Eclipse Events updates

  1. Package registrations are closed. Any remaining t-shirts and patches will be available on a first-come-first-served basis at the Raffle/Sales Table at the walks.  The brochure and registration form on the website has been updated. Supplies for walks are limited – reserve your eclipse glasses, glowsticks, etc. by mailing in your registrations so that they are RECEIVED by August 8th.  Walk-ins after that date are welcome to walk (or swim), but are not guaranteed eclipse glasses, etc.
  2. The Meet and Greet on Friday, August 18th, has been moved to St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish Hall, 112 S. Cedar St. Grand Island, NE 68801.  The event is open ONLY to those pre-registered by August 8th (see above).
  3. Meet and Greet registrants have been asked how they want their first name to appear on the name tag and for an interesting fact or tidbit about themselves for a mixer at the Meet and Greet.  Prizes for the top 3 winners will be available!
  4. NEW WALK ADDED!  After the Meet and Greet ends at 7 p.m., we’ll be walking Historic Downtown Grand Island in 5k and 10k small groups.  Bring your books to be stamped. Information on Special Programs available has been included in the updated brochure.
  5. The Sunflower Sod Stompers have sanctioned 3 additional swim events during the 4-day weekend – and have scheduled them so that you can walk, then cool off by swimming. What a great way to multitask during a multi-event weekend!  The location of those events is the pool at the Candlewood Suites. All the information on the Sunflower Sod Stompers’ Eclipse Swim Events is contained in this  printable flyer.  Be sure to bring your own towel and to observe all motel guidelines; swimming is at your own risk.
  6. Getting confused with everything that you need to know? Don’t worry – we’ll have “Need to Know” sheets for each day. Here’s Friday’s “Need to Know” sheet.  Let us know if you have any questions.

Mark your calendar now for August 18 – 21, 2017!

Our club will be hosting a multi-event weekend including 4 walks and 1 swim event in the Grand Island area to take advantage of this extremely rare opportunity to witness a total solar eclipse.  All of the details are now live on our website – check out our Eclipse Events pages.  We’ll need lots of volunteers to make these events a success, so block off your calendar and plan a fun-filled, exciting weekend in Grand Island from Friday, August 18 – Monday, August 21 next year.

We’re not kidding when we say that motel rooms are going fast, so check out the list of places to stay and make your reservations NOW!

Expect to hear and see more about this at club meetings and in future communications over the next months.

How To Conduct A Successful Border-Crossing Volksmarch

Our Grand Island correspondent, Jim McGahan, tells us in words and pictures how to put on a successful traditional event that will pull in walkers from across the country. This event was held July 11th. This was a 9 hour round-trip drive for most of the walkers from our club, and the event pulled in folks from much farther away!

Hope you will enjoy reading all about Big Stone City! We loved one of the photos so much, that we added it to our list of header images that appear on each of the pages in this website.

June news

We welcome travelers on their way to and from the 2016 AVA Biennial Convention being held in Salem, Oregon! We also wish our club members and friends on their way to the convention safe journeys and great walks.

Our next event is the National Trails Day event, being held between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m. at the Chalco Hills Recreation Area Visitor’s Center just off of Giles Road at 154th St. The Papio-Missouri River NRD is opening the building just for us during those times, so that folks can register and start walking at their own pace during that time. We’re borrowing the stamp from the Chalco Hills YRE Walk Box during that time and we’ll have a special 5K route that starts from the Visitor’s Center.

Also on hand will be our new luggage tags for $5, free samples courtesy of the National Trails Day folks, and a great free selection of older awards. Those wanting AVA/IVV credit for the walk pay $3 – everyone else is free! Come join us and celebrate walking while in a great natural setting.

Finally, Jim McGahan has put together a pictorial plethora of pleasures in PDF from the last week of the Grand Island YRE, which has been in operation for the past 20 years. Jim adds that our walking friend Charlie Gentile should be in these photos, but missed that opportunity by just hours.  Check it out here: The Final Four

More showers, more walks!

May has been a pretty rainy month so far this year, but that hasn’t stopped our club from taking part in events. The May 9th walk at Standing Bear Lake brought out 67 walkers to walk a quickly re-routed walk around the flooded lake. Here are pictures of two groups of walkers:

Boy Scouts, leaders, family and friends at the checkpoint
Boy Scouts, leaders, family and friends at the checkpoint
Following the rules is important!
Following the rules is important!









The YRE in Grand Island is now closed, but a steady stream of folks went to walk with Jim and Martha McGahan during the past week.  Words are insufficient to express our gratitude for their years of service!

The last 13 folks to ever walk this sanctioned walk, assembled outside the now-closed Skagway store.
The last 13 folks to ever walk this sanctioned walk, assembled outside the now-closed Skagway store.
Butch Spaulding takes the Grand Island YRE walk box from Jim and Martha McGahan
Butch Spaulding takes the Grand Island YRE walk box from Jim and Martha McGahan










You don’t have to be an AVA member to walk our walks (or even a club member), but one of the benefits of membership is receiving their publication, The American Wanderer.  Long-time contributor Jim Goeltz submitted club news to TAW, and featured our very own club secretary, Tricia Abel! What a nice write-up for a nice lady. See June TAW article on NWFT and Tricia Abel. (Sorry, had to cut up the newsprint article to make it fit onto a single page!)

But, what about walking???

  • Remember we have the National Trails Day event coming up at the Chalco Hills Visitor Center on Saturday, June 6th between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m.  We’ll be borrowing the box from its normal Start Point for the duration, but promise to get it back promptly!
  • Our YREs are still waiting for you! Check out our interactive Map to find a walk in Nebraska, visit AVA Interactive YRE Map to find walks around the country and of course, the GDMVA’s special walks (see GDMVA 30th Anniversary article in TAW) are available until June 30th!

April showers bring May walkers!

Our gardens and lawns are pretty happy with all the rain we’ve been getting. While you’re keeping up with delayed yardwork, keep in mind this quick recap of May events and news:

  1. Worker’s Walk on May 2nd for the May 9th walk at Standing Bear Lake. Arrive by 8:45 a.m. to handle paperwork and walk with the group at 9 a.m. Use the entrance at 138th and Fort Streets (Omaha) to find the picnic shelter near the boat ramp, where we will be meeting.
  2. Regular walk on May 9th, starting times from 8 to 11 a.m., complete the walk by 2 p.m., same starting point as above. The 5K and 10K walks will go around the lake and into the surrounding neighborhoods.
  3. The Grand Island Farewell Walk will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 17th, during the last weekend that the Skagway Food Store (and Start Point) will be open for business. Make plans to carpool and to walk this great route one last time, and to say thank you to Jim and Martha McGahan for over 20 years’ dedication to walking in Grand Island and surround areas. More info on our Calendar of Events.
  4. Finally, our NWFT May-June 2015 Newsletter is attached so you can see what we’ll be doing in the summer months.



Just gotta walk! April walking news

Fear not! We’ve got lots of great opportunities for you to walk. Check out any of our Year Round Events (time is ticking on the Grand Island event – see this post.

For North Central Region events from now until the end of the year (always more being added!) check April 1 2015 North Central Region Walks to come for the latest listings.

Luckily, we are pretty centrally located, so there’s always plenty to do with the clubs to our south. Check out for a list of their upcoming Group Walks and their first Traditional Event of the year in Olathe, KS on April 25th.

Those folks are pretty fantastic about supporting other clubs. Check out this Clay-Platte Trackers walking weekend with GDMVA for details on how the Clay-Platte Trackers are going to host a weekend of walks in conjunction with the Greater Des Moines Volkssport Association’s 30th Anniversary events! Our club is making carpooling arrangements to walk with the GDMVA in the morning (see this link for details and note the alternate start point for the morning of April 18th!). If you haven’t let Butch Spaulding know that you want a ride (or want to drive), let him know or email us right away!

Sad news – Grand Island Year Round closing May 17th

This is to notify you that our year round in Grand Island will be closing at the end of the day on Sunday, May 17, 2015.  This action is due to the upcoming closure of our starting point, Skagway Discount Center effective May 22, 2015.  
We will be looking at having a group walk (or two), perhaps on a Sunday afternoon.  Please let us know if you are interested in carpooling. This is a great walk and the perfect time of year to make walking memories to last a lifetime.
A special thanks to Jim and Martha McGahan of Grand Island, who have kept the Volksmarching torch burning brightly in Grand Island and nearby. Thank you, Jim and Martha!

News, news, news!

Two great newsletters that you’ll want to dive right into:

NWFT Jan-Feb 2015  Be sure to read to the last page where you’ll see the reservation form for our annual dinner. This year, it’s being held at the Farmhouse Cafe, at 84th & Frederick, on Saturday, January 17th, social hour at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m.  Get your reservation form in as soon as you can! Treasurer Butch Spaulding sent out an email about sides, dressings and muffins available, so if you don’t have that information, contact us and we’ll forward that on to you.

Special Time to Walk Newsletter comes to us courtesy of our Grand Island member, Jim McGahan.  Loaded with pictures and Jim’s humorous take on things, you’ll enjoy remembering this great, once-in-a-lifetime event with us!

The Year Round Events are being updated on this site and on Facebook and a special booklet detailing them was mailed to all members.  Need one? Just ask!

The first three regular events of the year have been added to our Calendar and we’re busy at work lining up our September through December events. Suggestions and help are always welcome – and of course, you know how to contact us.