Prairie Wanderers

The Prairie Wanderers promotes non-competitive walking and other family-oriented sports activities in the eastern part of South Dakota.


Welcome to the Prairie Wanderers Volkssport Club Web Site!


The Prairie Wanderers promotes non-competitive walking and other family-oriented sports activities in the eastern part of South Dakota.

The Club meets every other month at the locations, times, and on the dates listed on the Calendar page. We welcome visitors and new members to join us for our meetings and to come walk with us.


Prairie Wanderers Upcoming Seasonal Events - 2017

Brookings April 1 thru October 31, 2017 - University Stroll - Brookings, SD

Walk only during daylight hours. Walk is on city sidewalks and recreation trails. Goes past McCrory Gardens and through historic downtown Brookings and the South Dakota State University Campus. Passes by "The Children's Museum" with animated "Momma Rex" in the backyard. Quiet residential neighborhoods.

Start - Brookings Hospital - 300 22nd Avenue. From I-29 take exit 132 West onto Hwy 14 (6th Street) to 22nd Avenue. Turn left 3 blocks to hospital on left side of 22nd Ave at 3rd Street. Coming from the West, stay on Hwy 14 going east to 22nd Ave. Then right 3 blocks to the start.

Mitchell April 1 thru October 31, 2017 - Mitchell, SD - Corn Palace Walk

Daily, dawn to dusk. Trail is on city Recreation Trails and sidewalks featuring museums and the world's only Corn Palace. Goes through the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University and past the George McGovern Library.

Start - Queen of Peace Hospital - 525 North Foster. From I-90 Exit #332 North on Burr St to 5th Ave. Right to Foster. From SD Hwy 37 go East on 5th Ave to Foster.

Sioux Falls April 1 thru October 31, 2017 - Sioux Falls, SD - Big Sioux River

Daily, dawn to dusk. This walk will be on city sidewalks and recreation trails, through historic and park areas including the Falls of the Big Sioux River. The walk will include 18 special event walk credits.

Start - Country Inn & Suites - 200 East 8th St.(Phone 605-373-0153 Reservations Only). From I-29 Exit 81. Follow Russell St to Main Ave. Right (south) on Main to 8th St. Left (east) 2 blocks to start point. From I-90 Exit 400 onto I-229. South to Exit 7. Right on Rice St to Cliff Ave. Left to 8th St. Right to motel.

Sioux Falls April 1 thru October 31, 2017 - Sioux Falls, SD - Outdoor Campus Nature Walk

Mon-Fri, 8 to 5; Sat 10 to 4; Sun 1 to 4. Route covers the three distinct prairie, riparian and woodland trails within the Outdoor Campus Complex. Goes on recreation trail along Big Sioux River and city sidewalks, past city parks and historical markers.

Start - Outdoor Campus at Sertoma Park - 4500 South Oxbow Avenue. Start box is at Nature Center Information Desk. From I-29 take Exit 77 and go east on 41st St to Louise Ave. Right on Louise to 49th St. Left on 49th St to Oxbow Ave. Right on Oxbow to entrance of Sertoma Park. Left into park.

Watertown April 1 thru October 31, 2017 - Watertown, SD

Trail is mostly on recreation path and sidewalks. Follows Big Sioux River, through parks, passes by Bramble Park Zoo, historic downtown and neighborhoods. Passes inspiration points used by famed artist Terry Redlin in his paintings. Walk is in Codington County. 5K will drive 4 miles back to Redlin Art Center to start of walk.

Start - Best Western Ramkota Hotel - 1901 9th Ave SW. 605-886-8011 or Best Western Ramkota Hotel. From I-29 exit 177 go 4.2 miles straight west on US Hwy 212. Ramkota will be on right. Ask desk clerk for walk folder.

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Prairie Wanderers Upcoming Seasonal Events - 2018

April 1 thru October 31, 2018 - University Stroll - Brookings, SD

April 1 thru October 31, 2018 - Mitchell, SD - Corn Palace Walk

April 1 thru October 31, 2017 - Sioux Falls, SD - Big Sioux River

April 1 thru October 31, 2017 - Sioux Falls, SD - Outdoor Campus Nature Walk

April 1 thru October 31, 2017 - Watertown, SD

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Traditional Events

Prairie Wanderers Traditional Events - 2017

All of the Traditional Events for 2017 have been completed. Below are listed our 2018 Traditional Events sanctioned so far. Come join us!

Prairie Wanderers Traditional Events for 2018

County Walks 2018

The Prairie Wanderers have sanctioned 6 walks in the Eastern South Dakota area. The walks will take place the weekend of September 14, 15 and 16 of 2018. There will be one walk in each of the following counties: Roberts, Day, Clark, Kingsbury, Hamlin and Moody.

Download the informational brochure for the South Dakota County Walks 2018

September 14-16, 2018 - Dickinson Park; Clark, SD - Clark County

September 14-16, 2018 - Hartford Beach State Park; Corona, SD - Roberts County

September 14-16, 2018 - Washington Park; De Smet, SD - Kingsbury County

September 14-16, 2018 - Estelline City Park; Estelline, SD - Hanlin County

September 14-16, 2018 - Flandreau City Park; Flandreau, SD - Moody County

September 14-16, 2018 - Webster City Park; Webster, SD - Day County


Prairie Wanderers 2017 Calendar


1 - Happy New Year










 1 - All Seasonal Walks Begin

16 - Easter Sunday



20 - Spring Flower Stroll, Bruce














16 - Fall Foliage Stroll, Canton


31 - All Seasonal Walks End








25 - Merry Christmas




Summer 2017 Spring 2017 Fall 2017
Winter 2017 Fall 2016 Summer 2016
October 2015 January 2016 March 2016
November/December 2014 April 2015 August 2015
May/June 2014 July/August 2014 September/October 2014
November/December 2013 January/February 2014 March/April 2014
July/August 2013 May/June 2013 January/February 2013
November/December 2012 March/April 2012 July/August 2012



Fall 2017

The Prairie Wind Autumn 2017

Members of the Prairie Wanderers Volkssport Club were deeply saddened by the passing of two of our long time members. Bill Hofstad, former club Vice-President and biker extraordinaire, passed away in late September. Allen Nelson, who traveled the country after retirement and enjoyed walking in many of the states, passed away earlier this month. Both men will be missed by all who knew them.

Our next club meeting will be on Saturday October 21st in Watertown. Be at the Ramkota start point for the seasonal walk early enough to register for a 10:00 AM start of the walk. There will be groups doing the 5K and 11K. After the walk we will have lunch at Minerva’s and then a short club meeting.

Topics will include our 2018 traditional event schedule and a look forward into 2019. We have seven traditional walks on the agenda for 2018. We have sanctioned six county walks in Eastern South Dakota. We will need the help of a lot of club members in order to successfully host these walks. The walks are scheduled for September 14, 15 and 16. We will need a club member to be present at the start/finish of the walks to assist walkers to get on the trails.

IVV achievements – Donna Campbell and Lee Frantz 325 events. Duane Neugebauer 575 & 600 events. Congratulations on your achievements. We look forward to seeing you on the trails.

The Big Give, AVA’s annual fundraiser, will be on March 22, 2018. A topic at our October club meeting will be our club’s donation to this effort.

Each November on Black Friday the AVA pushes the Opt Outside walking program. Clubs are encouraged to either sanction a traditional walk or host a group walk(s) for one of their year round or seasonal events. Our club events are finished at this time of the year and it is not practical to schedule a traditional event due to our winter weather possibilities.

AVA is looking into changing their accounting year. There is a good chance that they will change to a calendar year basis rather than a fiscal (accounting) year basis. When the AVA changed their system several years ago the Prairie Wanderers did the same. If AVA changes we will need to decide if we want to change again in order to be in sync with the AVA system.

Newly designed event stamps are coming soon. Reportedly they will be more unique to each club and event. The anticipated release date for the newly designed stamp kits is early December. Once the kits arrive we will determine what needs to be done to make our event stamps. There is plenty of time to accomplish this as seasonal events don’t start until April 1st.

The 3rd quarter participation for our seasonal walks was 99. A breakdown of the numbers for each event will be published in the winter newsletter. Remember that our seasonal events end on October 31st. There is still plenty of time left to do several of the events before the end date.

The fall Crazy Horse event drew 4148 paid walkers. The weather was good and many first time walkers come to the event. The Outlaw Ranch walk the day before Crazy Horse drew 81 participants. Our own Duane Neugebauer was the POC for this event.

There were at least ten members of the Prairie Wanderers Club in attendance at the Solar Eclipse Events in and around Grand Island, Nebraska. The eclipse itself was spectacular. We were able to see the entire event unfold into “totality” as there were no clouds to interfere with the line of sight. Many thanks to the Nebraska Wanderfreunde Trailblazers for the great job they did in putting together this great weekend of events.

Thanks for your time.

Dan Peters, President PWVC



Summer 2017

The Prairie Wind Summer 2017

There is no doubt that summer is upon us. A lot of heat and humidity and even a few thunderstorms in our area. A lot of days are only good for a morning walk

Our next club meeting will be in Watertown on Saturday October 21, 2017. We will meet at the Ramkota to register for the seasonal walk. Please be there and registered by 10 a.m. so we can get the walk in before lunch. Lunch will be at a location agreed on by those present – usually Minerva’s. Then we will have our 2017 wrap-up meeting following lunch.

Our next traditional event for 2017 will be at Newton Hills State Park south of Canton on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Walk registration will be from 9 a.m. to noon and finish by 3 p.m. We have changed the start of the walk to picnic shelter number 5. For those of you who did that walk last year this is the shelter we used for the checkpoints along the walk. Is there any interest in having a club picnic in conjunction with the walk? Ellen and I will be celebrating the completion of 40 years of volksmarch participation.

Our May 20 walk at Oakwood Lakes drew 7 participants plus Larry and Janet who set up the walk. This is the fewest participants to ever show for a Prairie Wanderers event. Thank you Larry and Janet for putting this walk together. Our June 24th meeting drew a total of 4 club members. This also was the lowest attendance ever at a club meeting.

IVV Achievements - Distance - Donna Campbell 2000 K; Lee Frantz 2000 K; Gary Lofswold 12,000 K and Dan Peters 25,000 K. Events – Gaye Grider 50; Gary Lofswold 1100 and 1150; Ellen Peters 2300 and Dan Peters 2300. Centurion Program Completion – Gary Lofswold in 2016.

Participation in seasonal events for the second quarter was as follows: Sioux Falls Downtown 58; Mitchell 33; Rock Valley 26; Brookings 26; Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus 25 and Watertown 23 for a total of 191 participants. This is the highest second quarter total in several years. No doubt having the convention in Montana helped draw walkers passing through our area. We received several favorable comments on the quality of our walks.

In case you have not seen the participation results – the Crazy Horse walk drew 9005 this year. Not a record but a good turnout none the less.

The new club T-Shirts have been delivered to those who ordered them. If you missed out you can contact Janet at and place your order. If you would rather have a polo or sweatshirt they are also available. If you don’t care for the club color it is okay to select a color other than the yellow which the club members chose for the new color.

The June 24th club meeting was our biennial election of club officers. The following were elected to serve for the next two years. President – Dan Peters, Vice-President – Gary Lofswold, Secretary – Janet (Larry) Gerjets and Treasurer – Sam Vaughn.

Gary briefed those present on the recently completed AVA Convention. You can read all about the convention in the latest edition of The American Wanderer or go online to the AVA website

I have made the decision that this will be my last two years of service as club president of the Prairie Wanderers. I have been serving as club president and/or North Central Regional Director since 1995 with a 16 month break from July 200l to December 2002. It is time for new blood while I can still pass on corporate knowledge to the successor. The position is not difficult once one learns the tasks that need to be accomplished to keep the club running smoothly.

We are by no means quitting the sport. We will continue to be active members as long as we can possibly contribute. I recently purchased a 5000 KM distance book. At the rate of 100 walks per year it will take at least five years to fill this book.

Dan Peters, President Prairie Wanderers Volkssport Club



Spring 2017

The Prairie Wind - Spring 2017 Newsletter

NEXT CLUB MEETING: Saturday, April 22. We will meet at the Brookings Hospital, the start point for the Brookings seasonal walk, at 1:45 PM. We will start the walk at 2 PM with a group for the 10 K and another group for the 5 K. After the walk we will have dinner at the restaurant agreed upon by the walkers. Approximately 5:30 PM we will gather at Sam Vaughn’s home for a club meeting.

NOTE – The start point at the hospital has moved from the west side to the far southeast corner of the building. There is parking available on either the south or east side of the building. It is best to enter the hospital complex from Yorkshire Drive, first street south of the hospital, to avoid the construction activities.

NEXT CLUB EVENT: Saturday, May 20 at Oakwood Lakes State Park near Bruce, South Dakota. Registration is from 9 AM until noon and off the trail by 3 PM. We may have some new walkers so any club members willing to walk with them would be greatly appreciated. This is Open House Weekend at all South Dakota State Parks so the entry fee into the park is waived.

IVV ACHIEVEMENTS: Donna Campbell and Lee Frantz have each completed 300 events. We note that Lee is now the President of the Nebraska Wanderfruende Volkssport Club. Ken and Jane Legaard have completed 2900 events. Congratulations to all and thank you for your participation in our sport.

Gary Lofswold will be our club representative at the AVA National Convention in Billings, Montana. We will discuss agenda items at the meeting and also the candidates for national office. We should have some guidance as to how the club would like to have their votes cast.

A hearty welcome to our newest club members – Stan and Becky Frislie from Watertown, South Dakota. Be sure to introduce yourself and say hello to them when you see them on the trails. Also Dan and Barb Ripperger joined us last fall. They are also from Watertown and have finished their first 10 event IVV book.

AGENDA ITEMS: It is the time of the year we start thinking about what events we as a club want to sponsor during 2018. If you are the POC for one of our seasonal walks let me know if you wish to renew for next year. If you are or are not a POC and would like to host a walk in a new location be prepared to present your idea(s) at the next meeting.

The idea to have several county walks in the northeastern part of South Dakota is being worked on at this time. The idea is to have one day traditional walks. Proposed counties are Roberts, Day, Clark, Spink, Hamlin and Kingsbury. Roberts and Kingsbury have had walks in prior years (many moons ago). We need to discuss the best time to hold these events taking into consideration weather, competition from other events in the area, etc.

Please read the proposed AVA By-Law changes that will be voted on at the June convention. If adopted the new rules would greatly alter how AVA is governed. Let your thoughts be known at the meeting or if you cannot attend send an email to me. Also read the biographies in TAW concerning the candidates for AVA President and AVA Treasurer. We need to give Gary the necessary guidance to cast our ballot at the convention.

It is time for the biennial election of club officers. Elections are held in June of odd numbered years. If you would like to be a candidate for any of the four elected offices please get in touch with me. Club dues are payable at this time. Our membership year runs from July 1 through June 30. Dues are $5.00 per person per year. Bring you money to the next club meeting or the next walk. If you are unable to attend either of these events mail to: Sam Vaughn; 3310 Pine Ave; Brookings, SD 57006. If anyone has anything they would like to have included in future newsletters just send an email to me and it will be included.

Dan Peters

Club President



Winter 2016/2017

Winter is moving along although not as rapidly as we walkers would like. I am working on this newsletter between trips to the south. Much more conducive to walking outdoors and much more interesting than doing the treadmill.

Congratulations to the following for their IVV Achievements: Donna Campbell 275 Events; Lee Franz – 275 Events; Duane Neugebauer 525 and 550 Events. Jim and Martha McGahan have completed 22,000 Kilometers.

Our seasonal event participation for our 2016 Seasonal Events was as follows: Sioux Falls Downtown – 59; Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus – 70; Brookings – 45; Rock Valley – 48; Mitchell – 41; Chamberlain – 36 and Watertown 41. The 340 total participation is the most in several years. Thanks to each and every one of you for your support. We have renewed all of the seasonal walks for 2017 with the exception of Chamberlain.

We have sanctioned two traditional events for 2017. On Saturday May 20th we will walk at Oakwood Lakes State Park near Bruce. On Saturday September 17th we will walk at Newton Hills State Park near Canton.

A challenge for all of you who serve as a point of contact for our seasonal events. How about picking a day to host your seasonal event. This will provide additional opportunities for club members and others interested to get together and walk, talk and perhaps eat after the walk. For all club members let me know if you are interested and what days and times work best for you.

The Omaha Nebraska club is hosting a Total Solar Eclipse 2017 series of events in and around Grand Island, Nebraska. The events are the weekend of August 18 – 21. This is a great chance to get in a few walks and to get to know your fellow volkssporters. If you are interested in a brochure let me know as we do have a supply. As a warning if you are thinking about attending make your hotel/motel reservations soon and they will sell out in the entire mid Nebraska area.

The spring Crazy Horse event is scheduled for June 3 and 4, 2017. The fall event is scheduled for Sunday October 1, 2017.

Club members are encouraged to take a look at all of the seasonal walks in Western Minnesota in 2017. The clubs from the Twin Cities area have sanctioned several walks that are within easy driving distance of our Eastern South Dakota members. There are also several really nice year round walks in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. All of the above make for a neat overnight trip.

Janet has volunteered to work on new Prairie Wanderers Club T-Shirts. They are in the design stage and she will have a rough idea of what they will look like and what the cost will be at our next club meeting. The meeting will be sometime in April.

The AVA Biennial Convention will be held June 7 through 9 in Billings Montana. As is the case at every convention an item on the business agenda will be the election of officers to lead us during the next two years. Candidates for national officer positions have their biographies in the March/April edition of THE AMERICAN WANDERER. Please read these bios and be prepared to tell our clubs delegate to the convention who we should receive our vote. Another item to be voted on will be a huge change to the AVA By-Laws. Be prepared to let your club delegate know where you stand on this issue.

As most of you are aware I am Chair of the North Central Regional Director Nominating Committee. As of today we have a candidate for Regional Director – Jerry Wilson – the incumbent. We also have a candidate for the newly created position of Deputy Regional Director. Butch Spaulding of the Nebraska Wanderfreunde Trailblazers has thrown his hat into the ring. The nominating period is still open so if anyone wants to be a candidate just let a committee member know and we will work with you to get on the ballot.

This is also the year that the Prairie Wanderers hold their biennial election. Think about serving your club as an elected officer. The election will be held in June at our meeting which will be after the national convention. Ellen and I will be out of the area from January 30th until early March. Weather determines our date of return to South Dakota. We will do several walks in the Southeast and participate in the President’s Day Weekend walks at West Panama City Beach, Florida. The club had their initial set of events last year and had a good turnout. This year they have moved to a larger facility and have at least on bus tour group signed up for the weekend. Always a lot of fun to walk with new and old friends and to walk in warm Florida weather.

The Prairie Wanderers will be doing a “What is Volksmarching” presentation in Watertown. Date and time will be determined. We need a lot of club members to help out with this gathering as one on one contact is much more conducive to get the message across.

Our next club meeting will be in April. We will determine date, time and place when we return from the south.

Thanks for your time

Dan Peters, President PWVC



Fall 2016

Our next scheduled walk will take place on Sunday September 25 at Newton Hills State Park. Start times are 9 AM until noon. Finish by 3 PM. We are hosting the Black Hills Volkssport Association’s bus tour at this event. Come out and renew acquaintances with our friends from the Black Hills. The last time we had a club walk in Newton Hills was in October of 2000. There have been a lot of positive changes in Newton Hills since that time. Come and check them out. It will be well worth your time. Gary has laid out a challenging trail through the best that the park has to offer. Don’t wear your new white shoes. Hiking boots/shoes or old shoes should be the footwear of choice. In case it is really wet Gary has a trail set up that is entirely on hard surface. 5 K options are available.

Next Club Meeting: Saturday, October 8 at Watertown. We will gather at the Ramkota Hotel start point for the Watertown seasonal walk at 2:30 PM. After the walk we will have a short business meeting. At the meeting we will finalize plans for our traditional walks to be held in 2017. After the meeting we will gather at Minerva’s for dinner unless the attendees have another place they would rather dine.

IVV Achievements: Jennifer Nathem - 125 Events and 1000 and 1500 Ks; Donna Campbell, Lee Frantz - 250 Events; Bonnie Fuerst – 250 Events and 2500 Ks. Gary Lofswold – 1000 and 1050 Events and 11,000 Ks; Jane and Ken Legaard 2800 Events

Our Huron/Mitchell weekend was a great success. Our participation was 174 for the five events. The average of 35 per event was more than enough to make the effort worthwhile. Participants walked anywhere from one event to five events. The vast majority walked all five events. The weather was absolutely perfect for the entire weekend. Thank you to Duane for setting up the trails. Setting up five 10 K and five 5 K trails is no easy task especially when the trails are hundreds of miles from his home. Thanks also to the Legaards, McGahans, Gerjets, Jennifer, Gary and Sam for their work during the events. Special thanks to Ellen for pre walking all of the events (some several times) to help tweak the written instructions and the maps. She also spent many hours at the start/finish table. We heard numerous favorable comments on the fun weekend.

Setting up the start/finish across the street from the Corn Palace was a great idea. Interest was generated from people stopping by to visit the Corn Palace. Most of them had Volksmarched in Germany and did not even know that the program exists in the United States. We had a good number of people from Mitchell stop by for information and a handful did the walk and left their email address, phone number or snail mail address. We will contact all of them to see if we can interest any of them into becoming dedicated volksmarchers. A special thanks to the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce for allowing us to use their front patio to set up our start/finish point. Also thanks to the Mitchell Public High School for scheduling their homecoming parade on Saturday and parading right past our start point.

We need your ideas for traditional events for 2017. Having multi event weekends is the best way to draw participants. We are long distances from the volkssporting population centers and having several events makes it worth their time to come our way. One idea I have come up with would be to have a start point in Watertown and do four or perhaps five counties in the area. Roberts, Day, Clark and Hamlin are easily reachable from Watertown. Other clubs, whose events we have walked, use this strategy for multi event weekends. By doing this the workers can stay at one start point while the participants travel to the places where the walks take place. There are several walkers from around the country who are attempting to walk in each of the 3069 counties in the United States. If a club schedules a weekend with several new counties they will come to your events.

This is just one idea. Several ideas were tossed around at the last club meeting. We need your ideas for traditional walks. We have club members that are willing to help find suitable start/finish points and set up trails etc.

If you are planning on going to the 2017 AVA Convention in Billings Montana it is a good idea to make your hotel reservations early. Billings is not a large city and has a lot of tourist traffic stopping by for the night. By making your reservations soon you can guarantee your room for the entire length of the convention.

Most of our veteran club members remember Rita Eldridge a walker from Omaha who never missed a Dakota Dozen. She recently fell and broke a femur. She is in rehab. If you would like to send a card to her contact Dan and he will send her address to you.

Remember that our seasonal events are open until October 31. Fall is here and great walking weather comes with fall. Support your club by doing as many of these events as you can during the remainder of the season. Your club counts on your support.

If you will need new IVV event and distances books for your winter adventures they will be available at the Newton Hills walk or at the club meeting in Watertown. If you are not an AVA Associate Member please consider joining. You will save more than the cost of joining when you register for the 2017 AVA Convention.

Hope to see everyone at Newton Hills Sunday.




Summer 2016

We realize that we missed sending out a newsletter prior to the June meeting which has been the custom in past years. Travel, computer problems and medical appointments have delayed this edition.

As you are all aware we are in the middle of the good old summer time. Most days it is safer to walk in the morning hours and avoid the midday heat.

UPCOMING TRADITIONAL EVENTS: September 16th we have two walks in Huron; September 17th and 18th we have three walks in Mitchell (you can do all three walks each should you so desire); September 25th we do our final walk of the season in Newton Hills State Park near Canton. We will be in touch with our volunteers to work with them on a workers schedule for all six of the events. Check the AVA web site for details on each walk or refer to your 2016 BHVA Event Book.

IVV Accomplishments – Donna Campbell and Lee Frantz 225 Events and 1500 Kilometers. Bob Kruger – 1700 events and Dan and Ellen Peters 2200 Events. Congratulations on your accomplishments and keep up the good work.

The participation for our seven seasonal walks was down from last year. During the first three months this season we had 118 participants. We need to do a minimum of 300 participants each year to keep the event operating in the black.

Candace (Candy) Purcell long time Finance & Operations Director at AVA Headquarters has retired. Candy has been with the organization for many years and served us well. She served as interim Executive Director on several occasions. She was the go to person with a plethora of corporate knowledge. Her departure leaves a huge gap at the headquarters. We wish her well in her retirement and thank her for her many years of service.

Your club has started work on events for 2017. The POC’s for the seasonal events have been contacted and responses are coming into the system. We are still looking for club members to step forward and volunteer to do the work and host traditional events during 2017. A lot of ideas for walks were brought up during the June meeting. Now we need everyone to take a look at what they would like to do in 2017.

Sharon Hostad has relinquished her duties as our club secretary. Janet and Larry Gerjets have volunteered to take over the duties. Janet will be the official club secretary for signing legal documents etc., and Larry will help out where needed. We thank Sharon for her many years of service to the Prairie Wanderers.

Gary Lofswold and Ellen Peters have volunteered to audit the clubs financial statements at the end of the fiscal year. Sam will close the books after June 30 and notify the team when she is ready for the audit. UPDATE: The audit was finished on July 11. The paperwork will be finished as soon as the AVA web site is repaired and back online.

Thanks to all of you who donated to the Big Give San Antonio. The donations totaled in excess of $53,000 and will help keep the AVA solvent for another fiscal year. With dwindling participation and active clubs fundraisers are the only way to keep the organization solvent. Club member Gary Lofswold’s donation was selected for an additional $1500 for the AVA.

It is time to start planning for the AVA Biennial Convention in June of 2017. The convention will be held from June 7th through 9th with additional walks the two days before the actual meeting dates and the two days immediately following the meetings. The Rocky Mountain Region is hosting the convention in Billings, Montana. As most of you are aware they need a lot of help in hosting this convention. Go to the AVA web pages and click on the convention web pages for your chance to volunteer your assistance.

We have started the process of renewing our seasonal walks for 2017. We will not have a walk in Chamberlain next year. Duane has opted out of being POC. Participation has been declining for the past several years thus making this a good time to let the walk go by the wayside.

Eight club members attended the June 23rd meeting. It was voted to renew a Certificate of Deposit for $6,000 and put the remaining $465+ into the checking account. We operated the past fiscal year in the black but with declining membership and participation at our events the black may soon turn to red.

Our next club meeting will be in October. The tentative date is October 15. If this date holds we will meet and do the Watertown seasonal walk, have lunch at Minerva’s and then have a short meeting. Primary topic will be traditional events for 2017.


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March 2016

Spring is finally here! Our Seasonal Walks will open on April 1st (no fooling!) This year we have walks in Brookings, Chamberlain, Mitchell, Watertown and two in Sioux Falls. Also, Rock Valley, Iowa. As in past years, the participation fee for the first time you do each walk is $3. Each additional time you do the walk the fee is $2.

Our Traditional Events for 2016 will take place on September 16th with two walks in Huron and on September 17th & 18th we will host three walks in Mitchell. On September 25th we will host a walk at Newton Hills State Park south of Canton. This walk will be in conjunction with the Black Hills Club's annual bus tour. At last count they had 35 walkers signed up for the trip. We will do a "worker's walk" on Monday, September 19th for those who are working the event or just want to walk with us on that date.

For planning purposes, the spring Crazy Horse walk will be on June 4th and 5th. The fall (Buffalo Round-up) walk will be on Sunday, October 2nd. Note that the fall walk is one day only.

The Big Give San Antonio will take place on May 3, 2016. This program was highly successful in 2015 in that it raised nearly $60,000 for the AVA. You can either log on to the Big Give website on May 3rd or you can send a check directly to AVA and they will process it into the system. This is the opportunity for all walkers, even those of you who no longer participate in AVA events, to make a contribution to help sustain the organization.

The AVA 40th Anniversary Celebration Events will take place in Fredericksburg, Texas (the birthplace of volksmarching in America) on June 10th through the 12th. Check the AVA web pages or read the articles in The American Wanderer for more information. Also, anniversary T-shirts and patches are available for purchase. If there is enough interest in a patch, we can order them for a club event in September.

It is time to think about Traditional Walks for 2017. If anyone has any ideas for a walk or walks, contact Dan. We need to start working on them soon in order to establish the dates and locations for our walks.

Sick call: This has been a rough winter for some of our members. Jim McGahan has bypass surgery and is recovering very well. Bill (broken shoulder) and Roger (broken hip) suffered falls and spent time in the hospital. We wish them all a speedy recovery.

IVV Achievements: Bob Kruger has completed 1700 Events and Lee Frantz has completed 1500 KM. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

Our next meeting will be on April 30th in Brookings. Meet at the hospital start point and sign up to do the Brookings Seasonal Event. Be ready to walk at 2 PM. After the walk we will find a place for dinner and then off to Sam's home (3310 Pine Ave.) for our club meeting.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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January 2016

All of us in South Dakota are getting out our snowshoes! We have lots of snow and more on the way.

As I, as Secretary, have nothing to report, I am sending you the President's Notes verbatim:

Congratulations to Bob Kruger for completing 19,000 Kilometers!

Participation for our club Seasonal Events was up slightly for 2015. Counts are broken down as follows: Sioux Falls Downtown 71, Rock Valley 57, Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus 51, Mitchell 42, Brookings 40, Watertown 34, Chamberlain 27 and Roy Lake 16. Total for the year was 338 versus 293 in 2014. Thanks to everyone for your support.

A special thank you to those who volunteer their time to be a Point of Contact for our events. Also a big shout out to the club officers. If we did not have great volunteers we would soon cease to exist.

We have sanctioned all of the Seasonal Walks, except Roy Lake, for 2016. All will open on April 1st and run through October 31st.

We have also sanctioned six Traditional Walks for 2016. We will do two walks in Huron on Friday, September 16th. These walks will feature streets with State names. Huron has a plethora of such streets and should draw participants working on that Special Program. On September 17 & 18 we move to Mitchell. We have three walks over the two-day period. Walks will go to different parts of the city including the Prehistoric Indian Village.

On Sunday, September 25th, we have a walk in Newton Hills, south of Canton. Gary has set up trails that will match your ability and desires. If you like a challenge, Newton Hills provides that for you. If you like an easier trail, that will also be available. We will be hosting the Black Hills Club on the last day of their fall foliage tour. To date they have 35 signed up for the bus tour. We ask that all PWVC members make an effort to attend this event. A great opportunity to walk with your friends from the Hills. Some of the Newton Hills trails will remind them of walking in the Black Hills-except no elevation or rattlesnakes!

For our out-of-state club members and others unable to make it to Newton Hills on the 25th, we will be hosting a workers' walk on Monday, September 19th. You will be able to tie in with the three-day weekend at Huron and Mitchell and not have to make an extra trip to our area in order to get the walk done.

Our next club meeting will be in April. We can do any day but perhaps a Saturday would work best. Ellen & I will be out of town doing the Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada walks in early April. Weather permitting, we will be back in the area by April 15th. Any volunteers to host a meeting? Works best to do one of our Seasonal Walks before the meeting. NOTE-we will also be gone the entire month of February enjoying the walks in the warmer areas of the country.

Dan Peters, President

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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October 2015

Walking events seem to be winding down. There's still time to take advantage of the beautiful Fall season to any of our eight club events you may have missed. If you can't do all of them, do at least one or two. Every participant helps the AVA remain financially solvent. Our participation numbers for the season are running a little ahead of the past two years. With strong numbers in October we can have the best numbers since 2012.


Some of our club members have achieved walking goals this summer:

    • 30--Kelstin Olson
    • 75--Pat Kosters and Jennifer Nathem
    • 100--Jennifer Nathem
    • 500--Duane Neugebauer
    • 900--Gary Lofswold
    • 2700--Jane and Ken Legaard

    • 10000 KM--Gary Lofswold

Way to go Walkers!!!

Black Hills Volkssport Club sponsored a second Crazy Horse walk on September 27th. There were 4,029 registered walkers. This was the largest number of participants of any autumn event at this location.

The September 16, 17 and 18, 2016 walks in Huron and Mitchell are set. The trails have been established and by the time we have the meeting, trails, written directions and maps will be checked and put into final form. Now we need everyone to mark the dates on their calendars and plan on attending your club walks.

We have been asked by the Black Hills Club to do a walk in Newton Hills. This walk would be in conjunction with their bus trip in September 2016. The tentative date is Sunday, September 25, 2016. The date is subject to change and will be confirmed once the date for the autumn Crazy Horse event is announced. Gary Lofswold will be the POC for the Newton Hills walk.

Everyone is asked to fill out the survey referenced in the AVA CHECKPOINT. If your copy of the CHECKPOINT did not come through, you can find the survey on the AVA website. It only takes a few minutes to complete the survey. This is your chance to provide the Strategic Planning Committee with your ideas. The committee members have already dedicated a lot of time to this project but they need your input.

The final meeting of the year will be on October 17th in Watertown. We will meet at the Ramkota Best Western at 10 AM and do the Watertown Seasonal Walk. Following the walk, at about 12:30, lunch at Minerva's which is located in the Ramkota. After lunch we will have a short meeting. (the location to be determined)


Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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August 2015

Summer in South Dakota--have your walking shoes been getting a good workout?

BIG STONE CITY TRADITIONAL WALK The Border Crossing on July 11, 2015 was a big hit with walkers attending from 8 states. 38 walkers enjoyed walking in two states-South Dakota and Minnesota--and many dined on the great food available for all to enjoy. A big thanks to all the PWVC members who volunteered their time to make this a great event.

NATIONAL CONVENTION The proposal for AVA to join the IVV Americas was defeated by YES 57 and NO 143. National officers elected: Dennis Michele, President; Holly Pelking, Vice President; Sam Korff, Secretary; Larry Lehman, Treasurer. Jerry Wilson, Madison, Wisconsin club, is our new Regional Director. Gary Lofswold, our club delegate, will give a short briefing at the next meeting.

A newly formed Strategic Planning Committee will work on ideas to increase membership and increase revenue flow. Jeanne Miller from Bennington, NE. a member of the Omaha club, will be the North Central Region Representative. Jeanne is the daughter of Rita Eldrige. She will do an excellent job tracking these very difficult issues.

WALKS FOR 2016 Our Seasonal Walks for 2016 have been sanctioned. Walks will be in Brookings with POC Gary Lofswold (thanks to Janet Gerjets for her many years of monitoring this walk), Chamberlain and Mitchell with POC Duane Neugebauer, Rock Valley with POC Pat Kosters, SF Downtown with POC Sharon Hofstad, SF Outdoor Campus with POC Bruce Feistner, two Watertown walks with POC Sam Vaughn. We will not be having any Year-round walks. Roy Lake Walk has not been renewed. You still have until October 31st if you have not done this walk.

The Twin Cities and Lake Country Walkers clubs have asked us to participate in the Minnesota County Kick-off Weekend on April 30-May 1, 2016. The weekend will be headquartered in Luverne, MN. The Twin Cities club will host a guided border crossing walk from Hills, MN into Iowa. They would like to have the PWVC perhaps do a hosted/guided walk from one of the Sioux Falls walks and the Rock Valley, IA walk.

Duane is working on Traditional Events for 2016. We are setting aside the weekend of September 16-18, 2016. Tentative plans are to do two walks in Huron on Friday and then three walks in Mitchell on Saturday and Sundry. Please mark your calendars and plan on attending. There will be more details at a later date. Many thanks to those who have already volunteered to help work these events.

Thanks to all who renewed their club membership for the coming year!

ELECTION OF OFFICERS A unanimous ballot was cast at the meeting on June 11th to retain our current slate of officers: President Dannie Peters, Vice President Pat Kosters, Treasurer Sam Vaughn and Secretary Sharon Hofstad. Officers will serve a two year term.

CONGRATULATIONS! Dannie & Ellen Peters have walked 2100 Events, Dannie has walked 22000 KM, Donna Campbell has walked 175 Events, Lee Frantz has walked 175 Events. Bob Kruger managed to do all 10 of the South Dakota events while he was here for the Big Stone City weekend. Way to go walkers!

Our next meeting will on Thursday, August 20th in Sioux Falls. Members wishing to do the Downtown walk will meet at the Overlook Café at the Falls at 3 PM. We will have a meal at the Overlook following the walk (approx. 5 PM). The meeting will be at the Downtown Library (8th & Main) at 6:30 in the Conference Room.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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April 2015

Almost another year of volkssporting has come and gone. Here are the totals for the Seasonal Events: Sioux Falls Downtown - 60; Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus - 49; Rock Valley - 37; Mitchell - 32; Watertown - 26; Roy Lake - 20; Oakwood Lakes - 6. Oakwood Lakes was not renewed for 2015. The totals for the Year-Round Walks will be published in the next newsletter.

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: Dannie is again chairing the North Central Regional Director Nominating Committee. So far, Jerry Wilson from the Madison, Wisconsin club is the only candidate. As in the past when I find one volunteer candidate, I no longer look for additional candidates. However, if anyone is interested in being a candidate, they can contact me and have your name put on the list.

Issues with our club website have been resolved. Frank Sayers will continue to maintain the site for us. We will be updating the events and calendar listings soon.

There were nearly 70 registered for the North Central Region Rendezvous weekend events. The rain, wind and cold on Friday and Saturday kept the walk-in numbers low. Sunday was a sunny day and the total for the weekend was close to 250. Five PWVC members attended.

OLD BUSINESS: There were enough interested members responding positively to sanction the Big Stone City walk on July 11, 2015. You can check the AVA website for more details for special programs, start/finish times, etc. We will be using two checkpoints along the route as well as the usual start/finish duties. Several members have already volunteered to assist at the event but we can always use more helpers.

NEW BUSINESS: There will be three new seasonal events in southwest Minnesota in 2015. They will be sanctioned for 2015 only. A walk will be in Worthington and a walk and bike starting in Hills. Check out the details on the AVA website or in your copy of the Starting Point 2015.

The National Convention will be in Salem, Oregon, on July 15-19. Dannie and Ellen are tentatively planning to go. The club will need a delegate to attend the business meetings. If you are planning to go and would like to be the PWVC delegate, contact Dannie as soon as possible so paperwork can be finalized. The convention committee is soliciting donations for the Silent Auction. A cash donation from our club is the easiest way to go. Also, Phyllis Olson, NC Regional Director, will be soliciting cash donations for the Executive Council fund raiser. Members can voice their opinions and let Dannie know what the appropriate amounts should be.

Congratulations for Achievement Awards: Gary Lofswold 800 and 850 Events and 9000 KM; Ellen Peters 2000 Events; Dannie Peters 2000 Events and 21,000 KM; Sharon Hofstad for being POC for the Sioux Falls Big Sioux River Walk for 20 consecutive years. Way to go walkers!


Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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November/December 2014

Almost another year of volkssporting has come and gone. Here are the totals for the Seasonal Events: Sioux Falls Downtown - 60; Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus - 49; Rock Valley - 37; Mitchell - 32; Watertown - 26; Roy Lake - 20; Oakwood Lakes - 6. Oakwood Lakes was not renewed for 2015. The totals for the Year-Round Walks will be published in the next newsletter.

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: Dannie is again chairing the North Central Regional Director Nominating Committee. So far, Jerry Wilson from the Madison, Wisconsin club is the only candidate. As in the past when I find one volunteer candidate, I no longer look for additional candidates. However, if anyone is interested in being a candidate, they can contact me and have your name put on the list.

Issues with our club website have been resolved. Frank Sayers will continue to maintain the site for us. We will be updating the events and calendar listings soon.

There were nearly 70 registered for the North Central Region Rendezvous weekend events. The rain, wind and cold on Friday and Saturday kept the walk-in numbers low. Sunday was a sunny day and the total for the weekend was close to 250. Five PWVC members attended.

OLD BUSINESS: There were enough interested members responding positively to sanction the Big Stone City walk on July 11, 2015. You can check the AVA website for more details for special programs, start/finish times, etc. We will be using two checkpoints along the route as well as the usual start/finish duties. Several members have already volunteered to assist at the event but we can always use more helpers.

NEW BUSINESS: There will be three new seasonal events in southwest Minnesota in 2015. They will be sanctioned for 2015 only. A walk will be in Worthington and a walk and bike starting in Hills. Check out the details on the AVA website or in your copy of the Starting Point 2015.

The National Convention will be in Salem, Oregon, on July 15-19. Dannie and Ellen are tentatively planning to go. The club will need a delegate to attend the business meetings. If you are planning to go and would like to be the PWVC delegate, contact Dannie as soon as possible so paperwork can be finalized. The convention committee is soliciting donations for the Silent Auction. A cash donation from our club is the easiest way to go. Also, Phyllis Olson, NC Regional Director, will be soliciting cash donations for the Executive Council fund raiser. Members can voice their opinions and let Dannie know what the appropriate amounts should be.

Congratulations for Achievement Awards: Gary Lofswold 800 and 850 Events and 9000 KM; Ellen Peters 2000 Events; Dannie Peters 2000 Events and 21,000 KM; Sharon Hofstad for being POC for the Sioux Falls Big Sioux River Walk for 20 consecutive years. Way to go walkers!


Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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September/October 2014

Attention Members!!! Only one month left to do most of our club walks. Now that the weather is cooler, it's time to get out and do some walking. Brookings and Chamberlain will still be available until the end of December.

Year-round and Seasonal walks have been sanctioned for 2015. Brookings, Chamberlain, Mitchell, Rock Valley, both Sioux Falls walks and Watertown will be open in 2015. Chamberlain will be changed to a Seasonal walk--April 1st-October 31st. Oakwood Lake will be dropped due to low participation. The status of Roy Lake is pending.

PIERRE WEEKEND: There were 48 participants at the Anniversary Event. Their participation totaled 107 events. Thanks to Duane Neugebauer for serving as Trailmaster; Ellen Peters and Gary Lofswold for checking directions, maps and trails; Ken & Jane Legaard, Jim & Martha McGahan and Janet & Larry Gerjets for working Checkpoints; and Sam Vaughn for working the Registration Table from start to finish all three days! There were walkers from eight states. The Nichols came the farthest distance from Wetumpka, Alabama. There were many favorable comments on the trails taking even those familiar with the Pierre area into places they had not seen before. The only minor complaint came from someone who apparently did not understand what turn right at the first traffic light meant.

Dan & Ellen have checked out and measured a walking trail event in Big Stone City and Ortonville. The event would be a border crossing from South Dakota into Minnesota. There would be a total of 10 Special Events included in the walk. Proposed date of the event is July 11, 2015, to coincide with the 130th Anniversary Celebration for Big Stone City. Before Dan can commit the club to sponsoring a volksmarch in that area on this date, he needs enough club members to commit to attending the event. If he doesn't get a positive response, the walk will be dropped.

Dan is again serving as Chair of the North Central Regional Nominating Committee. This committee will find viable candidates to serve as our Regional Director on the next AVA Executive Council. Anyone interested?

The club expresses condolences for Jim Kjar (Pierre Club), Bonnie Miller (BHVA) and our own Helen Bechtold. Helen was a Charter Member of PWVC and had been a member for 31 years. She was an enthusiastic walker, participated in all club activities, road trips, helped with Dakota Dozens and recruiting new members. We will miss her. Some good news! Allen Nelson is in remission and Allen & Bev went on an Alaskan cruise!

Congratulations to Sam for achieving 125 Events and 1500 KM and to Ken & Jane Legaard for 2500 Events. Way to go walkers!

Because of lack of interest, there will be no further PWVC meetings this Fall. Club meetings will resume in 2015.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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July/August 2014

Wow! Summer is half over! How are the walks going? There should be no cobwebs gathering on anyone's shoes!

The Audit Committee of Gary Lofswold and Ellen Peters met with Treasurer Betty Vaughn to complete the 2013-2014 yearly audit for the fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2014. Finances are in good shape and Dan has filed the Financial Report, Officers Update and Membership Roster electronically to AVA Headquarters. He has also filed the tax return for the fiscal year to the IRS. Thanks to all who participated in the financial report. Betty has expressed concern that not all POCs have been sending her the quarterly reports on time. She would like all reports sent, along with fees, as soon as possible at the end of March, June, September and December. She will be working on a standardized form to be used by all POCs.

Second quarter participation: Sioux Falls Downtown - 29, Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus - 22, Rock Valley - 17, Chamberlain - 14, Watertown - 14, Brookings - 13, Roy Lake - 12, Mitchell - 10, Oakwood Lake - 6. Total to date - 140.

Several of the walks for 2015 have been finalized: Watertown, both Sioux Falls walks, Rock Valley, Mitchell and Chamberlain. Chamberlain will be a Seasonal event instead of a Year-round event. Duane Neugebauer will continue as POC for both Mitchell and Chamberlain even though he will be moving to Hermosa. Dan will check the status of Brookings, Oak Lake and Roy Lake walks. POCs must include Emergency Information on all route instructions and all walkers must use a Start Card. We will need to schedule a one-day event to avoid paying a $100 fee to AVA. Discussion about a one-day event is to be discussed at the August meeting.

We have been approached about doing a one-day traditional walk in Big Stone City, SD. The walk would be on either the 2nd or 3rd Sunday in July. It would be in conjunction with their 130th anniversary celebration. Dan has a couple working on a possible walk route using the list of requirements for a sanctioned walk and including as many special programs as possible. This would be a good Border Walk opportunity with Ortonville, MN about a mile east of Big Stone City.

Plans are finished for the SD 125th anniversary weekend in Pierre on September 12-14. PWVC will be responsible for the 2 walks on Saturday. Duane has set up two great trails and they have been checked out by Dan and Ellen. You will get to see parts of Farm Island that you didn't know existed. For some it will be their first visit to Oahe Downstream Park. Dan will complete a work schedule for members volunteering to help with registration, book stamping and checkpoints.

Pierre Weekend schedule: Fort Pierre Walk on Friday the 12th with start time 3-5. The Meet and Greet will be at the Start Point after the walk. PWVC in charge of the walks on Saturday the 13th. Farm Island start 8-10 and finish by 12:30. Oahe Downstream start 10-1 and finish by 3:30. Birthday cake and refreshments available most of the day. Pierre Walk on Sunday the 14th start 8-11 and finish by 4. The Pierre Seasonal and the above four events will be open all three days. Following the rules yu can walk each of the walks once a day for event credit and as many times as you like for distance credit. All events offer 5KM and 10KM routes.

The cost of Event and Distance Books for members continue to be $5 instead of the $6 set by AVA.

Congratulations to Jennifer Nathem for achieving 10, 20, and 30 Events and 500 KM. Way to go!

Our club welcomes two new members: Karen Greigerson and Gena Keller, both of Watertown. Glad to have you aboard and looking forward to walking with both of you in the future.

Our next meeting will be in Sioux Falls on Thursday, August 14th. Members interested in walking the Downtown Walk will meet at the Country Inn and Suites at 3 PM. Supper will be on our own after walking. The meeting will be at the Main Library (two blocks west of Country Inn) in the Conference Room at approximately 6 PM.


Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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May/June 2014

May is nearly gone but at least we finally have some decent weather to get out and walk! I hope all of you are taking advantage of the warm, sunny days.

The Kick-off at Roy Lake was not successful. Only 4 members--Duane Neugebauer, Dannie & Ellen Peters and POC Jennifer Nathem--did the walk. Jennifer brought food and had to take most of it home. It was even free State Park weekend! We'll have to do better to keep interest in having our Year-round and Seasonal Events. Lack of interest is very disappointing for the POCs. Dan states he has made his last attempt to promote Kick-off or hosted Seasonal and Year-round walks!

Plans area being finalized for the 125th South Dakota Anniversary weekend in Pierre. PWVC, BHVA and the Pierre Club are coordinating the events:

Friday, September 12th--Kick-off Walk and Meet and Greet--POC Chip Elverud. Saturday, September 13th--Oahe Downstream and Farm Island Stroll--POC Duane Neugebauer Sunday, September 14th--Pierre City Walk--POC Ken Kjar All four walks will be open every day with registration at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor's Building.

Duane is working on setting up the trails at Farm Island and Oahe Downstream. The PWVC is committed to providing start points, checkpoints and book stamping on Saturday 13th. Dan will include the work schedule in the July/August newsletter from the list of club members who have volunteered to help. Please let Dan know ASAP if you have a preference as the where you would like to help.

Set aside this weekend and join walkers from all over the state (and many other parts) for Fun, Fitness and Friendship!

The North Central Region Rendezvous is October 3-5 in Madison, Wisconsin. If you are planning to attend you will need to make your hotel reservations soon. Rooms are going quickly and will be sold out long before October.

If anyone anticipates needing IVV Event and/or Distance Books during 2014, let Dan know as an order needs to be placed within the next month.

Congratulations to Pat Kosters for achieving 50 Events and 500 KM. Keep walking!

Our next club meeting will be hosted by Dannie & Ellen on Thursday, June 12th at 46527 280th St., south of Lennox. Agenda will include Year-round and Seasonals for 2015. Take a look at the Special Programs. Make sure that any new programs are included in your walks. Also, we need a volunteer to host a one-day walk sometime during 2015.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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March/April 2014

Spring is finally here! Let's make an effort to get out in the open air and do some serious walking.

Our two Year-round Walks, Brookings and Chamberlain, have been open since January 1st. The Seasonal Walks, Mitchell, Oakwood Lake, Rock Valley, Roy Lake (new), Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls River Walk and Watertown (new) will all open on April 1st.

We have added two new walks for 2014. On Saturday, May 17, PWVC will be hosting a Kick Off for the new Seasonal Roy Lake Walk. Club members will be present from 10 AM until 1 PM to host interested walkers. This is Open House Weekend at SD State Parks so entry fees are waived. Also, be sure to plan to walk Watertown and visit the Terry Redlin Art Center sometime this summer.

PWVC will coordinate with the Black Hills Volkssport Association for a special weekend in Pierre, September 12-14, to celebrate 125 years of Statehood for South Dakota. The weekend will include 5 walks. Our club will need volunteers and lots of walkers to make this a memorable weekend. Schedule of events as follows: Friday 12th - Fort Pierre - start 3-5 PM. finish by 7 PM. Sponsored by the Pierre Club. There will be a Meet and Greet starting at 7 PM at the Pierre Chamber of Commerce. Saturday 13th - Oahe Downstream - Start 8-11 AM, finish by 3 PM. Farm Island - Start 10 AM - 1 PM, finish by 5 PM. Both walks are sponsored by PWVC. We will need staff checkpoints and walk registration services. Sunday 14th - Pierre - Start 8-11 AM, finish by 3 PM. Sponsored by BHVA. The Pierre Capital Seasonal Event will be open to be walked at any time. Walkers can do any or all of the four traditional walks once during each of the three days. A dedicated walker would be able to get credit for 12 traditional walks during the weekend.

Congratulations to Gary Lofswold. Gary completed the Centurion Personal Achievement Challenge by walking 100 events in 2013. Way to go, Gary! He is also listed in The American Wanderer for completing 750 Events with a total Distance of 8000 KM. Ken & Jane Legaard haven't been just sitting around, either. They have completed 2400 Events! Want an inspiration for the rest of us to get out there and do some walking!

Attention POCs! There is a new Registration Log that must be used this year. Walkers must also carry a Start Card . Be sure your walk boxes/binders are up-to-date.

Now is the time to start looking a Year Round and Seasonal Events for 2015. If you plan on renewing your walk for next year, take a look at the Special Programs either online on in The American Wanderer. It is much easier to work on a route to include the programs early in the year rather than waiting until August. Also, anyone who wants to propose a traditional event for 2015, now is time to work on that so that it can be approved and put on the calendar. We need to have at least one traditional walk each year or pay a $50 penalty on our club's annual dues to AVA.

Membership dues are payable and overdue on July 1st. Dues are $5 per person per year. Send your check to Betty Vaughn, 3310 Pine Ave. Brookings, SD 57006.

There will be no club meeting in April. The next scheduled date is Thursday, June 12th.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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January/February 2014


By Dan Peters

South Dakota will be 125 years old on November 2, 2014. To commemorate this event the Prairie Wanderers along with the Black Hills Volkssport Association and the Capital City River Ramblers will host a walking weekend in Pierre. Set aside the weekend of September 12 through 14 and join us as the clubs will sponsor five walks during the weekend. All walks register at the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center. Some events will require the participants to drive to the start of the walk. Two of the walks planned will be at Farm Island State Park and the Oahe Downstream State Recreation Area. Check out the AVA and clubs web sites for information as more walks are sanctioned.

The Prairie Wanderers have two seasonal events that are new for 2014. One of these walks will be at Roy Lake State Park which is located near Lake City or approximately 20 miles west of Sisseton, SD. This will be our first ever seasonal walk in this part of the state and the first walk in Marshall County. The club will host a “kick-off” for this event on May 17. Club members will be hosting participants at the park shelter from 10 AM until 1 PM. Bring along a picnic lunch and plan on a fun day. This is Open House Weekend at the State Parks which allows free entry into the park anytime during the weekend. Also no fishing license is required so you can catch your own lunch should you so desire.

The second new walk is in Watertown (Codington County). The walk will highlight three inspiration points used by renowned wildlife artist Terry Redlin. Trail will follow the Big Sioux River and through historic downtown areas. While in Watertown be sure to visit the Terry Redlin Art Center. Admission is free and nearly all of Redlins works are on display. Check our web site for information of a group walk later in the year.

Dan Peters, President

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Except for our two Year-Round Walks, Brookings and Chamberlain, walks are done for the year. I hope everyone has had a chance to get out for a few kilometers. Participation for the year was: Mitchell Seasonal 29, Oacoma Seasonal 41, Oakwood Lakes Seasonal 25, Rock Valley Seasonal 57, Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus Seasonal 52, Sioux Falls River Walk Seasonal 62.

Several members were listed in The American Wanderer for their achievements:
EVENTS: Bill Hofstad 425 & 450, Duane Neugebauer 425, Sharon Hofstad 650, Dannie & Ellen Peters 1900.
DISTANCE: Bill Hofstad 4500 KM, Sharon Hofstad 7500 KM, Jim & Martha McGahan 20000 KM, Dannie & Ellen Peters 20000 KM. Congratulations everyone!

The Prairie Wanderers will join the Black Hills Volkssport Association for a venture to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of statehood for South Dakota in 2014. The event will be held September 12-14, 2014 in Pierre. The weekend will include several walks and a chance to get together with other walkers for Fun, Fitness and Friendship. Our club will need the help of all members to make this a memorable event. Duane will be POC, Jim & Martha, Ken & Jane, Larry & Janet and Gary have volunteered. Sam will be the money handler. Pat will help with publicity. The Hofstads will help when possible. Dannie is coordinating with BHVA and will keep us informed.

The AVA ended the fiscal year with a deficit of $44,000. Starting January 1, 2014 annual dues for clubs will be $100 if a club is not holding a one-day event, $50 if a club holds at least one one-day event. Also starting on January 1st, Start Cards will be mandatory for all walkers. The cards must be signed and a waiver printed on the card. The Registration Logs will be changed to include the new information. Cards will be ordered for the POCs to put in their start boxes.

Janet would like to see a second Brookings route for 2015. This may incorporate the new Nature Center and Shirley's memorial for a southern route. A northern route may include the Visitor's Center at McCrory Gardens. A proposal was made concerning different walk instructions for summer season and winter season when some routes are closed because of snow and ice. If there are multiple routes, they will use the same stamp.

There will NOT be a December Prairie Wanderers Club meeting. We took a poll to determine the interest among the club members and the result was that 2 members indicated they would attend (thanks Larry & Janet) in addition to Roger & Gwen offering a meeting place. The next meeting will be in April 2014.

Happy Thanksgiving and a Blessed Christmas to everyone!

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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I'm going to scold each and every one of you--only five members made it to our meeting in Lennox on June 13th. And, participation at all of our walks is way down. Now that the weather is nice there is no excuse for not going out to walk!

The AVA Convention in Orlando, Florida went well with 266 clubs represented, 230 eligible voters registered and 400 participants present. The IVV proposal to unite AVA with the America's organization was deferred until issues with non-profit tax status (501-3C) is clarified. Participation in walking events is decreasing both locally and nationally. Multi-event weekends are the only walks showing an interest.

OLD BUSINESS: Pictures are still needed to be included on the club's website.

Dan needs confirmation of Year-Round and Seasonal Walks and new events for 2014 by August 10th to be sanctioned and included in Starting Point 2014. Take a look at the AVA Special Programs and include those that apply to your walk route. Make sure that the copyright symbol is on your trail directions as required by AVA. We will have two new events in 2014. Sam will be serving as POC for a Watertown Seasonal. Jennifer Nathem, a new club member, will be POC for a Seasonal at Roy Lake. A big THANK YOU to Gary Lofswold for assisting with setting up this walk.

NEW BUSINESS: BHVA has extended their VIP Program. Walkers can complete 10 events in the SD Booklet to receive a patch. An additional 10 Events, not repeating any of the first 10 walks, need to be completed to earn a fleece vest.

Second Quarter Participation Report: Rock Valley-30, Sioux Falls Downtown-28, Oacome-25, Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus-21, Chamberlain-14, Brookings-14, Oakwood Lake-13, Mitchell-10.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS: The present slate of officers--Dannie Peters-President; Betty (Sam) Vaughn, Treasurer; Sharon Hofstad, Secretary--will continue for 2 years. Pat Kosters has agreed to hold the position of Vice President for the next 2 years. Thanks to Pat for agreeing to serve as an officer.

As Duane Neugebauer is retiring, the status of the Year-Round Walk in Chamberlain, the Seasonal Walk in Oacoma and the Seasonal Walk in Mitchell is undecided for 2014. Duane is currently the POC for all three of these walks. Dan suggested that the Oacoma Walk be discontinued due to the bad surface of the trail.

CONGRATULATIONS! Donna Campbell--150 Events, Jane & Ken Legaard--2300 Events, Bob Kruger--1450 Events. Way to go!

Bob Kruger, our member from Kansas, will be in the area on the Labor Day Weekend. Bob, Dannie & Ellen will be doing walks as follows: September 2nd at 9 AM at Oakwood Lake, (lunch at Pizza Ranch in Brookings), Brookings Year-Round after lunch; September 3rd at 8:30 AM Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus Walk, (lunch at Olive Garden), Sioux Falls Downtown after lunch; September 4th at 9 AM at Rock Valley, (lunch to be determined), then walk the Adams Homestead near North Sioux City after lunch. All walkers are welcome to join us for any of all of these walks.

ATTENTION ALL MEMBERS!!! There will be a group walk/meeting in Sioux Falls on Saturday, August 10th. Walkers will meet at the Outdoor Campus at 10 AM to do the walk (5K or 10K). We will then assemble again at Falls Park for lunch (noon?) and a short meeting. Afterwards walkers will do the Downtown Walk. It's going to be perfect weather (we hope!) and expect to see many club members, family and friends.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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Does anyone think it is really summer? The past two months have had snow, rain, wind, low and high temps and many, many changes.

We haven't had a meeting since last December! We decided to not meet in February and then the April/May meeting in Rock Valley was cancelled. Maybe we'll have more luck next week.

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE: Great news! Wanda Moranti (BHVA) has been declared cancer free by her doctors.

The new AVA officers are: President-Dennis Michele from North Carolina, Vice-President-Holly Pelking from California, Secretary-Bonnie Johnson from Minnesota and Treasurer-Bob Morrison from Washington.

Crazy Horse 28 drew 10,094 participants.If you missed it, there will be a Fall event on September 29th (Sunday) and 30th (Monday). The event will be held the same weekend as the Buffalo Round-Up at Custer State Park.

We received a thank you note from our Regional Director, Phyllis Olson. Our club contributed $50 toward the Executive Council fund raiser. Phyllis raised $1.000 which ranked third among the 14 EC members.

The Black Hills club is working on a bus trip for 2014. Details will follow. If you are interested, you must be a club member of BHVA. They do some great trips. Also, the Madison, Wisconsin club has an Alaska trip scheduled for June 2014. The tour starts in Fairbanks and works its' way down to Seward. There they will board a cruise ship for Vancouver, BC. If you are interested, let Dan know and he will put you in contact with the POC. A passport is required as the ship will dock in Canada.

The 2015 AVA Convention will be in Salem, Oregon. They have returned to a June time frame. Billings, Montana will make a bid for the 2017 convention.

CLUB NEWS: If you want a copy of Starting Point 2014, let Dan know by July 15th. Copies will be available by pre-order only. We can have them shipped directly to the club and save you money on shipping costs.

Our membership year is from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. Dues are $5 per person and can be paid at our next meeting or send a check to Treasurer Betty Vaughn, 3310 Pine Ave., Brookings, SD 57006. The following members are paid through June 2014: Roberta Geisen, Bob Kruger, Ken & Jane Legaard, Jim & Martha McGahan, Duane Neugebauer and Life Members Helen Bechtold and Eunice McGee.

Congratulations to Lee Frantz for achieving 150 Events. Way to go, Lee!

Let Dan know by July 1st if you do or do not intend to renew your Year Round or Seasonal Event for 2014. We need to submit the renewal data to AVA by the end of July to meet their deadline. Betty (Sam) has indicated that there will be a new Seasonal Event in Watertown in 2014.

Hope to see all of you on Thursday, June 13th at 7 PM at Dannie & Ellen's home at 46527 280th Street (just south of Lennox, SD). This meeting will be for the election of club officers to serve for the next two years. The time has come for new club leadership! Agenda will also include discussion concerning the renewal of Year Round and Seasonal Events for 2014. If you need IVV Event or Distance Books, they will be available at the meeting. Since there are no one-day events this year, this is your opportunity to buy new books.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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If any of you made New Year's Resolutions, I'm sure they're all broken by now! We don't really need to have any resolutions except for one--try to do more walking!

Eleven members attended the December 2nd meeting/Christmas gathering. A big THANK YOU to Rog & Gwen for, once again, hosting us in their apartment complex. The food was delicious and it was a good way to end the year.

Dan reported that Oacoma will remain as one of our club walks for 2013. Although there was some damage to the trail with the flooding last Spring, the trail is still good for walking. Oakwood Lake is being added in 2013 and a Watertown walk is being proposed for 2014.

Our new website is up and running. Some pictures from members would be appreciated to make it more interesting. Dan can give you instructions as to how to submit any pictures you might have.

Volunteers are needed for the following events:

  • Suggestions for the club's 30th anniversary coming up in April.
  • Two volunteers for the Nominating Committee to present a slate of officers for the election in June. All four offices will expire then.
  • A club delegate for the AVA Convention in Orlando in April. Sam has expressed some interest but her plans aren't finalized as yet.

Discussion was held concerning having more group activities or possible bus trips. There are still some seats available on the bus going to Orlando in April. Contact Phyllis Olson of the Des Moines Club if you are interested.
The BHVA usually has a bus trip each year.
The Madison, WI club will be touring Alaska in 2014.
Jennifer Nathem from Sisseton has done some of our club walks. She would like to see possible walks at Sand Lake or Waubay.

Notes from the President: Participation numbers for 2012: Chamberlain-30, Brookings-40, Oacoma-25, Sioux Falls Downtown-106, Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus-44, Mitchell-31, Rock Valley-56.

National Executive Committee Meeting:

  1. There will be nine new special programs beginning in 2014. Check upcoming editions of TAW to get details.
  2. The agenda item requiring clubs to pay the AVA participation fee for all walkers, including free walkers, failed.
  3. The agenda item to raise the participation fee from $3 to $4 also failed.

Congratulations to: Ashley Peters-10 Events, Jane & Ken Legaard-2200 Events. Way to go walkers!

There will be no meeting in February. Our next scheduled meeting will be held on Saturday, May 4th in Rock Valley, Iowa. Register for the Seasonal Event at 10 AM. Walk 5K or 10K depending on your desires. Lunch will be potluck or dining in a restaurant in Rock Valley. Pat Kosters will host the meeting.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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Whew! We all managed to survive Election Day! Even though the outcome didn't please everyone, we can all be grateful for an end to the political ads!

Now, it's PARTY TIME! The December Club Meeting/Dinner details have been finalized. We will gather at the Pickett's apartment building, 2400 Sunrise Ridge Circle in Brookings, on Sunday, December 2nd. The meeting will be at 3 PM followed by a catered dinner at 4:30 PM. Ellen will bring a pecan and a pumpkin pie. Others can bring treats if they want to but there is probably no need for additional food. There will NOT be a gift exchange this year. Members who have indicated they will attend: Bill & Sharon, Gwen & Roger, Janet & Larry, Dan & Ellen, Eunice S., Beverly B. and Sam. If any others are planning to attend, you MUST call or email Gwen, 605-692-5495 or, prior to November 23rd so that she can make the necessary food order with the caterer.

The last one-day walk of the year was held in Huron on October 6th. It was a cold, blustery day and only 14 walkers registered. They experienced one dog bite, one sprained ankle and one trip and fall! Walkers came from Oregon, Washington, Minnesota and Connecticut--there were even a couple club members present! Because of the low numbers, no regular meeting was held.

Seasonal events for Rock Valley, both Sioux Falls Walks, Mitchell and Oacoma have ended for the year. There is still an opportunity to do Brookings and Chamberlain until December 31st.

AVA Special Events Programs that are ending on December 31st are:

  • Carnegie Libraries
  • Forts of the United States
  • Honoring Law Enforcement

If you are currently enrolled in these programs, there is still time to get your books stamped.

ACHIEVEMENTS: Congratulations to Dannie and Ellen Peters for walking 1800 Events and to Dannie for 19000 KM. Way to go!

AVA National Report: Candidates for AVA Officer positions have been proposed for the four positions with two declared candidates for the President's job.

IVV Americas is being formed with the idea of gaining some independence from IVV Europe and their ideas.

PWVC: If anyone wants to do a one-day event in 2013, Dan needs to have all of the information by December 15th in order to sanction the event and get the information to the SD Calendar of Events Booklet.

We need two volunteers to be on the Nominating Committee to present a slate of candidates for the Election of Officers at the June 2013 club meeting.

Karen Elverud has been elected as the new President of the Black Hills Volkssport Association.

See you all at the December meeting!

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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Has anyone heard the phrase "Is it hot enough for you?" lately? Seems like the entire country is having a heat wave--the Bells in California report 100+ temps, the Parsons in Alabama report 100+ temps and it's been extremely hot here in South Dakota, too!

The Peters hosted our June 7th meeting in Lennox. Members came from all over--Bob from Kansas, Pat from Iowa, Eunice from Clear Lake, Eunice from Lyons, Duane from Chamberlain, Gwen, Janet & Larry from Brookings and Bill & Sharon from Sioux Falls. We are really a far-flung club! Delicious brownies and zucchini bread were served after the meeting.

Dannie took orders for Start Point 2013 books. They needed to be ordered by June 30th.

Dannie is on the North Central Nominating Committee and also the National Nominating and Auditing Committees. Anyone interested in a position for North Central Director or other national positions can contact him.

The AVA Executive Committee met in Orlando, FL on July 6th & 7th. Some items of interest were discussed and/or voted on:

  • Do local club directions need to have a copyright
  • The AVA Policy Manual needs to be simplified
  • The American Wanderer is considering going to an electronic version

PWVC Business: Dannie has been contacted by the Honey Day Committee in Bruce, SD, about the possibility of having a walk in conjunction with this event. It is too late for 2012 but may be a consideration for 2013.

Janet is interested in being POC for a Seasonal Walk at Oakwood Lake for 2013. Discussion was held about having the Start Box at the Brookings Hospital and walkers then driving to Oakwood Lake to do the walk. Janet will do some follow-up by talking to the rangers at Oakwood.

The club's new website is up and running. Frank Sayers from Colorado has been working the site for us. Duane has graciously volunteered to continue to be the POC for our club's input into the system. Check us out at:

Pat thanked everyone for helping and walking at the Rock Valley Kick-off on May 19th.

Gwen, Janet & Larry have volunteered to be on the Auditing Committee with Betty Vaughn.

Duane would like some help with his Traditional Event in Huron on Saturday, October 6th.

A reminder to all members that $5 dues need to be paid by July 1st. We would like to hear from Roberta Giesen, Cindy Jacobson, Brenda Johnson, Cynthia Johnson and Margery Oehlke. Remit your dues to: Betty Vaughn, 3310 Pine Ave., Brookings, SD 57005.

August 13th is the due date for renewing walking events for 2013.

Members attended the memorial service for Paul Bergman on Sunday, June 24th in Brookings, SD.

IVV Achievement Awards: EVENTS--Pat Kosters-10, Donna Campbell-125, Lee Frantz-125, Bruce Feistner-150, Jane Legaard-2100, Ken Legaard-2100. DISTANCE--Lee Frantz-1000 KM. Congratulations to all these enthusiastic walkers!

Our next meeting will be on Friday, August 17th at the home of Eunice Solem, 711 3rd Ave. S, Clear Lake, SD. Members can attend the meeting at 2 PM, do the walk from 3-6 PM and then fill up on FREE hot dogs in downtown Clear Lake starting at 6 PM.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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Our club is saddened by the passing of Paul Bergman on Saturday, April 14, 2012. Paul passed away while wintering with his wife, Bev, at their daughter's home in Round Rock, TX. The family held a private visitation in Round Rock, TX on Monday, April 16, 2012. Committal rites were held at 10 AM, Friday, April 20, 2012, at the Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, SD. A memorial service is scheduled for 2:00 PM Sunday, June 24, 2012, at Our Savior Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brookings, SD. Our condolences go out to Bev and family.

Seven brave members did the Brookings YRE on Sunday, April 15th. We walked through torrential rain, howling winds, hail, thunder and lightning to complete the route. Later we dried off and warmed up with a meal and meeting at the Pizza Ranch in Brookings. What we won't do to get that little stamp in our books!!!

Dannie reported the POCs should use correct terminology when describing their walks. SPECIAL PROGRAMS include Carnegie Libraries, Grist Mills, Hillside Letters, etc. A one-time event should be listed as a TRADITIONAL EVENT. Other walks are YEAR-ROUND EVENTS or SEASONAL WALKS.

The AVA website is currently under construction. Changes should be finished by August or September. Our club website will need updates and may require work by a professional.

AVA has a new procedure for ordering STARTING POINT BOOKS--deadline for ordering the 2013 edition is June 30, 2012 with a cost of $20.Contact Dannie if you want a copy.

The 2013 AVA Convention will be in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, April 27 through Sunday, May 5.

The Mid-Nebraska Trail Seekers, headed by Jim & Martha McGahan, is closing at the end of the year. Clubs in Hastings and York, NE will also close.

PWVC will celebrate it's 30th Anniversary in 2013. If anyone has ideas on how to celebrate this event, all suggestions are welcome. Dannie wants everyone to be thinking about YRE, Seasonal and Tradional Events for 2013.

Club dues are payable by July 1st. Dues are $5 per person and can be paid at the June 7th meeting or sent to: Betty Vaughn, 3310 Pine Ave., Brookings, SD 57006.

The club is in need of a Vice President to fill the unexpired term of Dee Parsons. Term ends in June of 2013. We also need two volunteers to assist with the annual financial audit. Fiscal year ends on June 30th. Sam would like everything wrapped up by mid July. The audit takes about 2 hours and is required to keep the club in good standing with the AVA and IRS. Please help!

The Oacoma trail is open to walkers. When planning to do the Chamberlain walk, remember to use Exit #265.

The first club walk for 2012 was in Rock Valley, IA on May 19th. Thanks to Pat Kosters, a new club member, for serving as Point of Contact for both the Rock Valley Seasonal and May 19th events. There was a total of 21 walkers coming from South Dakota, Iowa, Colorado and Nebraska. The weather cooperated and Pat, with help from Dannie & Ellen, planned a great route with many historic places and a variety of trails to walk on.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, June 7th at the home of Dannie & Ellen, 46527 280th St. in Lennox, SD 57039.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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READY-SET-GO! Now that spring is here, we should all be anxious to lace up those walking shoes and hit the trails. Get outside and see all those robins, tulips and soon-to-be lilacs. Walkers have the added incentive of paying $3 for the first walk on any given route and only $2 for walking that route again. Let's get going!

Our proposed walk on April 21st has been cancelled. While wintering in Texas, Paul and Bev Bergman have been having some problems. Paul has been in the hospital and is now in rehab. They will be staying in Texas for an extended period. Our best wishes go out to them and we hope for a speedy recovery for Paul.


  • Margery Oehlke for attaining 1300 Events
  • Bob Kruger for his achievement of 1350 Events and 16,000 KM.

Way to go, walkers!

Survey: How many of you use our web pages on the AVA website? If you use them, how frequently do you access the site--weekly-monthly-yearly-never? The reason this information is needed is that AVA will probably be making some big changes to their website. This will, or may, require our club to do major renovations to our site. We would probably have to hire a professional firm to do the renovation at a fairly significant cost to the club. We will need to decide if having club web pages would be worth the cost. Please reply to Dannie with your thoughts!

The first club walk for 2012 will be in Rock Valley, Iowa on May 19th. Start time will be from 9 AM - noon and finish by 3 PM. Walkers will also have the opportunity to do the newly sanctioned Rock Valley Seasonal Event at their leisure. Both walks offer 5 and 10 KM routes. The walk will start at the Rock Valley City Park Shelter (1303 10th Street is the nearest GPS location). Bring your lunch (the park shelter is enclosed) or plan on eating at one of the many establishments in Rock Valley. Pat Kosters, a new club member, is serving as point of contact for both events. Let's have a great turn-out for this event and welcome Pat to the sport of volkssporting.

The next club meeting will be on Sunday, April 15th. We will meet at the Brookings Hospital at 2 PM to do the Brookings Year-round Walk. After the walk we will gather at the Pizza Ranch for dinner. We will have a short meeting after we eat. Dannie hopes to have the Dakota Calendar of Events Booklets to pass out to members at that time. If you are unable to attend and would like a booklet, let Dannie know and he will mail a copy to you.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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After our brown Christmas and New Years, we woke up to our new "marshmallow world" this morning! Will it be welcomed or hated? Time will tell. It certainly isn't good for outdoor walks!

Ten members were present at our annual Christmas meeting/dinner/party on Sunday, December 4th at Brookhaven Estates in Brookings. Thank you to Gwen & Roger for inviting us into their home for our festivities.

Dan read a letter of resignation from Dee Parsons, Vice President. As everyone is aware of by now, the Parsons have left our area and have moved to Huntsville, Alabama. They are getting settled in their new home at 127 Henson Drive, Huntsville, AL 35811. The club needs a volunteer to fill the VP position until the next scheduled election of officers in June, 2013.

Dan sends his thanks to all the officers, POCs and walkers for participating in PWVC events in 2011.

The Chamberlain and Brookings Year Round Events are open and awaiting participants. Both events have new trails this year. Remember the new AVA policy that allows walkers to stamp their event and distance book every time they do a walk. Also, the new PWVC policy on fees--the first time you do an event during the calendar year the fee is $3. Each subsequent time you walk, the fee is $2.

The Kick-off Walk for Rock Valley, IA will be on May 19th. POC Patricia Kosters has submitted an article and picture in the latest issue of The American Wanderer. The Rock Valley walk will also be a Seasonal Walk starting April 1st. We urge all members to come to the Kick-off and support our newest walk and first time POC, Pat Kosters.

There will be no walk in Vermillion this year. Dan has talked to several Vermillion residents and no one has offered to sponsor an event.

AVA has compiled Starting Point Books from 1994 through 2012. They are recognizing POCs who have served as start point contacts continuously for that time period. The South Dakota volunteers recognized are: Sharon Hofstad, Sioux Falls; Doug Kapaun, Rapid City; and Rita Thovson, Hot Springs.


  • Helen Bechtold for 350, 375 and 400 Events and 4500 and 5000 KM;
  • Gary Lofswold 525 and 550 Events and 6000 KM;
  • Ken Legaard 2000 Events
  • Jane Legaard 2000 Events.

Way to go walkers! Keep on the trails!

Paul Bergman is going to check out the possibilities for a walk in Gary, SD in 2013. He has also been listening to a radio program on KBRK in Brookings, Homespun Medicine, concerning health and fitness. He will contact the dietician at HyVee to see if walkers in their club would be interested in joining PWVC walkers in 2012. After discussion, our members have set Saturday, April 21st as the date of our next meeting which will be combined with possible group walks and lunch at HyVee to be followed by our meeting. The walk would begin at 9 AM, lunch at HyVee at noon and our meeting to follow. More details to follow.

Dan & Ellen will be departing on January 30th for an extended trip to points south and will be gone at least until the end of February. If anyone has any questions or problems concerning volkssporting, feel free to get in touch with Sharon or call Dan at 605-670-0861. There will not be a PWVC meeting in February.

Sharon Hofstad, Secretary

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Prairie Wanderers Volkssport Club Officers


For Information

about the

Prairie Wanderers Volkssport Club

President Dan Peters  46527 280th St.
Lennox, SD 57039

(605) 670-0861

Vice-President Gary Lofswold  2909 E. Fieldstone Pl
Sioux Falls, SD 57108

(757) 508-2537

Secretary Janet Gerjets  314 Elm Ave
Brookings, SD 57006

(605) 651-0316

Treasurer Betty "Sam" Vaughn  3310 Pine Avenue Brookings, SD 57006

(605) 695-1092


The American Volkssport Association


The American Volkssport Association (AVA) is a noncompetitive sports organization with a national grassroots network of some 300 clubs conducting about 3,000 Volkssport events annually in 50 states. Fifty thousand plus participants can enjoy walking (includes jogging and running), swimming, cycling, snowshoeing, cross country snow skiing and roller skating.

The AVA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle through fun, fitness and friendship for people of all ages and abilities.

The International Federation of Popular Sports


The International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV) is an international organization composed of national associations and clubs that organizes popular sports (volkssports) events. The Federation is a not-for-profit organization. It was founded in 1968 by clubs from Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria. It was registered by the Court of Munich, Germany on January 20, 1972, and entered into the Register of Associations under No 7820 at the Office of Records.


Prairie Wanderers Volkssport Club Member Achievements

  • 50 States/51 Capitols

    • Shirley Luther, Brookings
    • Dee Parsons, Sioux Falls
    • Quent Parsons, Sioux Falls
    • Dan Peters, Lennox
    • Ellen Peters, Lennox

  • A to Z Walks

    • Dee Parsons, Sioux Falls
    • Quent Parsons, Sioux Falls
    • Duane Neugebauer

  • College Campus Walking PhDs

    • Shirley Luther, Brookings
    • Duane Neugebauer
    • Dee Parsons, Sioux Falls
    • Quent Parsons, Sioux Falls

  • Lewis & Clark Walks

    • Dee Parsons, Sioux Falls
    • Quent Parsons, Sioux Falls
    • Duane Neugebauer

  • National Heritage Walks

    • Shirley Luther, Brookings
    • Duane Neugebauer

  • Route 66 Walks

    • Dee Parsons, Sioux Falls
    • Quent Parsons, Sioux Falls

Prairie Wanderers Volkssport Club Member Awards

  • AVA Distinguished Achievement Award

    • Dan Peters, Lennox

  • AVA Meritorious Service Award

    • Shirley Luther, Brookings
    • Charles (Chuck) Bechtold, Brookings
    • Helen Bechtold, Brookings
    • Fayne Bell, Brookings
    • Gwen Pickett, Brookings
    • Sharon Hofstad, Sioux Falls
    • Eunice McGee, Colton
    • Ellen Peters, Lennox
    • Lynne Grabowska, Brookings
    • Eunice Solem, Clear Lake
    • Janet Gerjets, Brookings
    • Bill Hofstad, Sioux Falls
    • Duane Neugebauer, Chamberlain
    • Sam Vaughn, Brookings
    • Dee Parsons, Sioux Falls
    • Quent Parsons, Sioux Falls

  • AVA Certificate of Service Award

    • Dan Peters, Lennox (2003 & 2005)
    • Fayne Bell, Brookings
    • Rod Bell, Brookings
    • JC McGee, Colton
    • Roger Pickett, Brookings
    • Donna Campbell, Brookings
    • Gary "Lee" Frantz, Brookings
    • Larry Gerjets, Brookings

Prairie Wanderers Volkssport Club Awards

  • Gold Star for 1996 and 2000
  • Silver Star for 1994, 1998 and 2002
  • Bronze Star for 1992