Outdoor Club of South Jersey Newsletter

 To:  {Contact_First_Name} 

October, 2020   

Spotlight on Barbara Berman 

By Vera C. Stek

The current pandemic has changed life immeasurably for just about everyone. While it has been limiting in most ways, it has also opened up opportunities that might not have existed before.

Such has been the case with Barbara Berman of Cherry Hill, newly elected vice president of the Outdoor Club. Long before Covid, Barbara was a member of the club but didn’t get involved because of work and time restrictions. But since then, she has more time available and has combined all her work experience to be put to good use as a new member of the OCSJ board.

An avid hiker and biker, she is also skilled in uncluttering, through her business, and has wide ranging interests in the arts and travel.

Here’s her story:

Q. Tell us about yourself.

BARBARA: I am originally from North Jersey, a town called Tenafly, which is in Bergen County. It is very close to New York City. I moved to Philadelphia after college (I attended Syracuse University) as I got my first job as a social worker at Einstein Northern Hospital. 

After 2 years as a social worker, I joined the corporate world for more than 25 years. I worked in various financial institutions (mortgage, insurance, banking) in positions such as customer service supervisor, service delivery manager, process improvement manager, and project manager in the IT department.

I lost my job at the end of 2007 as the housing industry was beginning to crash. At that time I worked for a title and escrow company, and we were closing branch offices constantly. I decided I had had it with the corporate world and started my own professional organizing business. My company is called BB's Clutter Solutions, and I am in my 13th year of business. 

I was able to marry my social work skills with my process improvement and efficiency skills. I love what I do. Of course, Covid has changed things dramatically for me

Q. When and why did you join the Outdoor Club? What benefits do you get from belonging? What activities do you most participate in? What made you step up to become the new vice president?

BARBARA: I had been a member of the Outdoor Club in the 1980s but never got involved back then. Things were changing in my personal life a couple of years ago, and I was trying to figure out a way to enjoy the outdoor activities that I like so much with meeting new people. 

To be perfectly honest, the board meetings were held at the Cherry Hill Public Library and since I live less than 2 miles from the library, I decided to go to one of the meetings. I liked what I saw, started volunteering, and voila, I am now the vice president. There are only a few of us that are new to the board, and in my opinion, new blood is always good.

I am a member of my professional association, National Association of Productivity and Professional Organizers, and involved in my local chapter, Greater Philadelphia. I was on the board as membership director of my local chapter for 3 years. Those 3 years provided me with invaluable experience for being on a board. 

I am mostly involved with hiking and biking and hope that next year I'll be able to join in on cross-country skiing and kayaking. I've met some wonderful people, many of whom have become good friends. We even do things outside of the club.

Q. What are some of your favorite hikes or other outdoor activities? Do you go on active vacations? Any places on your bucket list you’d like to visit some day?

BARBARA: I have been on several biking and hiking vacations. One year, a friend and I biked from Amsterdam to Bruges, Belgium. Another time several friends and I hiked in Ireland. I travel a lot and love exploring new places, whether they are cities or the countryside, and new countries.

Unfortunately, my Morocco, Portugal, and South America trips were canceled this year because of Covid. We are hoping they can be rescheduled sometime next year. 

Q. How has the Covid-19 affected your outdoor activities? Have you done any group activities since things got restricted? How can people meet in groups to do these activities and still stay safe? Do you feel that being active outdoors has enhanced your life?

BARBARA: Of course the current situation is far from ideal. I am trying to take advantage of as many activities as possible while being outside is still easy. For me, nature is good for the soul. Anything we do now is taking a calculating risk, but I am comfortable being on a hike or bike ride right now. 

Q. Do you have goals, such as a certain number of miles per week? Do you do your activities year round or just in certain seasons?

BARBARA: I don’t have any goals. I just enjoy being outside. Those hot, hot days definitely got in the way, but I've been doing the best I can to stay active. Any kind of physical activity is good for the endorphins

Q. What other interests and hobbies do you have?

BARBARA: I love photography and in the coming months, plan to do something with all the pictures that are on the phone. I love all kind of cultural events, whether it be a play, a musical, a dance performance, the orchestra, the Philly Pops, etc. I also enjoy going to the movies, going out for meals, and reading. There isn't too much I don’t like doing. 

I love animals and am very sad and lonely that I had to put my 17-plus-year-old 4-legged furry baby (a cat) to sleep on Sept. 4. This is the hardest decision pet parents have to make, but in my situation, as much as I hated to make the decision, I knew it was right for him.

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

BARBARA: I was on a Road Scholar trip to the Ozarks in AR last year. One of the reasons my friend and I went was to listen to fabulous music, and I fell in love with the dulcimer. I waited a couple of months to see if I was still enamored by it, and lo and behold, I was. So for my birthday in 2019, I bought a dulcimer. I started taking lessons, and then Covid hit. I eventually will go back to figuring out how to play this beautiful instrument.

Q. Do you have any advice for newer hikers/bikers, etc.? Is there some piece of equipment that you absolutely couldn’t do without and recommend for everyone participating in outdoor activities?

BARBARA: It is never too late to start any kind of activity. My advice for any newbie for hiking is to buy very comfortable and sturdy hiking boots and start wearing them around a bit before going on a hike. Make sure you can hike the number of miles stated. My advice for any newbie for biking would be to ride your bike around to get comfortable with it and to practice riding it to make sure you can ride the number of miles stated.

Q. Anything else you’d like to say about anything?

BARBARA: The Outdoor Club is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and not have to do things on your own, unless you want to. Our leaders are great, and they are always looking out for everyone on the activity they are leading.


   President's Message

Bikers at the Caranza Memorial

As president of the Outdoor Club of South Jersey, I have some pretty big shoes to fill. We have had and still have done wonderful courteous activity leaders. The tradition has continued.

      There are two topics I want to address in this message-upcoming election and Bicycling in October. 

        No. I am not writing about the US Presidential election. That is a topic beaten to death already. What I am writing about is our club’s officers’ election. It is scheduled for November 12, 2020.  I am not up for election until next fall.  However, other positions are open.  We are especially in dire need of a replacement membership secretary. The candidate should have solid organizational and social skills. We are sad to be losing Regina who has done a wonderful job for many years.  Please contact me should you be interested or know a great potential candidate.  All members may vote in the election and seek to replace existing officers.

       My second discussion point is cycling in October.  Neil has been doing a great job organizing the cycling activities.  As you may not know, with the Coronavirus19 outbreak bicycles and for that matter kayaks became very difficult to obtain. Stores were sold out and in May sales of bicycles more than doubled from the prior year. My recent visits to local bike stores have had me notice an overwhelming number of old bikes in for repairs.  Yes, we are in a cycling boom.  Many club cyclists have gotten into great shape from the long summer rides.  The weather has cooled down so riding is more comfortable.  As I can also tell you from my travels around the East, Southern New Jersey has some of the best flat wide shouldered low traffic cycling roads around, if you know where to find them. And our cycling leaders are certainly have the skills and experience to find them. Above is a photo from a ride to a hidden treasure the Carranza Monument on an out of the way road.  There are lots of hidden treasures out there as local points of interest to ride to. Get out there with our cycling leaders and find them.”

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. 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.

Do you have a favorite canoe/kayak, hiking, biking trip that is not being offered?

Are you getting placed on a wait list?

We have a solution - that offers a benefit to both you and the club.  BECOME A LEADER.  

If this appeals to you contact the Activity Chair and learn how to become a leader.  We will arrange for you to act as a co-leader to start.  Train you on the use of meetup and the handling of needed documents such as   sign-in waiver.  

Would you like more information?  Try these Forms for Leaders links:

Guidelines for Leaders

Meetup Instructions

Leader Award Policy

Waiver Policy  

INCIDENT REPORT   Incident Report Instructions

Our Constitution, By Laws, Policies and Forms are on Policy/Forms


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

Picture taken at the Rest Stop.

Correctly worn helmets are required on all bike rides

Message from the cycling chair:

OCSJ cycling is strong as ever.  We fortunately live in an area that affords us great cycling both on and off road.   The month of October has seen us in the following areas:  Washington’s Crossing, Wissahickon, Batsto, Black Run, Columbus, Williamstown, Brendan Byrne, Egg Harbor, Parvin State Park, Franklin Parker Preserve, Mt. Laurel, Medford, Barnegat.  

This shows that our members are more than willing to enjoy all areas of South Jersey and Pennsylvania.  We have great leaders willing to put in the time to make our events fun, enjoyable and always adventurous.  We are certainly not satisfied with riding from the same starting location on the same roads.

If you have other areas that you would like to ride in,  please step up and lead a ride!  If you have been on our rides please give back to your club and become a leader.   It is easy and you will have plenty of help along the way.  Email the cycling chairman and see how easy it is to get started.

Monthly DIY Tip

I know I have discussed flat tires before, but everyone will eventually get a flat, that is just a given.  When this happens to you, you need to be prepared with the proper pump.  Please do not assume someone else will have a pump that fits your particular valve on your tire.  There are 2 types of valve stems, Presta and Schrader.  The Schrader valve is the same valve on car tires.  If you have an older road bike or hybrid you most likely have a Schrader valve.  All newer bikes have Presta valves.

There are some pumps that will fit both types of valves, however some pumps will not.  Recently on a ride, someone had a flat and no one had the type of pump that would fit that valve.  Please do carry your own pump and make sure it fits your specific valve.  If not you can be walking a great distance or waiting a very long time to get picked up!  Please do not let this happen.

Thank you and see you on the road and trails!

Neil Kornhauser  (cycling chairman)

Message from the Trail Maintenance Chair:

Ro Mason

Trail Work Tuesdays are back!

Our trail maintenance work season started on October 6 with 15 eager trimmers and brush cutters. It was a beautiful Fall day for clipping the Purple Trail in Wharton State Forest. We socially distanced and did not share food as usual though we did have individually wrapped Tastycakes and cookies for dessert.

The crew will be working every Tuesday until June. Please consider joining our crew!

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

What the outdoor club has done for me:

1. Given me new friends to exercise with

2. Shown me new places to explore

3. And this long weekend a chance to combine those two, as 3 friends I met hiking and biking with the club, decided to travel to Wellsboro, PA for a biking and hiking weekend.  4 hours northwest of Cherry Hill, the "Grand Canyon of PA" is a gorge that looks nothing like the Grand Canyon but is still quite pretty.  The first day we biked 42 miles on the Pine Creek Trail, a rail to trail that runs 62 miles from end to end.  We rode hybrids but you could get away with a road bike.  The next day we hiked 7 miles of the north rim trail,  miles of wooded autumn beauty, lovely lookouts where we could look down on the path we rode the day before. At the end of each day we would explore the quaint town of Wellsboro, a true architectural delight.  

So if this seems like something you'd love to do, come out and hike with us, make new friends and go on adventures together!

**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/Camping is starting to wind down, as the weather turns colder. We just finished a 3-day backpacking trip in New Hampshire, where it dropped down to 32 degrees at night, with a 15mph wind. Brrr!

We have one more trip on the schedule, Nov 7-10, a 4-day, 30 mile event in Virginia. We'll be watching the weather and status of the trail, to make sure its going to be fun and safe. 

After that, its clean and pack away your stuff, and dream of spring!



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.  We will stay at the Commodores Inn, in Stowe Vt.  The trip is from Sunday thru Friday.  Breakfast is included.  Lunch and dinner are the responsibility of the participants.   Everyone can RSVP to Meetup and then make their reservations and credit card payments directly with the INN.
We will cross country ski, snow shoe or hike everyday.

More information will be available later in the fall. Of course, everything is dependent on the Vermont COVID-19 restrictions.

New Leader is Fran Horn, Phone: 856-786-0048, Email

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

It is obvious that the paddling season like everything else is not normal. The number of trips offered and leaders offering them are down. We are one of the few organizations that are still offering group paddling.  If you go on an outing, do not forget to thank the leader.  The only way we can continue to offer activities is by everyone being safe. Follow the recommendations of experts. The whole goal is to get us back to normal as quickly as we can.

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. 

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 2021 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