Volkssport activities are offered
mainly to promote good health through physical activity. Participants are
provided with opportunities to walk, bicycle, swim and cross-country ski.
Events are listed by state in The Starting Point, published by the American
Volkssport Association (AVA) and in a bi-monthly newsletter, NW Pathfinder,
published jointly by the Evergreen State Volkssport Association (ESVA) and
the Oregon Trail State Volkssport Association (OTSVA) .
Though Volkssport events are non-competitive, many walkers enjoy keeping track of their achievements. Our system of recording number of events and distances walked may seem complicated at first, but is easy to learn The term "credit" is used when one wishes to record by stamping in their event book, and/or distance book. While anyone may register and walk free, to receive "credit," you must pay a small fee, usually $3.00, to receive credit and stamps in the books. The books are offered for sale at events or through a local club for $5.00. These fees pay the cost of awards issued by the AVA when participants reach certain levels of distance or number of events.
Events listed as Year-Round Events (YRE) may be done any day of the year during specified hours with possible exceptions on holidays. A starting point is listed where the registration materials may be found, often in a file cabinet but sometimes in the care of an employee of the establishment allowing us to use their facility as a starting point. Maps with instructions are provided, as well as stamps and stamp pads. The stamp has the year, IVV and event number. You must fill out the registration form, and sign a liability waiver, even if you are a "free walker." Fees for credit are paid on the "honor system" as well as purchase of pins and patches. Seasonal events are the same as YREs except that they are only offered during a certain quarters of the year, such as April 1, to October 31.
Special club events, listed in the "NW Pathfinder," are events planned by a club or group of clubs. They occur on a given date at a given time, usually on weekends but sometimes during the week. They must be completed within a given time period on that date. Registration is usually at a Start Table where participants complete the registration, pay their fee, unless they are a "free walker," and receive a numbered Start Card. The trail is well marked with large and small signs, and often with colored flagging. Maps are usually not given out at these events. Upon completion of the event, participant returns the Start Card, usually with stamps from manned "Check-Points" along the trail and receives the stamps in the appropriate distance and/or event book. All Volkssport activities are measured in kilometers (km) and rated for difficulty and also rated as to wheelchair and stroller accessibility.
Participants may do an event, either YRE, Seasonal, or special event as many time as they wish. The first Event Book is green and is used for the first ten events by the participant. After doing ten events the participant send the completed book to AVA in Universal City, Texas. The AVA assigns each participant a permanent number, and sends the individual a patch and hatpin indicating the achievement level. A new Green book must be purchased for the next 20 events and again for the next 20 making a total of 50 events. After that purple books are used for each 25 events until a total of 600 are recorded. After that, each book will contain 50 events and be even a different color. This sounds complicated, but don't worry it's nearly automatic and by the time you log 600 events you'll be an "expert!" Distance books are blue to begin and each book is used for distances up to 500 km at which time the book is sent in for distance awards, similar to the event awards. Each subsequent book contains 500 km until a level of 8000 km is reached and then each book will be 1000 km.
A special New Walker program has been instituted for those new to Volkssport. A packet may be purchased for $5.00, usually from a local club. This "New Walker's Packet" contains three coupons for walks ( credit only) an Event Book and a Distance Book, the total being worth $19.00. This offers an economical way to begin Volkssport!
Many local clubs are responsible for planning and maintaining YRE, Seasonal and Special Events. The names of the clubs are listed in the "NW Pathfinder." Club dues are minimal, and often include the "NW Pathfinder" subscription. Members volunteer to help with sponsored events and membership provides opportunities to meet and walk with others having similar interests. Club membership is NOT required to participate and receive credit for any of the events, but loyal members help make possible the activities of the association.
IVV Events Awards
IVV Distance Awards