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[at-l] Hike Leader Advice

Love those HAAT reports!  Glad you decided to go, POG.  Well done!

I haven't been able to get to the HAAT website, is there any indication of
how much of the AT was actually covered last weekend?

Here in Massachusetts we'll be having our own version of HAAT-M.  It will
be time for the Berkshire AMC's AT day soon.  I'd like to encourage any
listers in the area to join us on Sept 23rd on one of the 14 hikes taking
place that day on the AT in Mass.  Details are in AMC Outdoors, or send me
a note and I'll fill you in.  A "church supper" is planned for 6pm in
Pittsfield ($10).

Other than the invitation, I'm writing to query the list for some advice.
I've been asked (well, appointed) to lead one of the hikes (RT2 to VT
border and return).  I'm not much of a group hiker and would be glad to
hear your thoughts on various dos and don'ts for hike leaders.

For instance, there's no way 10 people will all have the same pace, and my
own pace won't put me in the forefront of the group (is it possible to be a
leader from the REAR of the pack?).  Right now, my basic approach is to
have 2 or 3 pre-arranged stopping points where we can regroup and I can
count heads, asses people's condition, and chat about the trail for 5
minutes or so.  Do you think this is too restrictive/compulsive (I have
this thing about schedule, remember)?  Will the early arrivers be put out
waiting for the tail enders?

My basic asumption is that this is a social event for people with similar
interests, it shouldn't be an "expedition".  My basic duty is to make sure
everyone returns in one piece, so I expect I'll stick with members of the
group who seem to be having the most difficult time of it, but this will
make it difficult to stay connected with the speedier hikers.

I don't want to be a "hike nazi".  Any suggestions?  It's too late to say
no, the info's already been published.  Besides, as an AT Committee member,
it's kind of rewarding to show off the AT.


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