WALKERS

Members of the Gettysburg Walking Club walk past a bunch of daffodils during their Daffodil Walk in the Ridgewood neighborhood on Tuesday.

The Gettysburg Walking Club is determined to prove that social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean the end of socialization.

The local club, formed more than four decades ago, continues to meet once a week to take a stroll along local streets, paths and parks. A small group of club members gathered near the Ridgewood development on Tuesday morning for its Daffodil Walk. The walkers adhered to the national call for social distancing in response to the coronavirus pandemic, keeping a safe distance between them as they took in the cool spring morning.

The Gettysburg Walking Club is determined to prove that social distancing doesn’t necessarily mean the end of socialization.

The local club, formed more than four decades ago, continues to meet once a week to take a stroll along local streets, paths and parks. A small group of club members gathered near the Ridgewood development on Tuesday morning for its Daffodil Walk. The walkers adhered to the national call for social distancing in response to the coronavirus pandemic, keeping a safe distance between them as they took in the cool spring morning.

“The intent was to get together and be healthy, walk together and share companionship,” said Jennifer Aldrich, who joined the club three years ago. “People would initially bring a bag lunch and have a picnic during the walk but now we usually go to a restaurant.”

Breaking bread together has been put on hold but Aldrich said the club intends to continue meeting for weekly walks, weather provding. She chooses a route each week and emails fellow club members.

“I figure out where we’re going to walk and call a restaurant in the area,” said Aldrich, who added that Appalachian Brewing Company of Gettysburg is one of the groups favorite dining destinations. “We’ll go there for lunch or sometimes at the Pike.”

The walking routes change in accordance with the time of year and the weather.

“Every week it’s different,” she said. “When the tourists aren’t here we keep in town, walking the battlefield, college campus or the seminary. When the tourists come we spread out. We’ve walked at Oakside Park in Biglerville, the York Springs park and Norlo Park in Chambersburg. We keep it interesting.”

Aldrich said up to two dozen walkers have attended each week, although the number dipped to 10 last week. There area no dues or age limits. She added that most walkers are over 55, with Mary Lincoln serving as the group’s eldest member at the age of 99.

In light of the coronavirus concerns, Aldrich said the group has made minor adjustments but intends to keep meeting on Tuesday’s for a bit of exercise and camaraderie.

“I think socialization is really important as you get older, just as when you’re younger, but harder to accomplish,” she said. “Socialization is the primary thing.”

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