SOLAR is led by a 14-member Steering Committee (SC), which includes four officers and ten committee members. The SC meets each month on the Tuesday night one week prior to the club’s membership meeting. SC meetings are usually held at members’ homes or workplaces, and all club members are invited and encouraged to attend. Contact the SOLAR President for information on upcoming SC meetings.

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Carol Rogers, SOLAR President

Growing up in Detroit, my only camping experience was with the Girl Scouts and I have found memories of the trips we took locally. As I grew up, I got away from the great outdoors but rediscovered it when I moved to the Seattle area. Once back in Michigan, I found I missed those days of being outside. I never knew there were so many wonderful parks in my backyard for hiking and camping. A friend from another hiking group convinced me to come to a SOLAR meeting and I soon joined. After having enjoyed several classes and activities, I felt that I need to give back to the group that has offered me the forum to enjoy doing things I love with others.



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Debbie Hendrickson, SOLAR Vice President

I grew up in Missouri where my family did a lot of camping and canoeing. As the years have passed I have added rafting, kayaking, backpacking, hiking and bicycling to the list of activities I like doing. I really enjoy living in Michigan with all the opportunites it has for outdoor fun. What a beautiful state.

I was glad when I found SOLAR and the opportunity to enjoy these activities with other people with a passion for the outdoors.




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Katie Raeon, SOLAR Secretary

I have always enjoyed being outdoors, especially fishing and sailing. Once my kids were out of the house I joined SOLAR so I could take the Beginning Backpacking class followed by the Enjoying Michigan Winters class. I have been a SOLAR member for three years and enjoy volunteering and trying new things, which is how I became the current Activities chair. I grew up in Detroit, am married, have three grown kids and have worked as a registered nurse for almost 37 years. I am looking forward to more adventures, especially going to Isle Royale in the future.




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Heidi Tietjen, SOLAR Treasurer

I grew up as odd woman out in a non-outdoorsy family but my mom indulged me by letting me drag her camping and canoeing, sometimes with Girl Scouts, sometimes with just some of my friends. When I was 15 my mom took my younger sister and me on a trip to California. We camped along the way and visited lots of national parks. It was another two years before I actually went on a backpacking trip, when I went with a group from college to Kilarney Provincial Park on Georgian Bay. We did trips throughout college, including hiking Pictured Rocks from end to end.

In 2003 I spent 9 weeks walking the Camino de Santiago from Vezelay, France to Santiago de Compostella in Galicia, Spain. (I then walked another three days to the Atlantic coast.) I have often said that I’m not much good at anything that takes much skill or coordination but I’m great at things that just require grim determination.

Since I joined SOLAR I have taken Basic Backpacking, Women in the Woods, Intermediate Backpacking, Wilderness First Aid, Search and Rescue, Basic Land Navigation, Introduction to Kayaking, Knots, and Enjoying Michigan Winters. I’ve yet to do a long trip out west but I keep pretty busy with shorter hiking, camping, and backpacking trips, cross-country skiing, road biking, or paddling.


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Doreen Byrne, SOLAR Activities Chair

I’m newer to SOLAR, having joined in 2015. I was interested in learning about new outdoor activities and new places to visit with other outdoor enthusiasts. I love the outdoors year-round, especially in our beautiful state. I enjoy camping, hiking, biking, and kayaking. When I added backpacking to my list of activities, the Basic Land Navigation and Beginning Backpacking classes offered through SOLAR prepared me for my new adventures. I love traveling and camping all around Michigan and visiting our national parks.



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[This could be you!],  SOLAR Bylaws Chair

Want to join the SOLAR leadership team? Bylaws Chair is a great position to get your feet wet and learn how the club works. For more information contact Carol, SOLAR President.






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David Warnecke, SOLAR Communications Chair


David Warnecke’s bio is coming soon!







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Jeff Zabel, SOLAR Education Chair

I grew up in Saint Clair Shores and have lived in Michigan my whole life. I live in Farmington Hills with my wife Wendy, our dog Kacey, and our cat Simon. I visited most of Michigan’s tourist spots in my youth and enjoy camping, backpacking, gardening, canoeing, scuba diving, skiing, and almost any other outdoor activity. In my 25 years with SOLAR I have backpacked the Bruce Peninsula, rock climbed at Rattlesnake Provincial Park, shot white water rapids on the New River and in the Grand Canyon, ridden horses in Mexico, visited Machu Picchu, hiked the Inca trail, visited castles and skied in Austria, traveled the Amazon river, and visited grass islands on Lake Titicaca. The people you meet and the things you do with SOLAR will be with you forever.



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Phil Crookshank, SOLAR Equipment Chair

I lived lots of places, never mattered where, until I came to Michigan to attend college at Ferris. Went back to Illinois, briefly, moved to Michigan for work, and the wonderful green-ness here. Had a family for 9 years, then started tramping around Wyoming with my vacation time each year. Always said when I quit Ford, I’m moving West! Finally did – moved to WESTland. Home of the Nature Preserve I’ve been a steward of for 25 years.

So – even after retirement, I plan each month where and when I can get away for kayaking, canoeing, wildflower stalking, camping, backpacking, canyoneering around Moab, skiing. My passion has been to take groups into Algonquin for a week of wilderness canoeing many times – always a favorite even when we get hundreds of red dots from skeeters and black flies. What’s an adventure without them? So, now I can enhance my passion to help get people out into the wilderness – – by providing them with some of the SOLAR club equipment to try out. Better than being in sales at REI!


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Mike Hobig, SOLAR Historian

I have been a long time member and held another steering committee position, Membership, because I like to meet and greet people and love to be a booster for the club. I also like history and this low stress position lets me dabble in writing and historical inquiry, fun stuff and hopefully inspirational. I expect to lend my quirky perspective to the review of our SOLAR archives which are now a great end table in the front room at home. Look for the mental meanderings through our past and some current events that are really current history…



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Elaine Granch, SOLAR Membership Chair




Elaine Granch’s bio is coming soon!




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Jeff Grossklaus, SOLAR Programs Chair



SOLAR member since 2015. Programs Chair since 2017. Enjoy meeting others and hearing their tales of adventure. Also, like to participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities, including camping, biking, hiking, cross country skiing and kayaking. In addition, I’m a huge live music fan and enjoy photography.




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[This could be you!], SOLAR Programs Chair


The SOLAR Public Relations Chair is currently unfilled. If you are interested in helping others learn about SOLAR please contact the SOLAR President, Carol Rogers!






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Judy Konye, SOLAR Webmaster



Judy Konye’s bio is coming soon!


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.


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