Recognizing the lack of any organized hiking groups in the area, French quickly realized one was needed. The creation of this club acts as an open invitation to anyone interested in, curious about, or already in love with hiking to come together as a community.
"I feel like hiking is something that everyone can enjoy. It's a great way to get in shape and stay in shape. Most importantly, when you hike with others you get to know them very well—you make friends you never would have made," stated French when asked what the appeal of hiking is.
The club plans to collect a small dues’ fee from members and donations if they feel willing to donate. The funds will go into purchasing hiking equipment for everyone in the club to use. Canteens, survival kits, safety equipment, maps, and spare equipment and boots will be purchased so that everyone can hike without taking on all of the expenses themselves. This innovative way to running a club spreads costs out evenly and French hopes this method of running the club will keep participants engaged as they will have a sense of ownership.
The Hiking Club will initially hike around local terrain. There are plans to move into the numerous state parks in the area and if the club succeeds, to take a trip to a well-known hiking trail. French hopes to bring the club to certain sections of the Appalachian Trail once the club proves itself capable.
The club also welcomes any newcomers to hiking. French himself has years of experience in hiking. He and the other initial members will spend as much time as they need to teach the basics of hiking. There is a decent amount of information people need to know about hiking. French is also certified in CPR and basic life-saving skills and there are plans for more members to become certified. When asked about safety, French said, "I want everyone who joins this club to not have to worry about safety. We're all in this together as a club so we want everyone to have the safest, most enjoyable time out in the wilderness."
Douglas Duroste French
works in construction for a green building company in Portland, OR. He enjoys staying active with soccer, camping, and music as well as hiking. For information or questions regarding the club, please contact French at (888) 675-1245.
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