Newsletter, Spring 2020

Outstanding Leadership Deserves a Standing Ovation

Rainbow Sierran's Paget Valentzas wins the 2020 Michener Leadership Award! 

Congratulations Paget! 

Leadership criteria for the Michener Award includes concern for individual participants; activities skill and knowledge combined with a penchant for sharing them; the ability to forge links between the Club’s activities and its conservation values; the number and variety of outings; the educational content of their outings; and their involvement  in recruiting, training, or mentoring new leaders.

What does outstanding Sierra Club service look like? Well, take a deep breath…and read the list:

  • 14 years as an Outings Leader
  • 6 years on the Governing Committee (GovCom) in the roles of Chair, and Outings Chair
  • 15 outings per year average
  • Hosting hikes inside the city and out.
  • Organizing 20 large-group camping trips; Yosemite,the eastern Sierra, Humboldt Redwoods, thePresidio, Mendocino Coast, Lake Tahoe, and Carson Pass to name a few
  • Incorporating the minimal impact mindset on camping trips
  • Adding interesting historical, cultural, and environmental information, and fun to her hikes
  • Organizing and leading a No Fracking March and a Women’s March        
  • Reaching out and engaging newcomers to make them feel welcomed
  • Leading annual Outing Leadership Training
  • Leading Backpacking Leadership Training
  • Focusing on growing and retaining leaders¬≠¬≠
  • Leading conservation and educational activities; Presidio Earth Day camp out and work-party, andVisitation Valley Greenway work-party
  • Filling in hikes and leading them when there weren’t many on the calendar
  • Bringing camping, hiking, and earth stewardship to the San Francisco public school students through the Youth Stewardship Project with San Francisco Recreation and Parks
  • Remembering, following, and enforcing the Sierra Club’s rules and values

And besides all of that, Paget has brought  inspirational vision, tremendous energy, quick-thinking, decisive action, and sound judgment in alignment with the Sierra Club’s values and policies to these important roles.  We also note her steady sense of fairness and treating each individual participant with respect and kindness.

Thanks to Paget’s leadership, Rainbow Sierrans has grown and thrived during recent years.

Thank you Paget!!!

Conservation Corner

Have been noticing how clear the skies have become this last month???

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Predicted to Fall Nearly 8% - Largest Decrease Ever       (IEA via NPR)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced the global energy demand, and in the US, a warmer-than-average winter has further decreased the demand. 

While the UN reminds us that we need to reduce global emissions by 8% per year for the next decade, this report shows us that we can do this!

If we focus on economic relief packages that keep in mind boosting clean energy, we can continue the trend, suggests the IEA. 

Let this good news move you to improve your own carbon footprint. We’re all in this together.

Gear Gyrl with Sylvie Hessini

Considerations When Choosing a Tent

The good news is there are many options when choosing a tent.  More challenging however, may be deciding on the best tent for your many escapades in nature.  Will your tent be used primarily for car camping or backpacking?  Many tents can fit both activities.

Most tents are freestanding, with lightweight poles, stakes and a rainfly. A tent footprint will protect the tent floor from the ground. Tent weight is a consideration if you will be backpacking as you’ll want to go as light as possible.  A larger tent may be more comfortable for car camping, however ease of setup should be considered.  The larger the tent, the bigger the effort required for setup and tear down.  

Tent capacity:  How many people will consistently share the tent? Any extra capacity needed for friends, dogs or gear?

Seasonality: Most popular are the 3-season tents. These are lightweight shelters for spring, summer and fall. Four-season tents are heavier and more robust to withstand snow and sustained foul weather. They have fewer mesh panels and are thus less ventilated.

Peak height, floor length and width, doors:  Do you prefer being able to stand up when changing clothes and moving about the tent?  Are 2 or more people sharing the tent?  More than one door is helpful. Consider the tent floor space and height when ascertaining the space you will use.

Tent organization and storage: The tent interior has pockets, loops (to hang a light) and maybe a gear loft. The vestibule is outside each door and part of the rainfly.  You can store your pack and shoes out of the elements here. 

Research your options to make an informed decision.    

Happy Hiking!

From the Chairs

Hello Dear Rainbow Sierrans,

These are incredible times.  
We hope that each and every one of you are doing ok during this Covid-19 crisis.  I personally miss the camaraderie of adventuring and laughing with you all.
The RS governing committee want you to know that we are still here and working on your behalf.
We just met a couple of weeks ago and discussed how we want to move things forward.  Making plans into an unsure future is daunting but it seems important to do anyway.

The moment our world opens up again Rainbow Sierrans will be outside! Right now National Sierra Club has set June 14th as the possible date of when outings may start up again.  Of course this date may change as we move forward and we will be updating you all as we gain new information.

Here are a few of the things that are tentatively in the works:

July 4th is camping at Lassen
Labor Day is camping at Bear River Reservoir
We will plan to have a Fall Picnic

You can expect to see our weekly e-blast in your inbox again, full of interesting information curated by Paget.

One success during this time has been Heather Lamb’s virtual social gatherings listed on Meetup.  Yeah Heather!
We are working on more virtual offerings and if anyone has ideas please let us know!   

If your membership has lapsed we encourage you to renew.
If you are able to make a donation in order to support the Rainbow Sierran organization during these uncertain times we welcome any support.
The majority of our operating budget comes from the camping trip fees and we have cancelled the Memorial Weekend camping trip.

On a separate note, we are sad to say that the Memorial Weekend camping trip has been cancelled for obvious reasons.

We wish everyone the best and hope everyone is practicing self care,

Beth and Anita

Your Rainbow Sierrans Governing Chairs

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