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Get Outdoors New England!

An Introduction...

Contents...
Who We Are Contacts & Focal Points
Activities What are the Activities Like?
Who's Welcome? YOU! Proposing and Scheduling an Event
Our Survey Signing up for Events
Costs Involved GONewEngland Hotline & Automated E-mail
Rules of Conduct DISCLAIMER

Last update: 09/30/07

Who We Are!

GetOutdoors New England doesn't really exist. It's not a "group," as there are no "members." Like the bulletin board at your local supermarket, the GONewEngland Web Site is a place where you can find out what outdoor activities people are involved in, and you can join in if you wish. Or you can post your own outdoor activity and invite others along.

GONewEngland is for anyone who wishes to experience the outdoors of New England---and beyond! Get Outdoors New England was started on 2/16/97 by Don Salomon and Ken Leonard under the name "The New England Hiking Group."  In April 1999 our little Internet bulletin board shed its rather restrictive name for something fresh, new, and active and became Get Outdoors New England!

We're just a bunch of folks who are looking for a central place to share ideas and bump into others who want to hike, camp, canoe, and enjoy other outdoor activities in and around New England. You've found that central place: A bulletin board on the Internet!

There are no memberships, no dues, no regular meetings, no headaches, no pressure... Just fun in the outdoors and a chance to make new friends. As this is a "bulletin board," please feel free to contribute! More on that later.

New England has a lot to offer for getting outdoors and hitting a trail or pitching a tent.

The Get Outdoors New England web site is here to enable people of all ages and abilities to share in the natural wealth we have in our New England area. Activities include trail hiking (long and short trails), climbing a few mountains, pitching a tent somewhere, nature walks, horseback riding, swimming, biking, blading, boating---it all depends on who's out there and what everyone would like to do! What about paintball or skydiving? An after work horseback ride? A barbeque or picnic? Tubing on the Pemigewasset? Picking up some binoculars and scouting for birds?  It's really up to you.

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Activities!

In the very beginning most of our activities dealt with hiking and camping, but, as more people found the GONewEngland Web Site and contributed their own ideas, activities have really changed. Your Webmaster has gone rock climbing and horseback riding. A bunch of us have tried out the natural waterslides at Franconia Falls. And a few brave souls have jumped from "a perfectly good airplane." As you can see, Get Outdoors New England welcomes all types of outdoor events.

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Who's Welcome?

YOU are! Men, women, young, old...If you are interested in anything from a few hours at Plum Island to climbing 6288' Mt. Washington, chances are you're not the only one. Suggest an event, and you'll find someone to go with you.

The only requirement is that you are physically able to accomplish what you set out to do---and do it safely, with concern for our environment and the others with you. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

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Our Survey

We've put together a short form for you to fill out, if you'd like to participate in our survey. We'd like to know who's out there and who may be joining us on our excursions.

The survey contains some general questions about who you are, what your abilities are, and what you'd like to do for an outdoor activity. The purpose of the information is to understand the group dynamics and help us plan activities. All information received is confidential. Period. Your information will NOT be sold to anyone or published anywhere without prior approval from YOU.

Please remember to include your electronic mail address when you fill out the survey. It's the only way we will be able to contact you.

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Cost

This isn't a club, so there's nothing to join, and there are no dues. Ken is the guy who runs the web site. Our goal is not to make money but to make friends and "get outside." In his introductory mail, co-founder Don mentioned: "If you do have an overwhelming need to give your money away, there are a lot of mountaineer clubs that charge tremendous amounts. I'd recommend all of you save your money and invest it in buying a good backpack, comfortable lightweight boots, and possibly join the Appalachian Mountain Club - Boston Chapter so you can get discounts on overnight stays at the AMC cabins."

By using the Get Outdoors New England Web Site (at http://www.gonewengland.org) and electronic mail to keep in touch, the cost of having this loose association of outdoor fans and keeping people informed of upcoming events is nil, and we'd like to keep it that way.

The fees for any events, however, will be payable by the participants. This includes parking, State Park fees, camping fees, ferries, trains, or other transportation, meals, lodging, and so on. If you've arranged a ride with someone, please pitch in for gas and tolls.

Proper equipment is the responsibility of the participant. At the very minimum for hiking you'll need a backpack, canteen, good shoes, and a first aid kit. See the hiking and camping gear pages for further information. Equipment required for other activities will depend on the event.

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Contacts

There is a list of people you may contact if you have further questions.   The list is available on our Contacts Page.  Please get in touch with these folks immediately if you encounter any problems with the way an event has been handled or with inappropriate behavior of individuals that affects the safety and comfort of others.  Such behavior is unacceptable.

Problems with the web site and newsletters, like:

...are all handled by Your Webmaster.   Please drop Ken a note...Your Webmaster likes to hear from you on matters relating to GONewEngland, but please refrain from adding him or any others in The Crew to joke lists, chain letters, and so on.  Much appreciated.  This way we'll be sure that any e-mail we get is relevant and can be given the appropriate attention it deserves.   And, yes, we do get a great deal of mail!

Learn more about GONewEngland's Co-founder and Webmaster on his completely self-serving home page.

GONewEngland Points of Contact

Volunteer to be a Point of Contact! A Point of Contact is someone who has a special interest, such as SCUBA diving or rock climbing, and wouldn't mind fielding a few questions about that interest.

Like most people, the outdoors afficionados in the GONewEngland aren't "experts." We've learned a thing or two as we've gone along, though, and we like to share that knowledge. This is the type of group which appreciates beginners (we were all there at one point!), and it's the type of group which really likes to dig in and help people out and invite them to try something new.

Check out the Points of Contact Page!

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What are GONewEngland Activities Like?

Activities are hatched in someone's mind and then posted, with details, at the GONewEngland Web Site. Those interested in the activity usually send e-mail to the person who came up with it. The person running the activity sometimes provides additional detail or does some coordination and answers questions. If the event has a Hotline Mailbox, it's up to the attendees to call the Hotline for the latest status of an event, which is updated by the person running the event---the event may be cancelled late due to weather, one never knows in New England. If the event is on, just show up at the carpool site, trail head, or other location, make contact with other GONewEngland people, and off you go.

The GONewEngland people I've met are wonderful, and everyone just kinda fits in. Most activities are low-key and none are high pressure. We're not "experts"; we just enjoy the outdoors, and what better way to get there than with others who enjoy it as much as we do? Most of us have purchased our gear at department stores, so there's no competition about who paid more for his bedroll---it's silly, and it just doesn't happen. But you can count on a fellow GONewEnglander to share his or her experience with types of gear with you, if you ask.  Your Webmaster is the last guy up on a hike most of the time, believing firmly that nobody who's a bit slower should hike alone (it's also good to pace yourself!). And several of us have purchased larger tents and a little bit of extra gear to be able to share with others on the camping trips. Still others have opened their homes to group get-togethers, which are always fun, or just provided a special meal for the group during a camping trip. That's the kind of person The New England Hiking Group attracted, and Get Outdoors New England will continue that tradition.  I encourage you to try an event or two to see for yourself!

Multiple activities can run on the same day at the same time---that's not a problem, and it's an indication of the diversity in this growing group. Several activities can also happen within one activity, such as a camping trip where bikers go their own way and hikers theirs. Hey, we'll catch up on the day's events around the campfire!

About the Hikes...

Along with description of each hike is an indication of how difficult it is. Beginners and those who are working at getting into shape will find the light hikes and nature walks a good choice. Other people will opt for Mt. Washington every time! Still others can do most things when paced properly. If you are unsure about a hike, just ask the person running the event.

Winter hiking is especially enjoyable. If you've got the right gear (which isn't much more than layers of clothes and snowshoes or good boots with gaiters) and you pick a storm-free winter day and a well-packed trail, then the crisp, cool air and unique atmosphere of a winter trail will take you in. The occasional chickadee will add to your trance. You'll eventually wonder the same thing I did: "Why on earth haven't I done this before?"

We've done dayhikes, backpacking, car camping-hiking trips, and camped over on the Boston Harbor Islands. We've got one person who hikes every weekend, someone who just loves natural waterslides and getting people wet, and we've got others who have just started doing up New Hampshire's 48 4000-foot peaks. For the "armchair hikers," yeah, we'll let you come along and go shopping at the outlet stores--you're welcome too.

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Proposing and Scheduling an Event

Have an idea of what you'd like to do? It's easy to get the ball rolling!

Proposing an Event
If you're not 100% decided on a particular event, or you just want to float it by the group to see who'd be interested, just propose it!

  1. Put your idea into words. If you have more details, pass them along.
  2. Fill out the event form or send e-mail to Ken describing what you'd like to do.
  3. The proposal will be posted with you as the contact.
  4. Based on the feedback from the group, you can decide to schedule the event or not.
  5. Notify Ken of your decision, so that he may note that on the Bulletin Board.

Scheduling an Event
A scheduled event has an exact date and time, and it requires a little more detail and effort than a proposal, but not much more. It's easy.

  1. Figure out the what, when, where of your event. Get costs, etc, as appropriate. The description should be somewhat detailed.
  2. Fill out the event form or send e-mail to Ken with the info.
  3. The event will be posted with you as the contact, and it'll be mentioned in the weekly e-mail to the GONewEngland E-mail List.
  4. If anyone reviewing the Bulletin Board has a question about the event, he or she should send mail to the contact person.
  5. As the contact, you must do a few things:

If the event involves money, have those attending the event contact the place you're going to and put down the money, if possible.  For example, make reservations at a B&B for the people on your list and then have them call individually to give a credit card number, etc, to the B&B.  At times it may be easiest for you, the person running the activity, to handle collecting and sending in the money. But you should not send out a dime until money has come in to you from those who wish to attend! Don't put up any of your own money, OK?

Events are NOT for profit! See if you can get a good group rate based on how many people sign up, and then divide it by the number of people going.   Do not "take a cut!"  You may add to the cost any reasonable expenses incurred by you (long distance phone calls, postage, and the like) while arranging the activity.  You may not charge those attending the activity for your "time"; all activities are purely voluntary, and that includes running and going on an activity.

The points of contact are NOT responsible for arranging rides (although they can help arrange carpools by keeping everyone in e-mail contact), taking attendance (but please don't leave anyone behind---just be sure everyone who started out also leaves!), coming up with any up-front money, and so on. As we get to know each other better, we'll naturally start coordinating things such as rides. To sum up: As a point of contact, you're responsible for finding out a little about the event and letting people know what's going on. That's pretty much it!

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Signing up for an Event

You've spotted something you'd like to do on the event list. Sign up for it by sending mail to the contact person. Although this is not required, it's nice to do in case there is a cancellation, as the contact person should notify you by e-mail just in case the cancellation is not posted in time.

Shortly before the event, check your e-mail and the Bulletin Board for the event's final status. And give a quick buzz to the Hotline (if the event has a mailbox number). A last minute cancellation could leave you alone on a trail (which, actually, is not such a bad thing sometimes...)

Finally: Just be there on time, and have FUN!!!

If money is needed...
For things such as house or condo rentals, the money is needed as soon as possible. It's probably best for the point of contact for that event to serve as the collection point. He or she will send in whatever money is required after collecting it from the attendees of the event.   If possible, the person running the event should make arrangements for those attending to simply send in payment directly, thus completely stepping out of the money-collecting picture. Points of contact should not be putting in any up-front money for anyone, so you need to get any required money in for the event very quickly. This way we'll lock in our reservations and get good group rates!

Get Payments in ASAP...
After you send e-mail to the point of contact indicating your interest in the event, the point of contact should contact you with the amount of money needed and list it in the event description on the Bulletin Board.  You will be put on the reservation list for that event (based on a first-come, first-served basis).  Within ONE WEEK you must have required money to the point of contact (or other arrangement) to CONFIRM your reservation. Your name is removed from the list if payment is not received. You may ask the point of contact if you can get back on and then send the money in, but there may not be any room left! NO REFUNDS can be given unless the event is cancelled, since many places charge you anyway even if you don't show up. If you are able to get someone to replace you, you will get a refund.

The money aspect needs to be handled as quickly as possible, so no point of contact goes out on a limb and winds up a few bucks shy out of the goodness of his or her heart.

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The GONewEngland On-Line Hotline...

Alongside certain upcoming events on the Bulletin Board you'll see a "Hotline" listed  Click the button.  The person running the activity can let you know about any late-breaking information about the activity (cancellation, etc).

The person running the event may update the Hotline. If you are a Point of Contact for an event and the event has access to the Hotline, you will be able to update the message. Ken will provide the details about updating this.

...and Automated E-mail for Event Lists and other information

You may request certain pieces of information from the Bulletin Board through electronic mail. Most of the time this is for obtaining directions to an event (we'd rather not post them directly on the web site or send them out to a wide e-mail audience). In that case the instructions on how to obtain the directions will be in the event's description.

You can also use the auto-response to obtain a text version of the list of events and the bulletin board through e-mail. This is great for people who have e-mail access but cannot browse the Internet or would just like a quick copy to print out. To obtain the list, just send a blank e-mail to the following address:
To: Get Event Text
    ...for a text attachment of the Bulletin Board

You will receive a response to your e-mail request when Your Webmaster reads his e-mail on a certain PC, so be patient. It could take a day or two.

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Rules of Conduct

Get Outdoors New England wishes to promote only fun and safe activities between responsible adults (and appropriately supervised young 'uns!). Any behavior deemed inappropriate will not be tolerated. GONewEngland will absolutely not tolerate:

Anyone who does not respect the rights of the others in the group or willfully disobeys the laws of the area in which the activity is taking place will be banned immediately from the activity and from any further activities with GONewEngland. This is a Zero Tolerance Policy which we must adopt to keep all members of the group safe.

Please be considerate of the others in and around the group when it comes to: foul language, alcohol consumption and smoking, off-color jokes and remarks, excessive noise, and so on. If the audience is appropriate, then fine---else please tone it down!  The rule also applies to pets, so please make sure it'll be OK to have Fido along (most of the time it's just fine, but dogs aren't allowed in some campgrounds and areas such as most NH State Parks and all Audubon Society Sanctuaries, so please keep that in mind).

The event's point of contact and the other members of the group may deny anyone the right to attend an event if he or she is unprepared or found to be distruptive to other members of the group.

I sincerely hope we do not run into any problems within the group. These rules are here to protect us all, if there are problems. Generally the people who've joined in on GONewEngland activities are just super, and we'd like to keep it that way! I don't think I could have hand-picked a better bunch of people. Seriously.

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DISCLAIMER

Get Outdoors New England is a loose association of people interested in becoming involved in outdoor activities in our area. But, of course, certain activities can be dangerous, and there is the possibility that you can be injured. No one in GONewEngland can or will be held liable for any injury or any financial or other loss which may occur during a group activity. It's best for you to evaluate your abilities and physical condition before participating in any outdoor activity, be it with your new GONewEngland friends or on your own!

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Send e-mail with your comments, questions, and suggestions!