Life is a balance of conformity and originality. We all repeat history in order to write a new story. Our lives are a predictable ensemble of routines, peppered with events and activities that make each of us special and unique. When we roll unique aspects of ourselves into community, we spice up the lives of those around us, as well.
Entrenched in the holiday season, it’s a time for giving, for donating everyday items to homeless shelters and community centers, so neighbors can have those normal routines in their lives – a hot meal, a shower. When Stroller Hikes was conceived a little more than seven years ago, it was with the goal of providing my son with enriching exercise and nature experiences just like I had, when I was growing up, in Oregon. I was expanding his perspective and experiences, while inviting others to do the same, by documenting our ventures and opening our outings up to the public. Volunteers emerged quickly to help sustain Stroller Hikes’ website and events, and the rest has been history, with a vast record of thousands of hikes, far surpassing what we have described in detail at StrollerHikes.com. Our story is far from complete! Hiking is a classic activity, yet Stroller Hikes has received accolades at a local and national level for bringing something new to youth and parents.
Stroller Hikes has grown far past strollers and even hiking. Several years ago, we launched Toddler Treks, then later Backpacking Bambinos (preparation for toddler backpack camping). We’ve offered water play, camping, and rock climbing events off and on as well. Bike-A-Hikes have been popular, particularly along wide, flat trails. Max and I have been slowly working towards offering mountain bike rides, as a next logical step (see him in the photo above working on skills, so he can lead them – he would take the lead and I would pick up the rear). We’ve had an absolutely amazing board and staff with us for the long haul, and their commitment has allowed us to extend our reach to high school students (who practice computer programming and journalism skills with us), broaden our geographic impact, and become a self-sustaining, federally recognized nonprofit whose name is known far and wide. Our technology volunteers have allowed StrollerHikes.com to become maintainable by non-programmers, and our event leaders have kept weekly events alive and well, for all ages and abilities. Stroller Hikes practices giving far beyond what many do during the holiday season – Stroller Hikes is all about providing free, community-friendly opportunities to help empower our participants to develop healthy routines with exercise and outdoor play, on a weekly basis.
As we look towards the future, Stroller Hikes is recruiting a management team of up to three people who can ultimately take over some or all of my duties as President of Stroller Hikes. If you are interested in helping to manage Stroller Hikes, a nonprofit with a virtual and real presence, working with a wide range of volunteers on a part-time basis, please contact me. The Stroller Hikes staff and board are interested in maintaining what Stroller Hikes is and does, and keeping Stroller Hikes community-minded and free. The management team will shadow staff and officers for many months while learning about legal and business aspects of a nonprofit corporation, and learn about Stroller Hikes’ wonderful staff and technology tools. No experience is required, but long-term interest in Stroller Hikes as a community resource is required. If you are interested, please contact Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hopefully you can follow the path Stroller Hikes has already established, and add your own unique touch to Stroller Hikes as well, while experiencing the positive impact of volunteering to support a community resource.
We look forward to a new chapter of Stroller Hikes!
-Debbie (Founder and President), Max (7), Holly (3), and Andrew