Maryland Volkssport Association

Saturday, December 31, 2015 Columbia, Maryland

The meeting convened at 12:30 at the conference room at Owen Brown Rec Center.

Officers Present: Bob Schmick, President; Darrell Neily, Treasurer; Marie Wiser, Secretary; Sandy Lynch, Vice President; Phil Wilder, Vice President of Publicity; Jim McDonald MVA Webmaster; and Tom Jackson, Regional Director.

Club Delegates: Frank and Marie Kupres, Baltimore; Betty Davis, Annapolis Amblers; Bob Wolfe, Freestate Happy Wanderers; Pat Astill, Greenbelt; Carolyn Thurber Senaca; Sandi Cahill, WDCAVC; and John Dye, Columbia.

Members: Skip Magee, Ambers, Lourdes Barcelo, Amblers, Yvonne Pennington, Greenbelt and Seneca, Susan Osborn, Baltimore, Linda Hassell, Freestate; Jone Parr, Seneca. Forgive me if I omitted someone, or if someone did not sign the sign-in sheet .

  1. Greetings: Bob welcomed everyone to the final MVA Meeting of 2015. He gave thanks to John Dye for his excellent skills in compiling the Atlantic Regional Brochure. John devoted many hours of editing and waiting patiently for contributors' input. The final product is a great display of the Convention activities. John requested that Bob email the brochure to each club President to promote the conference. Bob also thanked Phill Wilder for the article promoting the Regional which he wrote and submitted for publication in the upcoming issue of TWA.

  2. Reports:
    1. Minutes of the of the September, 2015 MVA Meeting were distributed, and no changes were requested and
      the minutes were approved. Reminder the current minutes and prior minutes are posted on the MVA

    2. Treasurers Report: Darrell Neily distributed copies of the two-page treasurer report showing activity from January 1 through December 30, 2015. The report has specific line items clearly depicting MVA yearly income and expenses. Darrell told everyone the MVA wrote a check for $2,500.00 to the Ramada for the Regional Conference. Our income still carries over the heavy charitable contribution from Piedmont. You will note zero balances on several walk books. As mentioned in the June 2015 meeting, Darrell said he will phase out being a "vendor" of walk books, new walker packets, start cards etc. and will deplete the inventory until all supplies are sold. He will order a few and keep a minimum “emergency” supply of just the new walker packets, start cards and insert cards. He cannot purchase these any cheaper than individual clubs can.

      Darrell also said he had a suggestion about the $3.00 walk fee charge. Clubs may want to consider a minimum $2.00 fee rather in lieu of free walkers. He said that a Virginia club includes within the New Walker Packet a one-year free membership to their club. Clubs need to clarify any confusion to new walkers about being a "member" which is separate from paying a walk fee. There was a general discussion about ways to encouraging memberships to first time walkers.

      Overall Net Worth as of 12/30/15: $3,823.46 ($2,253.66 in checking account plus $1,569.80 in AVA merchandise) Total income: $6,792.53 and Total expenses: $2,027.45.

    3. Web Master: Bob thanked Jim McDonald for his continued work as MVA Webmaster, and a thank you to Rich Long who is under the weather. Jim has uploaded the AT Regional Conference brochure on the webpage. Thank you to both of these hard working volunteers.

    4. Tom Jackson Regional Director:

      1. Atlantic Region Conference is in Hagerstown, MD from March 18-20: All club Presidents, please encourage your members to attend the Atlantic Region Conference. They should be registering now at the Hagerstown Ramada, and also encourage members to register for the Friday and Saturday night banquets and attend the workshop and meeting, and support the Silent Auction. New or nearly new items are welcome. See more information on the Auction in No. 4 below: New Business.

      2. June 10-12 is the 40th Anniversary of Volkssporting in America. There will be a major destination event in Fredericksburg, TX. If you cannot make it to Fredericksburg, TX, there are walk events in Fredericksburg, VA or Laurel, MD or Hanover – Codorus State Park, PA.

      3. Strategic Planning Committee. The latest information Tom has is in the December Checkpoint which all of you should have received. The SPC met in late November in Dallas, TX and developed three courses of action. These will be presented to the NEC at the next meeting. It is expected that the NEC will choose one of the three or most likely a hybrid.

      4. Individual Awards – the only nominations Tom has received from the Maryland clubs came from Columbia. The Certificate of Service Award was supposed to be replaced by the Commendable Service Award effective January 1, but it is going to be delayed. Plan on the Certificate of Service Award still being available until June 30 if not longer.

      5. Two recent incidents on Facebook. An individual in December went to the start point for a 2016 seasonal and was upset that no one at the hotel knew anything about the start box. Another individual went to the start point listed in Starting Point for the four New York City walks, and the Asics shoe store was closed. The AVA web site had been updated to say that the store was closed and to contact the POC for directions.

        Starting Point was obsolete on September 16. Don’t rely on it.

        Make sure the information on the 2016 AVA events web site is accurate. If not, change it and then notify AVA that there has been a change.

        We still have a problem with addresses for the start points missing the Rd, St, Av, Ct, Ln, etc.

      6. Tom thanked Maryland clubs for doing a great job in 2015 of continuing Piedmont Pacer YREs.

  3. Old Business:
    1. Facebook: Bob requested that Clubs please continue to post information about your Events on Facebook.

    2. Meet-Up: 680 folks have participated in learning about volksmarching via Meet Up. Linda Hassell said the MVA is sponsoring a Meet Up group. She posts all Maryland walks on the Meet Up web site. She would like more participation from local volksmarchers to look at the walks and that a representative of each club to monitor your club walk events. Help grow our sport. Check it out and join. There is no cost. Once you have logged in, you can review walks and pictures.

  4. New Business:
    1. Regional Conference. Club Presidents please encourage your members to attend, and have backup volunteers in case scheduled volunteers are unable to fulfill their task. Clubs: please bring your walk schedules, directions and contact phone numbers.

      We need workers to staff the walk start/finish; greeters at the meals and various other tasks. The Baltimore club spearheaded the meals. The conference registration table will have a spreadsheet (thank you to Darrell for its creation) that will be utilized as folks arrive. Name badges will also be at the registration table. Thank you to Betty Davis, for preparing and printing these. The badges will show whether the attendee is registered for the meet and greet and/or the dinner.

      Reminder to bring items for the Silent Auction. Items do not have to be walk related. Please bring the items to the hotel. Examples of items: books, wine/wine glasses, gift baskets, baked goods, etc. Descriptions of items should be emailed to Sandy, so she and her committee can prepare separate sheets for each at the Auction. Winners of auctioned items will need to pick them up after the dinner Saturday evening. Darrell Neily will handle payments from those purchasing items.

      Please contact Bob if you are able to assist with the Swim event.

  5. Next meeting: Will be held on April 23, 2016, 12:30 pm. at Java Junction at Train Station in Gaithersburg.

  6. Club Reports:
    1. Annapolis: Betty Davis told the group that Deb Peak has agreed to be POC for the second year of hosting an event in Piney Orchard. We are waiting to hear the exact date of the festival (writer's note: I checked the Piney Orchard web and did not find any updates on this.) More information will be supplied.

    2. Baltimore: Frank Kupres said the club is hosting an event on March 5, to begin at the Safeway Market. This trail follows the Du Burn trail, however, with a change in start point.

    3. Columbia: John Dye said that to date the club has not yet sanctioned any 2016 events.

    4. Washington, D.C.: Sandi Cahill thanked folks for supporting their annual Scottish Parade event. Proposed events for 2016 are in the planning stage.

    5. Greenbelt: Pat Astill. Currently, there are no proposed events to report.

    6. Freestate: Bob Wolfe said the club has started to ask late walkers @ thirty minutes before the walk cutoff, for their cell phone numbers in the event there is a need to contact someone. 2016 Events: January 1, Owen Brown. Bob thanked folks for supporting the club on the 12/31 and 1/1 walks. On April 30, Montpelier. On June 11, the event in Laurel celebrating AVA 40th Anniversary. Bob also said the Wheaton parking lot is open again.

    7. Seneca: Carolyn Thurber passed to the group a bookmark which has the club's 2016 events and year round walks. Six events sanctioned: January 16, C & O Canal; March 18-20, Hagerstown; April 23, Washington Grove; June 4, Germantown; October 1, Oktoberfest in Frederick and November 12, in Gaithersburg. Also three seasonal and 11 year round walks. Look for new special programs at Georgetown.

    8. C Á O Canal: C & O Canal. Skip Magee brought handouts to the brochure table at today's event, for the 2016 C & O walks.

The Meeting was adjourned at 1:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Marie Wiser,
Secretary, Maryland Volkssport Association