Ottawa Outdoor Club

President's Report: Rob Burnfield - 2018 AGM

We—and I—have had a busy year.

I'll start with some stats about our outings, talk about our executive, and then finish with mentioning our upcoming 25th anniversary.

From 1 October 2016 to 30 September 2017, we had 136 separate outdoor-related activities.

A year later, for the same period, we had 160 separate outdoor-related activities, an increase of about 18%.

These included training sessions, day outings, evening outings, and weekend trips::

  • 13 weekend trips
  • 15 training or information sessions (canoeing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking [wild mushrooms]
  • 11 bicycle outings
  • 50 hiking outings, with canoeing included with some of them
  • 28 canoe-related outings, including training sessions and some with hiking
  • 21 snowshoe-related outings, including an equipment-demonstration session
  • 15 cross-country ski outings, including training sessions
  • 6 skating sessions, most on the Rideau Canal on Friday evenings and one on the "Skateway Through the Forest" north of Gatineau Park
  • 30 Thursday-evening walks

There are some overlaps in the counts listed above.  Additional outings had been scheduled, but some had had to be cancelled for the usual reason of adverse weather.

24 people led outings last year compared with 28 the year before, and possibly a few more each year whose names may not have been recorded in the schedule.

I want to specifically thank Paul Gallagher, who prepared and led major training sessions for cross-country skiing and canoeing, both starting with classroom seminars and then progressing to training sessions on the water (frozen or liquid, depending on the type of training).  It was evident that many people were interested, with initial lists of over 30 people for cross-country skiing and over 60 for canoeing.

Many of the executive roles weren't filled as of last year's AGM.  The roles of Treasurer, Secretary, Cycling Coordinator, and Equipment Officer were empty.  In early January, the role of Hiking Coordinator also became available when Eddie Drueding, who had held the role for twelve seasons, decided to step down.  (As a bonus for us, Eddie didn't stop leading hikes; he led quite a few over the past many months.)  Over the next few months, these roles started being filled.  Bonnie Lalonde, who had just taken on the role of Membership Secretary at last year's AGM, took on the role of our Treasurer at the beginning of January and continued as Membership Secretary.  Each of these roles requires a lot of time throughout the entire year, and each has a non-trivial learning curve; I appreciate that she took them on.  In the spring, I took on the role of acting Cycling Coordinator, partly to encourage me to exercise more.  Robert Bultitude started working behind the scenes as the unofficial Hiking Coordinator, ultimately taking on the role formally in August.  We appointed Judy Smith as our Equipment Officer at the end of May, the first time we've had an Equipment Officer since the end of 2014.  In July, Jenn Dorr came on as our Secretary, with a particular interest in improving our social media presence.

As you can see, there's been a lot of change in the leadership of the Club, with some of us taking on multiple roles, which I appreciate immensely.  I'm happy that many of the members of the executive plan to put their names forth for re-election, and a number of new people have expressed interest in filling roles.  Based on those who have so far expressed interest in being on the executive, it appears that we'll have a nearly-complete executive, in particular, with potentially all of the Coordinator roles filled.  We would have a good mix of experienced executive members and new, younger and older, women and men.

Next year will be the 25th anniversary of the OOC in its current format.  It's been around in some format or another since the late 60s, about 50 years ago.  In its early years, it was an outreach part of the Ottawa Hostel.  In 1994, the Hostel decided that it could no longer fund the program, so some of the members met and decided to create their own Club, based at the Hostel. They decided upon a membership fee of $40 (equivalent to $62 today).  John Galbraith was the first to pay and, as a result, is member #1.  The first AGM was on Wednesday, 28 September 1994.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary, we plan to have a boat cruise, tentatively set for next fall.  Please watch for details over the next while.  If you know any past OHOC / OOC members who might be interested, please let us know.

In closing, I want to say that it's been a wonderful—and busy—year.  With the energy and experience of the existing executive and the new that might join—and many other Club members—this coming year will be an excellent year to celebrate our 25th!

Rob Burnfield