Our Stories

2021 Trailblazer and Sweep Awards: Volunteer Spotlight

Categories: Volunteer Stories


2021 Trailblazer Award

Andrew Schlegal, Great Miami Outfitters. Great Miami Outfitters of Dayton, Ohio has been a huge supporter of the Trail and adventure sports in the Miami Valley for years. Whenever we have requested donations or sponsorships for various events, the answer has always been “sure, how much?” They have consistently donated merchandise and held fundraising events for the Buckeye Trail Association (BTA) on their own, without asking. It is not unusual to receive a call from them, stating they raised money from a promotion and asking where to send the check. They always offer meeting space and assistance, and keep NCT maps handy for the local hiking community.

2021 Sweep Award

Bob Cooley. Bob is the Chief Noonday Chapter’s tool “Quartermaster,” attending a majority of Chapter workdays, outreach events, and meetings, and regularly serving as group hike sweep. He was also a Trail Adopter for two public parks in Calhoun County (Mich.) and for years, mowed trail and serviced the DR mower as needed. He tirelessly uses his own time to work on specific projects, like building benches in his home garage or using his pickup truck to deliver trail supplies. Bob doesn’t ever seem to frown or raise his voice or even appear frustrated. He is always an upbeat inspiration to those who meet and work with him.

John Fomusa. John is the Chief Noonday Chapter Vice President of Trail Management (as of 2020), as well as a Trail Adopter and often, group hike sweep. With coordinated efforts, John organized sawyer certification classes for volunteers, communicated with work crews, led construction of a new puncheon walk, and assisted the NPS in managing invasive species in Augusta, Mich. – all during a pandemic that caused widespread restrictions. John spearheaded updating and expanding the Chapter’s outreach efforts to include social media promotion and attendance at unique events. He is dedicated to trail construction, maintenance and building, and his fellow Chapter members.

Darleen Warren. Darlene and her husband joined the Grand Traverse Hiking Club Chapter in 2006. They became Trail Adopters at that time and continue to maintain the same section 14 years later. Darlene became a Board member; Chapter Treasurer in May 2008 and has held that position for 12 years now. She has organized the Chapter’s biggest fundraiser for the past five years at the Bay Shore Marathon in Traverse City: She schedules about 12 volunteers to staff the parking lots at the event every Memorial Day weekend.

Who from your local Chapter, state or region do you want to celebrate? Nominate them for an NCTA Award! Awards are annual, and nominations for 2022 NCTA Awards are open through May 1, 2022.