Outdoor Club of South Jersey Newsletter

 To:  {Contact_First_Name} 

JULY 2020

Spotlight OCSJ Donations

The OCSJ Board of Directors has decided to support local non-profit organizations with the following donations.  Many non-profits are struggling  during these  difficult times. This is  our  way  to support their efforts.

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge

OCSJ donation was presented to Jen Collins manager and Trustee Dave Sauder  by Chris Denneler and Pat Burton

They will use our donation to provide environmental education, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation


Jerry Martina presented a  generous donation to Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Preserve. Receiving  thcheck is volunteer Richard Jones

They will use our donation to provide environmental education, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation


Rosemarie   Mason  presented OCSJ   donation  to  Jason Howell, the land steward for the PPA. Our donation is earmarked for preserving and protecting our SJ pinelands that we all enjoy thru our hikes, bike and paddling trips.

They will use our donation to push for better protection of the Pinelands.  They are push for passage of the NJ Endangered & Threatened Plant Protection Act


OCSJ presented a donation BCGP.  

They will use our donation for the following projects:  Circuit Trails, NJ Complete Streets and NJ State Highway State Highway plan

   Presidents Message

       Due to the Coronavirus19 outbreak, we have not published our monthly newsletter in a few months. We are resuming publication.  For all of us, 2020 has not turned out so far like we expected on New Years Day.  But I need to thank our hard working club officers, board members, leaders and members for keeping the club alive and active although at reduced level.  

      In honor of one of our most reliable hiking leaders who passed away last June, a memorial bench will shortly be assembled and installed in Brendan Byrne State Forest- only the third monument allowed.  In years to come, we hope it will be as famous as Pomeroy’s Crossing.

I wanted to alert Bob’s Friday night fitness gang that we are waiting for approval from the park superintendent to conduct a short dedication ceremony on Sunday 9/13 at 10am.  Cathy Edison has done wonders to get the bench approved, purchased and installed.  

Bob Hodges was a very reliable Friday night fitness hike leader-18 years.   When Bob failed to appear one Friday night a panic arise from his group.  Cathy Edson pulled all her strings contacting the his work, friends and police.  Bob did not answer his phone or emails.  She eventually located him in a Philadelphia hospital where he passed away a few days later. She helped obtain state approval to select a memorial bench that met the park staff’s strict standards.  This July she and I met with the park superintendent to finalize details of its installation and dedication ceremony this fall.  For those who knew Bob, he will always be walking alongside us in that forest which he so loved telling his funny stories.  

           We also more recently lost another fine leader Donald Villanova age 88 from the biking sections. Don led countless rides years ago often on his black Cannondale  single bike and sometimes captaining on a tandem bicycle with his wife Kathy as stoker.  Darn good man.  

         Neil has been working hard to rejuvenate the biking section despite the restrictions and Evelyn for the hiking section.  I would be remiss if I did not mention Rosemarie and her helpers in the trail maintenance section. Dave the park superintendent for most of southern New Jersey speaks very highly of her and our section’s work.  

             Finally, be safe out there kayaking, cycling and hiking.  

                      Joe Fabian   


Membership information is now available with the following links:

OCSJ.ORG  or Wild Apricot Appclick on the Join OCSJ button and enter your email address and password. 

    OCSJ's mailing address is: 

           OCSJ, PO Box 46, Atco, NJ 08004 

     Our annual membership rates are:

     Individual - $20 or Family - $25 


    OCSJ will extend  the  membership by  three  months  to all who  have paid  or  will pay  their  membership  in 2020

    Membership Questions: contact Regina Coeby at   

    To receive up to date club information, we encourage everyone to go to our website and to join our Meetup groups.


    1.  OCSJ is a member organization. Membership funds pay for insurance and other Club overhead. However, prospective members and guests of OCSJ members may try one regular activity from each of our activity sections without joining. Thereafter they must join to be eligible for the hundreds of activities and events available every year.

    2.  Participants on trips which charge money must be members of OCSJ, except where the trip is a joint trip with another club and the participant is a member of that club. If there is space available, members of OCSJ may bring guests on a day trip charging money. Participants on overnight trips charging money must always be an OCSJ member.


    Any comments please Contact Joseph Fabian (


    Our activities are listed on the following Meetup sites.  

    Click Links Below to Join and View

    * Biking Events List Link

    *Kayak Events List Link

    Note:  You must join each meetup group separately

    If you are planning to attend an event, do not forget to RSVP. This is important information for the leader. And of course, if your plans change, please cancel your RSVP. Meetup will automatically send you an email if the activity is cancelled.


    The new printed Trekker is available quarterly at OCSJ board meetings and from Board Members and Leaders.  Or you can print the whole or any page of the Trekker by clicking on the link:

    OCSJ_Trekker SPRING 2020.pdf

    Like us on Facebook  

    Outdoor Club of South Jersey

    Message from the Activity Chairman:

    Frank Pierce

    The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced a new dimension of risk to our community, one that must be clearly understood and carefully evaluated. The disease can be transmitted by individuals who are not experiencing any symptoms, making it particularly difficult to control. Any contact among people introduces the risk of transmission: closer contact and/or more people increase that risk. The OCSJ is not a medical organization and cannot provide medical advice, however we recognize that larger groups present greater risk and have adjusted group size.  All participants must understand that protection against exposure to Covid-19 cannot be guaranteed  Everyone should follow local, state and CDC recommended guidelines: Hand Hygiene, Face Coverings, Social Distancing, Surface Cleaning especially of shared Equipment, prolonged close contact should be avoided. We suggest all participants consider wearing face coverings while on land. Windows down when in vehicles with non-family members.

        We will get thru this with everyone’s help.


    Leaders, PLEASE review items under “For Leaders“ and "Leader Guidelines" on the OCSJ Website. 

    Sign-in Sheets should be sent to appropriate Activity Chair or individuals designated by them – or Activities coordinator if the event involves more than 1 activity NO LATER THAN EACH CALENDAR QUARTER with few exceptions which are listed on website under “For Leaders”. 

    Message from the Cycling chair:

    Neil Kornhauser

    In these unprecedented times, OCSJ cycling took time off in March, April and May and solo cycling was encouraged.  With the partial lifting of restrictions starting with Memorial Day, cycling started having road group rides limited to 10 participants and trail rides limited to 6.  Social distancing is always practiced in the parking lot and during breaks.

    Since events are limited in numbers [in all OCSJ activities] we are extending participation to paid OCSJ members first.  The good news is, anyone who joins or renews their paid membership in 2020 will have an extra 3 months added to their membership.

    Since Memorial Day there has been approximately 50 group rides.  We live in a great area for cycling, and South Jersey has an abundance of roads and trails that we are constantly exploring. Some of our “stomping grounds” are the quiet country roads of Gloucester, Salem, Atlantic and Cumberland Counties.  Burlington County offers us more great roads and adventures.  In addition, trail riding took place at Brendan Byrne, Batsto, Black Run and Camden County College trails.   We also had great adventures on the Schuykill River Trail, Long Beach Island, and the Boardwalk of Atlantic City. 

    We did hold our Annual July 4 “All Paces Rides” with 5 rides.  We had all groups represented with B, C+, C, D and a trail ride. 

    In summary, OCSJ cycling is alive and well; please remember we are still in a pandemic.   We presently are still limiting group rides in numbers:  road to 15 +/- and trail to 6.


    Monthly DIY Tip

    At the time of this article, we are seeing temperatures in the very high 80’s and 90’s with extremely high humidity levels. Staying hydrated is the key to not getting sick with heat exhaustion.  In this oppressive heat I recommend always carrying a hydration pack on your back in addition to 2 water bottles on the bike.  Personally, I fill at least one bottle with electrolytes, depending on distance.  For people that have a hard time reaching down to grab a water bottle while riding, the hydration pack is the way to go. 

    There are many brands and capacities ranging from 24 ounces to 100 ounces of liquid.   If you plan on doing any long distance riding, go for the largest capacity.  You will also get the added bonus of more storage for supplies and food.   Having an extra pair of DRY gloves packed in your backpack is a definite bonus!

    Thank you and see you on the road and trails!

    Neil Kornhauser  (cycling chairman)

    Message from the Trail Maintenance Chair:

    Ro Mason

    Pictured: Kevin Carlin removing clipped brush from the Batona Trail in Wharton SF.
    The 2019/2020 OCSJ trail crew ended the work season with over 800 logged volunteer hours!  We trimmed many miles of the Batona Trail as well as the Lake Trail at Harrisville Pond and the Green Trail in Wharton SF. We also  built footbridges and spent a day of service bundling tree saplings for Arbor Day distribution. Repairs were also made to the Batona Trail by Evans Bridge from the damage caused by beaver activity. Many sandbags and lots of wheelbarrows were used for that project. 

    The OCSJ trail maintenance crew is a dedicated group of awesome people and I am so proud to be part of the group. 

    Ro Mason is our Trail Representative. Every Tuesday, she will be organizing work days for the BATONA Trail. To volunteer, please contact Ro


    Message from the Hiking Chair:

    Evelyn Minutolo

    Fresh air and exercise are great for your immune system, we are following the governor's guidelines as they develop.  For now please self monitor your social distancing on hikes, if you feel people are too close move to the back of the line.  Masks are required when social distancing cannot be achieved.  Bring a pen for sign in or if possible sign the on line waiver before the hike if offered. 

    The club has extended membership for an additional 3 months for all members both brand new and renewals.  It was already the best $20 bargain and now even better!

    The club is trying to attract more youthful hikers, so please get the word out and we'll try and have some hikes for the under 40 crowd.  

    This months featured hike is: The weekly Walk from Bullock with Jay Schoss, every Monday at 8am, A 6-8 mile moderate paced walk on the roads, trails and fire-cuts in Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area. There are dozens of possibilities suitable to almost all conditions. I'll select a different one each time to keep it interesting. Leader: Jay Schoss 609 (283) 0252

    Please remember if you sign up for a hike with a limit and cannot make it, please change your RSVP ASAP.  That way anyone on the waiting list can enjoy the hike. No shows and last minute cancellations prevent waitlist folks from hiking.  If you continue to do this you will be removed from the hiking group.  

    **If you do not see hikes that fit your pace or distance then it is time to step up and lead a hike yourself!


    More leaders = more hikes! If you need help setting up a hike or have questions or if you are interested in leading, email Evelyn Minutolo at

    Monthly Tip:
    Tick season is back, especially in the pine barrens so check yourself after hiking. If you find a tick, never crush it with your fingers. Use tweezers to remove the tick, then wash the site well or use rubbing alcohol hand sanitizer works well also.  

    Thank you and see you on the trails.


    Backpacking/Camping Trips

    Message from the Backpacking/Camping Chair:

    Kevin Drevik

    "Backpacking and Camping has been slow "off the mark" due to the Virus and its needs for protection. As things ease up, we are finally getting ready to start the year. In late August, there will be a week-long trip in Vermont on the Appalachian Trail. A mid-September hike in Virginia is also on the Calendar. The other trip leaders are currently looking at scheduling other events, and there are potential trips in October (NH) and November (VA) as well, just in time for the cool fall weather! Looking forward to seeing everyone on the trail!

     I’ve been asked by some folks new to backpacking if they think they can “make it” on the hike. The advice I always tell people is that backpacking with 20-30 lbs on their back (vs. just hiking with water & lunch) takes a lot out of you. I always estimate for them that if it’s a level hike, cut their hike distance in half for backpacking, and if it has hills, cut their hike distance to 1/3. For example, if you can hike a max of 9 miles, then a backpacking trip on level ground you can do 4.5 miles without too much of a problem, and 3 miles if its got major ups & down (that is in a day). 

    See you on the trail!


    If you would like to organize a trip or for backpacking information, contact Kevin at KDREVIK@AOL.COM


    Message from the kayaking chair:

    Frank Pierce

    Everyone must sign the sign-in sheets.

      • PFD’s must be worn when on the water. 
      • Footwear must be closed toe-no flip-flops.

      Rules for minors on the OCSJ website.

      Leaders have final say on participation  based on safety  concerns. Examples would be  bringing small children or  pets. Some will ask about limits on trip size. This might be set by safety concerns or limited parking. If you have a question, please contact the leader first.

      Enjoy the season but stay safe.

      Happy Paddling

    If you would like to organize a trip, contact Frank at



    Our social committee activities have been difficult to plan and execute due to the pandemic. We are trying to plan the following:

    Day trip to Cape May - which may include a morning hike, an afternoon hike at the light house and a Whale Watching Cruise. 

    2nd Annual Fall Social in November is still in planning stages.

    OCSJ Photo contest - hosted by Mike Engle is still good. Look for upcoming contest details. 

    OCSJ Picnic - Postponed until later in the fall.

    John Kerney - Social Committee Coordinator -


    Leaders Banquet -

    Our Banquet will be at the Ramblewood Country Club on March, 2021.  Leaders who lead the required number of trips in 2020 will be notified by email.


    The club is actively looking for members to become more involved with the operation. We have a new Volunteer Coordinator, Barbara Berman. If you would like to volunteer or desire more information, please contact Barbara at

    The club needs people to serve on the board and aid in the processes that keep the club in operation. If you wonder how the club is organized and how it runs, or what leaders do, join us at a monthly board meeting. (Second Thursday of every month). It's your club and we welcome you to get involved.

    Because of the Corona Virus, we are currently meeting on ZOOM.  Please check our Meetup schedule for our monthly plans.

    Board of Trustrees - Interested in joining the OCSJ Board. Come out to a couple of meetings or contact the OCSJ President at

    Publicity - We would like to have the OCSJ name appear in more places both in print and online. Contact Fran at if you have ideas and would like to help.

    Social Committee -  If you would like to help with the 2020 Planning, contact the John Kerney at

    Website/Computer - We could use some help from people with computer or website experience.  Contact the OCSJ President at

    Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Trips

    Message from the Ski chair

    The Cross Country ski and Snowshoe trips are now on the OCSJ Website. For more information, please contact our Cross Country Ski-chair Eileen Greve ( 609-204-6451.

    Check the site for more information:  

    Please note:

    To confirm your place on the trip, you must contact the leader by phone or email. All payments are non-refundable without finding a replacement.