Our speaker next week will be IU President Michael A. McRobbie. Mr. McRobbie became the 18th president of Indiana University in 2007. IU is one of the largest universities in the United States, with seven campuses, a total budget of more than $3.5 billion, and more than 9,000 faculty, 11,000 staff, 112,000 students, and 700,000 living alumni. Mr. McRobbie joined IU in 1997 as the university’s first vice president of information technology and chief information officer. We’ll be back in the Frangipani Room at noon. Be sure to wear your IU colors.
This Week’s News
Liz Feitl honored at Women’s History Month
Liz Feitl was named a recipient of the Toby Strout Lifetime Contribution Award on Wed., March 21, at the 33rd Annual Women’s History Lunch. Liz was honored for her 15 years as AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison with United Way as well as her other work in the community.
The award is in honor of Toby Strout, a long-time member of our club. Past and present club members who have been honored in previous years include Kyla Cox Deckard, who was named an Emerging Leader, and Judy DeMuth, Toby Strout, Viola Taliaferro, and Charlotte Zietlow, all of whom were selected as Woman of the Year.
Murray to present program
Glenda Murray will present a free program Wed., March 28, at 7 p.m. at the Monroe County History Center, 202 E. 6th Street, on “Electing Women in Bloomington and Monroe County, 1920-2000.” The public is invited.
Register for state conference
Don’t forget to register for the AllINRotary statewide conference, to be held April 20-21 at the Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. Registration deadline is April 9. This conference brings together the three Indiana Rotary districts and provides an opportunity to learn, network, and grow. Register today at www.allinrotary.org.
MARCH 20 PROGRAM: Leslie Green, Club Backpacker
Jim Shea introduced Leslie Green, our backpacker in residence. Leslie agreed to serve as fill-in speaker when the president of LifeDesigns was called away to an out-of-town meeting. Her presentation was “Adventures in Backpacking.” In a tip-of-the-hat to her day job, Leslie spent a few minutes providing an overview of Stone Belt, where she serves as executive director. Stone Belt serves 1,600 community members with disabilities. It provides employment and housing assistance as well as clinical services. Stone Belt is primarily funded by Medicaid dollars but receives support from grants and the United Way. Leslie joined Stone Belt in 1979.
Leslie is an avid backpacker. A lifetime hiker, she started backpacking about five years ago. One of her biggest early mistakes was forgetting to pack bug spray. In the early days she packed more weight than she does today. By using lighter gear, she’s saved 15 pounds of carrying weight. Researching backpacking mechanics has become easier in recent times with the numerous YouTube videos on the subject.
She goes backpacking about six times a year and stays out from two to eight days at a time. This year she plans to hike into the LeConte Lodge in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This rustic lodge, with its basic amenities, is available only to hikers and eliminates the necessity of carrying heavy packs. Leslie also plans to backpack in the Missouri Ozarks and visit the Appalachian Trail in the Roan Highlands of North Carolina.
Leslie and her husband backpack together, but more often she goes out with a hiking club. The big three weight items in backpacking (besides food and water) are 1) the sleep and shelter system, 2) the water system (filtration system, with backup purification tablets), and 3) the cook kit (including fuel and stove). Clothing includes a base layer, mid layer and thermal layer. She carries separate sleeping clothes and rain gear (even in the desert). In addition, Leslie carries emergency supplies, navigation, maps, GPS, compass and a signaling device. She also carries toiletries, medicine, and a flashlight and headlamp.
Leslie describes herself as a mid-weight packer. She explained that, with an unlimited budget, you can spend a fair amount of money to save more pack weight. She is currently trying to convert to a hammock sleep system to save weight.
When she is not cooking for a group of hikers, Leslie has a clever system that uses an empty cat food can as a stove. This simple contraption cuts the weight of her stove to four ounces while still allowing her to cook hot meals. Cooking for backpacking is all about calories because it is hard work and she and her friends hike 7 to 13 miles per day. The amount of water that she carries varies depending on the climate and location. In the desert, she carries a lot of water, but in Indiana, where water is plentiful, she needs only two liters. In order to maintain calorie intake, she carries 1.5 pounds of food per day wherever she backpacks.
Leslie said that we have great backpacking trails right here in Indiana. Her favorite is the Knobstone Trail, the longest “through” trail in Indiana. She likes to use this trail as a training site for her bigger backpacking trips.
Questioned about the use of poles (“trekking poles”), Leslie said 80 to 90 percent of the backpackers use them to help when climbing up and down hills. She feels naked without them. Asked about the speed of travel and final weight of her pack, she said that, when hiking in groups, her pace slows to about two miles per hour but can be three miles per hour when she is hiking alone. In temperate Indiana, her pack’s total weight is 20 to 23 pounds for a three- to four-day trip.
Asked about wildlife challenges she has experienced, Leslie said that Appalachian Trail shelters present “critter” challenges. Mice and other creatures live there in expectation of foraging food from hikers. She shared a couple of stories about rattlesnakes and copperheads she encountered in her campsite.
President-elect Earon Davis presided. Beth Spradley greeted us. Dick Rose and Monika Kroener both had birthdays this week. Shelli Yoder celebrates her five-year Rotary anniversary; Steve Moberly celebrates 11 years, and past president Keith Brown celebrates 46 years.
Joy Harter announced that the Bloomington Rotaract Club is reforming. Melissa Stone, Mary Barnard, and Matt Stephens, present as guests, are the principals in the effort to establish an IU Rotaract Club. Melissa works at IU, and Mary and Matt are freshmen.
Jim Bright reflected on Rotary leadership. He extended his compliments to our absent club president, Mike Baker, on doing a great job in our 100th year as a club. He also thanked Ron Jensen, who began organizing for our centennial year before handing it off to Mike. Our centennial gala is scheduled for May 10. From our club 56 people have registered so far. It is a great honor to have RI President Ian Riseley present for the event.
Dave Meyer, Reporter