2 Additional Forays in October
It's no surprise that mushrooms have exploded in popularity over the last couple of years. The MST now has more than 1100 family memberships - over 2400 people. That kind of membership growth comes with challenges, and this year one of them has been the competition for registration to attend forays.
The Board of Directors sees that, and we understand that's it's frustrating for you, and that many members haven't been able to attend a foray this fall. Some of you have wondered why the forays are limited to 40 people. While Covid distancing precautions are still a factor, the real answer is that 40 is the maximum number of people that can gather around the identification tables and still be able to see the specimens and hear the leader talk about them. 40 is also the biggest crowd many of the owners of our foray locations will tolerate.
But most importantly, 40 is what our volunteer leaders can handle. The MST has a critical shortage of volunteers to help lead forays and especially to identify and talk about the mushrooms we find. Because there are so few of us, we end up sacrificing most of our weekends through the fall and spring - and we're at the limit of what we can do.
But we hear you, and we understand the frustration, so we're adding two new forays:
Saturday, October 16th at Kingbridge Centre in King City (a new location)
Sunday, October 17th at Packard Tract
Registration for these forays will open on Wednesday, October 13th at 8:00pm.
To try and keep things fair, these two new forays are only open to members who haven't yet attended a foray this fall.
If you haven't been able to come to a foray, our registration system will know and will let you register for one of these forays. If you registered for a foray earlier this season but cancelled your registration, no problem - you can register for one of these.
If you registered for a foray but skipped it without cancelling your registration - sorry, you can't register for these two forays. We ask you to cancel if you aren't coming so that others can have your spot, and failing to cancel makes the whole problem worse for everyone.
The MST is a fully volunteer-run organization, and we need our members to volunteer. Do you want more forays? We can have more forays if we have more volunteers!
Do you want to help but don't think you have the identification knowledge? We still need you! We need as many helpers as we can get. Are you confident in your identification knowledge? We need species identifiers most of all.
Have you been a member of the MST for a few years but haven't found a way to help out yet? We value that experience a great deal, and volunteering for forays is how you can help most.
Not sure how it's done? We even provide training for how to lead forays. And as an added incentive, if you volunteer to lead or help at a foray you don't have to register!