About the AOC > Frequently Asked Questions


    Membership Q&A

    Event Registration Q&A

    Event Participation Q&A

    Miscellaneous Q&A



Is there a membership fee?

There is no cost to join the AOC, nor are there any ongoing membership fees. Some events, however, do have a paid component. Examples include transportation expenses (including reimbursing fellow members who volunteer to be carpool drivers), park entrance fees, outfitter and equipment rental fees, and lodging costs for overnight events.


What do you do with my membership information?

We use it to populate your member profile and to provide attendee info on events for which you register. We do not sell or share this information to third parties. You can chose whether to make your profile viewable by other members and to limit access to certain details (such as birthdate, phone number(s), and email address).


What types of people are in the club?

All types! Members come from diverse backgrounds and cultures, united by a shared passion for the outdoors. The AOC does not discriminate based on age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.


Is the AOC a singles club?

No, membership is comprised of singles, couples, and married individuals. Couples join the club individually and then choose to participate in events either together or separately.


Why do you ask for my age?

You must be 21 or older to be an AOC member. Your age will be available to our trip leaders and officers, and may be shown to other members.


Why am I not getting notices of new events?

You may need to update your notification preferences. While logged in, select the Change Preferences option located under the My Account tab. You have the option to receive notices for events across a wide range of activities; be sure to check the box next to each activity that you’re interested in hearing about.


Why can’t I see information about other members?

You need to have elected to join the member network, which makes your information visible to other members and their information visible to you. (While logged in, select the Change Preferences option located under the My Account tab.) Also, you must have completed two events before this feature becomes active.


Can my membership be terminated?

Members can voluntarily resign from the club at any time. Any member that hasn’t attended an event for 12 months may be removed from our membership database. We also reserve the right to revoke any membership that we believe was created fraudulently.

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Registering for Events

Do I have to be on the attending list to participate in an event?

Yes! If you register for an event and get placed on the waiting list, you’ll be notified if you are moved to the attending list. Occasionally, a trip leader may remove someone from the attending list if he or she feels that person is not a good match for the event. Please do not show up at events unless you are on the attending list.


Can I register other people for an event?

Yes, if they also are a member and they have designated you as their agent. On most events, the registration form includes the option to register both yourself and a second person. To learn more about agents, select the Set Up Agents option located under the My Account tab while logged in.


Can you explain the difficulty ratings?

Events are rated on a scale of D1 to D7, with D1 being the easiest and D7 being the hardest. The rating range and description varies by activity type. A variety of factors go into an event rating; you can learn more about difficulty ratings here.


Why did I get skipped over for an event?

A trip leader may remove someone from the attending list if he or she is concerned about the member’s suitability for the event. This most normally would occur when a newer member, or a member with a history of events with lower difficulty ratings (D-ratings), signs up for a physically challenging event with a higher difficulty rating. For events with carpools, those willing to drive may get priority. Other factors include missing a payment deadline or having a history of no-shows. Overnight events and out-of-town trips may have additional considerations that affect attendee selection.


Why did someone listed after me on the waiting list get moved to the attending list?

If an opening occurs close to an event’s start time, the trip leader may reach out to those near the top of the waiting list and move the person who responds quickly. For events with carpools, the trip leader may need to select someone who indicated they’re willing to drive. In addition, paid and out-of-town events often have other requirements that affect how waiting lists are managed.


Why am I on an event’s waiting list, even though there are open spots on the attending list?

On some events, all registrants will be placed initially on a waiting list to give the trip leader an opportunity to evaluate each member’s suitability for the event. This process is common for overnight trips.


I received a notice for a “double booking.” What’s that?

If you are on the attending list for more than one event on the same day, our system will automatically generate this notice. If the events are at different times and you can attend both of them, you can safely ignore the notice. However, you cannot be on the attending lists for events that overlap – you’ll need to choose one!

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Participating in Events

Can I bring my children?

AOC events are for adults at least 21 years old. If your children are 21 or older, they are welcome to become a member.


Can I bring my dog?

Sometimes, at the discretion of the trip leader. The event description will indicate if dogs are allowed and how many, and there will be a place on the registration form to add your dog’s information. You’ll need to follow local ordinances as well as any guidelines established by the trip leader.


Can I bring a guest to an event?

No, everyone who attends an AOC event must be a member. (You can, however, register another member for some events if you are that person’s designated agent.) Becoming a member is easy, so why not suggest that your friend/relative/co-worker join the club?


What is the “grace period” for an event’s start time?

Often none! Many trip leaders pride themselves on starting on time. Most members try to arrive a few minutes early to allow a little cushion in case of heavy traffic or other delays. If you’re running late, call or text the trip leader.


The event was harder/easier/faster/slower/different than what I expected.

Although difficulty ratings and event descriptions will give you a good idea of what to expect, each trip leader and each event is unique. If you’re unfamiliar with the activity or the trip leader, don’t hesitate to contact the trip leader ahead of time to see if the event is a good match.


How do carpool reimbursements work?

Costs normally are split equally among all riders (the driver and passengers) in each car; most drivers follow the cost-sharing formula that’s published near the bottom of the event description. In instances where there’s a wide disparity in the number of people in each car, the trip leader at his/her discretion may share the expenses among all carpoolers.


If an event has a designated carpool, can I still drive myself direct to the event venue?

In many cases, yes. However, it’s up to the trip leader since carpools sometimes are needed for logistical reasons, such as limited parking at the venue. Check the event description for specific carpool guidance.


What can’t I bring to an event?

Weapons, fireworks, and illegal substances are prohibited on AOC events. Alcohol may be permitted on some events in accordance with park rules – please drink responsibly!


Who is responsible for my safety?

You are! We recommend that you carry a first aid kit and follow each event’s guidance about required/recommended gear.

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How does the AOC fund itself?

As an all-volunteer organization, our expenses are modest. Since there are no membership fees, the bulk of our funding comes from small fees we collect for paid events. In addition, we historically have received a modest amount of support through advertising and sponsorships, in-kind donations from sponsors, and contributions from members.


What if I have a complaint about an event, another member, or a trip leader?

Everyone in the AOC is a volunteer, with a shared purpose: enjoying outdoor adventures with like-minded people. So if there’s ever an issue, try to work it out! We don’t get in the middle of personal disputes between members. But if you have a club-related issue that you can’t resolve, and you feel the need to pursue it further, please email us for information on how to proceed. 


Can anyone organize an event?

We’re always looking for new ideas, and you can suggest an activity to any AOC volunteer. However, only trip leaders can post and lead events. Why not become a trip leader yourself? It’s easy, fun, and gives you the flexibility to post events whenever and wherever you like. Contact the Director of Trip Leader Training and Recruitment to learn more.


What’s the meaning of the star next to someone’s name?

A star indicates that the member volunteers as a trip leader and/or as a member of our management team.


Does the AOC have a mailing address?

Most things can be taken care of electronically, and for paid events run through the AOC we recommend using PayPal. But if you prefer to send us a check, or need to mail us something else, please send it to P.O. Box 76352, Atlanta, GA, 30358.


What if I still have questions?

If you have questions that aren’t answered on the website, please email us. We’ll get back you as soon as possible.

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