AVA or A.V.A.

AVA Logo

Acronym for the American Volkssport Association. The umbrella organization for the United States. Visit their website at See also IVV and CVA.


Some walks offer awards for sale as a souvenier of the event. Awards often take the shape of patches, pins, and other forms. There are sub-types of awards:

  • “A” award: can be available at sanctioned events and are specifically designed for that event.
  • “B” award: can be available at any event, but are not specifically designed for that event.


Usually the half-way point on a sanctioned walk. It is usually manned and often has hard candies, water, and welcoming faces to greet you and see how you’re doing. They will also check off your start number on a numbered sheet, so please have your start card ready. See also Self Checkpoints.

Credit Only

This phrase means that there are no awards available for the event. It does not mean that you are required to walk for credit. It also does not mean you can walk on monetary credit.

Distance Book

The official AVA record book of distance achievements. Distance books cost $6.00 each and are available at most events or are available at the AVA website, or at our club walks & meetings. See also Event Book.


Usually an event is a walk. Bicycle rides, cross country skiing, and swimming events are also sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association and can be entered into your distance and event books.

Event Book

The official AVA record book of events. Event books cost $6.00 each and are available at most events or are available at the AVA website, See also Distance Book.

Finish Table

The Finish Table is where you should check in after completing a Sanctioned Walk. This tells the sponsoring club that you’ve returned safely. The Start Table and Finish Table are usually in the same location. If you walk for credit only, this is where you will get your books stamped.


Footnotes is the monthly newsletter put out by the Illinois Trekkers Walk Club. It covers the minutes of our monthly meetings and upcoming walking events.

Group Walks

Illinois Trekkers and many other clubs use Year Round Walks for a group to gather and do the walk. Group Walks are usually smaller than Sanctioned Walks and they usually start off as a group at one time, unlike Sanctioned Walks that have a Start Time Window that usually lasts several hours. Group walks usually take place Saturday mornings.


Acronym for Illinois Trekkers.

IVV or I.V.V.

IVV Logo

The International Federation of Popular Sports, the English translation for “Internationaler Volkssportverband” which is headquartered in Germany. The IVV is the international organization that governs all of Volkssporting. Over 50 countries have IVV sanctioned events. Visit their website at See also AVA.

K or Kilometer

A Kilometer a measurment of distance that is 1,000 meters long. Volksporting uses the metric system to measure distances primarily because the sport started in Germany and spread first to Western Europe. The metric system is also a more rational system for measuring things because it is based on the decimal (base 10) numbering system, the one we are most familiar with (in contrast, computers use a binary, or base 2, numbering system). 1 Kilometer is approximately 0.62 miles. Typically our walks are 10K (6.2 miles) and 5K (3.1 miles) long. Quickly convert miles to kilometers here. See also Distance Book.

New Walker Packet

Picture of New Walker Packet

The New Walker Packet supplies you with all the materials you need to start AVA walking. The cost is only $5.00 but the value is way more than that! The packet includes:

  • Your first Event book (normally $6.00)
  • Your first Distance book (normally $6.00)
  • 3 coupons good for event credit (normally $3.00 each)
  • Other coupons to redeem for goodies from AVA

That’s a value of over $21.00 for $5.00! Purchase of a New Walker Packet does not include membership in the Illinois Trekkers. However, club membership is seperate and is available at any I.T. event, the Membership page, or any membership meeting.


Most events are rated for difficulty. A rating of 1A is the easiest and is normally flat and entirely on paved surfaces. A rating of 5E is the most difficult and often includes rough terrain and substantial elevation gain. An explanation of the rating system can be found on this AVA web page.

Registration Log

The Registration Log is usually located in the Walk Box for a Year Round Event. This form is where you sign the Amatuer Athletic Release of Liability for the Year Round Event which must be signed before you use the Walk Directions. See also Start Card.

Sanctioned Event/Walk

A special, one-time event that is sanctioned by the American Volkssport Association. A special, one-time stamp with a unique event number is used only for this event. See also Year Round Event/Walk


Self Checkpoint

Walk Directions, especially for Year Round Events in the form of a question that you can only answer if you’ve been there on the walk. See also Checkpoint.

Special Programs

Special Programs are run primarily by clubs throughout the nation and are a way of making events more fun. Each program requires the purchase of a special book which gets stamped, along with your Event and Distance books, if the event qualifies for that special program. No extra participation fee is required, the purchase of the Special Program book is the only extra cost. Illinois Trekkers sponsors the Walking America’s Murals program. Go to our Special Programs page for more details.

Start Card

The Start Card is usually used at Sanctioned Events when you register for the event. You are supposed to carry the copy with you on the walk and show the copy at any Checkpointalong the route. This form is where you sign the Amatuer Athletic Release of Liability for the Sanctioned Event which must be signed before you use the Walk Directions. See also Registration Log.

Starting Point

This term can mean two distinctly different things:

  1. It is the term used for the physical location of the Start Table for Sanctioned Walks and the Walk Box for Year Round walks. Any publicity you see for an event should include this information.
  2. The Starting Point is the yearly book produced by the American Volkssport Association that lists all of the Year Round and Seasional events sponsored by clubs in the United States, of which there are approximately 1,800. The book is organized by State and City within State. You can order directly from AVA here. Because the print deadline is relatively early and the real world chages often, this page shows all the updates made to events since the book went to print.

Start Number

Each participant in any event is assigned a unique Start Number for that calendar year. On a Sanctioned Walk the Start Number should be on your Start Card copy that you carry on the walk. Each Registration Log has spaces for consecutive numbers on Year Round Events but there is rarely any need for you to remember this Start Number.

Start Table

This is where every participant in a sanctioned walk registers before going on the walk. The Start Table and Finish Table are usually in the same location. See also Start Card and Registration Log.

TAW or The American Wanderer

The bi-monthly newspaper put out by the American Volkssport Association (AVA). Membership in the AVA gets you a subscription to this fine publicaiton.

Three Mile Thursdays

A non-sanctioned group three mile walk held on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Thursdays in April, May, June, July, August, and September. Each month is a different walk and they usually start at 6:30pm. Come join the fun. Check the Event Calendar page for details.

Traditional Event/Walk

Identical to a Sanctioned Event/Walk.

Trekker Bucks

The club participation awards program. Designed to reward members who take an active participation in the club. Three areas are empahisized: Club leadership, Event working, and meeting participation.

Walk Alert

Walk Alerts are weekly emails that give you all the information you need to participate in our events like location, times, driving directions, etc. If you would like to receive our Walk Alerts please join our walk alert e-mail list. Go to the Home page and click on “join our email list”. This email list will never be sold or used for non-club purposes.

Walk Box

The Walk Box is the collection of forms, the walk stamp, and other materials necessary for walkers to sign themselves into a Year Round Walk. This collection is most often in an actual box, but it sometimes is all housed in a 3-ring binder or in some other manner that works for that particular location. The Walk Box may or may not be available without asking for it and not all employees of any given location will know of its existence. Be prepared to be creative in looking for the Walk Box if you’ve never been on the Year Round Eventbefore (it’s part of the adventure). See also Registration Log and Walk Directions.

Walk Directions

The Walk Directions are the form that you pick up at an event that provide the step-by-step route description. The Walk Directions are usually, but not always, acompanied with a map of the route. You are not allowed to take posession of Walk Directions unless you have first signed the Amatuer Athletic Release of Liability in the form of either a Registration Log or a Start Card.

Year Round Event/Walk

Events that can be done any time for credit. There is always a box or binder that is located in a store (usually) that has the walk directions, stamp(s), money envelope, and all the other materials necessary for the walker to self-register. The Year Round Events page lists all the Year Round Events sponsored by the Illinois Trekkers and has links to the details pages on the AVA website. For Year Round Events throughout the U.S., read this document on how to find events on the AVA website. See also Sanctioned Event/Walk


YRE or Y.R.E.

Acronym for “Year Round Event.”