486 (12/2/09)

     I’ve said many times over the past number of years that we’ve hit a stride.  Our numbers have stayed consistent, and we seem to have defined in many ways who we are as an organization. 

     But this was an exceptionally exciting year.  Our outings and regular activities haven’t changed much on the surface, but have continually evolved to be more effective, more exciting, and better in other important ways.  It’s a learning curve, and, like most things, the more we do what we do, the more we learn about what works, and what doesn’t.

     Last winter was also an exciting time, as our new board worked through the completion of a strategic plan.  Those who have been involved with that process, whether in business, or with an organization, know it can be daunting, but healthy and energizing for a group.  It helped us identify strengths, spread the workload, and, most importantly, map out a future course for the Trail Guards.

     Our total number of kids this year was 64, our highest ever.  This is the total number of kids who dragged themselves down to Trail Guards for at least one day. 

     Indeed, 12 of them did not return for one reason or another.  Some were long-time Trail Guards who have gotten busy in other areas of their lives, and others were kids who just didn’t find a way back, or didn’t connect with us that time around.

     Forty-five kids were with us for at least three Saturdays, and 32 made it for six work days or more.  This is our core group,  most of whom have been with us for many years, and who largely represent the heart and soul of our operation.

     Thirty-seven kids were involved with our various “Outdoor Adventure Rewards” outings, all earning their way on trips by working at the park. 

     It’s a system that works, and is beautifully displayed anywhere you walk in our twelve-acre nature park.  These kids are proud of the park, and offer it as their gift to the community.  In return, they are rewarded with outdoor outings that are wholesome, challenging, life-affirming, and always fun and exciting.

     Thanks to our many generous donors as our annual fund drive gets underway.  And special thanks to Mike Johnson, and Ron and Judy Stransky for purchasing a media projector for our many presentations.