2023-2024 Schedule

All programs are held at Cox Arboretum MetroPark 

October 19, 2023

6:30-8:00 pm

Henry Dorfman


Explosive eruptions and pyroclastic flows shaped the dramatic landscape of the Small Isles of Scotland. Perhaps that inspired humans to later keep up the tradition with extensive and savage clan warfare.  The rugged terrain in its matching unforgiving North Atlantic location supports little in the way of population, except for extensive wildlife.

It isn’t easy to get there and harder to subsist, but those who do are treated to sights and experiences found few other places on earth. Henry Dorfman, our presenter, will take you there visually on a kayak voyage through the rugged islands. And while we’re over there, we’ll take a few side trips through mainland Scotland, including the highlands and, of course, Loch Ness.

Henry Dorfman is the founder and leader of Cincypaddlers, a group of about 2,000 kayakers and canoeists. He has organized and let them on adventures around a good portion of the globe, from the glaciers of Alaska to the Hebrides Archipelago of Scotland, and from the fjords of northern Canada to the mountains of Costa Rica. Most of these have been on water, but a number were on solid ground. He has previously addressed our group about viewing the Northern Lights from the Arctic Circle and a variety of kayak expeditions.


November 2, 2023

6:30-8:00 pm

Jason Wish


Jason Wish, a lifelong Ohio farmer and outdoor adventurist, will be sharing some of his backpacking experiences from his home state and throughout the Midwest, and how this led to ultralight backpacking, fastpacking, Fastest Known Times, ultra running, and kayak camping.  Over the past seven years, he has built a following of over 43,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel through documenting and showcasing his many adventures.  Jason will be presenting an overview of some of his favorite backpacking trips and gear, and how and why he decided to take his passion for outdoors to the next level, and handling failures that inevitably come.



December 7, 2023

6:30-8:00 pm

Amy and Brent Anslinger

Discovering Ohio on the Buckeye Trail: Memories from a Bicentennial Thru-Hike

Brent and Amy Anslinger set out in 2003 during Ohio’s Bicentennial to discover their home state from a new perspective.  The Buckeye Trail wraps around Ohio for 1444 miles giving the hiker a variety of settings that showcase the diversity of Ohio.  From the rolling hills of southern Ohio to the urban landscape of larger cities and the quaint small towns in between, the Buckeye Trail connects Ohio in a way that few other experiences can.  The Buckeye Trail in its current form is 1444 miles (1300 miles when Brent and Amy hiked) and traverses through 47 of Ohio’s 88 counties.  Take a journey around Ohio with Brent and Amy as they take you on a photographic journey.  They hiked from Cincinnati, overlooking the Ohio River at Eden Park, and up the western side of Ohio through small towns and canal history before skirting Toledo and heading towards Cleveland.  After touching Lake Erie at Headlands Dunes State Park they headed towards southeast Ohio in classic fall foliage before winding back to Cincinnati to complete one of the first thru-hikes of Ohio’s state trail.  Brent and Amy will weave in Buckeye Trail history and the connection to Ohio’s most famous hiker, Emma “Grandma” Gatewood.

Prior to thru-hiking the Buckeye Trail, Brent and Amy completed the 2600-mile Pacific Crest Trail for their honeymoon in 2001.  Brent had also hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1997 and Amy had completed a 3-month National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) experience in Alaska.  Following their Buckeye Trail, they were Backpacker Magazine’s Get Out More! Road Team for two years.  Brent is the Outdoor Recreation Program Manager at Five Rivers MetroParks and Amy ran the Wright State Outdoor Resource Center for eleven years and is currently a guide for Explorer Chick Adventure Company and Wellness Coordinator for Creative World of Montessori.





January 4, 2024

6:30-8:00 pm

Don and Sue Klosterman

Sailing the Galapagos Islands: hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and wildlife encounters 

We are excited to share the story of our 7-day guided sea adventure aboard The Nemo III in July 2023. The boat carried our group of 11 adventure tourists and a crew of 9, sailing around the Galapagos Islands located 600 miles off the west coast of Ecuador near the equator. Each action-packed day involved a series of excursions filling up all of the 12 hours of light between sunrise and sunset. These adventures included beach landings and island hiking to view wildlife up close and personal, kayaking along the island shore, and snorkeling among sea turtles, schools of fish, and groups of friendly sea lions. The list of exotic wildlife seen on land and in water (many within arm’s reach) was almost endless: waved albatross, blue footed boobies, frigate birds, flamingos, black tipped reef sharks, sea lions, penguins, giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and Sally Lightfoot crabs. 
The presentation will include high definition photos and videos,
including underwater video footage shot with a Go-Pro camera. Come sail away with us ….you will see what it is like to swim with baby sea lions!
Don and Sue Klosterman are alumni and long-time employees of the University of Dayton. Don’s home there is in the School of Engineering, while Sue spent many years teaching in the Geology department. They have taken many hiking and backpacking trips over their 33 years of marriage, many of them in the western U.S., as well as hundreds of miles on the Appalachian Trail. This was their first trip to South America. Don was coordinator of the Dayton Backpacker Campfire from 2003-2016, and they both were active leaders in BSA for many years. They reside in their long-time Centerville home of 30 years, and they continue to plan new adventures each year.





John rahtz

boundary waters 101 




February 1, 2024

6:30-8:00 pm

Starting in Northern Minnesota and spreading into Canada there are over two million acres of preserved wilderness just waiting for you. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and adjacent Quetico Provincial Park may just be the finest place in the world to canoe, camp, fish, immerse yourself in nature, unplug and recharge. And the best part is that a Boundary Waters trip is one that nearly anyone can experience.

Jim Rahtz has spent more years than he cares to admit canoe camping and backpacking, with lakes and rivers often being a focal point of his adventures. He took his first trip to the Boundary Waters in 1988. In addition, Rahtz has received certifications as a kayak and paddleboard instructor. 

As a freelance writer and photographer, his work has won multiple awards; appearing in national publications and websites such as The Boundary Waters Journal, Paddler, Camping Life, and Canoeing.com. He is a Past President of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio and has written six books on the outdoors.


March 7, 2024

6:30-8:00 pm

Andy Niekamp and Karen Power

Walking the Way of St. James:
Our Camino de Santiago Adventure


Join Andy Niekamp and Karen Power as we relive our 35-day journey of culture, friendship, and faith on the Camino de Santiago during the fall of 2023. Our route, the classic and most popular route, the 480-mile French Way, stretches from St. Jean, France over the Pyrenees Mountains to Santiago de Compostela, Spain, the final resting place of the Apostle Saint James.

The Camino is Spain, past and present. Our route took us through medieval cities and areas of natural beauty such as Pamplona, famous for its bull run; La Rioja wine region; Burgos with its magnificent cathedral; elegant Leon and Ponferrada with its Templars Castle. From Ponferrada, the Camino continues through Galicia over the mountains and the picturesque village of O Cebreiro.

As pilgrims, we endured the extremes of heat, cold, wind, and rain over steep mountains, on wooded paths, rolling farmland, and paved roads. We stayed in picturesque towns and villages, pensions, hostels, hotels and an alburgue. Learn why the Camino de Santiago, a thousand-year-old footpath, is often called a journey for the body, mind, and soul. Come to hear why so many people from around the world embark on the Camino de Santiago.

Andy “Captain Blue” Niekamp, an IT professional turned long-distance hiker, has been a wilderness adventurer for 35 years. Karen “Tagalong” Power started “tagging along” on his adventures ten years ago. Together, they have shared many miles of hiking on various trails, including the Appalachian Trail, Florida Trail, Arizona Trail, Pinhoti Trail, Sheltowee Trace, and Foothills Trail.

Andy has logged over 20,000 miles of long-distance backpacking, including five end-to-end hikes of the Appalachian Trail. He is the founder and organizer of Dayton Hikers, a Meetup hiking group with 8,500 members, and the Chief Adventure Officer of Outdoor Adventure Connection, a backcountry guide service. His passion is organizing special hiking events and encouraging others to get involved in trail maintenance.

Karen is a retired college professor, a grandmother of four, a volunteer trail maintainer, and an educator at local parks. Karen’s 3,000 long-distance hiking miles have inspired a non-lucrative hobby as a freelance writer, cartoonist, and writing coach.