The Wanganui Tramping Club was founded in 1952 and, unsurprisingly, few of the original members are still active. Though the membership is generally middle-aged or older, it is encouraging to see a crop of youngsters coming out on trips.
Eight children took part in a recent day trip to the club's Mangaturuturu Hut in Tongariro National Park, and there were six on another on a day walk to Egmont National Park. On the latter trip someone did the maths and noted that there was a gap of 69 years between the oldest and youngest walkers.
The club encourages parents and grandparents to bring along their children and firmly believes getting them out into the bush or mountains at a young age provides a good platform to foster future interest.
It is important, however, that they have good experiences. Bad ones will quickly diminish their keenness, The 6-year-old boy on the recent Egmont National Park trip said later he was looking forward to getting out again, despite a fall which led to a sore leg and some tears.
Some clubs have regular "take a kid tramping" outings while the Wanganui club often tries to cater for children on day trips during the school holidays.
A feature of the club's March programme is week-long trips to Tākaka in Golden Bay and to Whakatane. Both these will focus mainly on day trips. A bit more challenging will be three days in the Kaweka Range.
Among the day trips is one to a plane crash site in the western Tararuas behind Ōtaki. In 1946 a Ventura air force plane with four crew disappeared and wasn't found for three years. The club last went to the site in 1993 and will return in a combined trip with Hutt Valley Tramping Club.
The full programme for March is:
Wed-Thurs 3-11 Golden Bay, leader Brian
Sat 6, Ruapehu romp, leader Cherry
Sat or Sun 13 or 14, Palmy walkabout, leader John
Sat-Mon 13-15, Kawekas, leader Tracey
Sun 21, Venturing to the Venturer, leader John
Mon-Mon 22-29, Whakatane walks, leader Jacky
Sat 27, Climbing Curtis Falls, leader Garry
Make all inquiries about trips to Barbara, phone 348 9149, or Dorothy, phone 345 7039.
The midweekers have a full programme of interesting trips every Wednesday. Those who get out on Thursday are in two groups, with a longer walk on March 4 and 18 and shorter ones for the TT2 group on March 11 and 25. The Wednesday contact is Victoria, phone 027 6888 190, and the Thursday contact is Anne, phone 345 4776. Call both by 6pm the night before for day trips.
To join weekend trips call the leader by the previous Tuesday at the latest. Call by the night before for day trips. As some trips have limited numbers, leaders have the final say about who to take as they are responsible for the safety and well-being of everyone on their trips. For further information contact Barbara at 348 9149 or visit our website www.wanganuitrampingclub.org.nz
The next club meeting, on Wednesday, March 3 at the Deerstalkers' Hall, Peat St, at 7.30pm, will feature a talk by club members Chris Rothman and Anne Condon on their experiences of summer trips arranged by the Otago Rotary Club and Milton Tramping Club. All are welcome.