I joined the AMC ExCom for a variety of reasons. Most bigly, I have a lifetime of benefiting from the AMC. I use the River Guide on the regular, but the combination of Quiet Water and my Maine Atlas & Gazetteer is my go-to on the regular. I also of course grew up hiking the AT up in the Rangeley area, especially around the Height of Land and Piazza Rock.
I feel grateful that I can begin to give back and be a part of such an excellent, thoughtful, and accomplished group.
My primary goal as the new acting Programs Chair is to connect with the other chairs on the Executive Committee, especially Outings, Trails, Conservation, and Young Members.
I see the programs position as one that not only serves members and the public, but also the Club. How can we use programs to accomplish and further our club goals? Programs as a part of young member outreach are likely different from programs that further some of our conservation goals.
My hope is that over the next few months I can have some conversations with the other chairs to see just what we need to do to best suit everybody’s needs.
Slightly longer term, I really look forward to building up the AMC community. I think Programs is a great venue for that.
I feel like by the time we can gather again, people will have a lot of energy and excitement to get together, go out and do things. I think we can harness that through programs and really have a fun time. As you know, Maine is a pretty unique place and a club like the AMC attracts some pretty unique and passionate people. Get a bunch of us in one place and who knows what might happen.
I was born and raised in Auburn and lived there until I went off to college. I was lucky enough to spend most weekends in the winter and several weeks each summer up in Rangeley, where I fished, paddled, camped, hiked, snowshoed and skied. Growing up, if I wasn’t tromping through the woods, I was eating, sleeping, or reading about tromping through the woods.
I remember working through The American Boy’s Handy Book by Daniel Carter Beard until the pages fell out. Some of my favorite early camping trips were up to Big Squaw Pond west of Greenville (now called Big Moose Pond), and of course the Lobster Lake-West Branch trip with stops at the Chesuncook Village store for root beer and the Lake House for what still stands as just about the best roast beef dinner I have ever had.
I majored in American Studies at Tufts University, which taught me the critical thinking skills to realize that I would never get a job as an American Studies major. So, I went to law school in Portland, Oregon, graduated, and then worked as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Snohomish County, Washington for the next 7 1⁄2 years. During those years, I got away from my outdoors roots. Growing up in Maine, I was so spoiled by backdoor access to the wilderness, that when I was on the West Coast, I just didn’t enjoy driving three hours to a trailhead only to find it cluttered with crossover SUVs even more luxurious than mine. So, when my daughters were getting close to school age, I achieved the pinnacle of my career in advocacy by convincing my Seattle-native wife to let me quit my job and move the four of us back to the Great State of Maine. That was in May 2015. Since then, my primary job has been raising the girls, and it has been a hoot. I have also worked during the summers at the Bike, Boat & Ski store for L.L. Bean, trying to convince people to buy canoes instead of tandem kayaks.
I also take the kids paddling and backcountry camping quite a bit each summer. Some of the recent places we have gotten stuck in summer thunderstorms and caught chubs are Tunk Lake, Third Machias Lake, and Chesuncook Lake. The girls love Flagstaff Lake as well, but there are no chubs there, only thunderstorms. My favorite recent paddling trip has been a tour of First, Second and Third Debsconeag lakes. I spent four nights there a couple Octobers ago and have been trying to find a portage partner to go back with ever since.
Other than paddling and traipsing, I like to hunt with both bow and gun (although never at the same time), mountain bike with the kids, and play music. I play guitar and sing, and have played in rock bands in Boston, Oregon, Seattle and now Maine with very little success. It’s the greatest.