Outdoor Club of South Jersey Newsletter
June 2019
OCSJ Spotlight
OCSJ Spotlight on: Carol Thompson

By Vera C. Stek
It’s one thing to love the outdoors and participate in club activities, but those who take it to the next level and volunteer to lead outings deserve special recognition.
Carol Thompson, a professor at Rowan University is one of those people. Though she grew up in the Midwest, she had come to love the Pine Barrens and has thrown herself whole-heartedly into hiking with OCSJ as well as leading hikes and helping with the Tuesday trail maintenance crew.
She’s traveled throughout a lot of the U.S. to hike, not to mention to many far-flung places outside of the U.S., but South Jersey’s unique Pine Barrens is a particular favorite.

Here’s her story:

Q. Tell us about yourself.
Carol: I currently live in South Jersey, have lived in several other states, most recently Pennsylvania, and am part of the leading edge of the Boomer generation. I am the mother of one, grandmother of two; two of the three love hiking. I’m on the faculty at Rowan University.  

Q. When and why did you join the Outdoor Club? What benefit do you gain by being a member?
Carol: I joined the Outdoor Club when I lived in Pennsylvania 15 years ago because some of my hiking buddies there also led hikes for the club. I was a member off and on, and then became a “steady” member 13 years ago.  
Despite having read — or because of having read John McPhee’s book, the Pine Barrens was to me an exotic land which I have come to love. I’ve learned a great deal about the Pines from other leaders, who have tutored me on wildflowers, the ways of our rivers, and where the sand and stone came from. 
The leaders in this club are generous in sharing their knowledge and excitement about both the human and natural history.   

Q. How did you get interested in outdoor activities? 
Carol: I grew up in a flat part of the Midwest, where I was introduced to the outdoors by a day camp in the woods. Family vacations to the mountains had night sounds and overlooks from which I first saw how land looked from above. I wanted more! 
I love kayaking, but hiking is the constant, and I do it year-round.

Q. What are some of your favorite places in the Pinelands? What made you decide to lead hikes? 
Carol: I first began leading hikes 40 years ago when I lived in North Carolina, and I’ve continued to do it off and on wherever I lived as my family life and schedule have allowed. 
Favorite places: along the Batsto, Black Run, Ted Stiles.

Q. Where else have you hiked? Any place on your bucket list?
Carol: Places I’ve hiked include the Sierra, Olympic Mountains, Glacier, some parks in Utah and Nevada, several chunks of the Appalachian Trail, bits of the Alps, Dolomites, and Ireland, Wales and Nepal.  
I don’t know where I want to go next, as I can learn a lot in many places. 
My scariest hike was inside a thunderstorm inside (not over) the Grand Canyon perched on a ledge under a waterfall. 

Q. What piece of equipment or apparel couldn’t you do without?  
Carol: Gear I love: my Black Diamond poles, which have saved me from disaster many times and fold up into 12-inch lengths for easy stowage. 

Q. Any tips for new hikers/kayakers?  
Carol: Watch what other experienced hikers do, ask as many questions as people are willing to answer, and then try things out for yourself. We are all different.  
Having said that, picking lightweight gear is usually a good thing. I carry a few extra plastic bags for muddy shoes (especially if carpooling), leftover food items, and so on.   

Q. What other hobbies or activities are you interested in?   
Carol: Before I was at Rowan I was a photographer and exhibited in New York and Philadelphia. I’m working to find a way to return to it.   

Q. What’s something about yourself that might surprise others to know?  
Carol: My photographic work might surprise people, as I rarely carry a camera these days.

Q. Anything else you want to say about anything?  
Carol: Yes, my appreciation for the club’s stewardship of the places in which we hike, bike and kayak. Part of that stewardship is making sure that we follow Leave-No-Trace principles ( https://lnt.org/ ) on hikes (carry-in/carry-out everything unless there are trash receptacles)  
Our club also does an amazing amount of trail work: shout-out to the Tuesday group!  


In Memorium
Our much beloved OCSJ hike leader, Robert Hodges, died suddenly on June 1. He was cremated with remains returned to his hometown in Nitro WV.
He was an active member of the Outdoor Club of South Jersey for many years and l eader of the Friday night hikes for over 18 years.  A memorial bench is being planned in his honor.
OCSJ Club News
OCSJ Website

The OCSJ board is working on a new website. We are still at the same address WWW.OCSJ.ORG . We have rebuilt the front page, added a better transition to our membership function and reworked many of our Activities pages.

This month we changed our payments provider from Paypal to Affiniypay. We realize that their are still a few glitches. At the moment, we are working on a smoother transition to Meetup and the addition of a link to the Newsletter.

As part of this effort, we plan to use Survey Monkey to solicit ideas from our members. Please take a moment and give us your comments.

OCSJ Events

Cape May Weekend - June 14 thru 16
We had another great weekend at the Chalfonte Hotel in Cape May, NJ. Thanks to every one who participated. This year, we were blessed with beautiful weather and great friends. Here are a few pictures of our musical group. For the past few years, Ken and Millie have been providing evening music. This year, they were joined by Deidre and Bill

Ken and Millie
Vermont Walking Trip August 11 thru 16
From 8/11 thru 8/16, we will walk approximately 4-6 miles each morning along lightly traveled dirt roads in Vermont. Expect mountain scenery, picturesque villages, and rural landscapes. The afternoons are free to visit sights in the area or relax. We stay at the Colonial House Inn in Weston, Vermont. For more information, please contact Ken Mayberg at Kjmayberg@aol.com or 609 751-1387 (Evenings or weekends).
For more information on this trip, please use the following link:
www.meetup.com/Outdoor-Club-of-South-Jersey-Hiking/events/259345207/ or

2019 Photo Contest

The 2019 OCSJ photo contest has begun. Hang on to your best pictures from any OCSJ outing taken between September 1, 2018 until September 30, 2019. Your photo could be selected to appear on the pages of our 2020 OCSJ calendar. The best overall picture selected by our panel of judges will appear on the cover. You must be a paid member of our club to enter and it must be an OCSJ event. Submission of all photos will be from September 1, to September 30, 2019.

Mike Engel volunteered to Chair the 2019 Photo Contest. If you are interested in photography and would like to help Mike, please contact him at ikemengel@hotmail.com

This is just a reminder that members should use the Meetup comments ONLY for getting more information about a particular event, such as distance, pace, meeting place, etc.

The new printed Trekker is available at OCSJ board meetings and from Board Members and Leaders.  
OCSJ Participation Policy
1. OCSJ is a member organization. Membership funds pay for insurance and other Club overhead. However, prospective members and guests of OCSJ members may try one regular activity from each of our activity sections without joining. Thereafter they must join to be eligible for the hundreds of activities and events available every year.
2. Participants on trips which charge money must be members of OCSJ, except where the trip is a joint trip with another club and the participant is a member of that club. Members of OCSJ may bring guests on a day trip charging money. Participants on overnight trips charging money must always be an OCSJ member.

Any comments please Contact Barbara Brandt ( president@ocsj.org )
Membership information is now available with the following links:
  • WWW.OCSJ.ORG click on the Join OCSJ button and enter your email address and password. 
  • Wild Apricot app - on you phone

OCSJ's mailing address is: 
 OCSJ, PO Box 46, Atco, NJ 08004 

Our annual membership rates are:
 Individual - $20 or Family - $25 
Membership Questions: contact Regina Coeby at membership@ocsj.org    
To receive up to date club information, we encourage everyone to go to our website and to join our Meetup groups.
Miles to Go Before We Rest

It takes an enormous amount of dedication and determination to commit to the OCSJ Mileage Clubs, but if you are a person who welcomes a challenge, enjoys group activities, and/or simply likes the outdoors, you should really consider joining one of our mileage clubs. If you are an OCSJ member, just contact any of the contacts below and join Us.
  • 500 Mile Club - Valerie Danzey (vdanzey1@verizon.net )
  • Grand Mile Club - Jon Peterson (jonpeterson66@gmail.com
  • Paddler's Mile Club - Erika Blank (powerofpink58@verizon.net)
  • Bicycle Mile Club - Neil Kornhauser (nkornhauser@gmail.com)

Like us on Facebook  
Outdoor Club of South Jersey
We are approaching 2000 Likes!
The next club meeting is on July 11th, 7:30 pm at the Cherry Hill Library.   All members and prospective members are welcome.  

The club is actively looking for members to become more involved with the operation of the club. 
The club needs people to serve on the board and aid in the processes that keep the club in operation. If you have interest, join us at a board meeting. See how the board and the club operates and see if you are suited for some position or if you would just like to help out from time to time.
OCSJ President  president@ocsj.org  
For June 2019

This year the club trail maintenance crew had their biggest season ever! We were honored at the NJ State Division of Parks and Forestry Volunteer Appreciation Day at Batsto. We had over 800 hours of trail work. The crew completed installing over 100 North/South directional signs on the Batona, trimmed and reblazed many, many miles of brush, repaired bog bridges in Bass River SF and Brendan T Bryne SF and filled in the holes in the berm by Evans Bridge with 60 sandbags and a truckload of dirt.

Our end of the season picnic was May 21st but trail work never ends and we already have a list of projects that we will start in September. Everyone have a great summer! 

 T hank you to all!! Our trail crew is the BEST!! 

 To volunteer, please contact Ro Mason at romason@comcast.net

Tuesday July 2: Moorestown Walks by David Bicking
Moorestown Walks are approx 3 miles at a Moderate pace. Different routes through Moorestown's historic streets. This isn't an endurance hike or a nature walk. This is a walk on suburban streets and sidewalks to stretch the legs after work on a mid-week night with good company and conversation. Meet At library entrance.
Leader: David Bicking, (8 5 6) 249 - 0886, dbickin @ yahoo.com

Saturday July 13: Carranza Memorial hike
Carranza Pre-Memorial Ceremony Hike. 5 miles, moderate pace. Meandering walk by the Batona campground and High Crossing. We will be back in time to optionally join the Ceremony honoring Emilio Carranza who crashed in the pines returning from a good will flight between Mexico City and New York City in 1928. Meet at Carranza memorial parking lot. Hike will start promptly so we do not interfere with the ceremony.
Leader: David Bicking, (8 5 6) 249 - 0886, dbickin @ yahoo.com

Saturday, July 14, 2019: Henry Hudson Trail South Section
This hike is 12 miles long.The trail is paved and is relatively flat.The Henry Hudson is a former railroad right-of-way.Much of the trail is tree-lined and some parts have views of the surrounding wetlands, streams and fields.At Big Brook Park,the beginning of the hike,there are port-a-potties and parking.On the trail no restrooms for the rest of the way.Bring water, snacks,and lunch.this will be a moderate 3mph pace.
Leader Al DiCianni E-mail asilviod888@yahoo.com questions.732 569-6858

If you would like to volunteer to lead a new hike, please contact David at DBICKIN@YAHOO.COM    
Friday, June 28, 2019: Camping event with Hiking, Biking, Swimming and Kayaking on Bass River
Join us for camping on group site F at Bass river on Friday June 28, Saturday 29.Come one night or both. 25 people maximum allowed by park. Great location for beginners. Hiking, biking and kayaking can be done on your own from group site. Lake Absegami will be open for swimming. Shared meals can be worked out at site, there's a Acme not far from park. Foul weather will cancel this event. Please call for any concerns.
Leader: John Kerney - 6097067264. Unfortunately no pets. Fee of $5 to help pay for campsite.

Monday July 29, 2019: Slow & Steady Backpack in PA - 2 nights, 1 swimming hole, 20 miles
Beginner and experienced backpackers are invited to join us for a week day summer backpack trip on the Appalachian Trail. The campsites are popular, and we may miss some of the crowds by going during the week.
All participants should send their email address to the leader
Leader: Ann at annwolf103@gmail.com.

Hike the Appalachian Trail in Northern Massachusetts/Southern VT: Come hike the Appalachian Trail as we cross from Mass into Vermont. Very Strenuous hike, total of 19.3 miles - not for beginners (there will be a beginner's hike in October)... 
Leader: Kevin at KDREVIK@AOL.CO M
If you would like to organize a trip or for backpacking information, contact Kevin at KDREVIK@AOL.CO M
Hi Paddlers.
  Warmer weather brings out more paddlers. It doesn’t eliminate safety concerns. Guidelines for Paddlers are listed on the ocsj.org website under policies and forms. While it may say guidelines, some items are strictly enforced.
  • Everyone must sign the sign-in sheets.
  • PFD’s must be worn when on the water. 
  • Footwear must be closed toe-no flip-flops.
Rules for minors on the OCSJ website.

Leaders have final say on participation  based on safety  concerns. Examples would be  bringing small children or  pets. Some will ask about limits on trip size. This might be set by safety concerns or limited parking. If you have a question, please contact the leader first.
Enjoy the season but stay safe.

Happy Paddling

Frank Pearce, Kayaking Chairman

If you would like to organize a trip, contact Frank at

Check out the smiles of our happy cyclists on one of our evening rides!
M essage from the cycling chair:
As the weather gets warmer and rides get longer in length you need to prepare yourself with proper hydration. Hot weather riding can cause dehydration, which will lead to heat exhaustion or worse even heat stroke unless you are well prepared. Here are some tips for hot weather cycling:

1. Drink up to one water bottle BEFORE your ride.
2. Do not drink only when you feel thirsty, this is a rookie mistake. 
3. Finish one water bottle approximately every 10 miles. 
4. Water is not enough; also sip on sports drinks to replace lost electrolytes.
5. Add electrolyte tablets or powders to one water bottle.
6. If you feel overheated, pour water on your neck and down your back, the cooling effect as you ride. This will bring down your body temperature.
7. Hydrate AFTER your ride.

When I go out on a 40+ mile ride in the warmer months, I will always wear my “CamelBack” which is a backpack with built in hydration. Depending on the length of the ride and the temperature I will fill it up from 48 to 100 ounces of water. In addition I also carry 2 water bottles on my bike, one of which contains electrolytes.

If you do not like wearing a backpack then carry another water bottle in your jersey pocket. A good tip is to fill it halfway or more, freeze it and then top it off before the ride. 

Many of our rides have rest stops so we can fill up our bottles along the route, but sometimes we ride 25 miles without a break.  If you only carry 2 water bottles this may not be enough! The tendency is to then sip the water slower to make it “last”. This is certainly a recipe for dehydration. Do not think heat exhaustion cannot happen to you, it is not fun. Use common sense and please be safe out there.

*We are a volunteer club and we want to always have the calendar filled with a variety of rides

**If there is a ride of a certain speed and distance that you do not see, then volunteer to put one in!!

***We have routes already listed on our Ride With GPS Club Account page. It couldn’t be any simpler! More leaders = more rides!  If you are interested in leading email Neil Kornhauser nkornhauser@gmail.com to get started!

Thank you and see you on the road and trails!

Neil Kornhauser (cycling chairman)

Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Trips

 The Winter Schedule
The Cross Country ski and Snowshoe trips will be listed on the OCSJ Website and Meetup. For more information, please contact our Cross Country Ski-chair Eileen Greve ( egreve212@gmail.com ) 609-204-6451.
Check the site for more information: www.meetup.com/Outdoor-Club-of-South-Jersey/   
Please note:
To confirm your place on the trip, you must contact the leader by phone or email. All payments are non-refundable without finding a replacement. 

Ro Mason is our Trail Representative. Every Tuesday, she will be organizing work days for the BATONA Trail. To volunteer, please contact Ro at romason@comcast.net

Vermont Walking Trip August 11 thru 16
From 8/11 thru 8/16, we will walk approximately 4-6 miles each morning along lightly traveled dirt roads in Vermont. Expect mountain scenery, picturesque villages, and rural landscapes. The afternoons are free to visit sights in the area or relax. We stay at the Colonial House Inn in Weston, Vermont. For more information, please contact Ken Mayberg at Kjmayberg@aol.com or 609 751-1387 (Evenings or weekends).

Volunteer Opportunities
The club is actively looking for members to become more involved with the operation. We have a new Volunteer Coordinator, Barbara Berman. If you would like to volunteer or desire more information, please contact Barbara at bberman96@gmail.com
The club needs people to serve on the board and aid in the processes that keep the club in operation. If you wonder how the club is organized and how it runs, or what leaders do, come on out to a monthly board meeting. (Second Thursday of every month at the Cherry Hill library at 7:30pm). It's your club and we welcome you to get involved.

Board of Trustrees - Interested in joining the OCSJ Board. Come out to a couple of meetings or contact the OCSJ President at president@ocsj.org
Publicity - We would like to have the OCSJ name appear in more places both in print and online. Contact Fran at franhorn@aol.com  if you have ideas and would like to help.
Party/Picnic Planning Committee -  If you would like to help with the 2019 Picnics, contact the OCSJ President at president@ocsj.org  
Website/Computer - We could use some help from people with computer or website experience.  Contact the OCSJ President at president@ocsj.org
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