Maryland Volkssport Association

Saturday, October 14, 2017 Havre de Grace, Maryland

  1. Greetings:
    1. President Bob Schmick called the meeting to order at 1:10 p.m.
    2. Attending: Mike Green, Regional Director; Bob Schmick, President; Darrell Neily, Treasurer; Marie Wiser, Secretary.
    3. Club Representatives: Bob Wolfe, Freestate; Susan Osborn, representing Baltimore; Carolyn Thurber, representing Seneca Valley and Antietam Pathfinders; and Paul Lubell, representing Columbia.
  1. Reports:
    1. Minutes:Copies of the July 2017 minutes were distributed. Marie Wiser said that the Minutes are available on the MVA website within @ two weeks after the meeting. The minutes were accepted and approved.

    2. Treasurers Report: Darrell Neily distributed copies of the MVA Income and Expense by Category By Quarter-Last Quarter 7/1/17 through 9/30/17. Overall total assets: bank--$7,242.18; other assets-- books, etc. $2,218.00. Overall total: $9,460.18. Total Income: $737.20. Total expenses: $843.69. For the quarter, a $105.99 net loss.

      Darrell told the group that in July, the Washington D. C. Volksmarch Club decided to dispose of their assets, due to the ending of the club. The club is donating $3,500.00 to the MVA. When MVA receives this $3,500, and adding the current assets of $9,460, MVA will have about $13,000 in assets. The MVA leadership has proposed the following suggestions to best utilize some of these funds:
      1. Discontinue assessing clubs ten cents per credit walker.
      2. Provide free start cards to clubs.
      3. Discount sales of New Walker Packets to clubs.

      A general group discussion of each of these proposals ensued. The complete proposal was voted on and passed.

      MVA will eliminate the ten cents per credit walker. However, it was agreed that MVA will collect the ten cents per credit walker through the Fourth Quarter.

      Beginning January 1, 2018, clubs are requested to use official start cards for traditional walk events. However, Clubs may maintain start cards for their YRE's in the manner in which the club(s) currently use. (a few clubs have printed their own copies).

      New Walker Packets will be sold to clubs for $3.00 each.

      Additionally, these reductions in costs to clubs would cease at a time when the MVA treasury drops below $7,000.

      Bob said please have your club place orders for start cards and new walker packets through Darrell, who will have AVA ship the order directly to your club.

      The treasurers report was accepted and approved.
    3. Web Master: – We are hosting 6 clubs with the expertise of Jim McDonald, thank you Jim..
    4. Regional Director Report - Mike Green":
        1. NEC approved the “401k for your Health” a way for walkers to track the distance they have walked online with the goal of completing 401 km in a year.
          1. The online support for 401k will be handled on a separate website from the There will be a link on the AVA website to the 401k site.
          2. Although this is an AVA national program, anyone can log their kilometers without having walked an AVA sanctioned walk. Of course, the 401k site will have the AVA logo on it with a link back to the AVA site to allow walkers to find an AVA walk.
          3. The program manager for 401k has had some luck getting corporate sponsors from the financial community. Sponsors get their logo on the 401k site and on the T-shirt awarded to those who complete the 401k program within the calendar year.
          4. 401k program participants must create an online account and pay a fee, probably $10. The number of participants may be limited if not enough corporate sponsors are found to cover costs.
          5. This program is expected to start Jan 2018.
        2. NEC approved “AVA-C” events of 3 varieties.
          1. The term ACE (AVA Community Event) will be used to refer to an event of this type.
          2. An ACE is only sanctioned as an AVA event but not as a IVV event. This means an ACE has no minimum distance requirement and there is no stamp provided by the AVA. All participants must sign the usual waiver log sheet.
          3. ACE-Traditional – Is like the current Traditional Event but with no minimum distance. Standard sanctioning and participation fees apply.
          4. ACE-Weekday Guided – Is sanctioned for a single quarter for $30. The club may hold up to 13 guided events in a quarter; but all events must be on a weekday. There is no participation fee, but participant reports must be entered for each walk.
          5. ACE-Youth – Is a private event for youth where the event location and other event details are not made public. Standard event sanctioning and participation fees apply.
        3. We will continue to use the current ESR system for sanctioning events. The new ESR system (discussed at the 2017 convention) will only be put in place after it has been thoroughly tested and documented. The AVA IT Committee expects to bring the new ESR system online no sooner than Feb 2018.
        4. The Atlantic Region webpage hosted by and found at  has been updated and now contains a dedicated Google calendar of all Traditional Events in the Atlantic Region. This calendar is updated every time I approve a TE in the Atlantic Region. If you use Google calendar, you can choose to make the events in this calendar (with the calendar ID, atrd4u@gmail) appear in your personal calendar. If I receive a brochure for an event, I will attach it to the corresponding calendar entry.
        5. I am a member of AVA IT committee. I have been actively fixing bugs and enhancing AVA HQ SW apps to support new features such as Per Participant Sanctioning Fees (PPSF).
        6. #OptOutside - As most of you know, the AVA continues to operate at a net loss for the year. Besides working to increase the number of Volkssporters, it has been suggested that AVA obtain corporate sponsors to address this issue. Towards the goal of obtaining corporate sponsorship, your club can help to demonstrate to REI (and other prospective sponsors) that the AVA is able to nationally support the REI #OptOutside program by having a large number of guided walk events throughout the US on Black Friday, November 24, 2017. As further detailed in the most recent TAW, a club can use a YRE/SE walk along with a designated POC committed to lead a walk on November 24, 2017 as their #OptOutside event. Clubs who choose to participate should send an email to (as well as CC that includes:
          1. The Event’s Sanctioning ID number (1#####)
          2. Name of Event, with City & State
          3. Start Point Location
          4. Start Time
          5. Point of Contact with email address

          The TAW indicates a submission deadline of September 30th, but I am reasonably sure that event submissions will be accepted until the middle of October. I am hoping that Atlantic Region clubs will choose to #OptOutside.
        7. Current Atlantic Region States #OptOutside event count:
          1. PA (6)
          2. DE (1)
          3. VA (2)
          4. MD (0)
          5. NJ (0)
        8. 2018 Stamp proofs have been sent out. Inspect the stamps for your club and send me an email after you have done this.
          1. For 2018, Chris Z. will only do special stamps if a club already has a special slug that they have been using in the past. In which case the club should send me image of the stamp imprint with the special slug.
          2. For 2019, the plan is to support clubs entering their own special text for the stamp as part of the event sanctioning process. In particular, a club would enter the special text for the event stamp, then submit it to the ESR system which would generate and display a stamp proof online. A club could further iterate the text (using abbreviations for example) and font-size selection based on displayed stamp proof to have the content they want within the constraints of the space available within the stamp.
          3. For 2018 and Atlantic regions clubs with multiple events in the same city, I will try to arrange for custom stamps based on your response to my latest email on this subject. The deadline for submitting new stamp text for an event is 10/17/2017.

          Mike stated that clubs should be aware of who handles what in the AVA headquarters. It is helpful to establish a rapport with staff. On the blue banner of the AVA website, under “About Us”, click on Headquarters Staff.
  1. Old Business:
    1. Facebook Meet-Up: Currently meetup walkers are 948.
    2. Financial Report (Form 102) and IRS 990-N Postcard: Postcards are due by November 2017.
    3. Maryland Online Start Box Events: Maryland has New On Line Start Box events for 2017, C & O & western Maryland.
  1. New Business:
    1. YRE’s: Please post your Third Quarter by October 15, 2017.
    2. New Stamps: New stamps for both 2018 YRE and traditional events. See details in the Regional Director’s Report, above.
      New Sanctioning web site is in the developmental stage.
    3. Checkpoint:Clubs are encouraged to read the AVA Checkpoint.
    4. AVA Community Events: See details in the Regional Director’s Report, above.

  2. Club Reports: Events Sanctioned 2017:

    1. Annapolis Amblers: Bob Schmick stated that the Amblers will host an event December 9, the lighted boat parade event. Bob and Rocco Calabrese are working with officials at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) to use the site for an event tentatively to take place in Spring 2018.
    2. Baltimore: Susan Osborn said the club is hosting an event at Conowingo on November 18 and an event at Hampden on December 16. An event is scheduled for March 31, 2018 at Canton Harbor.
    3. Columbia: Paul Lubell said Columbia hosted an event on September 9, Owen Brown Interfaith Center, which celebrated the Dyes' 50th Wedding Anniversary. Over 100 walkers joined in the celebration. Also, the club will host an event on November 4, at Gary Arthur Com. Center, Western Regional Park, Cooksville. On December 11, the Dye’s will host an evening walk.
    4. Washington, D.C.: No representative at this meeting. Bob Schmick said the club will end operations at the end of 2017.
    5. Greenbelt: Marie received an email from Yvonne Pennington which stated the club had a successful year with 3 regular events and 4 night walks. Currently, Greenbelt will host an event on April 28, 2018, Patuxent Wildlife Refuge, Laurel, and on September 8, 2018, at the Bladensburg Waterfront Park. Four night walks are scheduled for May 16, June 20, July 18 and August 15, at the Greenbelt Community Center.
    6. Freestate: Bob Wolfe said the club is hosting an event on December 31 and January 1, at Faith Ministry Center, Savage. Also, they will have a group walk on December 3, in Denton. Phill Wilder has stepped down as the club’s Event Chair, and they are working on locations for 2018 events.
    7. Seneca: Carolyn Thurber reported for Club President Tony Laing about the club as follows:
      1. Our membership is at 185.
      2. STATUS of 2017 WALKS:
        1. We cancelled our October 28 walk at the Montgomery County Agricultural Farm Park in Derwood because the county double booked us with a Private School Cross Country Championship Race on our trail at the same time. These young and fast runners posed a potential danger to our walkers.
        2. April 1 - Dec 31: Seasonal - Appalachian Trail – Myersville, MD – our club's first use of the OLSB.
        3. June 1 – Oct 14: Seasonal Takoma Park & Silver Spring – just finished.
        4. Oct.15 – Dec. 31 Seasonal Fall Colors/Holiday Lights at Kensington, MD - starting.
      3. STATUS of 2018 WALKS:
        1. Jan 13 – Carderock on the C&O Canal.
        2. Sep 29 – Oktoberfest in Frederick.
        3. Nov 17 – Underground Railroad at Woodlawn Manor.
        1. Nov 18, 2017 - 30th Anniversary of the Club Bauer Drive Rec Center. Because this event conflicts with the Conowingo Dam walk, some members are planning to do the walk on Sunday, November 19.
        2. March 25, 2018 – Annual Club Meeting at Asbury Park in Gaithersburg.
        3. April 21, 2018 - Bus trip to either Harrisburg, Richmond, or the Eastern Shore – will decide at 30th anniversary celebration.
      5. Antietam Pathfinders: No Representative present, however, Carolyn Thurber provided the following: Their recent Augustoberfest in Hagerstown had 77 walkers. First Quarter walkers for the YRE at Antietam Battlefield had 12 walkers. Second Quarter for Antietam had 68 walkers, courtesy of Tator Tours. Also they have a new seasonal walk in Williamsport. The club will hold a meeting on October 22.

  3. Bob stated that the following YRE’s have not been renewed and are discontinued: Denton, Aberdeen, Towson, Whitemarsh, and Belair.

Next MVA Meeting will be on December 31, 2017 at the Freestate Event in Savage, MD.

The Meeting was adjourned at 2:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Marie Wiser,
Secretary, Maryland Volkssport Association