GCWG Board Meeting Minutes 9/11/05

Location: The Board met at the Haith's house for dinner followed by the meeting.

Attendance: Board members in attendance were: Marshall Haith, Joan Shaw, Joyce Clair, Jerry Stahl, Carolyn Manly, Mary Bernard, Al Rothenbach, and Toni Wujek. No board members were absent. Also in attendance were: Sue Haith, Roger Shaw, Jim Clair, Carolyn Stahl, and Donn Manly.

Opening: Marshall called the meeting to order at 6:40PM.

Treasurer's Report: Carolyn M. gave the board a written financial report. A copy is included with these minutes. Currently, the balance on hand is $399.73. Since the last report in April, GCWG has taken in $1132.00 and expended $2082.00. The expenditures were primarily for inventory (T-shirts, polo shirts, etc.) and for NFS bulletin board upgrades.

Upcoming Member Meeting: Marshall suggested Friday, October 21st, as a possible date for the next GCWG member meeting. Several board members noted that they could not be present that date. After discussion on another date and a preferred day of the week, Sunday, November 6th, was decided on. The meeting will be held at the Adam's Camp at the YMCA, the site of the last few meetings.

The question of a speaker was raised. Carolyn M. suggested someone from the Department of Wildlife. Roger noted that Mike Crosby of the DOW is an interesting speaker. Marshall suggested a speaker on geo-technology. The board discussed the ideal length of time for a guest speaker presentation. Joan felt that 20 to 30 minutes was a maximum and that a presentation on geo-technology would require more time than that. The board agreed. Jerry suggested Chuck Cesar, a wildlife biologist at the BLM. Carolyn M. noted that we are looking for someone who expands our knowledge of the area. Marshall will contact the DOW for a speaker.

Web Site: Al asked if the board was interested in putting up a Web site. The board questioned the cost involved and noted that it might be a good way of communicating with members, but the problem is that you don't know who has read the information posted on the page. Marshall noted that John Ehlen has offered to host and update the site. Since John is frequently out-of-town, Al volunteered to update the site when John is gone. The board discussed the kinds of information that could be posted on the site: a schedule of events, the cabin hosting schedule, the trail hosting schedule. Marshall will check with John on steps needed to implement the site.

GCWG Handbook: Joan brought up the idea of a GCWG handbook. Carolyn M. offered to write down ideas for the book. Mary offered to help. Joan suggested involving an absolute group newcomer in this activity to get input on what they would like to know. Toni raised the issue of printing costs. The board felt that the handbook would just be a few pages and the cost would not be significant. Carolyn M. ran through a possible outline of topics to be included in the handbook.

GCWG Philosophy: Marshall asked for a discussion of the group philosophy. Is there an optimum size for the group? How do people hear about us? What should be the nature of the projects we take on and how many projects should we involve ourselves in?

Carolyn M. noted that the current membership is 120. Al suggested that a larger membership may require a more structured organization. Carolyn observed that annual membership dues are an indication of re-commitment. Maybe these dues should be higher. The board noted that the variety of service projects offered have kept a significant number of members involved. Jerry wondered if we are getting involved in too many things. Are our higher priorities, such as trail hosting, slipping? Al noted that there is a misconception about trail hosting. Some members think that if they have not signed up to host that day, their time on the trail does not count. The board agreed that a member is trail hosting if they wear a GCWG shirt and an NFS volunteer badge and that these hours are reportable. The proposed handbook can be used to make this clear to new members. Joan noted that we need to differentiate between information passed on by the GCWG, such as a volunteer call for Daisy Days, and our on-going commitments, i.e., cabin and trail hosting and bulletin board maintenance. Marshall reported that we have met all our hosting commitments this season. The board agreed that the service aspect of the group will be stressed in future newspaper coverage.

Phone Tree: Joan asked for board input on the idea of implementing a phone tree to get more GCWG members involved in more activities. It was suggested that a phone call may be putting someone on a guilt trip rather than making them more involved. Carolyn M. suggested taking a positive approach by recognizing our member volunteers. Roger suggested that raising dues may raise member commitment levels. Mary suggested recognizing member volunteer levels in an impersonal way by giving statistics at the fall meeting that focus on the number of group members who have participated in GCWG activities this season, not just the total number of volunteer hours accumulated. The board discussed ways to get new members involved more quickly. Mary suggested that board members could invite new members to their home for dessert and an informal “get-acquainted with the group” get-together. Carolyn M. observed that new memberships cluster around the spring and fall meetings and the summer milk can picnic. Joan suggested carpooling to meetings and activities with new members as a way to get acquainted. Joyce suggested that active members could call new members to invite them to trail host with them.

Thank You: Joan thanked the board for her appreciation gift.

Group Photo: Joan asked if a GCWG group photo should be a tradition and if the photo taken at the milk can picnic should be considered this year's official photo. We need to identify everyone in the photo. Roger offered to trace out the faces. It was decided that the photo would be labeled as “milk can picnic participants” and no further individual identification would be done, since there may be some guests in the photo.

Miscellaneous: Joan showed pictures of the new sign posts that the GCWG and the NFS are putting up at selected trailheads. Marshall asked that these pictures be displayed at the fall member's meeting.

Joan submitted pictures of the building of the Junco outhouse for the scrapbook.

Joan suggested that a short list of trails where dogs are allowed off-leash be compiled so that it can be distributed at Monarch cabin and at the NFS office. Jerry and Carolyn Stahl offered to create the list.

Art Fair Booth: Joyce asked for feedback on T-shirt sales at the Art Fair and suggestions for alternate places to sell the shirts. She reported that $257 worth of shirts were sold at the fair and 5 new members joined. She had no trouble getting volunteers to work the booth. There was discussion about the poor placement of the booth this year. Joyce will talk to the fair organizers and request that the booth be returned to the site next to the library book sale tent next year. She asked if the board thought we should also have a booth at the Arts and Crafts Fair, which takes place two weeks after the Art Fair in the same location. She questioned if the purpose of the booth is to make money or to gain exposure for the group. The board decided to do both fairs next year and advised that Joyce recruit someone else to oversee the second fair.

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 7:55PM.

Toni Wujek, Secretary

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