Welcome to OOFD 2021. Our 5th year just ended on Oct. 31, and we wrapped up our yearly board retreat which usually happens at a cabin at a Cook County Forest Preserve. This year we rocked the retreat online with some safe bonfiring and bike riding mixed in. If you didn’t know, the OOFD board is really something special, and if you haven’t connected with one of us, please do here.
Part of the amazingness of this 2020 board is that we came up with a 5 year plan. We are very enthused with what we have pulled off thus far including bringing over 300 folks bike camping in 2019.
Most of all, we are grateful for every single volunteer that contributed the 1000s of hours spent building OOFD inot the inspiring org that it is today. 100% volunteer run for the first five years. Freaking impressive if we do say so ourselves.
The Real Deal - The Volunteers
This organization will always be mainly volunteer run. That is a major aspect of our vision and values. Though as we grow, to meet one of our core values of sustainability, we have set the goals to grow our ridership and have a full-time, paid executive director by 2025, with some part-time contract work helping to scale up over the next 4 years. Going big!
We couldn’t even begin to imagine this growth without our volunteer guides who range from brand-new fresh to having a handful of years under their belts as guides. These folks are OOFD. They exude a pure love of adventure and a genuine desire to get folks outside on bikes. And we want to publicly express our gratitude and highlight their stunningness - especially these three that stepped up huge this year.
Breanna Bertacchi - A flourish of welcoming spirit and a super reliable force of volunteerism in one of the biggest roles that exists in OOFD - the Adult Overnight Director. This is the first time OOFD has had a non-founder in this role. They rocked all of the on the fly adjustments in this abnormal year. Also, they've been a pro-guide for 2 years now.
Miles Talty - A real, genuine, all around star guide and stand-up fella. 4 years of guiding (the real OG) and quite the route developer, monthly hang promoter, Ride with GPS wiz, and spirit of keeping it real. Making the MKE and Decemberg rides happen and helping to take them to the next level. Always focused on the core of what we do, getting people outside.
Anson Moran - A gem of a human. Ahola spirit. Stepped up huge as lead guide on our longest ride of 2020, Waterways to the West - Starved Rock. He also brought good vibes, muddy Uhaul driving skills, and even a cowbell to Valhalla.
Shout out to some other big volunteer milestones:
Clara Thames - WTWTG Director, lead guide
Ashley Huerta - Youth Program Director, first overnight guide experience
Jerod Powell - first time lead guide
Lauren Fihe, Kat Leyh, Sarah Thorton, Kate Kliner, Ahleli Pineda, Emma DeMilta, Jordan Evangelista, Ashley Huerta, and Anson Moran - first guide experiences
All the other volunteers and part of the community that show up to things. That support is seen. You are seen. And it means the world.
And of course, the OOFD board: Emily Ransom (VP), Anna Henschel (Secretary), Ben Blair (Treasurer), Kyle Trebotich, Bradley Fisher, plus Lauren Fihe, Thomas Kehrer, and Jose Terrazas - joined the board this year!
Big Things from 2020 and into 2021
Many of the folks above also contributed to our first ever 3+ night ride, Valhalla - Door County with a major shoutout to Kyle Trebotich who dreamed it up and executed it like the true pro he always is. One of the coolest things we’ve ever done as an org, to be sure. No doubt we’ll be doing that again next fall. And next year you can look forward to us bringing back our Youth Program along with our Family and Where the Wild Things Grow Programs. And we’ll even be rolling out our Adaptive Program!
Giving and Optimism
Do you hear optimism in our tone? I’d imagine you do. Because that’s how we are trying to positively persevere. And if we have to scale down or cancel parts of 2021, then we will, like we did with all of our rides in 2020. We came out of 2020 alright and are pumped to come at you in 2021.
And we're starting this year with our second ever fundraiser. No magic evening at Reed’s this year. Dang were we gonna do that so right again this year. However, in our much less fun and beer smelling replacement, we introduce you to our this super legit fundraising campaign.
We know you know what we are about - immersing and educating in our local nature and history via bike adventures. And we know you want to contribute to something that rad. And we promise you, that if you can't or don’t give, no worries as all. We know times are tight for many folks. But if you can give, please do (and even get some sweet swag in the process). Your donation will help us to continue providing hugely affordable and accessible bike camping for all.
What You Can Do Now
A 2020 newsletter without that word. It took some focus. Just know we love y’all and are hoping big for health and goodness to you and all your people. If you want to connect this winter and into the spring, please do. For right now:
1. Donate to our Giving Tuesday Fundraising Campaign (goal to raise $4000) - first Tuesday of December
2. Monthly hang - virtual (optional sd bike ride after) - first Tuesday of January
3. Book club - Siftings, Jens Jensen - second Tuesday of January
4. Swag - Check out our new online shop of OOFD Swag!
Parting Nug - The Adaptive Program
And as a parting nug, you should really check out the Adaptive Program that we are dropping next year; truly gonna be next level stuff. Bike camping for children with disabilities and their families including parents, siblings, friends, and community members. This program is a major step in helping us become the radically inclusive organization that we strive to be (again per our values). Major props to board member Bradley Fisher for all the hard working creating this program and getting it off the ground!
Beyond excited thinking about bike camping with y’all in the spring.
Glenn and all of the OOFD pals
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"To immerse , educate, preserve & advance the history, culture, trails and native habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area"