By Terry Owen, Outing Chair
After a sixteen month hiatus, the Rio Grande Chapter will once again be offering hikes, walks and tours beginning July 5th. The Sierra Club National Outings office has given us the green-light to restart one of our most popular programs.
Many of you have been hiking on your own or with small groups of friends to help you get through the pandemic, but now you’ll be able to join us for fun and inspiring outings once again. Hiking has been at the heart of Sierra Club’s programs since the club’s founding in 1892 and has attracted tens of thousands of members over the ensuing years. In fact, the Rio Grande Chapter conducted nearly 70 outings which attracted over 400 participants in 2019. These outings introduced many of you to nature and to Sierra Club’s mission for the first time.
To ensure your safety, outings leaders around the U.S. have been field testing protocols and those recommendations are being collected and refined while also incorporating CDC guidance. Here are some of the protocols we’ll be following:
- Day trips and local outings can begin on July 5th! This includes ICO and Military Outdoors outings.
- Multi-day and outings with significant indoor components such as lodge or hut trips can resume at a reduced rate beginning July 5th and will slowly reopen.
- Masks will be recommended during day trips and local outings, but not required.
- There is currently no proof of vaccination or Covid test requirement for participants when the activities are conducted outside and social distance can be maintained.
- For a contactless experience we’ll strongly encourage sign-up and participant waiver completion online in advance of every outing. A link will be provided for the sign-up location in the outings listings.