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August 2016

August, 2016

After what seems like many years, the new GATC website is fully operational.  At first it may look somewhat like the previous website but dig deeper and you will find a treasure of new and improved sections.  I know that many of you had problems logging into and using the new website when it first went “live.”  But Van Hill, our Communications Director, and his team including Lisa Williams, Ron Hamlin, and, I’m sure, others have worked many long frustrating hours to resolve the reported issues.  I believe the results of their fine effort are spectacular.
 
One area of improvement is the worktrip database.  Now any member can view his or her own volunteer hours with an easy report that was bulky or near impossible in the old system.  It is very easy to view records by district or altogether. With a simple click of the mouse, records can be sorted by any column such as “Work Date,” “Member,” or “Activity Type.” A single record can be viewed in detail to reveal additional information such as the date that the record was entered into the database and the individual who entered the data.
 
Another new feature of the GATC website is the online member directory.  Please note that this information, like the worktrip database, is only viewable by Club members, not the general public.  While viewing the directory you can sort by any column including “Last Name,” “First Name,” or “City.” This would come in handy if you’re looking for someone near you to carpool. Do you want to know who has been around the longest? Or maybe you are trying to find the newer members. Then just click on the “Membership Date” column and the answer is right before you. And just like the worktrip database, you can download the information to an Excel spreadsheet.
 
In the new system, electronic versions of The Mountaineer are available online back through December 2013. There you can download or print an issue whenever you choose. The most current version of all trip leader forms are also easily located.
 
Another very helpful section of the new website is entitled “My Profile.” Members can view their personal data and, in many cases, make changes and updates. Members can renew online without having to remember to bring a check to the holiday party.
 
The online calendar is still an important feature of the GATC website.  But now it is even easier to use. All Club events are included. If you are looking for something particular, you can search for events by type such as day hikes or backpacks or trail maintenance.  Meetings are also included in the calendar.
 
The online store is still a part of the system.  But now you can purchase items online.
 
I hope that you will take the time to peruse the new website and see the many new and improved features that Van and his team have provided.  I know from professional experience that bringing new systems online is never without problems.  There is always something that doesn’t work correctly and other things may seem difficult.  As expected, we had issues as well when the system was first made “live.”  But the team kept working and has, in my opinion, produced a great system. A lot of new information is now available and it is easier to use. The next time you see Van, Lisa, or Ron, be sure to thank them for all their hard work.
 
Don Hicks, GATC President