Knapsack Subcommittee, January 31, 2004

Present: Andy Johnson, Jim Watters, Stephen Brown, Gordon Peterson, Steve Wilson, Vicky Hoover, Kathy Wells, Dave Simon, Dan Kozarsky, Carol MacFarlane, David Roberts, Jindra Goodman, Doug Goodman, Cathy Dezendorf, Matt Hahne, Jocelyn Miller, Brad Carlson, Bill Flower, Diane Cook, Frances Reneau, Thomas Meisner, Lou Argyres, Melinda Goodwater, Linda Conklin, Nancy Mathison, Tom Hilton, Alice Kulka, Roz Bray, Derek Bray, Sy Gelman, Charles Hardy, Laurie Frazier, Chuck Schmidt, Ray Simpson, Lucy Daggett, Carol Hake

Steve Wilson, Knapsack Subcommittee Chairman, welcomed us all to his home and the meeting commenced with everyone introducing themselves, describing the trip(s) they will be leading or assisting and also, who was their mentor.

Sierra Club national elections are coming up. Get informed and vote!

The Knapsack trip count is over 50%, comparing well with other subcommittees. Our trip prices also compare well with other Outings backpack trip prices, even though Steve increased the overhead allowance to cover items such as additional training opportunities, three trainee openings and perhaps even bandanas for all trip participants. Beginner's trips are proving to be quite popular-second sections could be offered if there are willing leaders. The Outings office will be compiling flyers highlighting selected trips that have lower numbers of signups, which each of us can distribute in our own communities.

March 1 is the opening date to apply for wilderness permits in Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP (reservation fee is $15 per trip) and 24 weeks prior to the first day of a trip for Yosemite NP (reservation fee is $5 per person). Reservations for Sierra National Forest may be made by mail or in person one year in advance of the wilderness entry date (reservation fee is $5 per person). Inyo National Forest permits are available up to 6 months before the first day of the trip and the fee is $5 per person.

Upcoming events:

April 3-4 at the Gillespie Group Camp in Tilden for Wilderness First Aid taught by Bobbie Foster. The course is nearly full, if you are due to renew your certification, this is an excellent opportunity.
June 4-6 is the Knapsack spring meeting, also at Gillespie Group Camp.
June 24-28 is the Knapsack training trip to be held in the Ansel Adams wilderness. This is the trip for new leaders and assistants, Bill Flower is organizing the trip along with Diane Cook, Andy Johnson, Frances Reneau and Steve Wilson while David Roberts is coordinating the trip roster.

Regarding new leaders, Knapsack welcomes new faces and you are urged to evaluate your trip participants for their leadership capabilities/interests. Once they indicate an interest, pass their name along to David Roberts, although it is best that you maintain contact as a "mentor." The general progression for a new candidate is: training trip participant, trainee or assistant and eventually (hopefully) leader. We have developed a questionnaire for new candidates which will be posted on the listserv.

The Outdoor Activities Governance Committee (OAGC) has posted the second draft of a proposed policy concerning minimum training standards and leadership development for Sierra Club outing leaders. They ask that you familiarize yourself with the Draft and offer them feedback, positive or negative.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Fittingly, the California Wild Heritage Campaign currently has five Wild Heritage bills before the U.S. Congress. Perhaps the only bill that has a reasonable chance of passing in this session is the Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act of 2003, H.R. 1501 sponsored by Rep. Mike Thompson. (Websites: California Wild Heritage Campaign, Wilderness Act 40th Anniv) Vicky Hoover spoke about these bills and urged all leaders to ask their trip participants to write to their local representatives in support of these bills. Contact Vicky (415-977-5527 or or Dan Kozarsky for more information that you can incorporate as part of the conservation component of your trip.

After lunch, we broke into six groups and elucidated the "expectations" of leaders, assistants, trip participants, mentors and trainees. Check the listserv for the posting of these expectations.

The meeting adjourned early at 3 P.M. due to sewage backup... shit happens!

For the delicious and bountiful food, thank you to:

Carol MacFarlane,
Cathy Dezendorf,
Melinda Goodwater,
Diane Cook, and
Andy "Peet's" Johnson.

Thanks also to our subcommittee officers:

Bill Flower, Training;
David Roberts, New Leader Coordinator and Secretary;
Melinda Goodwater, Finance;
and Cathy Dezendorf again,

Finally, special thanks go out to:

Dave Simon, Knapsack leader and Sierra Club Director of Outdoor Activities;
Jim Watters, OAC and Knapsack Permit Coordinator;
Vicky Hoover for her inspirational conservation talk;
Kathy Wells of the OAC for the inside scoop;
and especially Andy Johnson for his supportive mentorship of Steve!

-minutes prepared by David Roberts