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BTA Members and Chapter Officers

Buckeye Trail Association (BTA) bi-laws require that chapter officers be BTA members.  I've been in some contact with most of them.  Thanks to some good work from Adventurer's Project's Secretary, we got another one of them involved.  But this area has been disadvantaged and at the moment, we're running low on BTA members.  I asked one of them to run for Treasurer, but they aren't able to do it.

There are two on the BTA's list that I haven't been able to get a call through to.  I may have to snail mail (USPS, send them letter) them?  Or if Whipple picks up another adopter, I might be able to relieve one that we've always had and see if they'll do it?  Finally, we have 17 chapterside supporters and maybe I could get one of them to join the BTA and run for the office?


Not Exactly A Productive Log

 Well, things should slow down.  It's easier today.  I took some ballots for our prospective chapter name over the phone and made a call seeking some economic input.  Economic matters are a BTA chatperside function.  And of course, Adventurer's Project is unincorporated, 3rd party to any distance trail and merely works with the grace of the Buckeye Trail Association.  Right now, it's working on converting into a new chapter of the BTA.  I'm not entire sure about this particular issue, but it might end up getting charted as a new chapter, everybody jumps over and then Adventurer's Project dissolves on it's own? 

With the chapter name election going on, I'm writing the project's meeting agenda. We've been asked to virtually meet two times before we go before the BTA's board for chapterhood consideration.  I'm also working on a Buckeye Trail presentation.  In about 2 days, another supporter and myself are scheduled to be at a virtual Chapter Leadership Summit.  I've been making some phone calls over the last 2 weeks or so.  I'm concerned about how progressive I think the chapter should be?

I'm expecting things to slow down in 4 days.  Which I think is nice.  This election stuff has been crazy.

So I need to write up a final report for Adventurer's Project.  It needs to be a synopsis of everything ever done under it's "banner" and needs to demonstrate what went right and what didn't.  I was hoping to write here today on some things that I may have forgotten to log about, but apparently I don't have anything right now.


 It's intense these days.  I keep saying that the marathon has just turned into a sprint.  Adventurer's Project has been asked to be ready for chapterhood conversion by sometime in April.  I don't know the date, but that doesn't diminish the fact that I know it's coming.  It's kind of like reverse logic that some people don't understand.  The bottom line:


There's a first time for everything.  We've been having some glitches with this election.  The first is when I address Adventurer's Project's Facebook page in the first person point of view, Facebook won't let me post as myself on the page.  I can comment as myself, but I can not post.  So, I have to write a post on my personal profile, set it to public and then share it to the page.  Well, it's been having some problems with that over the last few weeks.  At some time during nominations, or the first election, as the Project Lead, I declared the election to be open.  But I didn't realize that this post didn't share to the page until the morning after.  I then corrected it, but it was about 12 hours late.

We have BTA members and registered project chapterside supporters who aren't on Facebook.  So they're getting the link to the ballot via e-mail.  Well, that's something else.  I use Mozilla Thunderbird for my e-mails.  It's a competitor to Microsoft Outlook.  And I had gContactSync, an add on installed.  But my version of Thunderbird was updated and now it doesn't support the add on and from what I'm seeing, there's no work around for it except to export the contacts in gMail, then import them in Thunderbird.

I'm use to working with Thunderbird.  But with the gContactSync now out of commission, I have to use gMail now.  I've made this one mistake twice already.  My recipients should not know each others address because if one of their e-mails were hacked, it could use those address and send SPAM to them?  Instead, I should use the Before Carbon Copy (BCC).  I forgot to do that once.  And with announcing this run-off election, this time I got smart.  I have a dual monitor setup in my home office.  I had two browser windows open, one on each monitor. I set up one with the opening of the election on Facebook and gMail while I continued to work on the other one.

It was a great idea.  I got both messages prepared 2 hours ahead of time.   It could have sent both in about 4 seconds?  But then I got the wise idea that I should test the link to the ballot to make sure that it will work.  That entailed logging out of all of my Google accounts.  I tested it and it worked... great.  But when I did that, the window with the email lost connection to gMail's server.  I copied the text, then refreshed the page, pasted it back in.  But guess what, when I entered the mailing lists in, I forgot to use the BCC and it was done in the TO line instead, which now everybody will be able to see every email address that it was sent to.

I had to test the run-off ballot because I had a problem with the first election's one.  On both occasions, I've run anonymous elections because I didn't want to know the names of the people and how they voted.  But we have Google Workplace, or what use to be known as the gSuite.  So we get some products that come along with that.  So, I ran both elections with a Google Form.  But when you create them, for occasions like this, you have to make sure that you set the permissions so that anybody with the link can fill out the form.  But then there's a second step to turn off the need to log into a Google account to submit it.  And the problem with the first election is that I didn't turn that off until my #2 person on the project told me that after I posted it to Adventurer's Project's Facebook page, she couldn't do something with it.

Well, this ship is getting shook down.  And like the Navy, it's producing some loose nuts and bolts.  But the good news is that we're not even a charted chapter yet and Adventurer's Project, which is designed to be the predecessor to the proposed chapter is the thing that should be doing the shaking down.



 So, with Adventurer's Project and the chapter that it becomes, there's the economic considerations.  One thing that I always tell people is that we're not a "golden chariot."  But our region has some potential regarding the caliper of the off-road trail that we already have and perhaps it's ambitions.  The City of Marietta of Washington County, Ohio already has an officially recognized "recreational economy."  Hikers from the Buckeye and North Country Trails have already been a part of it, but in a very small way.  I think we can boost that, even if we don't route into the city?

The Whipple Section is 8 miles north of Saint Marys (St. Marys), West Virginia where there's a motel.  The Road Fork Section's concurrency with the Archer's Fork Loop in the Marietta Unit of The Wayne (National Forest) is just about "even money" when it comes to comparing the driving time between the Holiday Inn's at Marietta, or New Martinsville, West Virginia.  And we know that the distance to the Par Mar/ BP gas station in New Matamoras (Matamoras) of Washington County, Ohio is closest to that area's Saint Patrick (St. Patrick) Cemetery Trailhead (a parking area) and the hikers there often don't know that and need to.  With the Ring Mill Campground and Lamping Homestead Recreation Area, we have grocers in Marr and Woodsfield of Monroe County, Ohio.  But we have two lodging options in Woodsfield that are the closest to those locations.

With Caldwell of Noble County, our route is more favorable to it's food resupply, it's bed and breakfast, and a coffee shop, but not it's big box hotels because they're too far from the current route of the trail as of the date of this blog.

The latest information is that the National Forest Service won't allow us to put up a poster size map of the communities in the region with symbols next to the name of these communities demonstrating what they offer at their already existing kiosks on their unused backsides.  As of the date the date of this blog, we'll be looking for more external ways to circumvent those disadvantages.  We have some digital means at our disposal, but we really need some on the ground options.


 I was going to call Adventurer's Project's supporters today, but I woke up very late today I think that I better write here first.  Enthusiasm for hiking and the trail are great, but it's like a fuel that burns hot and fast.  I think that I have an idea, perhaps even a plan to convert it into a more efficient, longer lasting one?  Rubber bands have been known to break.  With all this heightened attention on the subject, I find it to be more important to be better when things are more normal, or even adverse.  And Adventurer's Project has done well with that.

When, or if, it converts into a chapter, I can sum up my agenda in two ways.  One is that I think that the chapter functions are more obligatory and should be handled as such.  The other thing is trail promotion, which I have to admit that, yes, we've been good at doing it in smaller markets, but we may have to be more frequent with them?  In terms of that, you really should be at 3 day festivals and should do those 3 times annually.  And you need 9 volunteers to staff the shifts at a three day festival.  I've seen something like a 31% participation rate before.  That means that the chapter needs a support base of about 40.  But that's anticipating having a really good program. 

I can get that, but I can't assure sustaining it indefinitely through out the years.  And when you drive up the energy, the tensions might be likely to follow?  Based on what I just wrote, it may not be healthy for it to remain in this "high mode" if you would?  But then you break the group's pattern and it might be hard to sustain a cycle of high/ low?  And you've got presiding officers who just can't do a robust term.  I guess what you need is someone with a bit of tunnel vision and relentlessness who can rein them in from time to time?

But if we look at ourselves like most other churches and community organizations, as I hear, you can be looking at a 10% participation rate?  And of course, that means that you have to drive up the support numbers towards 90 or so?  I think that ultimately, while things are exciting, get to 40, but somehow stay on course for 90.  In terms of trail promotion, this chapter has to do things.  One is recruit new supporters to keep it own numbers up.  Then they're the most visible, public things out there and it won't matter how good the program is if the trail's maintenance is failing, so they have that, too.  But the chapter has bigger and better things to do than to get too consumed with trail maintenance.

I have a defined skill set when it comes to these sorts of things.  I was talking to a supporter out here and I mentioned something about the COVID-19 vaccines in light of how quickly they were developed and I brought up a common procedure of wait and see, which the public in general isn't doing.  It says that you have time.  It says that you don't have to draw a conclusion right now.  Instead, you should draw this thing out to the max, which until that time expires and let things unfold as they should.  As a rule, you just don't accept hypotheticals.  Granted, 3 to 5 months out for some of us isn't a whole lot of time, but with the amount of people taking it being so great, you'll still know more down the road than you do now.  It's not good to pass judgement right now.

As for the hiking public, I think from time to time that they've given me more credit than I deserve?  Or they're at risk of it?  Far SE Ohio has been like a wild frontier, or like a remote outpost.  I have a little bit of involvement with greater matters, but also I've been far too busy with this region and I haven't been able to get too diverted with other matters over the last 6 years.  In fact, I've willfully detached myself and I'm getting indications here on my end that I don't know it all.  But another thing that I've learned and abide by is essentially Star Trek.  In this case, it's the 208th Rule of Acquisition, which states that "sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer."  I've learned with establishments that sometimes I don't want to know too much.  Things have been around for a while and likely go on indefinitely.  But answers might make you act up?