What we're about
We aim to be a close-knit hiking group of friends. We will do the best hikes, tours and other activities, and enjoy each other's company through hiking together on a regular basis (sometimes with a meal attached) and sometimes through other activities. This is not a group for all hikers - but for hikers who value friendship as much as the hike itself. It is expected that members of this group will see it as their primary hiking group, and participate sometimes in online discussion about the hikes we will choose in the coming month.
This group has come into being because of the over-abundance of good hiking groups. We aim to be different - a group we will hike in not just because we like the hikes, but also because we look forward to hiking regularly with friends.
We are a selective group, keen to welcome any new members who have:
1. A willingness to read messages/posts.
2. A willingness to at least be open to getting involved in selecting walks.
3. A willingness to check the Discussion Board, pages like this one, group emails, and possibly get involved with group decision-making.
4. A desire to be part of a Hiking Group where, if all goes well, you will find a group, and a group of friends, that you will hike with regularly. (Of course you might also walk in other groups.)
5. A recognisable facial photo – like a passport photo.
6. An acceptance of our fee structure, which starts from $5 per hike. All hikes are planned in detail and almost always pre-walked.
Please note, this is not a group where the organiser pays all the expenses and does all the work for no compensation. As you will find when you read on, there are many special activities in this group, and they all take much time and effort to prepare.
This will be according to a ‘Pay What You think’ system, with some safeguards. I very much like this concept. I see this concept, known by various names throughout the world, as promoting inclusivity and a community spirit as opposed to competition and greed, and the idea that it is not all about ‘us’ and what we can take. The concept also gets people thinking about what they are comfortable spending on a service or a product – and WHY! It raises questions like: What do I want to pay? What should I pay? How much can I afford to pay? Do I care or do I just want to be told what to pay? Which all relate back to: WHAT WILL I CHOOSE TO PAY.
In organising a group like this there are numerous responsibilities:
Planning and preparing hikes: Sometimes going to the hike location beforehand. Making calls. Mapping. Preparing issues to deal with and potential issues. Posting hikes and re-posting them when things go wrong. (This in itself can seemingly take forever.) Following up people who ‘don’t show’. Changing RSVPs for people who do not know how or are forgetful. Organising transport.
Dealing with phone calls, questions and emails about hikes. Dealing with membership enquiries and helping people to join. Enquiries about making payments and following up on who has paid, particularly in relation to activities that need to be paid for in advance.
Dealing with Meetup. Meetup has made being an organiser very difficult. Often, one change to a hike description or the number going means I have to recreate and post the whole thing all over again. Keeping records of everything, especially monies received and spent, because the ATO insists I do. A lot of accounting work. The list goes on.
PAY WHAT YOU THINK
With some limitations – basic costs must be met – the fee for most hikes and other activities will be based on a ‘Pay What You Think’ system. This will also be done anonymously so that we do not have to be concerned with anyone else knowing how much we are paying for the activities and services provided. (There will be a money tin for people to place their payment into in privacy, no questions asked, at the end of each hike/activity.) This will still allow everyone to attend, and pay whatever they feel they would like to pay.
Transport is involved in all activities and hikes – and this costs. To be fair to everyone, we will be using a system used by many authorities (Vic Roads, the ATO, and other hiking groups) which ensures all drivers are fairly compensated – not just for their petrol consumption, but also for TOLLS, and WEAR and TEAR on the car.
This system involves multiplying the kilometres travelled by 30 cents. (EG: 100 km x 30 cents = $30. Add tolls. Then dividing up the total cost evenly between everyone in the car, including the driver. This means, for example, that a 200 km trip costs $60. Between a driver and 3 passengers this = $15 each. Sometimes this system is ‘enforced’ within the fee structure when we are required to pay in advance. Other times it is just very highly recommended. For passengers: please note that it can be very, very difficult for some drivers to ask for or insist on fair compensation for being a passenger rin their car – so make it easy for them.