When I think about our PHOC, what comes to mind is our collective growth. Not only the growth of the club which is now at 525 members, but the growth that we feel as we conquer new challenges in the trails and rivers we traverse, the leadership duties we take on, and the experiences we share. I can attest personally to my growth in all these areas, and am thankful to this wonderful club for the opportunity to serve as its president in 2022.
If we can claim a successful year in 2022, the secret to that success has been an outstanding board. We can be truly grateful to the efforts of Gail Dempsey, Lora Crowley, Shari Altman, Wayne Hale, Clare Strayhorn, Vance Barron, Carol Hildebrandt, Gale Magann, and Bernadette Sheehan, as well as all those who served on their committees. Extra special thanks to social committee co-chairs Beverly Grier and Susan Slocum for organizing great 40th anniversary and holiday parties post Covid, as well as Tom Esker in setting up and working through our new club website.
The success of the new website will give us a chance to consider how we spend our limited resources, whether on Trailmarker printing and postage, or on other things such as trail development or outing support or social events. This will become more of an issue as these costs continue to rise, taking up almost all of the current budget.
I would be remiss in also not praising those that took on the somewhat thankless job of outings coordinator. To Vance Barron, Wes OBrien, Sandy Mitchell, Donna Peterson, Wayne Hale and Ken Yates, you are true heroes of the club.
Many thanks as well to all of our hike, bike and kayak outing leaders. You are the engine of the club that keeps us growing strong every month with your effort, enthusiasm and inclusiveness. For those who are considering leading an outing for the first time, in addition to helping the club, outing leadership is an opportunity for personal growth that I believe you will be glad you took on.
The first Trailmarker of 2023 will begin with a day to join your fellow hikers for the annual New Year’s Day hikes at Hanging Rock, followed by many ways to take in the peaceful winter scenery in January and February. Maybe with some snow if we get lucky. With this in mind I will leave you with an Apache blessing:
“May the sun bring you new energy day by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength in to your being. May you walk through the world and know its beauty all of your life.”