Nature of Things – July 2014

In late July, Illona and I ran the club’s annual leadership course. The most inspiring thing about this course is that everyone there is committed to giving back to the club. This year we had eight people keen to learn the basics of WTMC trip leading, some of whom had already led one trip. I always come away from that course feeling privileged to be part of a group of such diverse, talented and caring people. Leadership is the most important role in the club and we need a constant stream of new leaders, as existing leaders are always moving away or taking time out. If you are keen to lead, doing the course isn’t compulsory and we have lots of useful resources – just chat to Mike Phethean chief guide at .

One of the club’s selling points is the chance to upskill. On the next schedule we’ve put a number of “nav” trips. These are navigation trips with an element of off-track, compass navigation, bush bashing, or all of the above. Often you end up in this kind of situation by accident – deliberate navigation trips are a much less painful way of learning! The options available are spread over a number of grades so there should be one that matches your level of fitness. Especially if you’re keen to lead and held back by nav worries, think about giving one of these a go.

Later in this newsletter, you’ll read about a proposal to tweak our membership categories. The committee has been working on this for a while and is now ready (and waiting!) for your feedback. The proposal is just that – an idea open to your input. If you have any concerns or suggested changes to the proposal, now is the time to make them known. The motivation behind the suggested changes is to make our system more simple and fairer. At the moment membership isn’t very attractive to families, who are increasingly tramping with us via the families group. The new system would bring in the concept of a ‘household’, which would make membership both simpler to administer and easier to understand. For most people, the changes would be cost neutral, with the main exception being couples, who have to date enjoyed extremely deep (and arguably unfair!) discounts. While couples would pay $15 more under the proposal, they would still enjoy a 30 percent discount over two senior members. Please do email me at with your feedback or have a chat to me or Mike Gilbert at club night. Thanks to Mike for all his hard work on the details of this proposal.

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