At some point, many of us made the bold decision to leave the familiar and comfortable surroundings where we had raised our families and built our careers, to start a new chapter of our lives in a little mountain town where we knew exactly…uh…no one.
The story line has become more and more familiar.
It seems that many of us are at different points along very similar journeys. I believe most of us found that the transition was far from complete with the physical move – there were other parts of our lives that needed to be reassembled.
Enter Newcomers. For Lisa and I, our journey from that point would go something like this:
It started with the Newcomers Monthly Meetings. The gatherings were warm, informative, and interesting. They were also sometimes crowded affairs where we could meet maybe only three or four people seated closest to us. And unfortunately for me, I struggled to remember even one name in that type of setting.
We would next discover Wine and Cheese. The casual mingling and conversation felt more comfortable, making name-face recognition much easier for me. Thank goodness for name tags! Heading into our second year, the Club starts to feel more familiar. And I remember even more names.
Going along it was the Interest Groups where many of our new friends would be found – sharing a meal in someone’s home, playing a round of cards, or challenging one another to tackle a steep climb up a mountain – these were all experiences that forged the bonds of friendship.
As time went on, we each took on some responsibility within the Club – Lisa bringing new energy into the Hiking Interest Group, and me joining the Board to work on Special Events. And presto! Even more ways to connect with people. More friends.
From there, the opportunities and friends would multiply. Being the builder-type that I am, those Club and community projects were among the best friendship incubators for me.
Today, we spend time with our many Newcomer friends outside of Club events. We have hiking buddies, we arrange meetups at festivals and town events, maybe take in a movie, visit someone who is in need of some company, gather to celebrate a holiday, or watch the big game. Not to mention running into folks with amazing frequency in the aisles of Safeway!
So in those five short years, we now find ourselves blessed with the largest and closest network of friends we have had in our adult lives.
I think Tim Cahill got it right in his quote.
Learn about Service Opportunities
With Local Non-Profits
Newcomers brings you a unique program at the March 21 General Membership Meeting. Instead of a single speaker, you will have the opportunity to learn from more than a dozen non-profit organizations serving the Estes Valley. At tables arranged around the space, you can visit with representatives from these organizations to find out what they offer to the community, as well as discover opportunities where you might serve as a volunteer.
The following organizations will be participating:
- American Legion Post 119
- Crossroads Ministry
- Estes Park Learning Place
- Estes Park Museum
- Estes Valley Land Trust
- Estes Valley Library
- Estes Valley Restorative Justice
- Estes Valley Investment in Childhood Success
- Health District of Northern Larimer County
- Junior Achievement
- MacGregor Ranch
- Partners Mentoring Youth
- Rocky Mountain Conservancy
In addition, we will pause that activity and conduct a brief business meeting to receive a report from the 2019 Nominating Committee, as well as consider (and vote upon) the proposed Bylaws revision. For more information about the proposed revisions, see this news article on the website.
Register today and learn about the many wonderful groups that contribute to our community!REGISTER TODAY
History May Know This As The
ULTIMATE Wine & Cheese!
Save the date: April 13, 6:00-8:30pm for the Newcomers Spring Fling 2019.
It’s like a really big wine & cheese – but with a little party, music and dance all thrown into one.
Spring Fling will be held at the Estes Valley Community Center and feature the always-popular Mountain Town Trio!
You won’t want to miss this one – mark your calendars today!
The draw of the outdoors speaks to many Newcomers. So much so, that we now support THREE different interest groups devoted to hiking.
Newcomers Hiking Group
The pleasure of engaging in outdoor activities in such a scenic environment is one of many reasons why folks relocate to Estes Park. Engaging in a variety of conversations with fellow Newcomers adds an enriching dimension to the hike far beyond the scenery. The Hiking Interest Group has been a part of the Newcomers experience for a number of years. The Group’s leaders take the time to conduct preview hikes to ensure that the experience will be positive, always keeping safety in mind. At a stopping point along the trail, hikers will often enjoy home-made treats from the leader, along with hot water and a variety of teas. Other times, the group will gather at a local coffee shop in Town afterward. Hikes are typically 4–6 miles round trip with an elevation gain up to 1,500 feet. We always have a great time – so come join us on the trail!
Estes Park is a hiker’s paradise. Stumble out your front door, and you are pretty much guaranteed to be on a trail within 15 minutes – truly one of the best aspects of living here! If you are like many Newcomers, the abundance of outdoor activities in this beautiful locale was at the top of your list when moving here.
In year’s past, the Newcomers Hiking Group offered only weekday treks. This year a weekend hiking option was added for those of us who (regrettably) still work – and for folks who just want to get outdoors more often with a great group of hikers.
The Weekend Warriors have met four times thus far, typically on the last Saturday of the month. We hike between 3 and 6 miles with an elevation gain of about 1000 feet, allowing for enjoyable conversation while hiking and keeping time spent on those valuable weekends to 2-3 hours max. We have ventured into Rocky Mountain National Park and have taken a trip down the valley to Button Rock Preserve. The Weekend Warriors look forward to many more enjoyable Saturday mornings exploring the thousands of miles of trail this great State has to offer. We hope to see you on the next trail!
Easy Hiking” group
Once a month the “Easy Hiking” group sets out on an unpaved trail, either a loop or out-and-back, for about two miles with minimal elevation gain. On a recent hike, we walked into the Park from the end of High Drive, where we were greeted with open meadow and sweeping views of mountain peaks. On the way back we hooked up with a gravel road for a while, but most of it was on trail. Afterwards we typically gather at a local coffee shop. We look forward to seeing you on the trail!
Book clubs are among the more popular Interest Groups in Newcomers with several from which to choose.
The Morning Book Club
Newcomer’s Morning Book Club meets once per month at various member homes. This book club has attracted so many members that it meets in small groups to better facilitate discussion. Each group reads and discusses both fiction and nonfiction books chosen by its own members.
This Book Club is actively seeking new leaders as interest in reading and sharing continues to grow.
“While it is too early to say which text this year has been our favorite, we would probably all agree that while the book brings us together, it is the camaraderie we have developed that makes the first Monday of the month so special,” shares Sherry Unruh, coordinator of one of the groups. “Coffee, tea, and snack delights greet us at every home, and we often find ourselves catching up on each other and our families for a good portion of the first half hour, setting the stage for feeling safe to offer opinions and debate literary situations.”
Back row, left to right: Debra Sloan, Diane Scruton, Caltha Crowe, Joyce Jacobsmeyer. Front row: Kathye Osborne, Lisa Zahn, Donna Pierce and Melissa Woods.
A sampling of books the groups have been reading include: The Stranger in the Woods, The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion, Dear Mrs. Bird, The Children Act, The Red Coat: A Novel of Boston, Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, Rebecca, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Half-Broken Horses, A Lady’s Life in the. Rocky Mountains, Recollections of a Rocky Mountain Ranger, The Dance House, All the Light We Cannot See, Rules of Civility, The Afghan, The Education of Little Tree, Born a Crime, Pachinko, Ross Poldark, Hillbilly Elegy, The Women in the Castle, Small Great Things, The Story of Arthur Truluv and Can This Be Home (by local author Bobbe Palmer).
The Morning Book Club groups carry forward the longstanding Newcomers Club tradition of great reading and sharing personal insight.
The TGIF Book Club
The purpose of the TGIF Book Club is to foster new friendships within our membership by getting to know each other while discussing books. It’s simply: read the selected book, meet in a group member’s home, bring an appetizer to share and your beverage of choice.
The TGIF Book Club is open to all! The only expectation is that you want to be in a book club that has an eclectic reading list. Each month we will read one book selected through member nomination and voted on by the group. Books may be fiction, non-fiction, contemporary literature, or a good old classic.
The intent is to create a small group setting for discussion, while accepting anyone who would like to join us. If we go over 15 members attending in a month, we plan to adopt a format much like Dining In – we would meet in multiple homes. The interest group co-leads would form randomly selected groups for each home. This way we would get to meet and socialize with a variety of Newcomers throughout the year. This group is also adapting the successful Wine & Cheese model by having participants bring an appetizer to share and their beverage of choice, giving the evening more of a social vibe.
As previously announced, a Committee of the Board has been reviewing our Club Bylaws for several months now. After many, many hours of thought and debate, the Board approved the Committee’s recommendation to revise the Club Bylaws. The final step is for membership to consider and vote on this proposed revision.The Board has scheduled a vote by the membership on the proposed Bylaws revisions at the March 21, 2019, meeting of the General Membership.
Please plan to attend.
If approved by a two thirds vote of the members present at the March General meeting, the changes in the Bylaws will be phased in through the remainder of the fiscal year (by June 1).
The Board believes that updating our Bylaws will prepare the Club for a strong and healthy future, and you are encouraged to attend the March General Meeting to consider this proposal.
Click the image to view or download a PDF of the revised Bylaws as proposed.
If you have questions or are interested in learning more about the work of the Bylaws Review Committee and the thinking behind the proposed revisions, please reach out BylawsReview@EstesParkNewcomers.org.Click to view or download a copy of the PROPOSED Club Bylaws
An informational meeting is scheduled for 10:00-11:00am on March 7th in the Wasson Room of the Library. The meeting is open to all active members. If you plan to attend, we ask that you RSVP for the meeting online.
Key Changes Proposed
This is by far the most extensive update to the Newcomers Club Bylaws since its founding. The Bylaws Review Committee concluded that an exhaustive review was warranted, due to significant growth of the Club and its activities in recent years.
- Shift Membership Year to July 1 – June 30
- Create opportunity to expand Club programming year-round
- Support a transitional period between administrations
- Establish an Executive Committee
- Consisting of all elected officers and the Immediate Past President
- Delegate some of the duties of the President to the Executive Committee
- Establish a Finance Committee
- Create and maintain the Club budget
- Empowered to review use of Club funds
- Establish Working Committees
- Committee structure to replace the static list of specified Board positions and functions in the existing Bylaws
- Expand opportunities for members to serve in non-Board positions
- Better retain institutional knowledge
- Create more opportunities for internal succession between administrations
- Define Relationships Between the Club and Parties of Interest
- Define prospective members, graduates and alumni
- Equip the Board to define policies that encompass non-active members
- Modernize and Clarify Bylaws
- Separate policy guidelines from the Bylaws, empowering the Board to implement policies governing Club activities and operations
- Clarify key governance terms
- Remove obsolete definitions, structures and operational practices
The following people have just joined the class of 2024:Larry & Linda Leaming
Kaye Barnett & Suzan Foy
Deborah & Mike Benewich
Tim & Deb Orel
Arlene & Gary Spahn
Welcome to the Club!
Welcome to Tech Tips! In this monthly series, our Tech Ops team will share simple tips and techniques to help you get the most out of the Club’s technology resources.
Who to Contact and other Quick Links
On the Newcomers Club home page, you will see a blue “Quick Links” section with several useful resources. They include links to:
- Directory of Interest Groups
- The Club Facebook page (requires that you join)
- The Tech Tour page, including a blog of Tech Tips like this one
- A directory of contacts for various club topics and questions
On the Who to Contact page, you will find links that will open your email client on your device. If this doesn’t work correctly for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
Also on that page, the Need To Contact A Board Member? link takes you to the directory of Newcomers Club Board members, with email addresses and phone numbers. You will need to be signed into the website as a member in order to view this directory.
If you have any questions, contact email@example.com.
Help a Newcomer Family in Need by
Signing Up for a Meal Train.
What exactly is a Meal Train? It’s a way to help out a family that is dealing with a extraordinary event, such as an illness or loss. Often, living with such circumstances can make it difficult to find time to prepare a full meal.
A Meal Train is a way to organize volunteers who are willing to provide a ready-to-eat meal for someone impacted by a special circumstance.
How can you help? Sign up to provide a meal on a specific day by clicking a name from the list below.
Who needs our help? The following Meal Trains are active right now:
Thanks for helping!
Top things to consider when participating in a Meal Train
- It is best to expect that the recipient is not yet ready to entertain. Unless suggested by the organizer or recipient, plan to stay no more than 10-15 minutes when dropping off a meal.
- If there are open calendar days after your delivery, make enough for leftovers. Freezable meals are also nice.
- Don’t forget the extras like drinks, condiments, and salad dressing.
- If you are having something delivered (e.g. pizza), make sure to pay and tip in advance.
- If possible, deliver your meal in a recyclable or reusable container.
- Be sure to label any items that you would like returned. Include a large paper bag with your name on it that the recipient can use to store your items until you can coordinate a pick-up date.
- Include clear preparation instructions, i.e. “Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.”
- Consider sharing a link to your recipe in the “Notes” section of your meal booking so the recipient can know the ingredients.
- As a nice added bonus, bring breakfast food for the following morning, such as muffins, bagels, and fruit salad.
- If possible, text the recipient that you are on your way. A little heads up can go a long way.
- If you don’t live nearby or can’t cook, consider sending a Grubhub or Uber Eats gift card.
- Bonus: Add some style to your Meal Train drop off with a printable dinner label.