Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

EARTH DAY EDUCATION: Amanda Perry, a Senior in Girl Scout Troop 237 of Bethel, reads a poster about rainforest at a display along the trail of Saturday’s Earth Day walk.

Despite Weather, Walkers Give It Their 'Best Shot'

By Rob Potter
WURTSBORO — April 25, 2000 -- Members of the Sarah Wells Girl Scout Council and the Volkssport Club of West Point teamed up for a walk Saturday.
Unfortunately, it was a cool, soggy event for the scouts and walkers.
And because of the dreary weather, the number of walkers to stroll along the D&H Canal, for either a distance of 6K (about 3.5 miles) or 13K (approximately eight miles), was less than anticipated.
But the focus of the afternoon was not limited simply to the walk. Area Girl Scouts made Earth Day displays along the trail to remind everyone of the beautiful plants and animals which share the planet.
One eye-catching display was a Recycling Cemetery. It featured a series of white crosses. Lying on the ground beside the crosses were things usually carelessly tossed along roadways and in wooded areas by people. At the first cross, for instance, were two half-eaten apples and a message that it takes between one and 26 weeks for the apples to completely decompose. Other items in the cemetery were soda and beer cans, which require 80 to 200 years to decompose, and Styrofoam cups, for which there is an indefinite decomposition period.
Girl Scouts from Troops 237-Bethel and 446-Maybrook sold refreshments to raise money for members who are traveling to other states and nations to participate in Wider Opps. (Wider Opportunities) programs.
One intrepid walker was Girl Scout Leader Laurie Coons of Troop 284-Montgomery, who planned to traverse the trail with fellow leader Vaune Sherin of Troop 446.
“I came out to support the Girl Scouts,” noted Coons. “And I enjoy walking, so I’ll probably walk the whole trail.”
The Volkssport Club of West Point helped sponsor the Earth Day Walk with the Sarah Wells Council, which covers Sullivan and Orange Counties as well as Pike County, Pa.
“When somebody plans a walk, we’ll publicize it,” noted Volkssport member Joan Kimmel. “Our members go for walks all over – you can go to different states or you can stay local if you want. We just enjoy the fun of walking.”
Hundreds of Volkssport Clubs are active across the nation and have their own publication, “The American Wanderer.” For more information, visit the Volkssport website at
Despite the weather conditions, the spirits of the Volkssporters, scouts and leaders weren’t dampened.
“We’re giving it our best shot,” noted Judy Gabriel, a leader with Troop 237.

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