This February, the Nashville Hiking Meetup, accomplished a mammoth achievement: their 3,000th Meetup! How’d they do it? Organizer Kelly Stewart says, “Just like running a company, you have to create fantastic products–or events in our case, build a loyal leadership team, and focus on customer service.” The Meetup has been going strong for ten years and currently boasts a hefty membership list at 10,599 and counting.
Browsing through the photos and reading about some of the Meetups they’ve got planned, it’s apparent that they deliver a mixture of warm company, snacks, adorable dogs, serene trails, and lots of laughs. It’s obvious that members love to take in everything that nature has to offer. But in addition to soaking up the good stuff, this Meetup knows the importance of giving back.
Through frequent ‘Tails of the Trail’ Meetups, members donate their time by walking shelter dogs on long hikes, in an effort to socialize them and provide them with valuable exercise. The main objective here (other than enjoying the adorable company of the furry friends) is to help reduce the stress and unease that these dogs incur through long periods of living in shelter kennels. Providing these dogs with the opportunity to stretch their legs also stretches their life spans. The end result: euthanasia rates among these animal shelters decrease as a result of happier, healthier dogs.
Connection with the earth and some of its cutest creatures lays the foundation for the desirable “product” that this Meetup’s members seek time and time again. The next time you’re in Tennessee, try the Nashville Hiking Meetup on for size.