Greetings fellow trampers,
By now you should have received a link to the Annual Report and audited financial statements for the financial year just ended. In my unbiased opinion these documents are worth reading. They tell you what the committee has been up to and what your annual subscription is giving you. They give you a broad overview of our state of health and an idea about where the club might head in the future. The annual report is the place to look to get a sense of where we are doing well and where we can improve our performance. Hopefully it will spark some reflection and debate around club direction.
The club has had a great year. Membership is up, trip numbers and trip participation are up. Alpine trips in particular were very popular last year despite some indifferent weather. We ran a good variety of training courses to help new trampers acquire more outdoor skills. We are enjoying good levels of engagement with all committee positions filled and lots of people putting up their hands to help out with running the club. We now have a thriving facebook page and a blog style newsletter. Most people know where the Hop Garden is and that we have a fantastic club cookbook version two which includes fail safe instructions for making dog biscuits. Our finances are looking respectable.
Particular challenges that lie ahead include getting more people to use our lodge up at Ruapheu, finding more efficient and effective ways of delivering trip sign up and figuring out how we can get better co-ordination between our communications and promotional activity. With the latter in mind we have created a communications position on the committee. At this stage we do not have anyone to fill that role so it will remain vacant with a small team working on a communications plan behind the scenes. You can expect to hear more about the plan later in the year. Of course if you are interested in communications and want to help out in this area please get in touch with Amanda by email.
Meantime we can always do with a few more people to help Mike Gilbert in the Promotions area. It would be great to have someone to update the club website each week and provide our facebook team with details of the Wednesday night talks, including a good picture. If you have an interest in being part of Mike’s team have a chat to him or email Mike. Mike is also looking for people keen to drive the club vans up to the Lodge for weekend trips.
On 16-18 May we will be running our annual Lodge working bee. This is when a group of us head up to the Lodge and spend the weekend sorting out the bulk food for winter and doing a bit of cleaning and the odd bit of maintenance. This working bee is really important. If you are interested in helping out keep an eye on the Winter trip schedule and sign up for it or talk to Brian or contact him by email. You don’t have to be a really good cleaner, these skills can be taught. Practice sessions are available at my house most weekends. Just email me.
By the time you read this the 2014 winter trip schedule will be out. I’m sure Mike has already said this but I’ll say it again. Big thanks to everyone who participated in the trip schedule construction evening and to everyone who has signed up to be a trip leader. Your contribution is very much appreciated. Now is the time for the rest of us to sign up for a few trips. If you want to keep warm during winter a good method is to keep moving!
The AGM is on Wednesday 9 April 2014. See the previous newsletter for details including a full list of the people nominated for the new committee. This is my last Nature of Things piece. It’s okay to heave a sigh of relief. I’m relieved too. I’m pretty sure Amanda’s pieces will be well worth reading. I’m looking forward to continuing to contribute to the club by running Snowcraft and probably in other ways as well but it is time for some new people and fresh ideas.
When I first started writing these columns in a fit of enthusiasm I quoted a poem. There have not been any since. However, a metaphor contained in a poem that I really like keeps running through my head so I’ll sign off with that. It seems quite apt. Possibly my colleagues also exiting the committee stage will agree with the sentiments expressed. Check out the entire poem, it’s a Kiwi gem.
“The art of walking upright here
is the art of using both feet.
One is for holding on.
One is for letting go.”
From The Trick of Standing Upright Here by Glenn Colquhoun.