PebbleCreek Hiking Club (PCHC) Standard Operating Procedures

 

1. Club Purpose: To provide PebbleCreek residents the opportunity to enjoy recreational hiking in an organized, safe and social environment. The regular hiking season runs from the first Sunday after the September PCHC meeting until the first Saturday in May.  Summer hikes after these dates may be planned for those interested in continuing the hiking season.

 

2. Club Structure:

  1. Officers: Annual elections shall take place at the April business meeting for President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer. Officer’s respective terms are for one year and shall be limited to four terms.
  2. Committees (with President Oversight):

Communications Committee shall publish and post the planned and completed activities of the Hiking Club.

       Exploratory Committee shall research and test possible new hikes that might be appropriate for adoption

       in a future year. Maintain a Word document that contains a description of all hikes the club has hiked. Also,

       maintain a Word document that provides driving directions to the club tested hikes.   

              Hike Coordinators shall develop a hike schedule for the upcoming season for the appropriate level of

       hike, distribute the schedule to the membership in Word  format, distribute monthly the hike descriptions

              of the next months hikes in Word format,  provide at the club meeting  additional information on the next

       months hikes, solicit other members to serve as hike leader(s) and  sweep(s) for each hike, and maintain

       club assets assigned to that level of hike. All E-mail communications between the Hike Coordinators and

       club members will be done using the clubs group e-mail address (Pchikers@Yahoogroups.com).

              Hike Preparatory Committee shall prepare hike sign-up sheets, calculate and distribute to membership

              each hikes suggested driver donation, and distribute driver directions to the hike.

              Membership Committee (duty of Sec/Treas) shall keep records of membership, meeting attendance, hike

              participation, internet and phone contacts, dues, record of waiver/liability forms, etc.

              Mileage Statistical Committee shall maintain the master hike mileage spreadsheet of all club sponsored

               hikes since 2004.  At each club meeting announce milestones reached by members, and annually present

               mileage awards based upon current year totals and accumulated miles since mileage total gathering began

               in 2004.

       Nominations committee shall be appointed by the President prior to and announced at the February meeting. It shall consist of at least three active members, of which only one shall be a current officer. The slate of candidate officers shall be announced by the Nominating Committee at the March meeting.

       Orientation Committee shall be responsible to train new members in hike safety and to help them

       determine their individual ability level at which to begin hiking. Additionally this committee shall be

       responsible to help new members assimilate into the respective hiking groups. An Orientation hike should

       be either scheduled in advance of a regular hike, or a sponsor shall be assigned during the first regular hike

       to monitor the progress of new hikers. If necessary, the sponsor is responsible to assist the hikers to return

       to the origination spot, if the new hiker is not in shape to complete the hike.

       Picnic Committee shall plan refreshments and schedule all social events, including the Annual Meeting.

       c.    Business Meetings: Meetings of the members will be held once per month during the months of September

       to April on the third Thursday at 7:00 PM. (Presently held in Tuscany Falls Clubhouse Ballroom) It is

       expected that members plan their schedules and attend regularly and participate actively for the benefit of

       the club.

 

3. Membership Requirements:

a.    Application: Membership is open to all PebbleCreek residents (owners or renters). New members will receive a packet of information, which will contain a “Release from Liability” form, which you must sign, and returned with the annual membership fee prior to their initial hike. Novice hikers should arrange for an Orientation Hike which is designed to help introduce new members to safe hiking.

b.     Guest Policy: A guest is a non-PebbleCreek resident or a PebbleCreek resident who is considering joining

       the club. Guests will be permitted to hike only if they sign a “Release from Liability” form. If a guest is less than 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian must sign the release in advance of the hike. A Non-resident guest of a PCHC member may attend as many hikes as they wish. Resident guest may attend up to two hikes (orientation and/or regularly scheduled hike) prior to joining the club. Guest must bring those items listed in PCHC Mandatory Items list to the hike.

 

c.      Honorary Membership: This membership is open to all PCHC members who have amassed at least 3,000 hiking miles with the club and have served at least three years as a club officer or a hiking coordinator. The privileges afford to this type of membership is a free club membership, a club shirt with the words “Honorary” added to the embroidery, full voting rights, and the ability to serve in any club function.

 

4. Member Information to be Provided:

  1. Copy of Current Standard Operating Procedure
  2. List of recommended hiking equipment
  3. Schedule of hikes planned for the remainder of the year
  4. Hike Ratings: A Rated Hikes: 12 or more miles and/or 3500 ft climb

B Rated Hikes: 7 to 12 miles and/or 1500-3500 ft climb

C Rated Hikes: 4 to 7 miles and/or 500-1500 ft climb

D Rated Hikes: less than 4 miles and/or less than 500 ft climb

Hikes will be rated in advance according to their difficulty and Hike Leaders should respect these guidelines.

e.    Not more than 15 hikers shall be in a group. If there are more, the Hike Leader shall sub-divide the group and appoint a second Hike Leader.

 

5. Trail Etiquette: Yield to up-hill bound hikers and all joggers, bikers, horseback riders regardless of their direction for the safety of all concerned.

 

6. Environmental:

  1. Pack out what you pack in including wrappers, tissues, fruit skins, etc.
  2. Stay on the trails at all times, including switchbacks to preserve the natural environment
  3. Don’t remove anything from the desert or park trail, except trash or items left by other hikers

 

7. Yearly Hike Schedules by Difficulty Level will be available for the September meeting giving hike destinations and trails including brief hike descriptions. Hikes for the upcoming month and planned overnight, long distance hikes will be discussed in detail at business meetings.

 

8. Hike Leaders for a given hike are responsible to lead (up-front) the hike and shall assign a sweep (rear guard) to assure that no hikers are left behind. They are responsible to keep the group together, to take breaks on a regular basis-depending on the level of the hike-to let participants get their breath. This could be every 10-15 minutes for C Hikers and should be every half-hour for B Hikers, depending on the difficulty of the trail. They should also ascertain in advance that hikers have adequate water and are fitted with proper hiking equipment. They should also have a map of the hiking trail and are responsible for the Club’s hiking equipment for that day. They should not change the route in the middle of the hike as participants are prepared for the announced hike. They are responsible to assure that a completed roster of hikers for the day is maintained and reported to the Club.

 

9. Carpooling:

  1. Hikers should, whenever possible, take turns driving to hike destinations and as few as possible cars used. Pre-scheduling on the internet can help maximize this and inform drivers in advance of the cost.
  2. Driver Donation: It is the intent of PCHC that the passengers shall pay the full cost of the gas and any entrance fees using the following formula:

Calculated Contribution: = ((Distance/mpg) x Price per Gallon) +Entry Fee)/ # of Passengers

Vehicle mpg varies depending on traffic and automobile, but should average from 15-20 mpg. For local trips up to 140 miles in heavy traffic, we are estimating 15 mpg. For trips over 140 miles we are estimating 20 mpg. The driver may adjust the per passenger contribution downward based on car mpg or light traffic.

  1. When there is only one passenger, the passenger shall reimburse the driver at 1.5 times the Calculated Contribution amount. The driver assumes the other half of the Contribution.
  2. When there are two passengers, each passenger shall pay the driver the Calculated Contribution amount and the driver will assume the shortfall.
  3. When there are four passengers or more, each passenger shall reimburse the driver at 75% of the Calculated Contribution amount.
  4. Donations should be made upon return to PebbleCreek.

 

10. Advance Payments for Overnight Trips:

a.       A few overnight hiking trips are planned each hiking season. Often financial commitments (room rentals, entrance fees, permits, transportation, etc.) are required to hold reservations and make the necessary plans for travel. No shows have the potential to cause those who go to absorb the cost of late cancellations, which is to be avoided if possible.

b.     This requires that individual “Advance Registration Fees” must be made during a “Sign-up Period” and that there must be a “Cut-off Date” to the Sign-up Period, beyond which the Advance Registration Fees will be surrendered, regardless of the reason for canceling participation. These Advance Registration Fees should be at or near the full cost of the Overnight Hike.

c.    The Hike Leader for an Overnight Trip shall work with the President and Treasurer to set the Advance Registration Fees and shall agree on a Cut-off Date, which shall be communicated to those who have expressed interest to partake.

  1. Hikers, who cancel after the Cut-off Date, may arrange for someone to go in their place and work out the financials with that substitute individual, provided that this does not lead to added costs such as room sharing.

 

11.    Advance Ticket Sales for Catered Events:

    1. Whenever the PCHC contracts with an organization / vendor to cater a picnic or special event for which a per-attendee, up-front vendor payment is required, tickets must be sold in advance.
    2. The ticket cost as proposed by the President, Treasurer and Chairperson shall be presented to the members for approval before any contract is signed.
    3. The activity chairperson along with the President and Treasurer shall agree on a cutoff date for ticket sales that is prior to the payment deadline agreed upon with the vendor.
    4. Cancellations after this cutoff date shall not be reimbursed by the PCHC and the ticket holder is on their own to find another interested party to purchase the tickets.

 

12. Hiking Safety:

a.   Hiking alone is strictly prohibited. If only one hiker shows up for a scheduled hike, the hike is automatically cancelled.

b.     Hikers unable to complete a hike must be accompanied on an early return to the trailhead by an experienced hiker.

c.      Two-way radios (Walkie-Talkies) should be taken on all hikes.

d.      Preferably a GPS and cell phone will be available on all hikes.

e.      All hikers should carry a whistle.

f.      The carrying of a firearm on a hike is discouraged.

g.      The following items are strongly recommended to be either worn or carried on each hike: hiking boots, hiking socks, hat, medical kit (bandages), food (energy food and or salty snack food), WATER, and a whistle.

h.    The following items are some of the recommended optional items to take on the hike: comb/tweezers, compass, hiking stick(s), mirror, and a dry shirt for after the hike.