December 2021

Saturday, December 4th, 4 to 6 p.m. – annual Lights Walk at the Urban Abbey, 1026 Jackson Street in Omaha’s Old Market.  Surface parking lots and parking meters are available in the area. Cost is $3 per walker. The Urban Abbey will have hot drinks for sale, while our club will provide complimentary cookies. Our host has asked us to support their mission with the YES Maternity Group Home by bringing diapers for sizes 3 and up. We’ll be offering “diaper shares” for a $5 donation.  Donations are not required, but as always, are greatly appreciated. Register online using this eRegistration LinkMASKS REQUIRED DURING CHECK-IN.

Monday, December 6th, 7 p.m. – monthly club meeting at Morning Star Lutheran Church, 331 S. 85th Avenue, Omaha, in the chapel.  After our speaker, a short business meeting will be conducted, including in-person voting for 2022 Club Officers and the 2021 Walker of the Year. MASKS REQUIRED.

–>Note about voting: The club tried a new (free) way to conduct on-line voting for 2022 Club Officers and the 2021 Walker of the Year. We’re learning that several club members may not have received the link to vote, due to their internet provider’s spam filters. If you are a club member and wish to vote on-line (rather than in-person at the club meeting on December 6th), first check your Spam Folders for the November 16th invitation to vote. If you can’t find it, contact netrailblazers@gmail.com and you’ll be sent the link to vote.

12/31/2021 – That’s when all club memberships expire. Look for your renewal notice, coming soon.

The 2022 Calendar of Walks and Events will be posted as soon as a couple of details get finalized.  Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 9 a.m. at the Westroads Mall is the first group walk of the year, so mark your calendars now!

 

Pies and Lights and a Newsletter!

Our annual Pie Walk is coming up THIS Saturday, November 6th, starting at 9 a.m. The start location is the APWU at 13th and William Streets in Omaha, but better parking is available just a block north in the church parking lot at 14th & Pine Streets. (Hint: don’t drive Pine between 13th and 14th, even if it is on the map!) Check-in/walk-in registrations end at noon. Cost is $3 per walker. Please consider bringing a pie to share; all leftovers will be donated to the men’s shelter in Council Bluffs.  Register online using this eRegistration Link

Our next staffed walking event is our annual Lights Walk on December 4th, this year starting from the Urban Abbey at 1026 Jackson Street in Omaha’s Old Market.  Check-in/walk-in registrations run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the cost is $3 per walker. The Urban Abbey will have hot drinks for sale, while our club will provide complimentary cookies. Our host has asked us to support their mission with the YES Maternity Group Home by bringing diapers for sizes 3 and up. We’ll be offering “diaper shares” for a $5 donation.  Donations are not required, but as always, are greatly appreciated. Register online using this eRegistration Link.

Read more about these walks in our latest newsletter! Be sure to read up on how voting will be handled this year for club officers and Walker of the Year and take a peek at the very full 2022 Walking Calendar (coming soon to a website near you). Newsletter link: November – December 2021 Newsletter

Late August 2021 News

Our club’s newsletter will be coming out soon, but here’s a sneak preview of some highlights:

  • Our next regular walk will be Saturday, September 11th at 8 a.m. at the children’s playground, Entrance 4, at Standing Bear Lake. This entrance is on N. 132nd Street, closer to Military than to Fort Street. In recognition of Patriot Day and the day’s commitment to service, we’re collecting food for Feeding America. Please be generous! No glass containers (they break during transportation) and please double-check expiration dates.
  • In-person club meetings have returned!  Our next meeting will be the Monday AFTER Labor Day, September 13th at 7 p.m.  We will still be meeting at Morning Star Lutheran Church at 331 S. 85th Avenue, but we will be UPSTAIRS in the Chapel area. The church is requiring all visitors to wear masks while inside. Our speaker will be a member of the Papio-Missouri NRD, speaking about area trails.  October’s meeting returns to the first Monday of the month, October 4th.
  • The October 2nd Midtown Omaha Walk at Ahmad’s Persian Restaurant, 4646 Dodge Street has a time change.  Check-in and walk-in registrations will be allowed from 11 a.m. until noon, with a finish time of 2 p.m. That way, you can enjoy a great lunch either before or after your walk! Save time by registering online at this eRegistration Link; just pay when you arrive.
  • The club’s Board has put together a set of Standing Rules – kind of like an operating manual for the club. Want to see it? It’s on this page, at the bottom.  
  • Speaking of operating – please consider offering an hour or so of your time at either the September or October walks. Club President Steve will be asking for volunteers by email and at the September club meeting. 

Mid-March 2021 Updates

Our March-April 2021 Newsletter went out to members last week. What’s that, you say? How do I become a member and get all the news as it happens? Well, fear no more: until December 31, 2021, membership in the club is FREE! Fill out and send in this form without attaching a check and you’re all set.

The newsletter talks about “National Walking Week” which takes place from April 1st through April 7th, with April 7th being “National Walking Day”. We’ve got six, count them, 6 free walks for you! Since April 4th falls on Easter Sunday, we won’t be meeting to walk, but be sure to post any pictures of you (and family) walking that day on a special post on our Facebook page.  (It’s not up yet, but you’ll know it when you see it.)

Free walks means no AVA/IVV Credit, so leave your books at home. Two of the walks have fees imposed by the locale, so be aware of those fees before you come. Also, COVID-19 protocols are still in place – that means masks while registering and when within 6′ of someone outside of your household. Arrive 15 minutes early to take care of paperwork.

All of these are 5k walks, except Downtown Omaha, which is a 6k. Families and leashed dogs welcome and all trails are stroller friendly.

  • Thursday, April 1st, 5 p.m.  – Prairie Queen Recreation Area – meet in the SE parking lot closest to Werner Park on Lincoln Avenue.
  • Friday, April 2nd, 1 p.m. – Wabash Trace Trailhead at 4102 Harry Langdon Blvd, Council Bluffs, IA 51503. $2 per walker fee to Southwest Iowa Nature Trails Project, Inc.  Out-and-back walk.
  • Saturday, April 3rd, 10 a.m. – Downtown Omaha – meet at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge Street, in the Discovery Garden area.
  • Monday, April 5th, 5 p.m. – Walnut Creek Recreation Area – meet in the parking area near the playground.
  • Tuesday, April 6th, 4 p.m. – Lake Manawa Dream Playground – meet in the parking area. $5 vehicle entrance fee for out-of-state plates.
  • Wednesday, April 7th, 1 p.m. – Chalco Hills Recreation Area – meet in the south parking lot (Highway 370 Access).

With all this walking, you’ll be ready for our regular April 10th Bockfest 5k and 10k Walk, right? Details on our 2021 Walk Calendar page.

Late January 2021 updates

  1. We’re getting out to stretch our legs on Friday, January 29th at Prairie Queen Recreation Area by Werner Park! This is a FREE walk and is not eligible for AVV/IVV Credit, so leave your books and your money at home! Online registration is REQUIRED at https://forms.gle/ekcFfZxMcsaP8fAVA We’ll start walking promptly at 2 p.m. on a 5k group walk around the lake, so arrive a bit earlier to check-in. COVID-19 protocols are in effect: masks must be worn while gathering and whenever within 6′ of someone outside your household.  Take Hwy 370 to S. 126th Street, go past Werner Park to the Lincoln Road roundabout and then use the 3rd exit to go west one block to the parking lot from where we’ll be starting.  Please dress for the weather. Don’t count on the sidewalk around the lake being shoveled!
  2. We will NOT have our regular monthly club meeting on February 1st. No in-person club meetings have been scheduled at this time.
  3. We’ve had to make a change to our March 6th Soup Walk this year – it’s more like a “No Soup for You!” Walk. ? We won’t be able to share soup with each other, but that just means more for those people depending on local food banks for a meal, right? We’ve asked for chicken- or beef-based soups in the past, but we’re asking for 2 cans of hearty soups – think of meal substitutes – of any flavor. The local food banks that we’re supporting are the St. Columbkille/Tri-City Food Pantry and the New Visions Men’s Shelter in Council Bluffs. Start Point and times have not changed. See our 2021 Walk Calendar page for details.

Lee Frantz honored

We want to recognize our past president, Lee Frantz, for the AVA Meritorious Service Award he received during our January 11th Annual Meeting (via Zoom). That award is given for five years (or more) of outstanding service to the AVA. Lee’s accomplishments as Club President and as Trailmaster for the Nebraska Wander Freunde Trailblazers take quite a bit of space to list and are all the more remarkable when looking at the extreme events our club has experienced during his tenure, from our 2017 Eclipse Events through the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Lee credits his wife, Donna Campbell, for her shared enthusiasm of Volkssporting. Congratulations, Lee!

Welcome to 2021!

Our New Year’s resolution for 2021? To offer great walks and to make new friends! Club membership in 2021 is FREE! Download the form and either email the completed form to netrailblazers@gmail.com or print it and send it to the address on the form.  

Our latest club newsletter can be downloaded here.  As always, club members get the full newsletter emailed directly to them.  This introduces our new club president, the implementation of our calendar year club dues structure and offers the chance for one lucky person to win a FREE registration to the AVA’s 2021 Biennial Convention, to be held in Madison, Wisconsin.

We’ll be announcing the 2020 Walker of the Year at our January 11th Zoom meeting (link sent to club members by hard-working past president Lee). In-person club meetings are still on hold at this time.

You did see our 2021 Walk Booklet, didn’t you? We’ve got 8 Traditional Events scheduled, starting in March. We have 10 Year Round Walks that you can do (almost) every day of the year and 3 Seasonal Walks starting April 1st (information on this page). One of them is only available via the Online Start Box, so if you don’t have an online account, now is the perfect time to create one and get familiar with the process. A tutorial is in the works to supplement the great “Help” sections available with each step of the process.  

We’re sending out a big THANK YOU! to the folks with the Lincoln Volkssport Club, which closed at the end of 2020. Their passion and commitment to great walks continues.  Our club has picked up the Lincoln Capital and Seward Year Round Walks, with the help of former LVC members. The Nebraska City walk has been turned into one of our new Seasonal Walks, but don’t worry – it closes after the Apple Jack Festival.  

If your 2021 resolution is to be more active, we want to be your partner.  And you can always do those Year Rounds in snowshoes.  ?

 

 

Your Vote Counts!

Relax – it’s almost time to vote for our 2020 Walker of the Year and our 2021 Club Officers. A proposed set of amendments to the bylaws concerning club dues is also on the ballot. Because our bylaws require us to give 14 days’ notice to club members before voting on an amendment, voting won’t begin until November 25th.  Our club president emailed the details to all current club members this morning, which are also attached here for your review.

Club members will be sent an email with a link to vote online for all three items: 2021 Club Officers; 2020 Walker of the Year; Proposed Amendments to the Bylaws. (Club members with another adult in the household will be sent a second email.) If you don’t vote online, the club will have to mail you a ballot, to conform with our bylaws stating that a majority of club members have to approve an amendment to the bylaws.  That costs money (and a bunch of time) to do, so remember: Your Vote Counts!  

November Updates

There’s a newsletter, of course, but there are some important things you need to know about November.

  • The November 7th Pie Walk in Ashland is CANCELLED.
  • The December 5th Lights Walk in downtown Omaha has been MOVED to Nebraska’s Christmas City: Seward, Nebraska.  Register online at Christmas City eRegistration and arrive at Living Word Lutheran Church, 1300 West Hillcrest Drive, Seward, NE 68434 between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.  The cost is $2 for Fun Walkers and $3 for Credit Walkers (book stampers) payable by exact change or a check (made out to NWFT) placed in an envelope when you check in.  After your 5k or 10k walk, stay for a tour of Nebraska’s largest Christmas lights display. Starting at 6 p.m. you can drive through the Magical Christmas Lights of Seward at the fairgrounds. Cost is $20 per vehicle (not payable to us). See https://magicallightsofseward.com/ for all the details.
  • Voting for Club Officers and 2020’s Walker of the Year will take place during November.  Details are in the newsletter, although the start of voting may be delayed because of some technical difficulties.
  • The December 7th club meeting is CANCELLED.  
  • Finally, membership during 2021 is FREE!  Club membership allows you to get all this news delivered to your inbox as it happens, receive the full newsletter as soon as it comes out, and the opportunity to vote for club officers and Walker of the Year.  Here’s a link to the membership form, so that you can take advantage of this great opportunity.  The full details on how the free membership works are . . . you guessed it! . . . in the newsletter.