"APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB"
APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB NEW YORK-NORTH JERSEY CHAPTER ANNUAL REPORT 2008 APPALACHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB New York – North Jersey Chapter 97 t h ANNUAL REPORT 2008 ‐ Table of Contents 2008 OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS 3 REPORT FROM CHAPTER CHAIR 4 MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING 2008 6 ACTIVITY COMMITTEE REPORTS BACKPACK 8 BICYCLE 9 CANOE & KAYAK 10 CLIMBING 12 HIKING 13 INTER CHAPTER TRIPS 15 SAILING 16 SINGLES & SOCIABLES 17 SKI 21 SOFTBALL 22 WALKS & OUTINGS 23 YOUNG MEMBERS 25 FACILITIES AND SERVICES COMMITTEE REPORTS ARCHIVES 26 FIRE ISLAND 27 MEMBERSHIP 28 TRAILS & WAVES 30 NOMINATING COMMITTEE 31 WILDERNESS FIRST AID 32 PUBLIC SERVICES COMMITTEE REPORTS CONSERVATION 32 PROGRAM 37 TRAILS 38 NY/NJ TRAIL CONFERENCE 39 Treasurer’s Summary of Operations 40 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 2 2008 OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE CHAIRS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE CHAIR Greg Miller VICE CHAIR Malcolm B. Spector SECRETARY Lisa Madden TREASURER Russ Cannizzaro EXECUTIVE FOR ACTIVITIES Richard Weinberg EXECUTIVE FOR FACILITIES SERVICES Richard Barcia EXECUTIVE FOR PUBLIC SERVICES Marie C. Tanner REGIONAL DIRECTOR Bonnie Mairs ACTIVITY COMMITTEE CHAIRS BACKPACK Melanie Simmerman BICYCLE Irene Voce; Skip Doyle CANOE & KAYAK Victoria Butler CLIMBING Marnie Levine HIKING Steve Galla INTERCHAPTER EXCURSIONS Robert Fuller SAILING Norman Finkelstein SINGLES & SOCIABLES Carson Tang; Margo Moss SKI Richard Siebel SOFTBALL Karin Johnsrud WALKS & OUTINGS Jim Robbins YOUNG MEMBERS Emily Sweet FACILITIES AND SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRS ADVISORY John Bradley ARCHIVES Jack Reilly FIRE ISLAND Anita Barberis HOSPITALITY Bob Susser MEMBERSHIP Jill Arbuckle NOMINATING Don Getzin PUBLICATIONS Henry F. Schreiber (Editor, Schedule); Nancy Tollefson (Editor, Trails & Waves); David M. Brucas, Webmaster WILDERNESS FIRST AID Jonathan Silver; Maureen McCahery PUBLIC SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRS CONSERVATION Skip Doyle NY/NJ TRAIL CONFERENCE Jack Driller PROGRAM Frank Bamberger TRAILS Tom McCarthy; George Cartamil; Jill Arbuckle; Kenneth West; Robert Fuller STAFF CHAPTER SERVICES MANAGER Michael Burke ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 3 REPORT FROM THE CHAPTER CHAIR It has been my pleasure and honor to serve the members and leaders of the Chapter in 2008 as Chair of the Executive Committee. I appreciate the enduring support of all the Chapter Committees and trip leaders, as well as the Executive Committee and our Regional Director, Bonnie Mairs. I would like to mention briefly some of the highlights of the year. Chapter Youth program The Chapter Youth Program (formerly known as AOK) was re‐launched this year with 2 inaugural hikes to Sterling Forest and Inwood Hill Park. Through the efforts of Richard Barcia, several trip leaders participated in CYP training, and the 2 trips were coordinated with Union Settlement Association from East Harlem. In all, 25 urban youths were able to enjoy adventures in the outdoors. More leader training and trips are planned for 2009 in order to build on the success of 2008. Web Committee 2008 saw the formation of a Web Committee. This was necessary due to ever growing demands of the Chapter web site and the necessity of replacing our lone webmaster. The current web site uses many technologies, some of which have proven difficult to support with volunteers from our Chapter. Early 2009 will see efforts towards a total rebuild of the Chapter web site using technology that will allow our various committees to control much of their own content. This will undoubtedly result in some short term pain for many of us, but hopefully the long term benefits will more than outweigh this. Thanks go to Carson Tang, who has been the key organizer for the new committee, and also to the several volunteers who have joined the committee to help in this cause. Mohican Outdoors Center The Chapter provided support to the Mohican Outdoor Center through 2 independent initiatives. The Canoe Kayak Committee was involved in a boathouse cleanup which included building 3 new boat racks and a PFD Rack. Additionally, the Executive Committee approved providing up to $5,000 to the MOC Trail Crew for tools and safety equipment. This allowed the trail crew to dramatically increase the number of volunteer hours spent building new trails and maintaining existing trails compared to previous years. Trails & Waves Publications (Trails & Waves and our Activity Schedule booklets) are the Chapter’s single largest expense. In an effort to conserve our natural resources and also our Chapter’s bank account, the Chapter has attempted to implement a process to send printed copies of Trails and ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 4 Waves to only those members who actually want a printed copy, while also notifying other members when a new issue is available through our Chapter website. Our latest attempt was to utilize the AMC’s new “Member Center” on Outdoors.org to manage each member’s preference for how to receive the newsletter. As of this writing, only 281 of our 12,000+ members have indicated their preference in the member center. This effort will need to be revisited in 2009 to find better ways to implement the process. Endowment Guidelines To ensure that use of the Chapter’s endowment money is managed properly, the Executive Committee has created a formal guidelines document that specifies the process for approving the use of endowment monies. The guidelines, and also other related documents, are under final review with the intent to implement them in 2009. Membership The Chapter membership declined about 5% in2008 bringing the total Chapter membership below the 13,000 mark. This follows the club‐wide trend. The Chapter was, as in previous, years, represented at several outdoor shows, including Paddlesport, Adventures in Travel Expo at the Javitz Center, and the New York Time Travel Expo, as well as the continued availability of our on‐line registration functionality on our Chapter web site. The Chapter also added a presence on meetup.com, a website that is becoming popular for people looking for ways to meet others with similar interest. Financial The Chapter will end 2008 with about a $3,000 net loss. The key contributors to slipping into the red are an unexpected increase in the Chapter Office rent and the reduction in membership levels. 2009 will be a difficult one, from an operating budget perspective, due to the expected continued decline in overall membership levels combined with lower investment incomes due to the battered US and worldwide economies. The Chapter is fortunate to have a sizeable amount money in our endowment funds and invested reserves. Respectfully submitted Greg Miller, Chair New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 5 MINUTES OF THE JANUARY 2008 ANNUAL MEETING January 12, 2008 Overlook Lodge at Bear Mountain Haines Falls, NY Meeting began at 3:00 p.m. Introductions Greg Miller, the Chapter Chair, began by welcoming all the attendees. He recognized the past chapter‐chairs in attendance: Henry Schreiber, Jill Arbuckle, John Bradley, Jill Hammell, Bonnie Mairs, and Jack Reilly. Special guests: David Roberts, Chair of the AMC Connecticut Chapter and Kevin Breunig from AMC head office were warmly welcomed. Finally he thanked all of the current Chapter Chairs and the chapter’s volunteer leaders for their efforts in leading outings. He asked for a moment of silence in remembrance of the 19 chapter members who died during the past year. Motions were approved to waive both the reading of the minutes from the previous annual meeting and the presentation of a financial review for the year 2007. Carson Tang presented a slideshow and video of the AMC members and activities, which was created for broadcast at an Adventure Expo. Report from the Chapter Chair Greg highlighted some of the past year’s significant accomplishments and key issues. The Executive Committee donated $5,000 to aid in land acquisition near Sterling Forest. The Spring Gathering made a profit. An ongoing item of concern is the decline in membership both in the chapter and clubwide. The Wilderness First Aid program will now be provided by the Emergency Care & Safety Institute. Skip Doyle was acknowledged for the work done by the Conservation Committee. Greg Miller also thanked the outgoing members of the Executive Committee – Ken Lloyd, Carson Tang, Richard Breton. Election of the Members of the Chapter’s Executive Committee for 2008 In the absence of any opposition, Regional Director Bonnie Mairs cast the one required vote in favor of the 2008 Executive Committee nominees: Russ Cannizzaro (Treasurer), Lisa Madden (Secretary), and Richard Barcia (Facilities/Services Committees Liaison). Awards, Appie‐of‐the‐Year Award ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 6 Malcolm Spector recognized 50‐year and 25‐year members. John Bradley then presented the Appie of the Year Award to Carson Tang. His energetic contribution to a number of committees, as hike leader, excursion leader, singles and sociables events leader, promotion of the AMC at expos and shows, earned him this well‐deserved award. Remarks from Kevin Breunig, Director of Communications Kevin outlined some ongoing AMC goals and accomplishments: • The AMC supports the Highlands Project . The goal is to extend the trail into Pennsylvania. • Catskills Region Resource Assessment – the AMC performed a study to identify areas suitable for conservation. • Mohican Lodge – a $1.5 million renovation was performed which winterized the Sunset Lodge and upgraded the lodge heating system. • Publishing – two books have been published, ‘Quiet Water New York’ and ‘Best Day Hikes in Connecticut.’ • Digital publishing – the White Mountain Guide to be published as an online resource. • Maine Woods Inititative – ongoing work at the Katahdin Iron Works. • AMC Outdoors – submission from all members in any activity or chapter is always welcome. Raffle Prizes Greg Miller oversaw the raffle where two generous prizes were awarded. Guest Speaker – Ronnie Clark Hoffey Ronnie Clark Coffey is a teacher, researcher, author, and former executive director of the Constitution Island Association. She is the author of a number of books on areas in and around Bear Mountain and presented a slideshow and talk on the history of the area. Adjournment Meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Lisa Madden, Secretary New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 7 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS BACKPACKING In 2008, the Backpacking Program continued to flourish with trips for all skill levels and over four seasons. In addition to weekend trips, leaders offered introduction to backpacking and gear workshops at various convenient locations, including at EMS stores and Tent & Trails, where participants can view and even buy gear. It has been a priority for the committee to ensure that beginners feel welcome and that we have workshops and trips that cater to their needs, as well as for the more seasoned backpacker. Most trips were rated easy or moderate, with about a dozen rated as strenuous. Trips had an average of 8 participants. Popular locations are the Catskills, Harriman and Hudson Highlands, as well as the Adirondacks and AT in NY, NJ, CT and MA. Leader training remained a priority as well this past year. In May 2008, the Committee hosted a leader training weekend at Frost Valley Y in the Catskills with a guest naturalist who helped give leaders a basic introduction to tree and wildflower, as well as bird identification. Leaders were also subsidized for their Wilderness First Aid training. And, in November 2008, we held our first leader recruitment event with a workshop called “So Ya Wanna Be a Leader.” This workshop which was attended by over a dozen prospective new leaders was held at Black Rock Forest Lodge in Cornwall NY and in conjunction with an Intro to Backpacking workshop and a gear swap. A social event followed which all in attendance enjoyed. We hope that many of the people who attended the November workshops will become the new leaders of tomorrow for the Chapter. The other big news is that my two‐year tenure is up as Chair of the Backpacking committee. Deb Melita, a long‐time leader for AMC, will be taking the helm in January 2009. The program is in good hands. Melanie Simmerman Chair, Backpacking Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 8 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS BICYCLE The fast‐growing Bicycle Committee offered 29 rides this year up from 22 last year, lead by 9 leaders up from 8 last year. Impressive, too, is the variety of offerings: road rides, rail trails, mountain biking, and even weekend tours. Further, the Bicycle Committee offers rides for all skill levels from casual rider to distance biker. We have also published multiple articles in Trails & Waves. With Skip Doyle retiring after his two year tenure, 2009 opens with new committee chairs: Renee Short and Kim Spelman. Their plan is to build upon the current mix of rides, and expand into new ventures such as family events. Date Bike Type Miles Leader Route March 22 All 25 Rick Taylor North County Trailway April 5 All 30 Skip Doyle South County Trailway April 6 Mountain 15 Eric Cyzner Mercer County Park - Princeton April 19 Mountain 17 Irene Voce Minnewaska State Park April 27 All 46 Ken Hubert North County Trailway May 4 All 42 Skip Doyle Five Boro Bike Tour May 10 Road 17 Kim Spelman, Renee Short Far Rockaway Peninsula May 18 Hybrid / Mountain 42 Ken Hubert D&H Canal Rail Trail May 31 Hybrid 8 Kim Spelman, Renee Short Belmont State Park June 7 Road 15 Kim Spelman, Renee Short Staten Island June 8 All 28 Irene Voce Bronx River Parkway June 22 Hybrid / Mountain 15 Eric Cyzner Mercer County Park - Princeton July 4 Hybrid 25 Skip Doyle Lake Champlain, VT July 12 Hybrid / Mountain 17 Kim Spelman, Renee Short Massapequa Preserve July 13 All 35 Susan Wallen Brooklyn Shore Parkway Greenway July 19 Mountain 16 Irene Voce Minnewaska State Park July 20 Mountain 35 Susan Wallen Delaware & Raritan Canal Path July 27 Road 40 Susan Wallen Harriman State Park Aug. 2 Road 50 Skip Doyle Poughkeepsie - Rhinebeck Aug. 23 All 12 Kim Spelman, Renee Short Sandy Hook Aug. 26 All 12 Kim Spelman, Renee Short Sandy Hook Aug. 28 All 12 Kim Spelman, Renee Short Sandy Hook Aug. 30 All 12 Kim Spelman, Renee Short Sandy Hook Aug. 31 Hybrid 40 Skip Doyle Harlem Valley Rail Trail Sept 21 Road / Hybrid 46 Ken Hubert Harlem Valley Rail Trail Sept 22 Hybrid / Mountain 20 Skip Doyle Manhattan Waterfront Greenway Sept 27 All 11 Kim Spelman, Renee Short Connetquot River State Park Oct. 4 Hybrid 20 Kim Spelman, Renee Short Belmont State Park Oct. 25 Hybrid / Mountain 25 Skip Doyle Old Croton Aqueduct Respectfully submitted, Skip Doyle, Chair, Bicycle Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 9 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS CANOE & KAYAK Overview The Canoe Kayak Committee (CKC) had another successful year of trips, instructions, river stewardship and all around fun. Trips and Other Activities In 2008, the CKC scheduled 113 events but due to weather and other conditions beyond our control 19 events were cancelled for a total of 94 fun‐filled events. Our trip schedule encompassed all types of paddling, from quiet water to Level 1 and 2 sea kayak, and technical Class 1 through CL 4 whitewater trips. These events took us throughout New England, the mid‐Atlantic region and as far south as Georgia and South Carolina. Instruction and Safety & Rescue We continue to share of love of paddling through an enthusiastic instruction program which started in February and ran through the fall. The 2008 season began with a series of 8 pool sessions followed by 6 separate weekend instructional classes, 4 evening instruction programs and a single day class. Many of our instructors have been certified by the American Canoe Association and three additional instructors were certified this year. The Canoe Kayak Committee is well known in the paddling community for its safety record. We conducted two Basic Whitewater Safety & Rescue classes to teach the basics of self‐rescue, non‐technical rescue of others, and recognizing and avoiding river hazards. These courses are open to all and offered at cost to promote safe boating practices in the paddling community. The Committee also ran an Advanced Safety & Rescue course featuring more advanced rescue techniques including technical rescues with ropes and lines and mechanical advantages. We also ran a CPR course tailored to specific issues faced in the boating community. Advertising and Recruitment As in prior years, we participated in two major paddling expositions: PaddleSport and the Long Island PaddleSport Safety Symposium. The Jersey Paddler’s annual Paddlesport event is the largest local paddling symposium with hundreds of vendors and organizations. The Canoe Kayak Committee actively represented the AMC for three days and recruited a number of new AMC members using electronic presentations and large‐format photographs to attract attention to our booth. We feel our efforts at this event can be made even more effective if the Chapter were to invest in a large screen monitor to display electronic media. In addition, our chapter was again invited and participated in the annual Long Island PaddleSport Safety Symposium, sponsored by New York State and the US Coast Guard. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 10 Leadership Our chapter continues to develop new trip leaders through the our Leader Training Workshop, a full day of discussion, information sharing and role playing to prepare our future leaders for the challenges and rewards of leading CKC trips. River Stewardship The CKC continued its fine tradition of river stewardship organizing and running two river clean‐up events. These activities have strong and active support from our chapter’s members who organized both events only two weeks apart on the Rockaway River and then Pelham Bay. Miscellaneous The Committee’s largest single expense continues to be the publication and distribution of its newsletter, PaddleSplashes. New paddlers are offered only the on‐line version and, due to attrition, the list of those who get the paper version continues to dwindle. The CKC maintains four fleets of boats containing a total of 67 canoes and kayaks plus related equipment for quiet water, touring water and whitewater paddling. Our equipment is stored at ʺThe Barnʺ in Pomona, NY, and is available for rent at a nominal cost to participants on Committee activities. On August 9, 2008, the Canoe Kayak Committee turned out in force to participate in the First Annual Mohican Outdoor Center Boat House Clean‐Up. The CKC cleaned and organized the Mohican boathouse, dismantled and removed old equipment, built three new boat racks and a rack for life vests. Together with the Delaware Valley Chapter Paddling Committee, we fed the 73 participants who spent the remainder of the afternoon, eating, swimming, boating and enjoying the summer day. Respectfully submitted, Victoria Butler Chair, Canoe Kayak Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 11 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS CLIMBING NO report submitted in time for inclusion. Respectfully submitted, Marnie Levine Chair, Climbing Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 12 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS HIKING I’ve been privileged to Chair this wonderful committee of eager and willing volunteers. Coordination, problem solving, maintenance, and on the spot decision‐making associated with the role of Chair has been an uplifting and stimulating experience. This year’s hiking statistics are similar to last year’s, hundreds of quality hikes. We’ve also added several fine young leaders to our roster. Our Yahoo websites are all up and running and performing flawlessly. We’ve added an independent, non‐Yahoo site to our itinerary: http://www.meetup.com/The‐Hiking‐Committee‐of‐AMC‐Appalachian‐Mountain‐Club/ Social networking is an interesting and ancient concept and now widely practiced on the Internet. The site is up on a trial basis with the dual purpose of serving AMC members who are using this new social networking medium, and members of the general hiking public either unaware or misinformed about AMC. Since the web site’s inception in October, 2008, we’ve recruited a number of new members. I recommend visiting the site and reading the comments posted by those who have submitted them. We will periodically evaluate our “meetup” group. AMC’s declining membership has been a major problem for several years. The economy, competition from other groups, and a host of other reasons are the causes. Our hiking statistics are up and our hikes are filled because we satisfy the need for low cost, local and interesting hikes. The number of hikes we offer, especially on weekends, is greater than any other area club’s offerings. November’s hiker participation numbers were very high. The printed schedule is currently at the heart of our operation and our hikes are also posted on outdoors.org: http://trips.outdoors.org/index.cfm/method/public.publicsearch?tripchapter=NY‐ North%20Jersey&tripcommittee=Hiking Slowly but surely many members are finding the Internet as easy to use as the printed schedule. Our hikes are currently posted online through early April. My deepest appreciation goes to our volunteer members who have assisted me in the posting process. Honorable mention also goes to Susan Sterngold as well as Naomi and Dave Sutter for hosting our wonderful 2008 social events. *********************************************************************** In completing this Annual Report, I include words from our leaders: Mike Handelsman ‐ “Just a suggestion for maximizing the number of joiners of book‐listed hikes. Many hikers seek out particular leaders. If each 4‐month schedule had an index of leaders that gives the pages of ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 13 their hikes, I believe even more hikers would plan in advance to set aside a particular day for hiking….” Susan Sterngold ‐ “Love the Outdoors magazine‐‐do not discontinue! I especially like seeing what the other chapters are doing.” Margo Moss ‐ “This year I decided to lead hikes on the Palisades, New Jersey. Probably, because I live so close to the Palisades, I had not considered leading hikes here. It is, in a way, part of my neighborhood. I wanted to address the rising cost of gasoline and tolls so I decided to lead hikes on the Palisades which, for folks coming over the GWB, would be much closer than driving all the way to Harriman, Sterling Forest, etc. I listed a short notice Sunday hike in early fall and I was amazed to get more than a dozen ʹcustomersʹ. I began to read about the history of the area and became familiar with the trail options here and was surprised to find that there are several options for hiking , all of which are really beautiful. Also this area is ʹfamousʹ for raptors and other wildlife. And so, this fall I have led several short notice Palisades hikes and most have had more than a dozen hikers and of those, at least one that I know of has produced a new AMC member ( this hike was also listed on the new Meetup AMC site). I am happy that this area has now been introduced to many new people and we have enjoyed good company, made some new friends and even have saved some $$$ on transportation. And finally: Do you know which hike leader will lead his/her 100 th hike this January? The answer will be posted after the 100th hike. Respectfully submitted, Steve Galla Chair, Hiking Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 14 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS INTER‐CHAPTER COMMITTEE The Inter‐Chapter Trips Committee finished another successful year with numerous trips submitted by the NY‐NoJ Chapter sponsored by many different committees with several trips joint with other chapters. There was somewhat of a decrease in trips from 2006 and 2007. This appears to be anecdotally attributable to the increased cost of gasoline and lower overall participation rates in club activities. These trips included biking, hiking, backpacking, skiing, boating, naturalist and historic tours, as well as winter snowshoeing and backpacking workshop weekends. These trips were attended by individuals of all ages from throughout the eastern US thereby providing a unique opportunity to share activities with our diverse membership. The committee would like to thank all of the leaders and committees for all of their efforts in providing these programs to our members. The committee looks forward to another successful year and encourages even more participation and variety in the years to come. Respectfully submitted, Robert E. Fuller Chair, Inter‐Chapter Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 15 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS SAILING NO report submitted in time for inclusion. Respectfully submitted, Norman Finkelstein Chair, Sailing Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 16 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS SINGLES & SOCIABLES The Singles & Sociables Committee (S&S) has experienced growth in membership participation in 2008 yet has suffered a decline in volunteers to lead trips. For example a S&S winter hike drew close to 20 participants in Harriman where no transportation was listed and registration was required. One of the participants who typically attend other committees’ hikes was amazed at what she considered a very high head count for a winter day hike. Although we have seen higher average counts the peaks have lowered so we are more consistent in our average attendance. Those who have been leaders more than two years prove to be loyal to their commitment and contribution to the committee. Also increased are Vermont trips due to having leaders who are also part of the Miramar Ski Club who has a facility in central Vermont. 50+ Group Attendance was steady, varying from about 6 participants to 12 on the ʹregularʹ Monday’s and about 15‐20 on the national holidays. (non 50+ S&S ranges about 10‐20 higher in attendance). Our ages range from 30ʹs‐70ʹs, the lions share of the group is near retirement age or retirement age. S&S continues to receive many “Thank youʹs” for providing this kind of opportunity for people to get out and socialize and enjoy the trails. Our specialty hikes, such as photography seem to be getting an increasing number of participants. We pride ourselves in having a great group of enthusiastic and flexible leaders for whom we are eternally grateful. It is also gratifying to see so many friendships being started here. Last Minute Trip Listings The committee has not yet implemented last minute trip listings through the Yahoo and Meet‐ up groups. There are two schools of thought that remain unsubstantiated on either view: 1) If I can go on hikes and events for free why would I pay a $40 ‐ $65 a year annual to do the same? or 2) If I can try a hike or event for free perhaps I may join AMC and support their initiatives and Club. The reality is the 2008 economy ripened to evolve into this 2009 environment fostering a quest for freebies and cost cutting short cuts by many through the nation. This will be more prevalent throughout 2009 as we tailspin into an unemployment void where individuals are maxing out their unemployment benefits, receiving pink slips and being more cautious with their discretionary spending. It is expected we will see a further decline in membership, and a rise in participation levels on inexpensive or no fee events nearby home. As with all down economies what goes down must come up. We hope it will be sooner rather than later although we also believe habits resulting in reward are hard to break. Once people become accustomed to attending events and outings without fee or membership required it is a difficult path to then expect them to begin contributing. Most of those who ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 17 maintain their memberships loyally are the veterans and those who utilize the memberships for AMC discounts. Singles & Sociables Psychographic The Singles & Sociables committee connects people who have like minds and spirits, who enjoy being out with others as well as being in nature. While some may partake in recreational outdoor activities for the exercise, tranquility, nature or vistas we have found it is also okay to have first and foremost a desire to be in the company of those you have fun with doing whatever the activity may be our committee offers. Members in 2008 were still bringing friends on events. We appreciate all those who offer to volunteer their time and leadership with our committee to create more positive energy in our community as well as more events to absorb the growing number of participants. What is the Difference Between “Singles” and “Sociables”? “Singles” and “Sociables” are both used separately to distinguish what you can expect at the event. Those seeking to attend events attracting mostly singles, to meet up with other singles, connect with a potential partner in crime, engage in the dating scene, or just wanting to be in a singles environment we begin the subject line with “Singles”. Members who want to enjoy making friends and doing things with others whether they or married, in a relationship or single on a social level we use the term “Sociables” in our caption. We also have two specialty areas catering to the 50+ audience, and families and single parents with children. What Events Do Singles and Sociables Offer? Our Singles & Sociables events are diverse including activities, events and trips outside the typical hikes, paddle trips, backpacks and climbs. We offer rafting weekends, ski weekends, White Mountain hiking weekends, bike trips, and a weekend cultural vacations. In October 2008 we again offered a leadership and member bus trip to the #1 Haunted Hayride in the nation. It was integrated with a trip to the largest Tibetan Monastery in the East housing the Seat of the Dalai Lama. We recognize and address the fact our membership is made up of individuals with lives off trail, off water, and off mountains, typically residing in an urban jungle. We also offer various workshops and cultural tours, ice skating lessons events, map & compass workshops, hike essentials workshops, leadership workshops, and Hands On Photography hikes. The participants include the unemployed, teachers, lawyers, researchers, physicians, graphic artists, accountants, students, retirees, socialites, debutantes, politicians, etc. Outlook into 2009 Our continued biggest challenge is our shortage of qualified leaders. With the layoffs current situation we are beginning to see expressions of interests by individuals seeking to lead trips. This is believed to be a process to help regain their confidence, fill their time, and to connect with others. We expect a decline on cost based events such as dinner outings to continue. In late 2008 the entire Chapter started on the online trip listing system. In 2009 all committees including S&S will be fully compliant. This seems to be an issue for some of the older leaders ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 18 whereas it is fully embraced and tackled head‐on by the younger leaders. The trip listing system allows us to Cancel, Wait List, and Modify the trips posted for the web. It also allows our leaders to recycle trips listed in the past on the system so they don’t have to rewrite it. Since the leaders past events are stored there they can reflect on when and where they led in the past to provide them some ideas for planning their next trip. We have implemented nature photography, joke hikes, and more fun based adventures. The formula is to encourage members to follow their passions and share it with others through an event or activity. While the male/female attendance ratio on outdoor or hiking events in 2007 was mostly female it has reversed to more males. This is the inverse for indoor or non hiking events. Part of the increase in males on hikes may be due to more men now with free time having been rifted from their job. We see women seeking to connect and the growing environment seems to be the social and dinner type events. In Spring 2009 a joint bus trip with the Delaware Valley and Connecticut Chapters is planned. We will visit Washington DC for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. We seek to engage and conduct joint trips with other AMC Chapters where possible because S&S participants prefer larger groups to mingle with vs. non S&S trips where there are far fewer in attendance typically. If you feel you have a great deal to offer to our Chapter, step up and contribute, give back some of your time as all of our leaders have shared their time to you. Share your passion with others and offer to lead it. We are proactive in fostering social destiny, instilling positive attitudes, and providing a broad based platform for interaction and self discovery. Our Committee raises the bar on human potential and provides insight and workshops on the laws of attraction and life transforming experiences. How many Singles Events and Participants did we have in 2008? • Weekend Hike Participants Low ‐ High 6 ‐ 46 • Weekend Hike Participants Avg. 24 • Avg. Male/Female Ratio 60/40 • • Weekday 50+ Hike Participants Low‐ High 6 ‐ 20 • Weekday 50+ Hike Participants Avg. 9 • Avg. Male/Female Ratio 65/35 • • Weekend Vacation Trips Low – High 18 – 28 • Weekend Vacation Trips Avg. 18 • Avg. Male/Female Ratio 40/50 • Urban Activities/Dinners Low – High 14 – 36 • Urban Activities/Dinner Avg. 20 • Avg. Male/Female Ratio 40/60 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 19 Committee Members Ellen Flynn – Treasurer Leslie Kriesel – Schedule Editor Margo Moss – Committee Co Chair Carson Tang – Committee Co Chair Are you seeking an opportunity to be a leader and instill a fun positive environment for fellow AMC members? We seek leaders with a creative edge, bold vision, who are social integrators, and are ready to step up! Those who seek an opportunity to build their leadership muscle and be able to contribute while growing are also invited to lead for us. Sometimes you only get one chance in life. As each day passes we don’t get younger and the opportunities on the number of things we can do diminish. Will you wait until you have no options left in life or until it’s too late to pitch in and transform the lives of others with your talents and inspiration? Through our AMC events and activities you will transform the landscape of thousands of lives including your own. Email singles@amc‐ny.org to begin leading for S&S today. Respectfully submitted, Carson Tang & Margo Moss Co‐chairs, Singles & Sociables Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 20 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS SKI The following were accomplished in 2008: 1. 11 overnight trips were offered for winter of 2008 2. 20 overnight trips are planned for the winter of 2009 3. The AMC Ski Yahoo group continues to be used by the ski community for exchange of information and arranging short notice trips. 4. The number of approved leaders has been expanded to 42 The overnight trips cover a broad spectrum of skiing interests – downhill, cross‐country, back‐ country and telemark. Obviously the ski committee’s biggest barrier is lack of snow. It is difficult to recruit leaders for day trips when snow conditions are iffy at best. That said, there has been continued interest in using the AMC Ski Yahoo group to offer short notice events when conditions are good – several were offered last season and more are already started for this season. Based upon last season’s results, Miramar (a NY based ski club that has a lodge in Waitsfield, Vermont).has expanded their joint Miramar‐ AMC trip offerings. This dramatically increases the options for our members. Downhill and XC skiers of all abilities are strongly encouraged to check them out. There are now weekend trips almost every weekend from the end of December, 2008 through mid‐April 2009. We invite all current skiers, former skiers, and prospective skiers to join us. Both downhill and XC centers offer packages (day pass, group lessons, and rental ski equipment) designed to attract new participants. If you are new to skiing, you are encouraged to contact one of the leaders prior to going for information on proper clothing. Respectfully submitted, Richard Seibel Chair, Ski Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 21 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS SOFTBALL The 2008 AMC Softball season ran from April to September and was as always successful and fun. We also had two pre‐season batting practices in February and March. Although the group of players was smaller than in prior seasons, those that did come to play had a great time playing. We did run into a bit of bad (cold and rainy) weather early in the season, but the nice days of June through August helped to make up for the earlier rain‐outs. We are looking forward to another good season in 2009, which will again begin with the indoor winter batting practices. Respectfully submitted, Karin Johnsrud Chair, Softball Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 22 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS WALKS & OUTINGS Our committee leaders scheduled 202 events during the 12 months ending December 31, 2008, a big jump up from 181 during the same period last year, and a second successive new record high for the Committee. This was accomplished by only 31 active leaders, up from 29 last year. The number of short‐notices events listed on Yahoo Group hikeamc more than doubled since last year, from 17 to 38. Two leaders list their events on Yahoo exclusively. The average number of events per leader was 6.5, up from 6.2 last year. Our champion contributor continues to be Bob Susser, who led 32 events, attended by 541 participants. Rita Cohen was runner up, leading 24 events, attended by 415 walkers. Both Bob and Rita each led 12 short‐notice events. Our leaders continue to draw large turnouts. Eight Walks in 2008 were attended by 40 or more members; these were led by Jo‐Anne Gisolfi, John Jurasek, Rita Cohen, Dorothy Lourdou (sub‐ing for Bob Susser), and Bob himself. Another top leader was Hal Kaplan, who led 14 events. Average attendance of 17 participants per event was similar to last year. The top nine leaders were responsible for almost three‐quarters of those who attended Walks events in 2008. Our offerings continue to be varied. Of 202 total events scheduled, 62 had a major cultural component combined with some walking. The number of this type of walk continues to grow. Examples of venues were Green‐Wood Cemetery, the Noguchi Museum & Socrates Park, the Newark Museum and Cultural Center, the Storm King Art Center, the Reeves‐Reed Arboretum, the Frelinghuysen Arboretum and its mushrooms, the Presby Iris Garden, the “secret” gardens of Newark, the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, a Tibetan Museum, the Morgan Library, and the 5th Ave. holiday lights display, all discovered by our constantly imaginative urban explorer, Rita Cohen. Bob Susser had to repeat his popular tree identification walk in Central Park four times to satisfy demand, each time teaming up with dendrologist Ned Barnard. John Jurasek set another attendance record (45) with his Historic Cold Spring Foundry tour. Architect Minor Bishop shared his knowledge on tours of historic neighborhood homes in Riverdale, Bronxville, and Englewood, NJ. Other venues were found near the waters of the Delaware Water Gap, Jersey City, Brighton Beach, the bridges of New York City, and the beaches of Long Island. The mainly hiking events were scheduled widely over the region we serve. Several were literally within the city limits of New York, but most were in the usual locales favored by Hikes Committee leaders – Harriman/Bear Mt. State Park, East of Hudson north of the Bear Mt. Bridge, West of Hudson along the Palisades, and Minnewaska. All of the 140 non‐cultural events are really lower level Hikes, and our participants frequently ask what the difference is. The answer is that Walks leaders tend to favor a later starting time, lead at a moderate pace, and stop oftener than Hikes leaders to rest or savor a view. Virtually all mainly hiking events were run at Pace 2 for distances of 5 ‐ 8 miles, with only a handful at greater distances and a few at pace 3. The continued good attendance at our events provides good evidence that there is strong demand for our style. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 23 Our finances remain adequate, thanks to the free use of the Internet for almost all correspondence. Most of our leaders now download their own release forms from the Outdoors website, which saves postage. One of our volunteers, Dorothy Loudou, faithfully sends email reminders a week in advance to each leader, including a link to the release form, and the leaders contribute the cost of return postage when they mail their completed forms to the chair. Respectfully submitted, Jim Robbins, Chair, Walks and Outings New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 24 ACTIVITY COMMITTEES REPORTS YOUNG MEMBERS Young Members highlights of 2008 included two car camping weekends at North‐South Lake Campground in the Catskills (including one at the very peak of fall foliage season), a yoga and hiking trip in the Adirondacks, and a variety of day hikes throughout the region. Together with members of the hiking committee, we also conducted a mini‐course for potential AMC hike leaders in November. In 2009, we hope to harness the momentum that currently exists in the committee as the result of recent outreach efforts to expand our leadership training, trail maintenance and conservation offerings and to continue to provide young members with a steady stream of activities throughout the year Respectfully submitted, Emily Sweet Chair, Young Members Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 25 FACILITIES AND SERVICES COMMITTEE REPORTS ARCHIVES The Chapter maintains an extensive archive of print and some visual material stored at a Manhattan Mini‐Storage Location. The archives go back to the 1920ʹs and should be a valuable source as the Chapter approaches it Centenary in 2012. Last spring Richard Weinberg, John Denkowski and myself visited the archives and sorted a good deal of the material. In June I visited Marist College in Poughkeepsie to discuss the donation of our archives to their facility. They are building a collection relating to the Hudson Valley and environmental issues and our collection will fit right in. No decision has been made to date however. If you would ever like to visit please let me know. Respectfully submitted, Jack Reilly Chair, Archives Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 26 FACILITIES AND SERVICES COMMITTEE REPORTS THE FIRE ISLAND CABIN It took three years to get the appropriate permits, but we did it! During the winter and spring of 2008, our contractor supervised the building of our Educational Center with our own funds. The over 500 square foot octagonal building is located forty feet south of the Cabin and has ten double‐hung windows and a copula with four windows – all permitting natural light and air to flow in. Our architect, an AMC member, scoped a unique building (no square box) which accommodates all of our programs like: dancing, slide shows and movies, yoga, conservation workshops and classroom–style instruction. By itself, it is our library packed with books from volunteers in the publishing industry as well as our game room packed with all kinds of board games. There are portable tables and chairs stored in a cabinet to facilitate its chosen use. We continue to offer a diverse selection of activities that address education, recreation and conservation. Some examples are: our midweek Sail School to introduce the skill of sailing one of our six Sunfish or the island treks that we partner with the Fire Island National Seashore rangers. We also dedicate two midweeks (Mon‐Fri), in peak season, to families. All of these endeavors have proved quite successful. Our full‐service weekends were at capacity with a slight increase over last season in that more of the paying guests showed up no matter what the weather. Midweek self‐service was extremely busy during peak season but tapered off during May and October. And, as always there were guests who came just for the day and this season we counted over 400, so yes it was a busy season. No more black flies this season, but we do have another new compost bin that will richly nourish our eleventh vegetable garden to be planted next spring. What makes our season run so smoothly are the many volunteers who manage the Cabin or lead the various activities and that number now exceeds more than 100 dedicated AMC members. Our fourth sojourn to Sandy Hook, NJ for ten days found guests on canoe trips, bicycle tours, hiking, exercising with yoga or tai chi or even a cruise to nowhere just to mention a few of the activities led by AMC members. Both the Fire Island Cabin and the Sandy Hook Adventure remain financially healthy. Respectfully submitted, Anita Barberis Chair, Fire Island Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 27 FACILITIES AND SERVICES COMMITTEE REPORTS MEMBERSHIP CHAPTER SIZE 2007 was not a great year; the Club membership declined 1.3% and the Chapter 4.2%. 2008 was doing much better until mid‐September, when new member applications collapsed, along with the stock markets. As of mid‐November, we estimate that by year‐end both Club and Chapter will be down a bit over 5%. For the first time in a decade, total Chapter membership dropped below 13,000 and total households dropped below 10,000 And 2009? Unless the new Obama administration can work miracles for the economy, a drop of 10%‐15% looks all too possible. Which would mean our dues‐allocation might drop from around $48,000 this year to $43,000 or less. CHAPTER MEMBERSHIP SALES Chapter sales of discounted memberships (the sale price is split 50/50 between Club and Chapter) were chugging along nicely till mid‐September, when online applications dropped by half. The year‐end total will probably be a bit over 600 memberships sold. Again, barring a miraculous recovery in the economy, it seems possible 2009 sales will be only 300, and that our net income from the sales will therefore drop from $10,000 to $5,000. OUTREACH Carson Tang again arranged for AMC to have booths, for free, at the Adventures in Travel Expo and at the NY Times Travel Expo. Energetic and well‐organized crews of members staffed the booths; each Expo lasts from Friday evening thru Sunday afternoon. Besides increasing name‐ recognition in the outdoor‐oriented public, the crews enrolled thirty‐three new members. The Canoe/Kayak Committee pays for an AMC booth each year at the “Paddlesport” Expo in New Jersey. This year’s crew outdid themselves and enrolled seven new members. Thank you, paddlers. And thank you, Fire Island Committee, for signing up another twelve cabin visitors as members. OUR COMMITTEE Michael Burke continues as Office Manager. Open Houses at the Chapter office continue to draw up to a dozen people. We ran two a month in the colder months, and three a month from April thru October. About 100 people joined on the spot, and we hope many of the rest joined online after going on a trial hike or two. New this year, Emily Sweet, out Young Members Chair, started running “downtown” Open Houses at “Tent & Trails” outdoor store near City Hall. They were very well received, with much interest shown in chapter activities. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 28 This fall, Steve Galla (Hike Chair) and Emily Sweet (Young Members Chair) set up links to the Chapter on the meetup.com website, which we had discovered is very popular in the metro area. They listed a few hikes there, drawing several new hikers, some of whom expressed their intent to join. This is a very interesting venture, which will be explored further next year. Why should someone pay dues to AMC, when they can hike or paddle or bike, often for free, with meetup.com, or with an online “club”. Or come to that, when anyone can find out all about AMC trips on the Club’s new “trips.outdoors.org” set‐up. Sure, you and I know why we belong – but are we ready to explain our reasons to other outdoor‐active people? YEAR BY YEAR STATISTICS Est. 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Year‐end members 15,612 14,406 13,519 13,898 13,321 12,650 Year‐end 12,484 11,531 10,696 10,917 10,337 9,800 Memberships (ie. households) Percent added new 29.9% 28.5% 29.6% 35.9% 30.9% 30.9% Percent dropping out 33.8% 36.7% 36.8% 33.8% 36.2% 36.2% Growth rate (h’holds) ‐3.9% ‐8.2% ‐7.2% 2.1% ‐5.3% ‐4.8% Chapter membership 685 588 657 852 580 610 sales Club Year‐End 91,251 86,349 83,654 83,694 82,850 79,000 memberships Respectfully submitted, Jill Arbuckle Chair, Membership Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 29 PUBLICATION COMMITTEE REPORT The Chapter’s quarterly newsletter seeks to inform members about Chapter activities, volunteer committees, local conservation issues, and outdoor skills. We hope to also entertain members with stories of outdoor adventures and people, and encourage them to take advantage of all the AMC has to offer. Thank you to those who have sent in articles and photographs this past year – the success of the newsletter is due to your interesting stories. Committee chairs are requested to ask others who volunteer with their committee, or who participate regularly in their activity, to write articles about their adventures. Submission deadlines are the same each year: Spring – January 25 (comes out in early March); Summer – April 25 (comes out in early June); Fall – July 25 (comes out in early September); and Winter – October 25 (comes out in early December). Submissions should be sent to: trailswaves@amc‐ny.org Trails & Waves welcomes advertising. Classifieds are $1 per word; please contact editor for display ad prices. Suggestions for future articles are always appreciated. Respectfully submitted, Nancy Tollefson Editor, Trails & Waves New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 30 NOMINATING COMMITTEE The Nominating Committee is pleased to announce its nominations for the 2009 Executive Committee of the AMC New York‐North Jersey Chapter: Chapter Chair Malcolm Spector Vice Chair Carson Tang Treasurer Russell Cannizzaro* Secretary Lisa Madden* Activities Cynthia Tollo Falls Facilities/Services Richard Barcia* Public Services Skip Doyle *Nominated for a second year in their current position. Respectfully submitted by the Nominating Committee: Don Getzin (Chair), Dorothy Lourdou, and Amy Hsu. The Nominating Committee would also like to welcome two new members to the committee: David Lamb and Barry Skura. Their selection was approved in accordance with our by‐laws by the Executive Committee at their May 2008 meeting. Any Chapter member who has suggestions for nominations to the Executive Committee is encouraged to contact us. Barry Skura served on the Executive Committee in 2004 in the Public Services liaison position. In 2005‐06 he was Backpack Committee Chair, and is still an active member of that committee. He leads hikes, backpack trips, and cross‐country ski trips for our Chapter. He is active with Sierra Club and ADK. David Lamb served on the Executive Committee in 1998‐99 in the Facilities/Services liaison position. In 1999‐2000 he volunteered as our Chapter’s Hiking Committee Chair. He continues to be a hike leader. Respectfully submitted, Don Getzin, Chair, Nominating Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 31 FACILITIES AND SERVICES COMMITTEE REPORTS WILDERNESS FIRST AID The mission of the Wilderness First Aid committee is to provide professional quality wilderness first aid training to chapter members and to encourage members to get this kind of training. We stand ready to provide support to any unit of the club who wishes to learn more about wilderness emergency care. During 2008, our twelfth year, we ran 4 WFA courses including an on‐the‐trail course for the Backpack committee. We trained 89 chapter members and others in the basics of wilderness emergency care. Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to cancel one of our fall courses. We will continue to run our voucher program in 2009. The WFA committee makes available two vouchers to each activity committee chair for distribution to people active in their committee. Each voucher is worth $40.00 off the cost of a WFA committee sponsored wilderness first aid course. We would like to welcome aboard Matt Theisz and Graig Straus as our two newest WFA instructors. The WFA committee is constantly on the lookout for new, qualified instructors. If you know of anyone who has significant pre‐hospital emergency care (EMT, Ski Patrol, etc.) and outdoor experience, we encourage you to have them contact either Maureen or Jonathan at WildernessFirstAid@amc‐ny.org. Committee Members/ WFA Instructors Jonathan Silver, Co‐chair Maureen McCahery, Co‐chair Ron Fields, Instructor Richard Dabal, Instructor Graig Straus, Instructor Mathew Theisz, Instructor Respectfully submitted, Jonathan Silver and Maureen McCahery Co‐chairs, Wilderness First Aid Committee Ron Fields, Instructor Richard Dabal, Instructor New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 32 PUBLIC SERVICES COMMITTEE REPORTS CONSERVATION The purpose of the Conservation Committee is to foster the preservation of land and waterways for their natural use and to promote a healthy environment. This is done through raising awareness of preservation, natural use, and the environment; through involvement in conservation issues; and by sponsoring events. Raising awareness In 2008, we increased awareness by sponsoring five weekend‐long conservation events: Hudson Highlands, Fire Island, Stowe VT, Esopus (Hudson River), and NY Appalachian Trail. The hallmark of these Nature Conservation‐ Recreation ‐ Education Weekends is our partnership with other conservation organizations – each contributing their particular skill and mission. We have raised our AMC organization to prominence by holding annual lectures at The Princeton Club; this year 120 AMC members attended to hear the curator of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a noted artist, talk about the Catskills, the Hudson River Valley, and the Hudson River School of art. We have partnered with many conservation organizations to embed a conservation component within bike rides, hikes, and kayak trips. In each issue of Trails and Waves I have written a conservation article highlighting preservation initiatives and victories, and in the three Open House sessions I co‐led the sign up rate of new members was 90%. Involvement in conservation issues As Conservation chair, I am called upon to weigh in on conservation issues. Most notable and time‐consuming are master plans. Representing our chapter of the AMC, I have participated in plans for both the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge and the Fire Island Wilderness. This year I have increased my personal participation in the Highlands Coalition. Sponsoring Events To deliver conservation events during 2008, we partnered with many conservation groups: AMC NY‐NoJ chapter committees, AMC – headquarters and regional offices, NY‐NJ Trail Conference, Audubon, Scenic Hudson, Clearwater, Highlands Coalition, Open Space Institute, Fire Island Wilderness Coalition, Friars of the Atonement – Spiritual Life Center, Mount Saint Alphonsus Retreat Center, Broderhof, Esopus Meadows Lighthouse Commission, John Burroughs Association, Friends of Old Croton Aqueduct, Walkill Valley Rail Trail Assoc., Harlem Valley Rail Trail Assoc., Central Park Conservancy, and numerous government agencies: Palisades Interstate Park Commission; NYS Department of Conservation; NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; National Park Service; NYC Parks and Recreation; Westchester Parks Department. Two conservation events were fundraisers yielding $500 for the Audubon Society and the Esopus Lighthouse Restoration Commission. ________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 33 In the spring of 2006, the Conservation Committee was in jeopardy of being disbanded. After I was installed as Conservation Chair in June 2006, through the efforts of a two‐person committee we delivered 11 conservation activities in 2006, and I participated in many working sessions laying the groundwork for 2007 events. In 2007, the number of activities more than doubled as well as the number of leaders; the caliber of the activities increased; and the conservation leadership was enhanced with a Vice‐Chair for Media Relations, and a Vice‐Chair of Conservation Liaisons. This year, 2008, the Conservation Committee delivered 26 events through the generosity of 11 leaders. The list of our many accomplishments this year are itemized below. For 2009, we shall continue as an umbrella committee sponsoring conservation events initiated by our members; we shall utilize the many relationships we have built in partnering with other conservation organizations to develop a host of conservation activities; we shall continue to be involved in conservation issues; and we shall emphasize the nature weekend format to educate and bring people into nature. Respectfully submitted, Skip Doyle Chair, Conservation Committee, New York‐North Jersey Chapter January 12 Annual Dinner – NY/NoJ Chapter Leader: Skip Doyle Represented the Conservation Committee at this convocation in Bear Mountain. January 25 Trails & Waves – Spring Issue Leader: Skip Doyle Conservation Corner: Catskill Watershed Lands, AMC 132nd Annual Meeting, Hudson River School, Conservation and ReCreation Nature Weekends. January 26/27 AMC 132nd Annual Dinner – NY/NoJ Chapter Leader: Mary Lindberg Represented the Conservation Committee at this convocation in Danvers, MA. Key topics: Maine Woods initiative; partnering with the AMC mid‐Atlantic office to include a conservation talk component to chapter activities in the Highlands region; reducing AMC’s carbon footprint; “No Child Left Inside” developed by CT DEP; AMC’s Youth Opportunity Program. February 22‐24 Nature Conservation‐Education‐Recreation Retreat Weekend – Graymoor. Leaders: Dick Wolfe, Skip Doyle Weekend of cross‐country skiing for both beginner and experienced skiers, ice skating, and nature presentations. March 24 AMC New Member – Open House Leader: Skip Doyle Enrolled 100% of participants (10 new members). Spoke about conservation, hiking, biking, climbing, kayaking, White Mountains huts, Fire Island, backpacking, softball. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 34 April 2 Conservation lecture at the Princeton Club – Hudson River School Painters Leader: Skip Doyle 90 minute, 2 part lecture, attended by 120 AMC members. Featured: Kevin Avery (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Thomas Locker (author and landscape artist). April 15 Chapter Chairs Meeting – Spring Leader: Skip Doyle Represented the Conservation Committee at this convocation. April 25 Trails & Waves – Summer Issue Leader: Skip Doyle Conservation Corner: Esopus Nature Corridor; Conservation and ReCreation Nature Weekend – Esopus; Catskill Peak Experiences: Mountaineering Tales of Endurance, Survival, Exploration and Adventure by Carol White. May 10 Brooklyn Botanic Garden Leader: Ingrid Strauch See efforts to preserve plant biodiversity close to home: native flora garden, home composting exhibit, rock garden, Steinhardt Conservatory. May 17 MillionTreesNYC – Plant a Tree in NYC Leader: John Kolp Tree planting with the NYC Parks Department and the NY Restoration Project to expand the urban forest to directly offset our carbon footprint. May 17 John Burroughs’ Nature Sanctuary – Spring Slabsides Day Leader: Bonnie Mairs, Skip Doyle Naturalist and literary talks at the Slabsides home of John Burroughs’ with guided tour of the cabin, and afterwards a guided hike along nearby nature trails. June 20‐21 Fire Island – Conservation & Hiking Nature Weekend Leader: Jack Cahill, Laurie Marini Presentation about the Fire Island National Seashore by FIWC president; guided tour of Sunken Forest by NPS ranger; guided tour of lighthouse by FILS historian. July 3‐7 Hiking‐Biking‐Canoeing(Kayaking) Fitness Friendly Weekend: Stowe, VT Leader: Skip Doyle Summit Mount Mansfield, bike along Lake Champlain, kayak the LaMoille River. July 25 Trails & Waves – Fall Issue Leader: Skip Doyle Conservation Corner: Esopus Nature Corridor; Conservation and ReCreation Nature Weekend. August 1‐3 Nature and ReCreation Weekend – Esopus, NY Leader: Skip Doyle, Howard Israel, Malcolm Spector, Kurt Navratil Hiking, biking, kayaking, and Catskill presentation by Carol and David White. August 3 Hudson River: Esopus Lighthouse Tour and Esopus Island Paddle Leader: Kurt Navratil Kayak trip to Esopus Island and Tour of Esopus Meadows Lighthouse. Raised $100 for the Esopus Lighthouse restoration. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 35 August 11 AMC New Member – Open House Leader: Skip Doyle Enrolled 100% of participants (8 new members). Spoke about conservation, hiking, biking, climbing, kayaking, White Mountains huts, Fire Island, backpacking, softball. Sept 13 Nawakwa Leader: Ingrid Strauch Lake Sebago hike and tour of ADK lodge Nawakwa. Sept 21 Audubon Canoe Tour of Constitution Marsh Leader: Skip Doyle Guided tour through the Constitution Marsh by an Audubon conservationist, and nature presentation in the Audubon nature center. Raised $400 for the Audubon Society. Sept 19‐21 St. Francis Nature Retreat Weekend at Graymoor Monastery Leader: Skip Doyle Weekend of outdoor activities – hiking and canoeing. Evening nature presentations: Hudson River School, nature spirituality of Saint Francis. October 4 John Burroughs’ Nature Sanctuary – Autumn Slabsides Day Leader: Skip Doyle Naturalist and literary talks at the Slabsides home of John Burroughs’ with guided tour of the cabin, and afterwards a guided hike along nearby nature trails. October 21 Chapter Chairs Meeting – Fall Leader: Skip Doyle Represented the Conservation Committee at this convocation. October 25 Trails & Waves – Winter Issue Leader: Skip Doyle Conservation Corner: Master Planning, conservation activities, conservation fundraising – Canoe & Kayak Committee. November 17 AMC New Member – Open House Leader: Skip Doyle Enrolled 80% of participants (12 new members). Spoke about conservation, hiking, biking, climbing, kayaking, White Mountains huts, Fire Island, backpacking, softball. November 22 Conservation Challenge – Hike entire preserve and map all the trails Leader: Skip Doyle Playing in teams, hike and map all the blazed trails of the preserve. Lunch in the nature center afterwards. December 16 Highlands Coalition Meeting Leader: Skip Doyle Represented the AMC NY‐NoJ Chapter, Conservation Committee at this convocation. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 36 PUBLIC SERVICES COMMITTEE REPORTS PROGRAM During 2008 the Program Committee presented slide shows ranging from ʺThe Beauty of Colorado ʺto ʺSlovenia and Croatiaʺ. In 2009 we will be showing slide shows at new location at the club office at 5 Tudor City Place (off 41st east of Second Avenue} Respectfully submitted, Frank Bamberger Chair, Program Committee New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 37 TRAILS NEW JERSEY TRAILS AMC in NJ maintains 21 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and the 10+ mile Stonetown Circular Trail just west of the Wanaque Reservoir. We have an assistant supervisor, Bill Hansen, for the Stonetown, and 17 maintainers, of whom the longest‐serving started before I became involved in 1993, and the newest began this summer. 2007 saw destruction by water; in 2008 it was by wind. This was the year that several gales left us barely able to keep up with the blow‐downs. It’s November as I write this, and tomorrow I’m for yet another round of inspection. Let us hope global warming doesn’t produce even weirder weather in 2009. ORV (off‐road vehicles: dirt bikes and ATVs) continue to be a problem on both the Appalachian Trail and the Stonetown Circular. The Trail Conference and other groups are lobbying hard down in Trenton for laws requiring these vehicles to have readable (car‐size) license plates, which would help. On the AT between Hogh Point and Route 94, a major problem is that we cannot post the trail corridor boundaries. We don’t know where they are: the state never got around to marking them. Youths ride from Unionville, NY into NJ state park land, where besides wearing a maze of paths in the woods, they have cut live trees to make a campfire circle. Recently they added a large white bath‐tub. I wonder if interstate bathing is a federal offence? Respectfully submitted, Jill Arbuckle Supervisor, New Jersey Trails New York‐North Jersey Chapter ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 38 NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY TRAIL CONFERENCE The New York/ New Jersey Trail Conference continues to be one of the most active and productive “can do” outdoor organizations in our region, providing more “bang for the buck” than most other non‐ or for‐profit conservation organizations. Individuals and hiking clubs (104 of them), such as our New York/ North Jersey and the Delaware Valley AMC Chapter, are members of this organization. It is the individual membership, at $30 per year, which provides most of the Conference’s operating funds. The Conference has arranged for its individual members to receive a 20% discount on all Trail Conference maps and guide books as well as a 10% sales discount at many well‐stocked local outdoor equipment stores. The Conference oversees the maintenance of over 1,700 miles of marked hiking trails in the region. This includes the Appalachian Trail as it passes through New Jersey and New York. Our Chapter, in cooperation with the Conference, maintains about 50 miles of those trails. Volunteers put in over 42,000 hours in trail work last year. The Conference has organized the creation of the Long Path, which will be a continuous hiking trail from the George Washington Bridge to the Adirondacks. It is presently complete into the Mohawk Valley. The Conference also develops other new trails. The 150 mile Highland Trail will be a through trail from the Delaware to the Hudson River; over 100 miles of this trail have been completed. The Conference produces a collection of trail maps which are widely used. They are kept up‐to‐ date, are understandable, clearly show trail access and parking and are waterproof. A series of guide books, such as the New York and New Jersey Walk Books, are intelligent and valuable collections of useful and historic data. The Conference is actively engaged in the fight to preserve open spaces in our region. They were in the forefront of the successful battle to prevent the development of Sterling Forest. In collaboration with the Open Spaces Institute, they acquired key parcels of property, later transferred to New York State, which made it possible for continuous hiking trails across the entire Shawangunk Ridge. The Trail Conference as also worked extensively with the Green Acres program in N. J. to conserve and protect trail corridors throughout northern N. J. This has all been done with a small paid staff and over a thousand volunteers. Our Chapter is well represented among those volunteers: AMC Chapter members are on the Conference Board of Directors, lead many Conference committees and our Chapter Trails Committee works closely with the Trail Conference. More info at www.nynjtc.org . Respectfully submitted, Jack Driller Chapter Delegate to the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 39 Appalachian Mountain Club New York - North Jersey Chapter FINANCIAL REPORT Summary of Operations For the Year Ended December 31, 2008 Estimated Final 2008 2007 $ Change Revenues Membership Allocation 48,297 53,117 (4,820) Membership Sales 9,528 19,642 (10,114) Interest & Endowment Distributions 20,723 19,820 903 Contributions 1,230 3,043 (1,813) Other Income 4,272 10,258 (5,986) Total Revenues 84,050 105,880 (21,830) Expenses Chapter Manager's Salary 16,800 16,464 336 Rent 15,839 12,535 3,304 Office Expenses 10,241 14,696 (4,455) Chapter Schedule 21,666 20,223 1,443 Trails and Waves 17,371 17,453 (82) Public Service - Contributions 4,828 5,000 (172) Membership 1,230 165 1,065 Total Expenses 87,975 86,536 1,439 - $ Net (Loss)Income $ (3,925) 19,344 (23,269) Cash Accounts Maintained by NY NoJ Chapter JPMorgan Chase - Checking 52,360 JPMorgan Chase - Money Market 11,025 Petty Cash 247 Total Cash $ 63,632 Chapter Funds Managed by the AMC's Investment Committee: Unrestricted 661,624 Restricted 16,642 Total Investments $ 678,266 Notes: The Chapters finances are mainained on a cash basis ______________________________________________________________________________________________________ New York-North Jersey Chapter Annual Report 40