Brought to the U.S. by servicemembers returning from Europe, Volkswalking
is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States. Come participate in
one of these walks, and discover for yourself why thousands of people of
all ages in this country have joined the sport of Volkswalking.
The IVV, which governs volkssporting, has an incentive awards program
which is separate from the medal/patch offered at each event.
You can participate in this program simply by purchasing (for $5.00 each)
record books for events and distance, which are valid indefinitely and are
honored at any IVV sanctioned Volkssport event worldwide. At each IVV
event you complete, you are eligible to present your IVV distance and
event books at the finish point and receive the official IVV ink stamp
when you turn in your validated start card.
The different levels of achievement for events are: 10, 30, 50, and every
25 additional events, and for distance: every 500 km.
The first event book is completed when it contains 10 different IVV ink
stamps; the first distance book is completed when it contains at least 500
km. All kilometers over 500 are automatically credited toward the next 500
km. When one book is completed, it must be sent to the AVA National
Office, who will then mail the appropriate award, consisting of a stick
pin, patch, and certificate. The name of each person receiving an
achievement award is published in the official publication of the
American Volkssport Association, "The
American Wanderer." IVV record books are always on sale at each Volkswalk.
How do I find out about walks?
Volkswalks are sponsored by individual clubs. Some clubs sponsor one walk
a year; many will sponsor several. Some clubs maintain mailing lists, but
a person can always write to a club and ask to receive information
(brochures) about their scheduled walks. A calendar of scheduled walks is
published in The American Wanderer, the official bimonthly publication of
the AVA. You may subscribe to The American Wanderer by writing to the
American Volkssport Association, Suite 101, 1001 Pat Booker Road,
Universal City, TX 78148. However, the best way to find out about walks in
your area is to participate in a Volkswalk and pick up brochures about
upcoming walks. There will always be a table at the start area at each
walk with these free brochures.
Brochures contain a drawing of the award on the front, and the location
(town) and dates for the event. Inside the brochure will be other
important information such as start and finish times, where to send
preregistration fees, last day to preregister, description of the course.
There will also be a map or directions to the area, and a contact person
to call or write for more information, if needed.
Do I have to be a member to participate?
You do not have to be a member of any Volkswalk club to participate in
walks. However, if you would like to become involved with others who are
interested in walking and in helping to plan walks, all clubs are happy to
have new members. Benefits to club members and membership fees vary from
club to club. It is a good way to meet new people, and it is a lot of fun
to work together at a walk and participate in walks together.
How much does it cost?
Anyone can walk free at any Volkswalk event. However, if you want an
award, the fee is usually $6.00 or $7.00 for the patch or medal and the
IVV credit stamps in your books. The fee for the award is usually $1.00
less if you preregister for the event. If you want only the IVV credit
stamp in your books, fees are normally $3.00.
The award may be an embroidered patch, and enameled, cloisonné or pewter
medal or pin, or some other item, as designed by the sponsoring club. The
brochure will describe the type and appearance of the award.
How do I register for a walk?
You may preregister for a Volkswalk by sending the required fee and form
to the sponsoring club. Brochures will contain a preregistration form and
information as to the fee and cutoff date.
An advantage of preregistering is to assure receiving the award on the day
of the walk, as awards are set aside first for those who preregister.
Walkers who register on the day of the walk will receive their award as
long as the supply lasts; others will have their awards mailed, and award
reorders can take eight to twelve weeks.
There is no refund if you are unable to make it to a preregistered walk.
Volkswalks are not canceled because of bad weather.
How do I get to a Volkswalk event?
The brochure will give directions to the start place from the nearest
highway. Look for directional signs as you near the start point. Walks
often begin at a recreational area or a park.
When do the walks normally start?
Volkswalks usually open between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. and close between
3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.. Check the times listed in the brochure because
different walks may have different hours. Take your time and enjoy the
walk and the companionship of other participants.
Walkers may walk alone or in groups. Some Volkswalkers will walk the
course two or more times; this is allowed providing they finish before the
announced closing time. Distance credit is given for completing the walk
multiple times, but only one event credit is given for a walk.
Generally, the sponsoring club will place a large start sign and IVV flag
or banner at the start place to make it easily seen by approaching
motorists. The start place will include multiple tables with signs showing
registration, start point and finish point, etc. Register if you did not
preregister, then pick up your start card. Each person walking, even free
walkers, must obtain and fill out a start card and carry it on the walk.
How will I know where to go?
Directional signs or bright plastic tape will be posted by the event
sponsor to designate the walk route. To be sure a walker completes the
required distance (and to keep people from getting lost), checkpoints are
set up along the course, at which all walkers must stop and got a stamp or
punch on their start cards. There may be one to four checkpoints on a
What can I expect at the completion of the walk?
When you arrive back at the start/finish point, you will turn in your
start card so that the event sponsor knows that you completed the course,
and you will have your IVV books stamped for credit and receive your
award, depending on the fee you paid.
Another kind of Volkswalk is the Year Round Event (YRE). Rather than being
a scheduled, one-time Volkswalk, this is a permanent, any day walk. A YRE
is typically available 365 days per year, during daylight hours. The start
point is usually at a local business that has agreed to keep the
self-service briefcase/box/kit. Hours and days available will depend on
the business at the start point. Check points may also be located at a