Sierran Masthead

Outings Bring Members Together for Fun and Environmental Appreciation

By Jane Fuller, Chapter Outings Chair

Seventeen enthusiastic Sierra Club members, 14 from Hoosier Chapter, completed the Wilderness First Aid training at the chapter office in late fall. Although test results will not be available until after this newsletter publication, I am sure that everyone will receive the three-year certification as a “WOOFA” or Wilderness First Aider. We are also very lucky to have among our ranks a “WOOFER”--a Wilderness First Responder, Chuck Rupley of the Michiana Group. This means that we can feel even better about the quality and safety of our Hoosier Sierra Club outings.

This last quarter was distinguished by some dynamite Sierra Club outings. For the third year in a row, we had perfect weather conditions for our Pigeon River canoe and camp weekend. Thirteen Sierrans—including 10 newcomers to Pigeon River—enjoyed a weekend of fellowship, fun, hiking, camping, and canoeing on the lovely Pigeon River.

On Saturday evening we were joined by Kathy McCoy of Long Lake, near Angola, who has been fighting a mostly solitary battle with the city of Angola over sewer overflows that are making Long Lake almost uninhabitable. Armed with numerous photographs and legal papers, Kathy helped us to see how difficult it can be to make headway in righting an environmental wrong.

If you would like to support Kathy in her efforts, please contact me by e-mail or at (219) 942-0076, and I will pass your information along.

Eric Garza got rave reviews for the hike he led at Paynetown State Recreation Area in September. Ten participants from all over the state spent the day learning very interesting information about our natural world. Eric had brought hand-casting gear for fishing and taught us how to fish in this very simple and environmentally friendly way, including using teeny hooks and tungsten putty in place of lead sinkers.

Everyone caught fish, mostly small bluegills and lovely bright pumpkin seeds, but the catch of the day was a large mouth bass almost a foot long! I also saw my first black widow spider.

Experimenting with different types of outings, Ruth Bicknese of Dunelands and I put on a weekend campout for families with young children during the first weekend of October.

Eleven children between the ages of 3 and 13 braved rather inclement nights—steady downpour on Friday night and hard frost on Saturday night—but had great fun playing night games and nature awareness activities, making native flutes out of river cane, dipping candles, making tepee fires, and telling favorite scare stories around the campfire.

Did you go on a neat outing? Contact me and tell me about it so that I can spread the word.

The outings survey is still available on the chapter Web site on the outings page. Please send me your feedback or questions about our outings program via the web survey, directly to me by e-mail or (219) 942-0076.

Each contact will get a personal response from me. Also you can sign up for the outings announcement e-mail list. No subject line or message content is required.

Would you like to become an outings leader? Trainings are held throughout the year in various locations, generally determined by the amount of interest, location, and the mutual convenience of trainer and trainees. Contact me if you have questions or would like to take this next step.

Copyright © 2007 Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club, all rights reserved.[11/22/04]efp

Winter 2004-2005