CMS thanks you for considering to Lead or Co-Lead a CMS mushroom foray. Presented below is information about our requirements and processes for leading a CMS foray.
Foray Co-Leader Requirements
You do not need to be an expert at anything to help co-lead a CMS foray. The only requirement is to be comfortable with being outdoors in the woods and be interested in mushrooms. All you will need to do is show up at the designated gathering place [on time] and assist the foray leader with duties such as taking attendance with the provided roster, doing head counts, and just generally keeping a watchful eye on foray attendees. You may also be asked to buddy up with someone that is not as comfortable with being out in the woods You will be able to foray and gather mushrooms.
Foray Leader Requirements
You do not need to be a Mycologist or an expert at identifying all types of mushrooms in order to lead a foray. Anyone who has been out mushroom hunting on their own for a few years is probably well qualified. The ability to communicate with and wrangle up a group of diverse people with a wide variety of experience are the most essential skills you will need.
- Experience with foraging for mushrooms – on your own or with a group.
- Ability to communicate instructions to a group (instructions including a sample script will be provided).
- Previous experience with co-leading a CMS foray is preferred.
- Ability to identify some mushrooms is very helpful – If you prefer, we can try to recruit someone to act as the Expert IDer for your foray.
Pre-trip Publicity and Registration
CMS will provide all of the pre-trip publicity and registration. We will also assist you with choosing a location for your foray. We would like you to provide a short bio of your foray experience and a picture of yourself, preferably with a mushroom in hand. We will also ask you a few simple questions:
- The number of adults you would like on your foray. (We recommend 15-20 adults for a single foray leader or your first time
- Are you willing to have supervised children along? Note, this will be in addition to the adult limit. We do not allow pets on forays.
- Date, Time, and Place to meet? Note: We have suggestions for meeting time and place.
- General foray location (e.g. Cascades, Coast, Valley) for advertising/registration purposes.
- Your email and phone number (preferably cell phone).
CMS does online registration and will verify that each person is a current CMS member. As each person registers and is verified we will send them an email with details about when and where to meet, a link to our CMS foray page where they can read about what to expect on the foray, and your contact information. They will be directed to send an email to the foray leader (you) if they have specific questions about the foray. They will be instructed to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if they need to cancel their registration.
At the end of the registration process, you will be provided with the list of persons who registered for the foray, including Name (first, last), # of children (if applicable), email, cell phone number, and type of vehicle/license #. You will need to print the list to use during the foray for taking attendance/ensuring everyone is present. We recommend that you email all final registrants as a reminder on the day before the foray. We can provide you with a recommended email which you may customize if you wish.
How to Prepare
Site Familiarity: Be familiar with your site, particularly if there is steep or rough terrain. If you are leading a foray, either you or your co-leader needs to have familiarity with the site. It is always nice if you can check out the site a few days in advance to check on the current situation (are their mushrooms?). But, it is not required. Most people who foray understand that sometimes you just hit a location at the wrong time. Even if you do check the location and find mushrooms, there is always the possibility of them being gone by the time the foray group arrives.
Access Permission: If you have selected a location on private land, you need to make sure you have written permission for the foray. Don’t take people to your favorite secret spot. Even if you ask them not to return or tell anyone, they will.
Alternate Sites: If possible, plan an alternate site in case weather conditions (snow, freezing temperatures, drought, etc.) make the planned trip unsafe or unproductive for mushrooming.
Map: Make a map with directions to help people find the site and have several copies to hand out to drivers at the meeting location. This is very important. Let us know if you need assistance with this.
What to Bring
In addition to the normal gear for forays (check our foray page), forays leaders should bring the following.
- A first aid kit. At least one vehicle should have a basic first aid kit.
- A whistle or air horn. CMS can provide if you do not have this.
- A cell phone.
- The foray roster that will be provided to you in PDF format.
Day of the foray
If you would like to know the nitty-gritty about leading a foray, you can read our Foray Leader Instructions.