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!
The 2021 Cain Foray has been cancelled due to an issue with the venue.
We are extremely sorry, and apologize deeply for the change of plans, but we are not able to reorganize the event at this late date.
All Cain Foray participants have been informed by email, and will receive a full refund within 10 days.
We do hope that you are able to join us for our regular our fall forays, featuring four all-new locations!
We are also planning on a virtual event for our traditional raffle, so there are still prizes to be won. Look for more information on regarding this exclusive contest soon.
Our regular schedule of speakers has also been updated for fall.
The next block of 25 tickets for the MST's 2021 Cain Foray will go on sale on Sunday, August 29th at 12:00pm.
In order to maximize the opportunity for our existing members to attend, this block of tickets will be available to MST members only. That means you'll have to sign in to the website with your email address and password in order to register. If you can't remember your password, please visit https://www.myctor.org/forgotPassword to request a password reset.
Unfortunately, since we've reached the maximum number of children the event can handle, this block of tickets is limited to adult and offsite participants.
The health and safety of our members is of primary importance to the MST. To keep our more vulnerable members safe, the MST requires all Cain Foray participants over 12 years of age to be fully vaccinated, or to provide a negative COVID-19 test. Please see below for more information.
If you aren't able to come to the Cain, don't worry. Very soon we'll be announcing our fall 2021 schedule of weekend day forays, included with your MST membership. Watch your email and the website for that announcement! More details about our fall forays are available at https://www.myctor.org/forays/foray-info
More details and online registration are available at https://www.myctor.org/cain.
Cain Foray and COVID-19
The health and safety of our members is of primary importance to the MST. To keep our more vulnerable members safe, the MST requires all Cain Foray participants over 12 years of age to be fully-vaccinated, or to provide a negative COVID-19 test.
Participants will be required to sign a statement at check-in confirming their vaccination status, and to complete a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment. If you're unable to be vaccinated, it's required that you bring a negative result from a rapid COVID-19 test (like this one) taken no earlier than September 15th.
Those arriving with or developing COVID-19 symptoms during the event will be sent home to rest and recover. Please note that while the MST's board of directors strongly encourages all those who can be vaccinated to do so, we cannot guarantee the vaccination status of all Cain Foray participants or staff at Lumina Resort. All adult participants will be required to sign a waiver accepting that attendance is at their own risk. Policies around masking and social distancing will be announced in September, under guidance from government and public health agencies.
Due to the uncertainty of travel and border restrictions, a keynote speaker has not been arranged this year. Saturday evening will feature a set of workshops instead of a speaker.
If last-minute capacity limits or government restrictions are imposed and we have more participants than allowed, refunds will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to participants who wish to cancel. If there aren't enough voluntary cancellations, registrations will be cancelled with a full refund on a latest-registration-first basis. If there are no last-minute capacity restrictions, the normal Cain Foray cancellation policy will apply.