Outdoor Club of South Jersey Newsletter

 To:  {Contact_First_Name} 

September, 2020   

Joanie Seddon Spotlight

By Vera C. Stek

It was entirely happenstance that got Joanie Moretti-Seddon through the recent time when Outdoor Club hikes had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 virus. 

Raised in the city, Joanie took to hiking with a passion when she moved to South Jersey, and joined the club about 16 years ago. But she found having to hike at certain times and certain places was inconvenient because of her work and life schedule and decided to continue going out on her own.

So it was really no problem for her to keep on trekking through the pandemic.  She keeps up with club activities through the newsletter and participates in the Golden Mile Club, reporting her mileage totals each month. Here’s her story:

Here’s her story:

Q. Tell us about yourself: 

Joanie: I am a New York City gal, born and raised in the Upper West Side. My playground was Central Park, across the street from my apartment. I attended St Joseph’s High School for girls and attended Hunter College.  I married and moved to South Jersey and have  3 children and 6 grandchildren. We lived in Delran, Moorestown and now in Mt Laurel. I was an owner of a staffing firm and am now part-time communications consultant in the same staffing business for 36 years.  

Q. When and why did you join the Outdoor Club?

Joanie: I joined OCSJ in 2004 when I was walking only 2 miles daily because the competition motivated me to increase to at least 4 miles daily.  I went on one hike and that was good but it seemed the timing does not fit my schedule.  I am just not interested anymore in doing group hikes.

Q. What other interests do you have?

Joanie: I enjoy theater, dancing and Zumba. I’m active in the Moorestown Historical Society, like to play word games, knitting and of course walking.  

Q. What’s something about yourself that might surprise others to know?

Joanie: I enjoyed acting on stage in most of the theater groups in Burlington and Camden counties and have had lead roles in most of them-from 1970s through the early ‘90s.

 Q. How has being active outdoors helped you in life?

Joanie: I am grateful to be a member and being part of something, especially during this Covid crisis. Getting outside and smelling fresh air, taking in Vitamin D.  I need to walk because I have osteoporosis and it is a necessity! Needless to say it fights of the depre ssion and self pity that happens during this forced isolation. 



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.

NJ Conservation Foundation

OCSJ donation of $2000 was presented to Russell Juelg, Senior Land Steward of the Franklin Parker Preserve by Fran Horn.  

Russell plans to purchase trail Maintenance equipment.

   President's Message

Bob Hodges on left with hikers

Dedication of Bob Hodges bench

         On June 1, 2019, one of the OCSJ’s great leaders passed away a few days after being stricken. His name Robert Lewis Hodges or simply Bob. He loved Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. I understand from a relative of mine’s husband that he hiked with Bob in the park in the 1990s. As far as we can tell, he led or helped lead the club’s Friday evening fitness hike for 18 years. I mean we hiked on ice cold nights, snowstorms,  downpours, a hurricane, and pitch black moonless nights.  Hikes were usually around 8 to 10 miles, longer ones were not unheard of.   The event’s reputation as a briskly paced hike was well deserved. Alison and Mike Baker were often the official leaders. They each had first place finishes in several half marathons.  

        Anyway, Bob was from Nitro, West Virginia and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University. He worked in corporate America and for many years did not seem to work at all. A humorous, odd fellow, good listener, excellent story teller, who was much beloved by his gang. Most importantly, Bob was dependable. When he took a job at a Walmart store, he made clear that he had to have Fridays off.  He enjoyed playing Santa at the store and looked the part.  Around the Christmas holiday season, he mostly worked as a retail clerk and little kids often thought he was Santa. He would press his finger to his lips “don’t tell.”  When the Bakers moved, retiring to New Mexico, Bob formally took over as official Friday night hike leader. He knew the trails and dirt roads of the forest very, very well.

       When he failed to appear last spring one Friday night, panic filled his friends. No answer on his cell phone. Cathy Edison an ER nurse pulled out all the stops, having the police perform a wellness check. No, Walmart did not know. He had gone to a Ready Health Care incorrectly thinking he was having a heart attack.  He was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and then by helicopter to a Philadelphia hospital. Cathy, Alison Baker and I were all in touch by phone at the hospital.  He had emergency surgery. When I talked to him the day before he passed away his concern was it would be a few weeks before he could lead the Friday night hike. In his memory, his friends raised funds to erect a memorial bench in the park where he parked his signature white Jeep.  Much credit goes to Cathy Edison for pushing through state bureaucratic requirements to have the bench approved and assembled. Excess funds raised for the bench are being donated as promised to the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. Patricia “Trish” Henry has thankfully agreed to resume the hikes. When we hike on Friday evenings, Bob will always be with us, walking silently beside us.  Truly an unforgettable club leader.

Joe Fabian 

President (

Vice President's Message

The club is actively looking for members to become more involved with the operation. Please contact Barbara Berman, Vice-President,, if you are interested in getting more involved with the club.

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. It's your club, and we welcome you to get involved.

We meet the 2nd Thursday of every month. Because of Covid-19, we are currently meeting on ZOOM.  We will be sending an email out to the members as the time gets closer to our meeting. You are more than welcome to join us. We will be limiting participation to the first 10 members who respond to the Zoom invite.  

Barbara Berman

Vice President (


Our annual photo contest is about to begin.

Although it has been a trying year for all of us, hopefully you still have been going out, enjoying the outdoors and taking great pictures of your adventures.

Due to the continuing virus situation, we are going to do something different this year.  We will not be printing the calendar, but it will be available on line for all to view.  And, all submissions will be displayed in a slide show on our website.

There will be the twelve monthly winners plus the overall best picture for the cover.  These thirteen selected will then receive a mounted canvas print of their photograph.  So, save your best photographs and keep them in their original format.  If yours is selected to be printed on canvas we will need as large a file as possible.

Contest rules and method of submission will be available shortly.   

Mike Engel

Message from the Activity Chairman:

Frank Pearce

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.


There are several ways you can join or renew your OCSJ membership.

1.   Go to Then, click on the “Join OCSJ Here” button and follow the prompts.

2.   Download the Wild Apricot app to your phone. Then, click on the “Join OCSJ" button and follow the prompts.

You have the option of paying on-line or mailing a check. If you are mailing a check, make it out to Outdoor Club of South Jersey. Our mailing address is OCSJ, PO Box 46, Atco NJ 08004

Our annual membership rates are:

Individual - $20

Family - $25

Because of the Covid-19, we are extending our memberships by three (3) months to all who have paid or will pay in 2020.

Membership Questions: Please contact OCSJ at


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 (


To receive up-to-date club information, we encourage everyone to go to our website and to join our Meet-up groups.  Our acivities are listed on the following Meetup sites.  

Click Links Below to Join and View

* Hiking/Camping/Backpacking Events Link

* Biking Cross Country Skiing Events 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 by the leader.


The new printed Trekker is available quarterly from Board Members and Leaders.  The printed Trekker is also available at The Print Shop, White Horse Pike in Stratford, NJ.  Contact Doug Hillebrecht at 856-309-8817 if you need more information.

Like us on Facebook  

Outdoor Club of South Jersey

Message from the Cycling chair:

Neil Kornhauser

Message from the cycling chair:

Bada bang shrimp, pizza, salads, pulled pork, pickle fried chicken, tacos, mac and cheese, french fries.... the list goes on.  What can this all mean... and how does it relate to cycling?  If you are retired or take an occasional day off during the week to go cycling with OCSJ then you know!  Many rides combine lunch whether it is during the ride or after.  If we chow down during the ride it takes place near the end.  Of course during these trying times social distancing rules are in effect.

Many of our culinary stops are at small establishments throughout South Jersey.  Most rides are in the 32 – 40 mile range and have a nice following.  Check out our calendar; when these rides appear come join us!   If you have a special place you would like to stop at then lead a ride!  Email me and become a ride leader.  If you just want to lead one ride a year, that’s just fine also.

Our Annual Labor Day ALL PACES RIDES was another success with 50 cyclists joining in on our D, C, C+ and B rides.  We did split our entry level (D) ride into 2 groups this year, as this was a very popular group of riders.  On the positive side of the pandemic, many people just want to get off the couch and have found cycling.  What better way to stay in shape, enjoy the camaraderie and have a lifelong feel good activity!

Monthly DIY Tip

No one likes to have a flat but they do happen occasionally.  Many riders like the convenience of C02. If you use C02 out on the road or trail you should always deflate the tire completely once you get home and use a pump to re-inflate the tire.  C02 is a temporary fix.   It will lose pressure much faster than it would if pumped up the conventional way.

Thank you and see you on the road and trails!

Message from the Trail Maintenance Chair:

Ro Mason

Trail Work Tuesday starts Tuesday, October 6 and the crew is ready to go!

This season besides trimming the brush back on our favorite hiking trails we will be repairing or replacing several footbridges on the Batona Trail in conjunction with Russell Juelg the director of the Franklin Parker Preserve. We also will  assist Dave Bicking with keeping the Mullica River Yellow Trail clear and the Green and Purple Trails that intersect that trail. I am so pleased to see our regular trail crew is returning as well as seeing some new members rsvp. Diane Mason is crafting new trail signage that will need a really tall person to help with installing ( you know who you are JP lol)  Pat Burton: please keep your  after trail work tailgate kitchen going. The crew enjoys a hot chocolate and the cookies especially when it’s 30 degrees out!

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

Message from the Hiking Chair:

Evelyn Minutolo

I've met so many new faces on the hikes lately, welcome to our large wonderful group!  As we all struggle with our balance between staying safe and getting out to socialize, I find this club is saving the day.  We all need fresh air and exercise, just be sure to bring a mask in case you can't social distance all the time and if someone gets too close just move away or to the back of the group.  Bring a pen for sign in or if possible sign the on line waiver before the hike if offered. 

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 Blueberry Hill Hike: A Four mile moderately paced hike through the woods with mostly paved paths. Elevation of a few hundred feet at one point, Steady rain will cancel. Meet at the parking lot between the Chop House and CVS close to 561. This little gem in Voorhees is really a nice chance to stretch your legs at the end of the week.

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.  After you have a chance to try out a hike and you see how much fun it is we are sure you will want to join our club, I assure you it's the best $20 deal going.

**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:
Unfortunately the spotted Lantern fly has arrived in NJ, I have seen one in my backyard in Cherry Hill, if you see them, please kill them, they are an invasive pest.

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. 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

Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Trips

Message from the Ski chair:

Eileen Greve

            It’s sad that because of the coronavirus and COVID restrictions we cannot have our annual Apres Ski party this year.  However there are X/C ski trips being planned, and I feel certain that the leaders will do all in their power to ensure the safety of their participants.  

Barbara Brandt ( and Jim and Virginia Magee ( will hold their trip to North Conway, NH Jan 29 to Feb 5, and are currently filled and taking names on a waitlist.  Fran Horn ( will be leading the trip to Stowe, VT this year, Jan 24 to 29, with same financial arrangement as last year.  I will not be leading the trip to Pulaski, NY this year and am looking for a leader willing to take this over. The 1880 House is available for us over the President’s weekend which is prime time.  Although Hugh has sold Osceola X/C, I’ve talked to the owner of the new place, Osceola Ski and Sport, Justin Hite, and it sounds great.  Sue Wills ( is still nailing down the details of her trip to Boonville, NY, with dates tbd. 

Eileen Greve, X/C ski chair

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. 


Message from the kayaking chair:

Frank Pearce

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. 

OCSJ Picnic - Postponed until later in the year.

John Kerney - Social Committee Coordinator -

Leaders Banquet 

Our Banquet will be at the Ramblewood Country Club.  The date is TBD. Leaders who lead the required number of trips in 2020 will be notified by email.


Board of Trustees - 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