The Few, the Proud, the Tablers

By Peter Dolan, New Jersey Program Coordinator

Veteran tablers Cliff Berchtold and _________ in their natural habitat.

Veteran tabler Cliff Berchtold in his natural habitat.

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

About Trail Walker

Since 1920, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has partnered with parks to create, protect, and promote a network of more than 2,100 miles of public trails in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan region. The Trail Conference organizes volunteer service projects that keep these trails open, safe, and enjoyable for the public. We publish maps and books that guide public use of these trails. The Trail Conference is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization with a membership of 10,000 individuals and 100 clubs with a combined membership of 100,000 active, outdoor-loving people.
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1 Response to The Few, the Proud, the Tablers

  1. Pingback: Reaching Out in Westchester: Sharing the Trail Conference Mission : One Percent for the Planet

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