Maryland Volkssport Association

Saturday, September 22, 2018 Catonsville, Maryland

  1. Greetings:
    1. President Bob Schmick called the meeting to order at 12:35 p.m. and Bob greeted those in attendence.
    2. Attending: Bob Schmick, President; Darrell Neiley, Treasurer; Marie Wiser, Secretary.
    3. Club Representatives: Bob Wolfe, Freestate; Yvonne Pennington and Pat Astill, Greenbelt; Paul Lubell, Columbia Volksmarch Club; Jim Farley, Baltimore Walking Club; Jone Parr and Carolyn Thurber, Seneca Valley Sugarloafers and Carolyn Thurber, Antietam Pathfinders.
    4. Guests: Mary Wolfe and Deb Peak.
  2. Reports:
    1. Minutes: Marie Wiser requested that Club Presidents or their representatives attending today, please refer club members to the information contained in each of the MVA meeting notes. Easily accessible on the MVA web site. The July 2018 Minutes were accepted and approved.

    2. Treasurers Report: Darrell Neily's MVA Financial Report as of September 21, 2018, is below.

      Darrell told the group that under Expenses, you will note a large item: $884.94 which covers all the MVA clubs' Internet for five years. Additionally, Darrell reminded everyone that start cards are free to clubs. New Walker packets are sold to clubs for $3.00 each, and clubs can set their own price. Please, club Presidents, let your club treasurer know this.

      Darrell updated the Special Program lists for all MVA YREs for 2019.

      Please see Attached MVA Treasurer Financial Statements September 2018, below.



    3. Regional Director Report - Mike Green was attending a traditional event sponsored by Chester County Red Rovers, a relatively new PA club that was established a couple of years ago. His Report is below.

      Mike Green,

      1. All Atlantic Region clubs have completed the renewal of their 2018 YRE/SEs for 2019. Most clubs completed this by August 15 as requested. The early renewals were much appreciated since they helped to spread out the work of approving the 270 AT Region YRE/SEs for 2019.
      2. While it was expected that the 2018 stamp text customization I did last year for some clubs with multiple events in the same city would be automatically inherited for the corresponding 2019 events, this did NOT occur. I since have manually tried to restore the custom text where clubs have not yet edited the stamp text of their 2019 YRE/SEs.
      3. All clubs should promptly use the stamp editing procedures found on for their 2019 YRE/SEs (and approved TEs).
      4. Please also input the applicable Special Programs (SPs) for 2019 YRE/SE/TEs before the end of September in order to have these SPs appear in the AVA Start Point book.
      5. An email was sent out to all AT Region Club POC’s to gather their votes/opinions concerning the proposed AVA paid participation fee increase of $2.25 from $1.25 and permit clubs to increase their event paid participant fee to as much as $4.00. About 2/3 of AT Region clubs responded and of these about 60% were in favor and 40% were opposed.
      6. Since then a revised proposal for fee increase has been submitted which would only increase the paid participant fee for TEs (not YRE/SEs) to $2 and allow clubs to charge up to $5 per participant for a TE.
      7. This revised proposal was submitted to hopefully encourage clubs to sponsor higher quality TEs using the higher fee. Clubs could still choose to charge less than $5 per paid participant limit.
      8. An email has been sent out to AT Region Club POCs to collect their feedback on the revised proposal.
      9. In the most recent NEC/BOD Electronic meeting (held 9/18/2019), it was decided to delay the decision on this motion and other possible amendments to this fee increase motion until January 2019 after a report is presented by a special committee on the issue of free walkers.
      10. OptOutside for 2018.
      11. Every club in the Atlantic region is expected to support the #OptOutside event for 2018.
      12. AT Region Clubs are strongly encouraged to provide a TE/YRE/SE guided walk.
      13. The Atlantic Region’s Deputy Director, Delores Grenier, is coordinating the AT Region’s #OptOutside participation for 2018.
      14. Clubs should complete the online form for OptOutside events on the AVA website (below is the direct link) and email it to the AVA HQ and please also copy both Delores and myself, on the submitted form.

      1.       The National OptOutside program only supports guided walks. But AT Region clubs may, as a last resort, submit to Delores an unguided YRE/SE as their OptOutside YRE/SE that is appropriate for possible challenging weather conditions on November 23, 2108. The AT Region website will list these unguided walks along with the guided OptOutside Events.
      2.       For the case of a guided event, the club may choose to support another club’s guided or traditional event in the area. But those clubs choosing this option should provide at least one volunteer to help support that club’s guided OptOutside event.
      3.       New version of AVA Policy Manual.
      4.       Your AT RD has been working on a new version of AVA Policy Manual that includes 2 new sections: 4.14 Event Directions and Maps and 5.0 AVA Community Events.
      5.       Section 4.14 lists required text elements and policies for event directions and maps which are mostly based on the direction and maps items I have mentioned in previous AT RD reports.
      6.       A new Section 5 covers the general requirements for an AVA Community Event (ACE) and the four types of ACE events: ACE Youth, ACE Private, ACE Traditional, and ACE Weekday Guided.
      7.       The revised AVA Policy Manual is expected to be deployed on the AVA website in October in conjunction with the release of the ability for clubs to sponsor/conduct ACE events.
      8.       You are welcome to preview the revised AVA Policy Manual that has recently been reviewed and approved by the NEC/BOD during the most recent electronic meeting at

       d. Web Master: – We thank Jim McDonald for his dedication and excellence as our webmaster.

    Bob thanked Seneca, Freestate and Columbia for their continued excellence with their newsletters. Yvonne Pennington reminded the group that clubs should promote their events and have their brochures published on the following website: For further information, please contact Yvonne at

  1. Continuing Business:

    1. Meet-Up: Currently meetup walkers are 1,001.
    2. Facebook: Club Presidents, please continue to utilize Facebook to promote all Clubs walks.
    3. Extra Expenses: MVA could, in certain circumstances, reimburse a club for some event expenses. MVA will consider and vote on proposals from clubs to subsidize extraordinary event costs in cases where a club might otherwise find the expenses too costly. Recent examples of events that received a subsidy from MVA are BWC’s event at Fair Hill, and today's meeting room expense.
    4. Renewed YRE’s: Bob said you are able to change how your stamp appears.
  1. New Business:

    1. Checkpoint: Club Presidents, please forward the CheckPoint to your members. Also, remind members to reserve their hotel room for the 2019 Convention. See details in the CheckPoint and on the AVA Website.
    2. Plot a Route/ Map & trail making: Bob said this program works much better than sites such as "Map my Walk". Plot a Route has settings that will follow trails, maps are easy to print and will show your kilometer notations.
    3. Mike Green says use
    4. YRE:Bob reminded clubs to please update your Special programs.
    5. OptOutside: Walking on Friday, November 23, 2018. Walks can be guided or nonguided. Seneca will have a guided walk at the Seneca Creek State Park, 10:00 a.m. Freestate will have a non-guided walk at the Frederick YRE. Yvonne Pennington said folks are welcomed to join the event held in Hershey Park. Bob gave club Presidents or their representative, a copy of the Participation Form to be completed and returned to Delores Greiner. Also, Bob will contact Phill Wilder, Vice President for Publicity to promote the OptOutside program.
    6. Events with other States clubs: Bob reminded everyone to please refer not only to the AVA Website, but also the MVA website when planning an event. We want to support other clubs in our region, and to avoid conflicting events on the same date. Bob also reminded folks that Saturday, September 29, clubs have an opportunity to support Seneca's event in Frederick, and the Loudoun event in Lovettsville. The Loudoun Club will cease operations at the end of 2018. A special thank you to Robert Wright for his dedication, hard work and training classes he hosted.
    7. Regional Director Term/Selection:Yvonne Pennington told the group that the Atlantic Regional will have a meeting in March 2019 -- date, location, and time to be determined -- to take nominations for the election of Regional Director and Deputy Regional Director. Mike Green and Delores Grenier's term will be ending June 2019. Club presidents-- Please inform your group, and let Yvonne know who is interested in either of these positions.

  2. Club Reports – Events Sanctioned:
    1. Annapolis Amblers: Deb Peak said the Amblers will host our annual Oktoberfest on Sunday, September 30. Diane Messer is the POC. Note: Walk starts at 9:00 a.m., however, the festival will begin at Noon through 6:00 p.m. Also, we will have our annual Lighted Boat Parade, Saturday, December 8. Noon to 5.p.m. Marie Wiser is POC.
    2. Baltimore: Jim Farley said the club is hosting an event today, September 22, in Catonsville. A Maryland Favorite on November 3, Conowingo Dam, and an event in Hampden, on December 15. Additional events have been sanctioned for 2019: Harbor East trail and Patterson Park trail on March 30, 2019.
    3. Columbia: Paul Lubell said Columbia had a successful event on July 14, at Hickory Ridge. The club will host an event on October 27 in Sykesville.
    4. Freestate: Bob Wolfe said Freestate will host an event on October 6, at Darnell's Chance, in Upper Marlboro. Additionally, they are hosting an event on December 31, at the Main Church, in Savage. Bob said the Ocean City YRE walk box has been moved to the start point, the Convention Center.
    5. Greenbelt: Yvonne Pennington said recently there was an Open House held at College Park Airport. The Club sold several New Walkers packets to folks who expressed interest in our sport. The recent Bladensburg event had a good turnout. The evening walks for 2019 have been sanctioned. The club will host an event in March, further information to be provided. Beginning October 1, the club is hosting a new seasonal walk. Also, Yvonne said Clubs should bring brochures to the December 31 MVA Meeting. These will be distributed at the March 2019 Health Fair sponsored by NBC, Channel 4.
    6. Seneca: Below is the report provided via email by President Tony Laing, and discussed at the meeting by Jone Parr:

      2018 SVSVC Sanctioned Events:
      September 29:  Oktoberfest in Frederick – POC – Jone Parr & Alison Andrews
      June 2 – October 13 – Seasonal Takoma Park and Silver Spring - POC – Maribeth Evans
      October 13 - Muddy Branch Greenway Trail - POC Jone Parr
      November 17 Underground Railroad at Woodlawn Manor - POCs: Tony Laing & Dave Fenster
      Nov 23 – REI Opt Outside – Seneca Creek – POC - Jone Parr

      Sanctioned 2019 Events:
      January 19: C&O Canal/Winter Wonderland
      April 13: Croydon Creek Nature Center - POC Jeff Giddings

      Looking at additional sites.

    7. Antietam: Carolyn Thurber said the club had a successful Augustoberfest. Beginning in January 2019, the club will have five YRE's. Four new members have joined.

    1. Next Meeting: December 31, 2018 Freestate event Savage Md. Further details to be provided.
      The Meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.December 31, 2018 Freestate event Savage Md. Further details to be provided.

    Respectfully submitted, Marie Wiser,
    Secretary, Maryland Volkssport Association