Trip Leaders Meeting Review
Tips for Successful Trips

April 17, 2007

Obsidian board president John Pegg recently wrote about what a generous group the Obsidians organization is with its strong tradition of volunteerism. We should take note that of the almost 600 members, 105 are taking the time to lead trips this summer; and most are leading more than one. Much time is involved in leading a trip and our leaders do it with generosity and ease. About 60 of these willing and able people showed up for the leaders meeting on April 17th to hear a quick overview of the new Summer Trip Leaders Guide and a lively discussion of the job of leading a summer trip.

The program included many veteran leaders sharing their “tips for successful trips” with the new leaders present:

  • Know well the trail and the route to the trailhead.
  • The “trail description” and the “what to bring” fields on your sign-up sheet should be specific, complete and fully reflect the trip you will lead.
  • Scout your trip a week or so ahead.
  • Limit the number of participants.
  • Call participants the night before. Inquire about the recent hiking experience of those who are new and make sure they know how to get to the meeting place.
  • On the trail, stay close enough to be able to communicate. Groups of differing speed should catch up at all trail junctions.
  • Assess hikers abilities and stamina along the way.
  • Watch the weather and other hazards and know when to quit.
  • Never leave the trailhead until you know all hikers are accounted for and all cars are in working order. In emergencies, you as leader are in charge, but don’t hesitate to consult others in the group who have experience. Draw on all resources before making a decision.

John Pegg explained the incident and accident forms; and noted the accident form itself is a good guide for what to observe in the case of an injury: Bleeding, level of consciousness, skin pallor, breathing rate, circulation, etc.

Fifteen new leaders stood to introduce themselves and tell about the trips they plan this season — including Tyler Burgess’ Historic Walking Tour of Cottage Grove and Beki Ries-Montgomery’s Mt. Pisgah Watercolor Walk. Looks like we have some imaginative and creative new leaders joining us.

Finally, Helen Martz and Janet Jacobsen distributed prizes amid much hilarity about difficulty in reading the hand-written names. Prizes included donated items from Laurie Funkhouser, chair of the concessions committee, and members Bill Sullivan and Tyler Burgess, both of whom donated walking guides.

— Barb Revere, Summer Trips Chair

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