A club for active, outdoors-loving boomersBy LARISSA MULKERN
Special to the Sunday News July 26. 2014 6:33PM
Boomerang Adventures, a club for active older adults seeking fun and exercise in the great outdoors, offers a wide range of excursions throughout the year.
Club founder Debra Nichols of Dover says that since Boomerang launched in September 2013, membership has grown to nearly 100 adults ranging in age from 45 to 86.
When she's not working as a fitness instructor at the YMCA of the Seacoast, Nichols leads a weekly outing club, occasional adventure trips and two long tours per year. Activities vary in skill level and are designed to enhance the lives of active adults by providing outdoor adventures that challenge and inspire members while they're at play, she said.
Boomerang Adventures collaborates with Granite State Ambassadors, the Seacoast Educators Association, the Portsmouth Recreation Department, various senior centers and the Granite YMCA of Greater Manchester, as well as Y branches in Londonderry, on the Seacoast and in Strafford County.
Upcoming trips include a weekend stay at the YMCA Camp Mi-Te-Na in Alton from Sept. 5 to 7, featuring hiking, kayaking, line dancing and swimming. A weekend bike tour of Prince Edward Island, Canada, is planned for Oct. 4 to 6.
Day outings in August include a quiet-water paddle on Aug. 1; a hike, bike ride or horseback trek along New Hampshire rail trails on Aug. 2; a sunrise walk and breakfast on Aug. 15; a trip to Newburyport, Mass., for a guided ocean paddle and dinner on Aug. 16; and a rail-trail bike or hike followed by lunch on Aug. 23.
Additional details, as well as a membership application, are available at www.boomerangadventuretrips.com. Membership, at a rate of $35 a year, is required to take part in Boomerang Adventures.
Nichols said she started Boomerang after spending 20 years working in the recreation and hospitality industry in an administrative capacity, including a job as a membership director for the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association. She found after her two decades at a desk that her passion was in outdoor activities."I was trying to assess what I liked to do when I grew up, and I decided to keep playing outdoors," she said, adding that she spent time hiking, swimming and biking while growing up in Bow. Nichols said she found her niche in organizing activities for baby boomer-age adults who aren't into extreme sports or mountain climbing.
She began leading informal trips - all horizontal hiking, she notes.
"It was borne out of the idea to keep playing outside and to use outside activities to maintain health and to offer programs that both challenge and inspire," she said.
The horizontal hikes she now leads range in length from 5 to 20 miles, with adventures designed for multiple skill levels.
Recently, Boomerang Adventures started the New Hampshire Rail Trail Club in Wolfeboro.
"We looked at (the Appalachian Mountain Club) and how close-knit the Four Thousand Footer Club was and thought we'd like to model something after that for horizontal hiking," said Nichols.
She said there are 37 New Hampshire rail trails totaling more than 300 miles for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
For more information visit www.boomerangadventuretrips.com.