Maryland Outdoor Club

About the Maryland Outdoor Club > Frequently Asked Questions

Membership

  1. How much does it cost to join?
  2. What are some benefits of joining the MOC?
  3. Do I have to become a member to participate in MOC events?
  4. I'm new to the outdoors. Is the MOC right for me?
  5. I am 40+; will I be comfortable in the MOC?
  6. What if I don't want to sign the MOC waiver?
  7. Do you sell/share my information with any third-parties?

Events

  1. How often are there MOC events?
  2. What types of events are there?
  3. Where are most MOC events held?
  4. Can my children participate?
  5. Can I bring my dog?
  6. How can I tell if I am in enough shape, experienced enough for an event?
  7. I don't own a car, or have easy access to the event's carpool. What do I do?
  8. Are event discounts provided by the MOC?
  9. I have an idea for an event, that I may or may not want to organize. Who should I contact?
  10. Can anyone organize an event?
  11. Must all members organize activities?

General

  1. How did the MOC get started?
  2. Is the MOC not-for-profit?
  3. Where is the MOC's home base?
  4. How long has the MOC been around?
  5. Is the MOC more of a social club or a hard core outdoor club?
  6. I'm afraid of all the new faces. What is the best way for me to start out?
  7. How do I volunteer or donate to the club?
  8. Are you guys any fun?


Membership

  1. How much does it cost to join?
    NOTHING!!! Nada. Zero. Zilch. Absolutely no dues are collected from members nor anything is required for you to remain a member...well, except to have fun!

    Membership is free because our members run the club! Because of volunteerism, there is no paid staff. The most expensive item the club has encountered was the web site and that was donated by a Maryland-based web design company. We have minimal operations costs, which we pay for with event overages.

  2. What are some benefits of joining the MOC?
    In addition to meeting lots of cool and interesting people, you will also be privy to discounts at local outfitters and businesses, able to win prizes, can rent outdoor equipment for little money (instead of purchasing something you may only use every once and a while), discounts on events, and much more!

  3. Do I have to become a member to participate in MOC events?
    No. However, occasionally the MOC hosts events which only members can attend or offers lower event rates for members, and because it's free to join, we highly encourage you to do so.

  4. I'm new to the outdoors. Is the MOC right for me?
    Yes, definitely. A majority of our events can be completed by first-timers or beginners. Just check the difficulty level of any event before you sign up to make sure it is fit for you. If you are new to hiking, for instance, you may want to start out on some of the easier hikes, until you feel comfortable tackling the more challenging ones.

  5. I am 40+; will I be comfortable in the MOC?
    Yes, you will. Although more than 70% of our members are in their 20s and 30s, our events have a wide range of ages among our participants. The tie that binds us is our active and easy going natures, so if you're of like mind, you'll fit right in.

  6. What if I don't want to sign the MOC waiver?
    If you do not understand, agree to, or sign the MOC waiver, you will be unable to participate in MOC events. This is for the club's protection and safety, and we appreciate your hassle-free signature.

  7. Do you sell/share my information with any third-parties?
    We respect the privacy of our members and do not sell or share your information with any third-parties. It is also up to you whether or not you want to share your member information with the other members of the club or not in the online Member Area.


Events

  1. How often are there MOC events?
    The MOC plans to host around 100 events over the course of each year, so you do the math.

  2. What types of events are there?
    The MOC has events of all types - from hiking, to canoeing, kayaking, rafting, tubing, camping, backpacking, climbing, spelunking (caving), biking, sailing, running, etc. and anything social goes too - like parties, arcades, bowling, dance clubs, bars, get-togethers, mini-golf, holiday functions, etc. We also occasionally travel to other countries or states.

  3. Where are most MOC events held?
    Events are held anywhere in the state of Maryland, but mostly in the central region. Occasionally, we do travel out of state or even by bus/plane to far away places!

  4. Can my children participate?
    Some, but very few, events may allow for children. The decision is dependent on the activities, venue, and organizer. You'll need to check the particular event's information to see if they are permitted.

    If you would like there to be more events for children, please feel free to organize them.

  5. Can I bring my dog?
    Dogs are permitted on some events. This is at the discretion of the particular event's organizer and whether the area the event occurs at permits them. You'll need to check the particular event's information to see if they are permitted.

    If you would like there to be more events allowing dogs, please feel free to organize them.

  6. How can I tell if I am in enough shape, experienced enough for an event?
    We attempt to make most events things that the person with the least common experience can easily participate on, but allowing experts to be challenged. Please see the particular event for the level of experience required to participate and make sure to accurately portray your level of experience at that particular event when signing up. This way, the organizer can better plan the trip to accommodate you.

  7. I don't own a car, or have easy access to the event's carpool. What do I do?
    When you are in situations where you cannot make it to an event's designated carpool location, we suggest that you log into the Member Area of the web site. Here you have access to view event RSVP lists and click on member's names for their contact information. There's a good chance someone lives close enough to you that you can grab a ride with them.

  8. Are event discounts provided by the MOC?
    Often times, the MOC is able to get group discounts for events when a fee is attached. We do our best to carry on this discount to our members, but still covering our payment processing fees and other operational costs.

  9. I have an idea for an event, that I may or may not want to organize. Who should I contact?
    Great! We are always looking for new event ideas, whether or not you'd like to organize it. Since we are a club run by the members for the members, we always want to know what exactly you want to do. Log into the Member Area, where you can submit your event ideas.

  10. Can anyone organize an event?
    Currently, all we ask for is that you are a) enthusiastic, b) have some experience organizing/leading, c) have completed the event previously, d) are responsible, e) have met a club officer, and f) be a member.

    To find out what organizing a MOC event entails, log into our Member Area and click on the link to visit the Organizer Area.

  11. Must all members organize activities?
    No. We only ask those that are interested in organizing events to do so. Other members are encouraged to help out by donating goods, or money, or small amounts of time (advertising) etc. here and there.


General

  1. How did the MOC get started?
    Amy Pickwick, founder and president, was a member of her university's outdoor club, where she was able to go away for the weekend for little money. It was a great way to meet other people and get away from "regular, daily life" for a sliver of time.

    When in Atlanta, shortly after college, Amy wanted to meet other people that shared the same interests as her. She used her web skills and built a simple web site to attract other outdoors-minded individuals. The AOC serves over 1,500 people today.

    The MOC was founded when Amy was forced to move back to her home state (Maryland) after a job lay off in 2001. Living in a new part of Maryland, she wanted to quickly make some new friends without spending a lot of money or time doing so.

    Today, the MOC has members. The up and coming Calgary Outdoor Club in Alberta, Canada started in Spring 2003, and is serving about 500 members.

  2. Is the MOC not-for-profit?
    The MOC is not a not-for-profit according to government regulations. However, we are not in business to profit...if that makes any sense. There is much work involved to achieve government not-for-profit status, and the benefits are not that substantial to the club (as of yet). How we make our business not profit at the end of the year is spend the remaining bank balance on our Holiday Social Hour, Annual MOC Picnic, equipment, office supplies, and charities.

  3. Where is the MOC's home base?
    The MOC has no home base. We attempt to spread our events evenly across the state of Maryland, mostly where our members are based (between DC, Baltimore, and Frederick). We tend to have our group gatherings in Columbia, because they are easily accessible to the majority.

  4. How long has the MOC been around?
    The MOC was based off of the Atlanta Outdoor Club, started in October 2000. The MOC concept came about in March 2002, with the web site launching in July 2002. By October 2002, we were holding our first activities with decent turn out.

  5. Is the MOC more of a social club or a hard core outdoor club?
    A little bit of both. We are not an avid "hiking" club or anything like that per se. Our events are varied on their difficulty levels and most events' purposes are to help people make new friends. Sometimes, however, we do have more challenging outdoor events, where the purpose is to work out. We also do our best to follow the Leave No Trace guidelines and help protect the environment in which we use.

  6. I'm afraid of all the new faces. What is the best way for me to start out?
    If you want an easy, laid-back way to meet some of the MOC faces, come to our monthly Social Hour event, on the second Tuesday of each month (except December). There are people there known as Social Greeters, with the job of spotting the newcomers and introducing you to others. You can also order dinner, snacks, or drinks here, and show up when you'd like, stay as long as you'd like.

    Most other events are also great for first-timers too. Just approach the Event Organizer, and let them know you are new and would like to be introduced to some of the repeat members.

    Just remember, everyone started out the same way in the club - so we've all been there! Our volunteers will help you get quickly acquainted with others.

  7. How do I volunteer or donate to the club?
    It's easy to help out. We keep our web site updated with our current needs on our Volunteer & Dontate page. Let us know how you'd like to help, and we'll get you started. Thanks for your interest!!!

  8. Are you guys any fun?
    Duh. Now, that's a silly question. Do people really ask that? Well, no...but we are sure people are curious about us before joining. Of course we are fun. There would be no reason to the club if it didn't help you make new friends and add a little joy to your life. The more fun the people are that join, the more fun the club becomes overall.

Please contact us with any additional questions you may have.
 
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