Local meetup group gaining in popularity among local residents

The Adventure Manistee group plans to offer many exciting activities like this kayaking trip to local residents in the upcoming months.

The Adventure Manistee group plans to offer many exciting activities like this kayaking trip to local residents in the upcoming months.

MANISTEE — No one will dispute that Manistee County is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities.

However, sometimes people lack the nudge they need to get out from behind that computer or in front of the television  and have some fun. That is no longer the case thanks a new Meetup.com group called Adventure Manistee, founded by Mary Ellen Vincent.

“It is a worldwide Internet site that brings people together to do all kinds of outdoor activities,” she said. “It is a site that that is designed to help people self-organize and has 15 million members worldwide.”

Vincent said it was a natural transition for her to start this type of group in Manistee after she was introduced to it on a visit to her sons in another state.

“My two boys live in California, so I went out there to visit and checked out Meetup.com,” she said. “I found out there was a hiking group out there that did 100 walks a year. They organize everything and you meet at the location. I met 20 or 30 new people and you all do a hike together and they went out dinner.”

Vincent said the Manistee group is perfect for singles, couples and people of any age. It has expanded to include some indoor activities as well as the outdoor ones. It is a perfect venue for someone who wants to meet new people or get out and enjoy the company of others with fun activities.

“For me it was perfect as my kids have all grown up and moved away, so how do you make new friends?” she said. “This is a great way to connect with people in the community you have never met before that have similar interests in the outdoors.”

Vincent has 78 people in The Adventure Manistee group and hopes to increase it to 500 people over the next year. Vincent said joining is simple and free of cost.

“What they need to do is join up at Meetup.com (meetup.com/meetup-manistee) and then they will join up our group at Adventure Manistee,” she said. “We do ask some questions because we try to know where people’s interests lie and the whole process takes about 15 minutes.”

They have already done a variety of events in the past year including snowshoeing, cross country skiing, a night at Rosies Bar, hiking, kayaking, part of a running group, taking part in the Blue Fish’s weekly trivia night, a weekly coffee and movie day at Goody’s Juice and Java and the Vogue Theatre and a Tai Chi class.

New resident Sara Tucker said she loves the new group.

“I have really enjoyed my outings with Adventure Manistee,” she said. “As a new resident, it has been a great way for me to meet people who enjoy the same kind of activities I do. The group is friendly and makes it easy for newcomers to join in. ”

Clara Kahle, who belongs to the group, has also enjoyed the outings.

“It is good times with good friends,” she said.

Member Donald Stauffer said that the people in the group can turn any outing into a fun one.

“We made the most of a crappy day,” he said. “It will be fun to meet up with the Adventure group again.”

Vincent said they plan an event this week.

“At 1 p.m. this Sunday we are having a potluck at First Street Beach House and anyone can come, as we are hoping to spark a little interest,” she said.

Vincent said people can make suggestions to her about what types of events they would like to do and she will coordinate them.

“We will have events that are for two or three people right on up to 20 or 30 people,” she said. “We have people taking part in it who are 19 years old right on up to 70 years of age. As long as they want to go out and do something fun, we are more than happy to have them join us. In the future we have plans to do a little camping trip and some backpacking.”

People can learn more about the group at the Adventure Manistee on their website.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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