I’ve heard of Letterboxing in the past but never was motivated to give it a try. So what has changed? My main sport of Volksmarching seems to be struggling. We are losing members (old age making it impossible to walk) and new younger walkers aren’t joining us on the trails to collect an event stamp in a record book.
So I decided to attempt to interest letterboxers in the sport of Volksmarching because they combine so well together. Doing a search I’ve found that there are many letterboxes hidden along our Volksmarching trails. So why not do both?
I decided on a trailname – Walksfar – and designed a stamp which I must admit I’m going to pay to have made up because I’m not crafty. I should get the stamp in the mail in 7-10 days.
I’m going to start searching for the letterboxes along my Volkmarching trails and do a blog about it here.
I may even place some letterboxes along a trail if there is not one there already. So we shall see. If your interested in learning more about Volksmarching read on.
Volksmarches are leisurely walks. They are through scenic, historic, and interesting areas over a predetermined route that has been checked for safety and walkability. Our walks are sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association (AVA) and the International Volkssport Association. The purpose for doing sanctioned events and not just walking at a local park is to collect stamps in our record books. Stamp collecting as you probably know does becomes a passion. We have record books for Events, Distance and Special Programs. (Examples: College Campus, Rivers, Courthouses).
The AVA has sanctioned Volksmarches in all 50 states so wherever you go, you can take a walking tour and see things off the beaten path so to speak. There are two kinds of Volksmarchers: Traditional Events and Year Round Events.
Traditional Events are one day events that have people working the start/finish table and there are checkpoint people along the route with water plus candy and or fruit.
Year Round Events (YRE) are just that. Year Round. The registration box is kept at a place of business like a hotel, or a police station, firehouse, etc. The Volksmarcher goes in and requests the “walk box”. They register and take a set of directions and/or map and complete the walk on their own. When they get back from their walk they stamp their own books to show they’ve completed the walks.
Volksmarchers whether traditional or YRE will have two distance choices. Usually 5K and 10K (3 mi or 6 mi).
Everyone doing a Volksmarch is required to register at the start. Registration costs $3.00. You will carry your start card with you. At a traditional event you turn in the start card at the finish table and get your books stamps. At a YRE, you put your start card in an envelope with your check and mail it to the Point of Contact for that event.
So if you where doing the YRE in Belton, TX for example; you would register at the Shell/CEFCO Station and drive the couple of blocks to the start of the walk which is Confederate Park. If you looked on http://www.atlasquest.com/boxes/directory/us/texas.html you would see that there are two letterboxes listed at Confederate Park. Now here comes the challenge. The Volksmarch doesn’t head out from Confederate Park the same way the letterbox directions do. But if you look closely you would see that the Volksmarch comes back to the park that way.
Now you could either walk the Volksmarch as written and hope to find the letterboxes as you neared the finish, or you could attempt to walk the Volksmarch backwards (a real challenge) and collect your letterboxes first.
These two letterboxes will be my first attempt at letterboxing as soon as I get my stamp. Wish me luck.
If you’d like to learn more about Volksmarching the website is http://www.ava.org.