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Important Message - Feet First Hiking is Changing

From: Stephen F
Sent on: Monday, August 7, 2017 10:12 AM

Hello All.

This is an important message .

As you may have noticed I've been  having a long break from being involved as your organiser and that's mainly due to this very wet winter and the extra responsibilities I feel I need to do more of running winter hikes etc . Some have got hurt, and we've had a few close misses with other members not having the gear for winter tracks in Auckland .

So, as titled, I'm making some changes to the way I spend my weekends and the time spent being an organiser of two Meet Up Groups . This  main one, Feet First Guided Hikes and my other one started in May, Nature Discovery Walks.

The new changes affect both groups starting in September,  I'm the organiser of, and thankfully after 7 years being on Meet Up as an Organiser, you may know of the time it takes and what it all involves if in your day to day work you are a manager, supervisor, or in my case, self employed.

Meet Up is amazing and I love it, however over the years, what I love doing outdoors with groups has changed, and I'm no longer a younger man wanting exercise as my main reason to go into nature in the weekends and have to support a lot of people reasons to be there, that aren't mine  anymore . Especially big groups and having to be the policeman around what people have read about the Event organised and whether you, or others have come prepared for winter walking and the cold, the rain, the mud etc . That's no longer fun, and that's one of the reasons I've stepped away from being an active organiser on Feet First,. these last few months .

I started my other Meet Up group Nature Discovery Walks  earlier this year to focus on my emerging desire to expand more of my interest in discovering nature like birds, tree identification and other plants . I realise , people like yourself originally joined Feet First for hiking only, so I started Nature Discovery , however, trying to chase two pigs around in the same piece of bush, or a Saturday I have free, isn't working, and I am now wanting to be choosing a simpler approach for the coming busy summer period so I can be available again , with the focus of visiting familiar places with the reasons I love being outdoors, like these nature discovery walks and as such there will be a name change to bring this group up to date with these long standing interests, other than fast or even medium hikes through the bush just for exercise.

Other factors are being self employed and I've got extra work on nights and I only have my weekends free now to juggle my very happy personal life and other social interests, so I'm going to be making changes starting in September , for Spring and Summer ...So I can only have one Meet Up Group, with a focus on combining both into one and as such I will be closing this one , and making yet unannounced big  changes to Feet First, you may enjoy the new aspects of that Group, which will feature the things I love doing while walking outdoors.

Like changes to the Labour Party and its new slogan, Let's Do It, I'm sure you are also looking for more positive reasons to get me organising new events for you and the others that follow my interests other than going quickly as a hiker only from A to B in the quickest amount of time.

If you are one of the 3000 in this group, join me on Feet First in September ,as you'll see changes here  soon too. Smaller group sizes are just one aspect I'm looking forward to.

Meanwhile, keep active, keep interested in nature, and keep in touch with me on Feet First when new changes there will be happening starting in September.

There are many other new hiking and walking groups on here now, and so I do feel what I offer as your leader, guide, organiser, has merit, and with a new perspective, plus the added social benefits of Meet Up, there is some very good reasons to stay .

Thanks for your support on here, this year ,and here's to more outdoor slower  walking and learning more about trees and nature soon together .

See you soon .

Kind regards

Stephen F .



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