Summit 2011

The 2011 Summit took place on June 24-26, in Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. Click the links below for more information.


Keynote Speaker | Nominations | Schedule | Sponsors | Photos

Schedule of Events

Saturday, June 25


Room 1–Discovering Wild Flowers on the Trail by Joan West
Room 2–Light is Nice by Sunny Waller
Room 3–Hiking Tips-How to Stay Happy and Healthy by Marian Marbury


Room 1–Hiking the Inca Trail by Anna Huthmaker
Room 2–Planning the Logistics of a Multi-day Hike by Sue Turner
Room 3–Hug a Tree, by Becky Rogers


Room 1–Common Sense Ideas for Backpacking by Sue Williams
Room 2–Trailside Cooking by Lori LaVella Shields


Room 1-Prehap: Hints to Staying Healthy by Sue Williams
Room 2–Leave No Trace Awareness by Stacy Boone

Sunday, June 26


Room 1–Enjoying the Spirit of Nature Surrounding Our Trails by Cheryl Bharath
Room 2–Hug a Tree by Becky Rogers
Room 3–Light is Nice by Sunny Waller


Room 1–In A Woman’s Voice by Vera Hurst
Room 2–Thoughts about Being a Solo Female Hiker by Sue Turner
Room 3–Groove Class by Leanna Joyne

Class Descriptions

Discovering Wildflowers on the Trail – Joan West, aka Hemlock

- An introduction for hikers interested in how and where to find wildflowers, with practical tips on how to identify them. Joan (Hemlock) is an avid hiker and wildflower enthusiast who dreams of doing a long-distance hike on the AT or PCT. She is known for her ability to spot tiny, inconspicuous flowers and her enthusiasm for all things creepy-crawly. While she is an evolutionary biologist by profession, she spends most of her time working in the laboratory or at a computer. She looks forward to the weekend when she can enjoy nature out on the trail. She hikes with and lead hikes for the Georgia Trail Dames.

Hiking the Inca Trail – Anna Huthmaker, aka Mud Butt

A gorgeous power point presentation and thrilling stories of trekking along the Inca Trail of Peru.

Light is Nice - Sunny Waller

Session focuses on light-weight backpacking. Sunny will share her knowledge of lightweight options that are available so that you can make the best choices that work for you. The class includes hands on gear demonstrations of tents, pads, hammocks, stoves and accessories most of which can be store bought. There are a few specialty items from cottage gear makers. This session is taught by Sunny Waller. Sunny grew up in the woods in the suburbs of Atlanta. She started camping at 2 years old, often sleeping under a tarp at Lake Lanier. Her first backpacking trip was with the girlscouts where they walked several blocks to the pond at Mathis Dairy and camped out with Rosebud. In high school, Sunny hiked all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and later led and outfitted a outdoor adventure program for her church. She spent the next 20 years taking people on camping, rock climbing, and backpacking trips. Sunny was injured in car accident and found herself off the trail for several years until she discovered lightweight gear. Now she is back on the trail and proudly calls herself a Trail Dame.

Panel Discussion: Hiking Solo

A panel discussion on hiking safety for when you go out alone or in a small group. Featuring perspectives from a variety of Dames, and a question and answer session. This panel is hosted and led by Joan aka Hemlock

Panel Discussion: What NOT to do when Hiking

A humorous look at the silly things we have all done while hiking and backpacking.

Sunrise Yoga and Belly Dancing Class – Rena Cantrell

"I starting practicing yoga over 20 years ago when I injured my back while body building. Over the years I have maintained my own practice and have taken classes at various health clubs, yoga studios and seminars including yoga workshops with icon Rodney Yee. I love yoga because I find it cleanses me emotionally and mentally and keeps me in balance. My dance background started in 2006 with ballroom dancing. I found that my yoga, strong traditial martial arts background and teaching martial arts for over 10 years gave me a lot of body control needed for dance. In January 2008 while attending a belly dancing seminar with our very own Trail Dames I fell in love with belly dancing and have been enjoying it ever since. I have been part of Alchemy Drumming and Dance's troupe since the beginning of 2009."

Trekking Vacations – Linda Turner, aka Mrs. Baggins

"I was born in Placerville CA and married my high school sweetheart Tim Turner in 1975. Tim was always into hiking and backpacking. I was a beach person. 9/11 and the advent of the Lord of the Rings movies changed that forever. 9/11 made me realize I needed more challenge and adventure in my life, Lord of the Rings filled me with the desire to go on a "quest." A new hiker/backpacker was born. After 3 years of day hikes almost every weekend I did my first overnighter on the AT in 2004 and was hooked forever. In 2007, after selling our house and almost everything in it, Tim took a 7 month leave of absence and we set out to thru-hike the AT. By the time we reached the NC border our hike was over......I had extremely painful collapsing arches and simply couldn't go on. We swapped out our backpacking gear for car camping gear and took off on a 3 month road trip to Alaska and back from Maryland. It was the trip of a lifetime that included 22 states, 3 Canadian provinces, and 16 national parks. I decided to start the Maryland Chapter of Trail Dames after we relocated to Maryland in early 2010. I had met Anna in 2008 at Mountain Crossings and the idea was planted from them on. I currently have 208 members. They are a joy in my life! My trail name is Mrs Baggins."