Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
The clubs of the American Volkssport Association (AVA) host a whole different kind of walk. Find out more at AVA.org.
The term “volkssport” is German for “sport of the people”. Volkssporting in the United States is sponsored by the American Volkssport Association (AVA) which has a nationwide, grassroots network of over 200 active clubs nationwide presenting more than 2,500 volkssporting events each year. We welcome people of any background, age, and ability to come participate in our non-competitive sporting events. Set your own pace at any of our events whether it be walking, biking, swimming, canoeing, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. Locally our club participates in walks, cycling, and swimming events.
If you love to walk and meet new friends, join any of our walking clubs nationwide to find the perfect trail for you. No membership is required, only the motivation to walk! Bring your family, friends, and even pets on the beautiful, unique trails that the AVA offers.
Clubs welcome new members, but you don’t have to join a club to enjoy the volkssport events. All events are open to the public.
Walks generally cover a distance of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) over a circuitous route. A shorter route, (5 kilometers 3.1 miles) is available for walkers who think 10 kilometers is a bit much.
There is a $3.00 charge for all participants in our events. On Wednesday we host a Fun Walk, there are no fees to participate in this type of activity Anyone who finishes an event is eligible for IVV credit.
For those who wish not to carry or handle currency on a regular basis we have what we call Blue Dots. Members can purchase dots at a net cost of $2.50. Non-members can buy the dots for the full price of $3.00. These can be purchased on location and can be used on Year-Round Events and other select walks.
If you wish to become a member of The Happy Wanderers the annual fee is $15.00 for an individual and $20.00 per household.
Unlike regular Volksmarch events, which have fixed start/finish times and are offered only on certain weekends, a Year-Round Event (YRE) maybe enjoyed most days of the year. It, too, is a non-competitive walk or bike through a scenic or historic area where participants travel at their own pace. The Happy Wanderers are proud sponsors of 15 Florida and 1 Georgia Year-Round Events. Additional information is available from the Points of Contacts
Eligibility: Anyone may participate. Volkssporting is a family activity. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Pets must be leashed, are not allowed in buildings, on beaches, boardwalks or campgrounds.
Wheelchairs & Strollers: This type of equipment is not suitable on trails or most beaches.
Waivers: All walkers MUST sign waivers for each event. Parents must sign for walkers under 18 years of age.
DISCLAIMER: The sponsors are not liable for accidents, thefts, and/or material damage. Every effort has been made by the sponsors to make this a safe, enjoyable and memorable event.
Procedure: At the start of each event, each participant will register in the log book and fill out a Start Card with name and full address of each walker. This card is carried and Checkpoints are noted along the route. All cards remain the property of The Happy Wanderers Walking Club, Inc. and must be turned in at the Finish. Please use sidewalks where available and follow all traffic signs and signals.
Payment: There is a $3.00 fee for each walker. Make checks payable to The Happy Wanderers and mail along with the completed start card(s). We do Not have FREE walkers. Anyone who finishes an event is eligible for IVV credit. AVA BOOKS are Not available in the Volksboxes. Insert cards are always available.
Facilities & Equipment: Water and restrooms are available on all routes, however, it is wise to carry water and keep hydrated. This is Florida! Sunscreen, bug repellent, and hats, are recommended.
You don’t need much more than suitable walking shoes/boots and a good pair of socks. However, you may want to buy a pair of walking poles; they are really updated walking sticks. They are especially helpful when going over rough ground or up steep inclines. They will also help your balance and lessen the impact on your knees going down hills. Carry a flashlight for emergencies and nigh time. With modern technology and GPS it is a very good idea to take a well charged cell phone. If in areas with no reception, and for the more adventurous going to more remote areas, taking a map and compass is also a good idea.
Walk Box Hosts: We encourage you to patronize and thank our hosts. They are generous in allowing us to use their facilities as a start point. Kindly wait until other customers have been waited on. Process your paperwork away from the business part of the establishment.
An AVA Special Program is a specific program approved by the AVA. These programs include a booklet which volkssporters purchase and complete by entering AVA stamp numbers from qualified events and submitting as required to recognize completion of the special event. For additional information log on to: www.ava.org/specialprograms.