The Future Events List is attached and I invite all clubs to look it over carefully, as so much has changed in our plans. We moved a number of events to 1 December as a holding place until they can be rescheduled. Let me know when your club has a date in mind for rescheduling those events and I'll move them in the calendar. For many events that couldn't be rescheduled for 2020 I've worked with the clubs to shift to 2021. For example, the Vancouver USA Volkssporters concluded this week that the July 4th walk just wasn't feasible, so we changed the sanction to July 4, 2021.
Keep reviewing your events to ensure it is safe in your area to host them on the dates you've scheduled. July and even August may still be unsupportable depending on state and local guidance. The good news is that most counties in the northwest are in phase 1 & 2, with several moving soon to phase 3, so our group sizes can begin to grow. If you have to cancel or postpone let me know and I'll work with you to make those adjustments.
Several clubs are beginning to plan their first Guided Walks since we went under the COVID-19 restrictions. This weekend the state association presidents/vice-presidents, our Deputy RD and I will confer on what we recommend as the standard procedures you should use until social distancing and virus preventive measures are no longer needed. The May AVA Checkpoint newsletter had a section on recommended procedures for events and that will be our starting point for regional procedures.
Joe Blazek from the Central Washington Sun Striders informed me that the Quincy WA Seasonal Event will be offered through the Online Start Box instead of a physical startbox. I expect more events across the region will migrate this way and I encourage everyone to be open minded about using the OSB. Some clubs are adding OSB as a backup for many physical walkboxes due to the unavailability of many of our hosts at times for a variety of reasons.
NW Regional Director
829 NW 44th Ave
Camas WA 98607
"Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away
from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts." Soren Kierkegaard
There will be more changes to the current events list, but I want to mention two corrections to the latest Future Events List (FEL):
- The Over the Hill Gang "DuPont - National Trails Day" event listed on June 6 is postponed to a future date to be determined.
- The Willamette Wanderers Wilsonville Traveling Guided Walk listed on May 21 is moved to June 18 and hopefully can occur that date.
Our region's FEL is primarily a tool to coordinate events between clubs. The best source of event status is the Event Sanction Request (ESR) on the AVA website. I'm asking all clubs to ensure your ESR be kept up to date reflecting the status of your walks, especially those in the next couple months. For walkers, it's more important now than ever to verify event status on the AVA website before venturing out to avoid showing up to a canceled or postponed year round or traditional event.
As an example, our Alaska club is reviewing their plans for their seasonal events, as tourist travel will be severely limited and several walkbox hosts are closed or status is unknown, so they may opt to cancel the events or put them on the online start box. If your plans include travel to Alaska this summer you'll want to monitor their ESRs to determine which walks are available and how.
NW Regional Director
829 NW 44th Ave
Camas WA 98607
Future Events List May 2020
Instead of all of those Post-It notes on dusty walk books, attached is a copy of an Excel spreadsheet that you can use to keep track of your walks, at least until the walk boxes are 'reopened' and books can be stamped. But even beyond that, you may find it useful as a way to be able to sort your walk history to view it from different facets. For example, you can sort your events by sponsoring club to see how many walks of each club you have done, or by city, state, distance, walk name, event type and so forth.
Bill Winton, Membership
Dear AVA Club Presidents and Officers,
The AVA Board of Directors unanimously agreed today to immediately suspend all AVA Traditional events through April 30th, 2020 and recommends all club related events to include group walks, meetings, social gatherings, etc. be postponed through April 30th, 2020.
The Board of Directors will be monitoring this situation closely and updates will be given regularly as the situation develops.
The Board further recommends clubs listen and follow directions of State, Local and Federal authorities on local circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 virus.
See attachment for additional Guidelines or visit coronavirus.gov for more information.
During this suspension period we recommend clubs postpone and not cancel events so they can be reactivated in the ESR at a later date should the club decide to reschedule them. For more information on how to do this see the attachment or contact your Regional Director. There will be no additional sanctioning fees for events rescheduled as a result of this suspension so long as they are rescheduled during the 2020 calendar year. The AVA is still discussing what action to take in the case where an event cannot be rescheduled.
More information will be forthcoming as we begin to realize the impact this may have on our clubs and the AVA.
In the meantime, the Board encourages everyone to keep exercising at home by participating in the Appalachian Trail virtual online program!
As an added incentive for a limited time, you can join for only $25.00 and start counting your steps today! (T-shirt not included.)
This was not an easy decision for your Board. However, it is important that we take action to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Your club members are the most valuable part of AVA: America's Walking Club, and it is critical that we do what we can to keep everyone healthy.
Stay Safe So You Can Keep Walking.
David Bonewitz, PhD
AVA: America's Walking Club
NATIONAL OFFICE HOURS:
The AVA National Office (HQ) will be operating with an office skeleton crew during business hours until further notice in effort to limit contact with others; 50% of the office team will work from the office and 50% will work from home.
No visitors will be allowed into the offices without an appointment until further notice.
All employees will be accessible via email during the hours of 9am-5pm. If you must meet in person with someone from the office please email them to schedule an appointment in advance of your arrival.
Thank you for your patience as we work through this together.
Henry J. Rosales
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