By Peter Dolan, New Jersey Program Coordinator
How did you first find out about the Trail Conference? If you’re a member reading this article, your introduction to the organization may have been through one of our volunteer groups that receives little formal recognition, but is vital to our mission.
These unsung heroes are the “tablers”–those intrepid ambassadors of the Trail Conference who throw themselves into the unknown to talk up the masses about the joys of hiking. Armed with nothing but pamphlets, stacks of Trail Walker, and the odd fold-up display, it’s their job to attend events and represent all that we do in New York and New Jersey. They regularly brave crowds of pushy New Yorkers, precariously wobbly banner stands, and–worst of all–the peril of high winds meeting lightweight pavilions. Yet without fail our tablers are engaging and charismatic, all the better to lure in the unsuspecting public and direct them to quality hiking locations.
Because we rely on volunteers for almost everything that we do, tablers fill a vital role. They’re the ones who get the word out about our mission and sign up new members. They sell books and maps, direct people to volunteer opportunities, and answer questions. When partner organizations invite the Trail Conference to be present at an event, it’s typically the tablers who take up the call to arms.
As we continue to grow, the opportunities to be involved in events grows. If you love what we do and want a way to give back that doesn’t involve swinging trail tools, this could be just the role for you. Anyone with a love of the outdoors and a passion for people has what it takes to join the ranks of the tablers–simply get in touch and let us know!
If being a tabler sounds like your lifelong calling (or even just a good way to spend a few hours every now and then), get in touch with Volunteer Coordinator John Leigh at firstname.lastname@example.org.