Summary by Doug Chamberlin, Chair, November 18, 2017
Our Outings Committee started the year with 40 qualified trip leaders and most met the requirements to lead one trip per year and maintain their wilderness first aid qualification. Overall our chapter provided 85 trips to date this year. Most were hiking trips but also included were backpacking, biking, paddling, skiing, and snowshoeing. To help everyone become more comfortable and safe outdoors, we sponsored training in Wilderness First Aid, Advanced Wilderness First Aid, beginner backpacking, beginner bike touring, self-assisted kayak rescue, beginner winter hiking, map and compass, and outdoor leadership training. Three of our members became certified as AMC Outdoor Leadership Training trainers. In addition, Bill Brooke led an effort to revise and update our Leader Handbook which is a major accomplishment. All of these activities speak well of our chapter leaders and indicate we have a healthy cadre of volunteer leaders.
In September, the Executive Committee held a retreat at the Medawisla Lodge and Cabins. Chapter volunteers had been busy all year helping the AMC staff and contractors build and outfit this facility so it could be ready for a grand opening in July. Volunteer efforts included painting, sanding and refinishing floors, hanging curtains, assembling furniture, clearing and marking trails, and marking land borders. Our chapter contributed funds to ensure a dock was built on Second Roach Pond to facilitate access to remote campsites. We also helped secure self-service kitchen facilities in the waterfront cabins to ensure a lower cost alternative to the full-service cabins was available.
While all this was going on, Tim Flight completely refurbished our chapter website to match the look and feel of the main AMC website. This update keeps the website fresh and current, emphasizing our connection and role in the overall AMC organization. While the website is our main communications tool, we also printed four issues of the Wilderness Matters newsletter, which has been put forth as an exemplary example of chapter newsletters. In addition, we maintain communications on Facebook, Meet-Up, and Instagram. Our membership, which now numbers 5,654 individuals, continues to grow with some 400 new members this year. We continued a full schedule of educational and entertaining meetings in both Brunswick and Bangor.
For the third year, Kittery Trading Post has generously directed funds from their Round Up conservation donation program to our chapter. To date we have received $7,081 from them and we are very grateful. The Executive Committee has consistently chosen to direct these funds to the youth outdoors programming efforts in the Maine Woods.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the success of the ATC 2017 Conference and Art Symposium which our chapter co-sponsored along with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club. Several of our volunteers served on the steering committee for this large event and even more volunteered as hike leaders, workshop presenters, and in myriad other roles. With over 900 conference attendees engaged for over a week, this was a major achievement.
Chapter Chair 2016-2017
2017 Report from AMC’s Northern Regional Director to the Maine Chapter
2017 was a notable year for the Appalachian Mountain Club as the headquarters and staff transitioned out of their cramped and woefully out-of-date Joy Street offices in Boston into a wonderfully historic building at 10 City Square in Charlestown with level floors, modern mechanical systems, and room for expansion. This is a great development as it assures that AMC is not held back by outdated infrastructure or building systems and can expend all of its energy working on more productive goals for the good of members and the general public. The new digs are right on the Freedom Trail, providing a great opportunity for AMC to promote its brand of recreation, education, and conservation to visiting members and to all Freedom Trail walkers.
My role as a member of the AMC Board of Directors is to contribute toward the best possible decisions to help the Club develop and operate programs and services to meet its mission and objectives. As a Regional Director with special responsibility for Maine and New Hampshire, I work to strengthen the connection between the Club and the Chapters, make sure that the Chapters’ viewpoints are understood in Board deliberations, and that the Club’s perspective gets heard at the Chapter level.
Working closely with the Maine Chapter this year has reinforced my appreciation of the wonderfully talented and generous people volunteering on the Executive Committee. The Chapter is well served by their knowledge, experience, enthusiasm, generosity of time, and willingness to volunteer.
This is Doug Chamberlin’s final year as Chapter Chair and I want to acknowledge his two years of leading the Chapter. From the first day, Doug was eager to step into the role and help generate enthusiasm and energy to move the Chapter forward. A thoughtful and caring leader, Doug kept his hand on the pulse of all facets of Chapter life, setting high but reachable goals, and encouraging Committee volunteers to do the same. As Doug prepares to move into a more advisory role as Past Chair, his efforts have well positioned the Chapter Executive Committee for another excellent year upcoming.
Now, as Kathleen Miller takes over the reins, I have no doubt she will confidently step up to the task, as she has been an integral part of the leadership team these last two years. I’m looking forward to working with Kathleen as she moves into this role and puts her own spin on Chapter leadership.
AMC is a vibrant, forward-thinking conservation, education, and recreation organization and its chapters are one of the reasons AMC is so healthy. If you have a hankering to be a closer part of the action in this chapter, I urge you to get in touch with Kathleen to explore how your interest areas, experience, and skills can contribute to AMC and Chapter goals and get you enthusiastic about volunteering. If you are up for some hard work and learning leading to joy and satisfaction in being a Maine Chapter volunteer, there are enough opportunities to share with others!
I’m so pleased to be part of the exciting work being done by AMC and the Maine Chapter. I look forward to meeting more Chapter members-on the trails, at volunteer trail work weekends, at workshops, in meetings-and to working with the Club and Chapter on exciting and new opportunities in the coming year.
AMC Northern Regional Director
November 7, 2017
Maine Woods Initiative Committee 2017 Report
There were three primary areas of attention to MWI taken by the Committee in 2017.
- Launching the Peter Roderick Trail Work Award program: PRTWA
- Continuation of the trail work weekends in the Maine woods.
- Ensuring that Medawisla made its target opening in July.
Applications were accepted in the Spring for new volunteers whose costs would be covered. Four volunteers were accepted and worked during one of the three work weekends. The Committee plans to expand the program in 2018 as funds allow and has increased its 2018 budget to achieve this goal.
The work weekends: May, July (midweek) and October continue to draw a high level of interest and effort, and are led by three experienced leaders.
Little Lyford: 12 volunteers, Gorham Chairback: 10 volunteers, Medawisla: 22 volunteers
An extra activity was the Island Campsite on Long Pond: 6 volunteers.
The committee organized volunteers to work to open Medawisla on time with work in cabin preparation such as building of furniture, putting together self-serve kitchens, and treating walls. On June 24 members attended an Open House for the contractors, employees and spouses on completion of the project. To permit the July 1 opening, the Chapter received significant recognition for this effort.
The Committee, which now has 11 members, met this Spring with Walter Graff, Dan Rinard and Steve Tatko to discuss Medawisla and the Maine Woods. This type of meeting, as well as the Chair’s attendance at Club MWI meetings, continues and enhances the relationship between the Club and the Chapter. The Committee also decided to hold two face-to-face meetings a year, in Spring and Fall. The Fall meeting was held on November 9.
Other activities supported: Teen Wild Program which brings youth from Portland and Piscataquis County together for a wilderness trip. In 2017 it was held on the Allagash.
Of interest, though not a Committee activity, the Trail Adopter Coordinator and adoptees for Third Mountain Trail, Indian Pond Section of Third Mountain Trail and Indian Mountain Trail all involve Executive Committee and Chapter Members.
MWI Committee Chair
Here is a summary of Outings activity for the year:
- 40 Leaders (Jan 2017)
- 2 Leader Candidates in Training
- 15 Leaders led 0 trips (YTD)
- 16 Leaders led 3 or more trips
- 2 New Leaders added
- 4 Leaders WFA expired & not renewed
- 25 Leaders Led 85 trips & 6 workshops (YTD)
- 28 Leaders projected for Jan 2018
- 14 Leaders not meeting the new 1 trip per year requirement in 2017/ and or WFA expired
- Three trips per year award (dues reimbursed) – 16 Leaders
- Five-year leader award (personalized jacket)- 3 leaders
- All leaders (SOLO Patient Assessment Bandana)
85 trips (YTD) anticipate a 5%-8% decrease in trips from last year
- Backpacking – 7
- Biking – 5
- Hiking – 56
- Paddling – 4
- Skiing – 6
- Snowshoeing – 6
Training & Workshops:
- Wilderness First Aid
- Advanced Wilderness First Aid
- Beginner Backpacking Workshop
- Beginner Bike Touring Workshop
- Self and Assisted Kayak Rescue
- Map & Compass Workshop
- Outdoor Leadership Training Beginner
- Winter Hiking Workshop
AMC Outdoor Leadership Trainers:
Three Maine chapter members attended the AMC Train the Trainer for Leaders workshop in Oct. and are now certified as AMC Outdoor Leadership Training Trainers
- Bill Brooke
- Denise Fredette
- Kathleen Redmond-Miller
Maine Chapter Outdoor Leadership Requirements and Guidelines
Revised and renamed the Maine Chapter Leader Handbook to reflect the current AMC Leader requirements. Updated the Maine Chapter Leader requirements. Added policies on leader participation and recognition. Defined activity specific leader requirements. Defined the process to becoming a Maine Chapter Leader. Incorporated the latest AMC information on trip planning, accident scene management, and incident response
Outings Committee Chair