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June 2017

I may be prejudiced but I believe that GATC is a great club. If you have never attended a meeting involving other trail maintaining clubs, you may have no idea that so many outside of our own organization hold us in such high regard. Just last week an ATC staff member called me. She said she was working with some other clubs in regard to the participation of minors in club events. She said she knew that we had been doing this for quite a while and had our act together. She asked if we could share some of our knowledge and experience. Of course, I said yes. For clubs up and down the Trail, GATC is seen as a model for doing things right.

Have you ever wondered why this is so? Let me tell you why I believe this is true. It has everything to do with our approach to membership. We are not a club looking simply for a list of dues-paying members. We are always looking for volunteers, folks who are willing to devote their energy and time to the mission of GATC. One important factor in all of this is that we have so many different areas in which to volunteer. Of course there is trail maintenance, my true love, including the task of maintaining and cleaning privies. Oh wow! Who couldn’t love that? There is also youth outreach, community outreach, education efforts, public speaking and awareness, communications and media. There is the ever growing conservation effort. And don’t forget the hikes and other activities taking place every weekend throughout the year. And last but not least, one of our newer efforts, Trail Ambassadors. Wherever you interests happen to be, there is work for you with GATC.

You might ask, “How can I get involved?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Some people wait to be asked. The problem is that with so many members in the Club and so many activities going on all the time, it is easy to miss someone who might be perfect for a particular task. I am afraid that we sometimes let new members drift away because we haven’t found the perfect spot for them to become involved. So sometimes you just have to raise your hand and volunteer. Trust me, no one will be offended if you do. The Nominating Committee is being rounded out with just a few more members and they will soon set out to fill all the positions for 2018. Hey, why wait to be asked? Why not contact someone on the committee? They might have just the job you’ve been looking for. We’ll publish the names of that committee soon.

How else might you become more involved? There are always special events being planned and there is always a lot to be done. This year, GATC is doing something that we have never done before. We are sponsoring two different National Trails Day events on the same day. On June 3rd, Jay Dement is leading a NTD event at Amicalola Falls State Park while Joe Boone is leading one at Vogel State Park. I am sure they both would greatly appreciate any volunteers willing to step up and help out.

Did you know that there is a special committee whose primary function is to help volunteers find the right job in GATC? That is the Volunteer Coordination Committee and it is chaired by Martha Miller. She has established liaisons with each area of the Club. I’m sure she would love to hear from you. Whatever your area of interest might be, she can help you find the right one.

Are you ready to step up? Don’t wait for your name to be called. We’re waiting to hear from you.

Submitted by: Don Hicks