Net Summary

Whether mingling, hiking or white-water rafting, the 200-some singles who belong to Southern Oregon's Slopes and Trails are on the go.

The singles group's membership is still young at heart but has grown increasingly gray, members said.

The group's leadership would like to reverse that trend by attracting younger members, mainly those ages 35 to 55, though there are no restrictions based on birth date.

Slopes and Trails will hold a mixer geared toward a younger crowd at 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at Mei Sum Restaurant's Little Brown Jug Lounge, 104 S. Pacific Highway in Talent.

"When Slopes and Trails started 19 years ago, I was in my late 30s," said Beverly Spjut, 58, Slopes and Trails activities coordinator. "The group has gotten older and older."

The majority of members are 55 and older, Spjut said.

"There is a need for singles activities for younger people," she said.

Leaders said they hope to hear feedback at the mixer about how to make the social club more appealing to younger people.

Five other activities in October are billed for ages 35 to 55, including an Oct. 5 hike on Mount Shasta. Details for that event and other activities are available on the group's Web site, www.slopes.org.

One idea to draw in younger members is to allow them to plan their own activities, Spjut said.

"Having different age groups makes it more interesting," said member Lynn Spillman, 71. "The problem is when younger people walk in and see the gray hair they immediately say, 'This group is too old for me.'"

The singles group was founded in 1990 with 50 members. It has quadrupled since then. Members said they hope that establishing a younger contingent will spawn even more growth.

Member Sandy Fenn, 58, said she joined Slopes and Trails because of its focus on activities such as biking and theater.

"I was uncomfortable with going to a singles group and just dating right away, so the activities and just talking to people was more comfortable for me."

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or pachen@mailtribune.com.