By Lenora Klappe
This fun-loving group of seniors finds adventure at every turn.
The Penticton Adventurers Club (PAC) has been in existence for over twenty years, and some of its charter members are still active participants. At present the club boasts over 130 members ranging in age from 55 to 96.
Meetings take place at 7:00 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month at the South Main Drop In Centre. The agenda includes a description of upcoming events and adventures. Membership is $20.00 per year. Newcomers may attend two functions before being expected to join.
The club offers numerous and varied activities. Monthly scheduled events include many choices, both physical and social. At times spontaneous events are also offered, including snowshoeing, kayaking, biking, or a field trip to a place of interest. People trying these activities for the first time in their lives find it is comfortable to be around non-judgmental and helpful facilitators. Their encouragement and assistance is immeasurable, often leading to the discovery of new interests and passions.
On Wednesdays we offer rambles, which are hikes or walks of two hours’ duration over mostly level terrain. These short treks are a great way for people to get some fresh air, exercise, and conversation without a huge time or effort commitment. Often these hikes are along the KVR or other well defined paths.
Easy hikes are the next step up the activity ladder. They are a bit longer with more varied terrain, on trails such as the Blind Mice, Mahoney Lake or the lower trails at the Skaha Bluffs.
Moderate hikes are up to five hours long and cover a greater distance and elevation gain. These treks take hikers well into the forests and up the mountains at Nkwala, Blind Mice, Mahoney Lake, Skaha Bluffs, and the Carmi area.
Strenuous hikes are for avid hikers and are often up to six hours long with significant elevation gain, some uneven footing sections and, of course, a much longer distance.
Hikers are expected to arrive prepared, wearing appropriate clothing and carrying food, water, and first aid equipment. Poles are recommended.
After each hike, a write-up is sent to all members of the club. The write-up includes a GPS tract of the hike, pictures, and a humorous account of the adventure. For those who did not go on the hike, just reading of the fun others had encourages them to think about joining in on the next hike or walk.
Members who do not want to walk or hike may enjoy bocce in the summer at Lakawana Park and bowling during the winter. These are fun activities and great skill at either game is not a requirement.
For the social aspect of the club, there are wiener roasts, picnics, pot lucks, restaurant dine-outs, and a Christmas party. These activities offer an opportunity to visit and enjoy a meal with a group of spirited seniors. Many discussions lead to the discoveries of shared backgrounds.
And as a first for us, this year we even entered a float in the Peachfest parade.
Annual events include a three-day out-of-town excursion. In the past, the club has travelled to Hope, Radium, Sicamous, and across the US border. This year’s adventure was to Nelson, to hike the trails in that area. The drive there was hampered by smoke as the Washington fire was heading north. At a visit to the tourist information centre, we learned that, due to the wind patterns, Nelson is often clear of smoke and fog when neighbouring cities are affected.
We also enjoyed a hugely successful day at Agur Lake, a camp for persons with disabilities, located just outside of Summerland. The participants were absolutely thrilled to be riding in a noisy, uncomfortable school bus over gravel roads. This inspired the telling of many stories (exaggerations?) of riding to school by bus over 50 years ago . . . or walking uphill in a snow storm! A barbecue topped off the day. This is yet another marvellous way to contribute, to exercise, and to bond with fellow members.
Often we have guest speakers, such as a chiropractor, a naturopathic doctor, a foot expert, and a fitness clothing representative. These guests are able to discuss health and comfort. Also, just by discussing these issues, it becomes apparent that many people have the same queries about similar concerns. As well, we have had people representing the hospital fundraising campaign and the topic of organ donation. We also enjoy sharing travel documentaries from our own members.
It is a pleasure to belong to an organization that celebrates an active lifestyle for seniors. The camaraderie, friendships, and sharing are the backbone of our club. So if you like to walk, hike, eat, visit, or clear land, check out www.pentictonadventurers.ca or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lenora Klappe was born and raised in Powell River and moved with her husband to Penticton in 1987. With a degree from the UBC Faculty of Education, she has taught in four different BC locations, working primarily with students with special needs and ESL. Lenora’s amazing adventures in 70 countries include climbing the Inca Trail, the Great Wall, and Lotus Peak in the Huangshan mountains, diving and snorkelling, whitewater kayaking, flying in formation and acrobatically, and skydiving.
*Reprint from our Seniors Health 2015 Issue