Our story of the Volksmarch on December 31 and January 1
- On December 31 and January 1, 2003 the Freestate Happy Wanderers sponsored
the annual volksmarch from the Owen Brown Community Center in Columbia
Maryland. We have a first class start finish with a room for registration
for the three trails and a room for the walkers to enjoy home cooked food
(from Frau Coco and her hard working volunteers), sales table, brochure
table and a Kids Korner for the young walkers.
We had two 10-Km unmarked trails with written directions. One trail to the
Village of Long Reach the other around Lake Elkhorn. The 5-km trail went
around Lake Elkhorn . December 31 was warm and nice for walking we had 350
walkers. January 1 was raining and cold. Not great walking weather. We
had 173 walkers.
Club member Phill and Jamie Wilder developed a Harry Potter Trivia Trail
question for the kids to answer for small prizes at the end. Everyone was a
winner. Phill invited the Home School community to attend.
Our brochures were at all of the major walks in the area. The Pentagon,
Hershey, Pa. walks in November, and the Alexandria Va. in December.
Brochures were in libraries, bagel shops and many places where we could
attract new walkers. It was posted on the website in November. The walk
information was emailed to all that are on the list on upcoming walk events.
The walk information appeared in local papers and many community papers.
The walk was featured in "Best Bets" for the New Year in the Baltimore Sun
on 12/26/02. We had a nice follow up story that appeared today 1/7/03 in
the Howard County Section of the Baltimore Sunpaper at
We had 500+ walkers for the two days. We sold 15 new walker packages. No
one complained about the increase in the credit fee on 1/1/03. We had many
positive comments about the events. Some walkers got lost on the written
directions but others said they were the best they had seen.
A quote from one of Freestate volunteers, "It's always a pleasure to help
the club anyway I can. I like the club's flexibility and the way members
welcome anyone new to walking and volksmarching...my idea of what
volksmarching is all about!!"
After all the work the idea that got results, to get new walkers to our
sport, was the Home school group that came out to look over our sport.
Thanks to Phill Wilder who is a member of this group and developing an idea
for the children to enjoy.
We must keep looking for ideas to add to the sport and spark the interest of
different groups so we can give to them and they in turn give to us.
Thanks to all the Freestate Members who volunteered at the event. Thanks to
President Bill Hassell that thinks out everything in advance so we have no
surprises the day of the event. We were out walking trails and reviewing
written directions in August.
Volkssporting is in need of energy and new ideas. The ideas of how to get a
new walker to your event and having them want to go to another event is the
goal. This is the story on what we have accomplished. I want to hear more
of what is going on out in volksmarchland. Nothing is said anymore on the
walklist or the issues list about the accomplishments of clubs. I would
like to hear your story.
Publicity, Freestate Happy Wanderers