Guide to Volksmarching (a scheduled event)
Wear comfortable clothes and good walking shoes. Fanny packs or backpacks filled with essentials for the weather are smart. It's a good idea to have your own water bottle, even though water is provided at the start/finish and at checkpoints along the way. Use sunblock as needed. Bring some form of personal identification, and perhaps some cash, a credit card, mobile phone (a smartphone with GPS application is handy), and stubby pencil for answering checkpoint questions.
Fill out a start card and take it to the Start Table. If you would like to keep track of your events in a distance or event book, you will need to pay $3.00 for the walk (and the books are $6.00 but record 10 or more events each). Some walks also offer awards depicting something unique about that particular trail, which may be extra cost but are usually optional.
Make sure you find out if the walk is marked or you will need a map. Make sure you get a map if it's needed.
Some events require you to visit another table to get a starting number, but for the most part your registration is complete at this stage. You may want to visit the table of brochures before you begin the walk because some might be gone by the time you get back.
Some events have several trails. Make sure you know the color of ribbons and/or signs for the distance you want. As you are following the ribbons for your walk, pay close attention to double ribbons which means you will be turning.
There are typically 2-3 checkpoints along the trail with water and/or candy. Dig to the bottom for the good stuff. Usually these checkpoints are manned, but sometimes they might be a water stop with a hole punch hanging to punch your card yourself. These volunteers that sit at the checkpoints are very special so treat them nicely please. They are in charge of keeping track of the walkers so that we know that everyone makes it back safely. If you notice a part of the trail that was not clearly marked, let them know.
Once you have completed the walk, return your start card to the Finish table. If you paid for credit you can have both your event and distance book stamped. Don't forget your award also if you purchased it.
Now grab a bite to eat and relax. Freestate prides itself in being very "kid"-friendly. First kids can grab into the Cat-in-the-Hat hat and select a patch from a previous walk as an award for finishing the walk and participating. No matter if they were strolled, backpacked or piggy-backed, they are a winner. Then they can hang out at the Kids Korner and play with toys, coloring books and games.
Click here for answers to some frequently asked questions about volksmarching.