COVID - 19 UPDATE June 24/20: As we enter Phase 3 of the re-opening, Walkstars is going to re-introduce in-person walks. They will look a little different until there is a vaccination in place. We will take a safe and cautious approach over the summer, starting with the leadership team and then expanding to small-group walks that are open to all. Please watch for walking opportunities and carefully read the Covid-19 safety precautions listed on the walk.
WALKSTARS is a walking group that promotes health, making new friends and keeping everyone accountable to their fitness. We walk on beautiful routes in North Vancouver, Canada. The organizers are not professional trainers, just people with a passion to keep healthy and do it with others.
Walkstars started with with some activities among friends: A virtual team relay walk from Vancouver BC to Houston Texas. (We did it in 93 days.) A commitment to walk every week with a friend. Out of that a Meetup group was formed. We now have over 900 members and walk every Sunday with about twenty people. We add in some special event walks and Newcomer walks that take place periodically on other days of the week.
We have an optional charity-for-youth aim and have provided meals and financial donations to Covenant House through small weekly contributions from our walkers.
Inspired by some of our walkers who wanted to do some travel, we now host Walkstars Abroad - working with a friend who is a travel agent, we travelled with Walkstars to the Mayan Riviera in 2018 and Oaxaca for Day of the Dead in 2019. We have future travel plans with the group which we will announce. http://www.walkstars.org
10 REASONS TO BE A WALKSTAR
1. The North Shore is a beautiful place to walk, rain and shine
2. We are a mixed-age group from diverse backgrounds. You will walk with awesome people!
3. Many of our routes are child and dog friendly
4. We walk every week (give or take a holiday or two)
5. Our walks are low to medium intensity
6. Our walks are normally under two hours
7. Walk, in the safety of a group, for your own health and to encourage others
8. We are committed, we're social, we're fun. We like coffee after!
9. We have an optional charity-for-youth aim if that interests you.
10. Walkstars is on the move. We are expanding our vision as the group grows.
WALKSTARS ETIQUETTE Here are some of our policies. They are updated periodically. They are simple rules for a happy walking group. Please follow them. COVID-19 protocols are listed on the event.
1. WEATHER: Walkstars walk rain or shine. If it rains, gear up with a rain coat and waterproof shoes. Wear layers.
2. WAITING: We only wait 5 minutes for latecomers, so please get there on time so that you don't get left behind.
3. RSVPs ARE VERY IMPORTANT. We always have a waiting list. We consider it inconsiderate for people to sign up for spots that they don't use. Here is what to do:
a) RSVP when a walk is posted: Secure your spot, but only sign up if you know you are available for the walk. You must have a reserved spot to go on a walk.
b) WAITLISTS are managed fairly and automatically by the Meetup website. You are moved off of the waitlist in order of going on it. Meetup will send you a message (if you allow it in your settings) informing you when you have a spot. RSVP "no" if you no longer want it. If you get a late notice, it is because someone changed their mind late. To avoid a late invitation, take yourself off of the waitlist if you will no longer respond "yes".
c) CHANGING YOUR RSVP: If you change your mind, change your RSVP. It is courteous to open up your space for those on the waitlist. Please make your decision at least 48 hours before so that the waitlisted person is notified in time.
c) NOTIFY FOR ILLNESS or EMERGENCY: If you can't come at the last minute leave a message on the walk page so that we know that you are not coming.
d) DON'T GET ON THE NAUGHTY LIST: Most Walkstars are very respectful of the RSVP policy - we have a great group - however we make note of people who repeatedly hold onto a space that another could use and will contact them about continuing in the group after three "no shows". If you think we have made an error on your attendance record, just contact us to make any corrections.
4. WALKING PACE
a) The host(s) set a moderate pace - each host may be a little different. We don't dawdle; we don't speed walk. Please try to keep to the pace they establish.
b) Do not go ahead of the group leader (first host).
c) If you are slower stay ahead of the "sweeper" (last host).
d) If you stop to take a quick picture let the “sweeper” know. Remember that this is not a photography group, but we can accommodate people who want to catch some quick shots. Just look at our photo pages! There are some fantastic pictures taken by members.
e) The host(s) will pause along the way to help people catch up, catch their breath on a steep section or use a WC if one is available. We pause at forks-in-the-road so people don't go astray.
f) If you decide to leave the walk at any time, you must inform the host so that they don’t worry about you or go looking for you. For safety, the host(s) keep track of the group, but it is your responsibility to stay with the group and to communicate if you are having difficulties. If you depart from the group, your return is at your own risk. Please read the liability waiver below.
5. DOGSTARS ETIQUETTE
Well behaved dogs are welcome on most of our walks. Some areas do not allow dogs. This will be indicated on each walk. Leash up on roadways and where signs indicate. Be aware of other members of the group and passers-by who may be afraid of dogs.
6. CHILD ETIQUETTE
The walks are not specifically designed for families but children are welcome to walk with us if the parent thinks that the child can manage the terrain. We typically walk about 7-8 km over two hours.
7. GEAR UP
Wear clothing that matches the weather conditions. Some good equipment to own is: waterproof hiking boots, summer hiking boots, waterproof jacket, hats, walking pole, water bottle, emergency snack, small backpack.
8. MONEY STUFF
a) DONATIONS: We support kids-in-need through donations to Covenant House and other youth-oriented charities. A suggested donation of $1.00 per walk is appreciated but not required.
b) MEETUP charges an annual membership fee, currently paid by The "Chief Executive Walker" (Dawn Moore)
c) DUES: currently there are no dues
d) Walkstars Abroad and Special Events: There are some travel opportunities and special events that have an associated cost. This will we clearly identified on the event.
9. SUPPORT A LOCAL CAFE and make some friends
We end each walk at or near a coffee shop. We encourage Walkstars to go for a social coffee following our walks.
Currently one guest is permitted if you sign them up when you sign up for a walk. You cannot add them later due to our participant limit and waitlist. When you click "YES" on your RSVP you are agreeing for both you and your guest to the Risk Liability Waiver and Photo Waiver listed below.
11. PROFILE PICTURES
Your profile picture must be a picture of your face and your profile name must contain your first name (last name not required). This is primarily for safety and also to help the organizers and members of Walkstars recognize and remember you as you become active in our walking community. It would help authorities identify you in case of an emergency.
12. CONTACTING MEMBERS
Walkstars permits uploading of photos and posting on the message board and the specific walk comments. However, any photo or message that we decide is inappropriate will be removed and the poster may be warned or removed from the group.
Members have choices about how they can be contacted which they control in settings. The organizers and hosts do not have direct access to your email or other personal information. This is another reason why having a clear, recognizable profile picture is important.
13. RISK AND LIABILITY WAIVER
When you click "YES" on your RSVP to an event you acknowledge that the activity carries with it inherent risks, that you freely accept and assume all such risks, and that you are in good health and are physically capable of carrying out the activity organized by Walkstars. Your participation releases Walkstars - North Shore Meetup, its event organizers, hosts and members from all liability in respect of personal injury, damage or loss of personal property which may arise out of participation.
14. PHOTO WAIVER
We have some awesome photographers in the group. Photos and video may be taken during a walk and posted onto one or more of our electronic platforms such as our website, facebook page, Instagram and Meetup. If you do not want to be photographed or video recorded, please advise the photographer. Otherwise, it is understood when you click "YES" on your RSVP to an event, that you have provided permission to be recorded and to publish your image. Photographers who post photos or video likewise agree that their images may be used.