eagles within a reasonable drive of Southeast Michigan is Oglesby, Illinois and Starved Rock State Park, about 90 miles south of Chicago. Late January is when the Audubon Society holds its annual Bald Eagle Watch Weekend to see the eagles that show up to fish the Illinois River. Along with educational programs there are guided hikes and trolley tours. And if the eagles don't show up? Well, the canyons of Starved Rock State Park and nearby Matthiessen State Park are beautiful and present lots of opportunities for hiking. Be prepared to spend time outside in cold weather Lodging is $150 per person for two nights if we have three people. The cost will decrease if we have more people. 1) Who you are and the names of anyone else coming with you 2) If you will share a bed with the person coming with you (so I can figure out how many beds are needed) Respond in comments or by email (h_tietjen[at]yahoo[dot]com or text 734 Two72 71Five4.

Individual Annual Membership Renewal

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It's that time of year again! To renew your 2020 SOLAR Membership as an Individual there are two steps: 1. Fill out the online membership application and waiver (RIGHT-click the link below, and select "Open hyperlink") https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfefTzJT1oh_mQmBosd_HqLCBspPXpsf0a9xFyQpgF0XXqj5A/viewform 2. Join this Meetup "event" to charge $43.80 ($40 membership fee + $3.80 Meetup/WePay fee) to your credit card via Meetup WePay payments. If you have any questions please contact Elaine Granch Membership Chairperson at [masked] If you prefer to either email (print, fill out, sign and scan) or mail in your form, you can print a copy by opening on the link below and clicking on “S.O.L.A.R_Membership_Application” in the first paragraph: https://www.solaroutdoors.org/membership/ Thank you for your continued interest in SOLAR!

Monthly Meeting & Program: Annual Photo Contest and Gear Swap

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SOLAR's general membership meetings are open to everyone. This is a great place to hear about upcoming activities and classes, meet members, catch up with friends, and get more involved in our club. You're welcome to RSVP but it's not required. The program following the meeting: Annual Photo Contest and Gear Swap Here are the details: Those members with photos to enter, please try to arrive early, between 6:30 pm and 7:00 pm, to register your photos. This will help expedite the contest set-up. The categories are: Normal Categories: 1.Action 2.Animals 3.Black and White 4.Digitally Enhanced 5.People 6.Humor 7.Plants 8.Scenery Special Category: 9. Perspective Category Explanations: Digitally Enhanced: The SOLAR photo contest category of Digitally Enhanced will include photos that have been cut and pasted, have had extreme exposure or color changes, “stitched” photos, and photos that were developed in a dark room using “dodge & burn”. Photographs that have slight color shifts, crops, and changes to brightness and contrast will not be considered digitally enhanced. Annual Special Category: The special category for 2020 will be "Perspective." This, as the other categories, is left to the interpretation of the photographer. Official Rules: You must be a SOLAR member to enter the photo contest. (If you are not current, you can update your membership before the contest starts) Photos must have been taken between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019. Standard photos must be no larger than 8x10 and panoramic no larger than 8x18. Mats on photos should be no larger than 11x14 on standard photos and 11x21 on panoramic photos. Photos must have been taken by the person entering it. Only one photo entry per person per category and only nine entries per person overall are allowed. Prizes will be awarded to the first place winner in each category and to the Best Overall. Photos will be voted on by SOLAR members who attend the January 2020 meeting. Winners will be announced that evening. As far as the Gear Swap- Bring items related to outdoor activities you would like to trade or sell with follow attendees. The swap will go on while the photo contest votes are being counted.

Steering Committee Meeting

Location visible to members

All SOLAR members are invited to attend Steering Committee meetings. The meetings are held on the second to last Tuesday of the month (except December), typically at a SC member's house. The location changes each month. Please email [masked] for the location of the next meeting. Seating is usually limited, so it is a good idea to bring a chair. If a large number of members want to attend a particular meeting, we may have to try to move a SC meeting to a bigger venue or ask members to attend a later meeting. (I'd LIKE to have this problem) Very occasionally, there may be a closed portion of the meeting if we are dealing with information sensitive to a particular member.

Past events (1,149)

Steering Committee Meeting

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Photos (5,425)

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