Sign up for a series of sessions that will teach you new skills and develop your existing talents while giving you plenty of time to meet other people who share your interests and passions. We hope that you will find a session that inspires you!
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So You Want To Volunteer?
Do you want to volunteer with AMC? There are so many options from trail work to leading trips and activities, committees to conservation lobbying and more! This session is a great introduction to all of the volunteer opportunities available at AMC.
A Legacy in the New York Highlands: Past, Present and Future
AMC has a long legacy of protecting and fostering the enjoyment of the New York Highlands and is on the cusp of another exciting chapter with the opening of a new program center in Harriman State Park. It was here in 1923 that the first section of the Appalachian Trail was built, in part by AMC, a founding member of the Appalachian Trail Conference. More recently, AMC has been a partner in conservation and recreation projects of historic significance, including the open space protection of 17,000 acres of Sterling Forest in 1992, passage of the Highlands Conservation Act in 2004, and the continued maintenance of trails across the region by the AMC’s New York - North Jersey Chapter, as the largest member organization of the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference. Join us to learn more about AMC’s work and ways to share AMC’s story in the Highlands.
You’ve heard of the hiker’s 10 essentials, but do you know anything about the photographer’s 10 essentials? Learn about what essential items Ryan Smith, photographer and managing editor of AMC Outdoors, packs on his photo shoots in New England’s backcountry. Bring your favorite photography essential item with you to share with course participants.
When leading a group in the backcountry, it’s important to be prepared for changes in weather, first aid situations, navigation issues and group management. Many AMC leaders have special items, whether for safety or fun, that they have at the ready. In this workshop, we’ll sneak a peak into AMC leaders’ packs—including “tested and true” leadership gear and first aid items. See what items change with the seasons and what additional items you may consider bringing based on your participant profiles. Do you have a piece of gear you wouldn’t dream of leaving home without? Bring it along to share!
Come take a look inside YOUR club's Archives at all the exciting collections preservation projects, research, and outreach efforts going on right now. Find out what interns and volunteers are doing to help your fearless Archivist document and promote the historical gems that lie therein. See what recent discoveries have been made and how we use our materials in the wider world. Hear about what you can do to preserve your own mountain memorabilia in this interactive session.
Even the best leaders are only human. Join us as we share & discuss those moments when, as leaders, we realized a mistake had occurred, a critical item was forgotten, or a situation arose which made us say, at least momentarily, “Oh no! This isn’t good.” This workshop focuses on two critical elements of leadership and managing risk: (1) acknowledging mistakes happen, and (2) understanding how we deal with those mistakes when they arise is what matters most. Whether you are considering becoming a leader, are a new leader, or are an experienced leader, this workshop will help alleviate fears, address concerns and provide tips and strategies for that next, inevitable "uh oh" moment in the field.
There is a tradition of artists creating compelling works that draw attention to the beauty of the landscape and, oftentimes, becoming instrumental in the creation and protection of National Parks. New York artist Xiomáro will present a survey of these works as well as his own collections. He will also make the case that photography has never been stronger than today for connecting new and diverse urban audiences with the outdoors.
Join members of AMC’s Leadership Team as they discuss AMC’s past year, current projects, and future goals. This panel discussion will allow each member of the team to highlight a different exciting endeavor. There will be time at the end for the leadership team to answer pre-solicited questions.
Searching for the road less taken? Seeking an outdoor gem? Learn about winter/spring/fall recreational and year-round volunteer opportunities at the AMC's Volunteer Managed Facilities. Experience winter days on snowshoe and cross-country ski trails. Spend a pleasant spring day hiking or canoeing as foliage returns and days warm. Crisp leaves crackle under your feet in the fall. Many of our facilities are self-service and very affordable -- we provide the roof over your head you do the rest. You can also get involved in supporting your favorite camp or cabin by assisting the volunteer committees that manage them and are key to keeping these gems running and offering the programs we all enjoy. Attend work weekends, for example, where you stay at camp and experience camaraderie while helping with maintenance or trail work. Your contribution will be both memorable and fulfilling at a camp or cabin you will treasure.
Have you been wondering what is going on in Maine? AMC's Maine Wood initiative (MWI) continues to be one of the most innovative conservation efforts in Northeast. Members of the MWI team will share stories informally titled - "A Mountain Conserved," " A Stream Restored," and "A Lodge Reborn." This dynamic presentation will also include a selection of photos, maps, and videos.
The AMC Trails Department staff will review the use and maintenance of trail tools. Participants will have the opportunity to learn chainsaw maintenance, hand tool sharpening (axe, Pulaski, loppers, etc.) and the staff will show how to hang wooden handles. There will be plenty of time for attendees to ask questions.
AMC has some fantastic gems; do you know them all? Have you stayed near the ocean at Fire Island Cabin or discovered a new path at Cold River Camp? Perhaps a visit to the traveling August Camp or a secluded escape to High Cabin strikes your fancy? Do you hear the call of Echo Lake or Lake Winnipesaukee's three Mile Island? Or perhaps another special AMC camp or cabin is calling your name? We invite you to come learn, discuss, and discover the possibilities of these fantastic treasures through personal conversations with volunteers who manage these great camps and cabins.
Hike Like It's 1915!
What was it like to hike in New England one hundred years ago? Look no further for answers than your Archivist, Becky Fullerton. During the summer AMC huts season of 2015 she hiked like it was 1915, in celebration of the centennial of the Lakes of the Clouds Hut. Through photos, video, and anecdotes she’ll talk about the joys and sorrows of hiking in wool knickerbockers, receiving funny looks on the trail, and the history of hiking gear.
Whether you want to hike, bike, paddle, swim, participate in a wide variety of programs or simply relax with friends, imagine the possibilities as you enjoy a virtual tour of AMC’s newest destination, the Harriman Outdoor Center (HOC). Slated to open on July 1, 2016, the outdoor center is located in New York’s second largest state park, just 42 miles from midtown Manhattan. Known for its beautiful wilderness setting, 225 miles of hiking trails and 31 lakes, Harriman State Park is the perfect setting for this new AMC destination. HOC’s cabins along the shore of Breakneck Pond, camping platforms and sleep-in shelters provide options for a unique overnight experience. From accommodations to dates and rates, join us to learn all the details you need to prepare for your trip to Harriman Outdoor Center.
The AMC Trails Department staff will be demonstrating the use of a variety of trail tools and techniques, including: grip-hoist and high-line, ax use, crosscut saws, and more! Get out of the hotel and go for a walk on the nearby trail to see these tools in action. There will be plenty of time for folks to ask questions. (Session will be held indoors if the weather becomes inclement.)
Sea Kayak Leadership and Safety or How to Avoid Trouble on the High Seas (2 hours)
Sea kayaking is a spectacular outdoor sport that is pursued in the highly dynamic environment of the ocean. It can and should be pursued safely for all concerned. The sea kayak leader needs to be aware of many factors that include: weather, sea state, air and water temperatures, boating traffic, his/her own capabilities, the capabilities of the group, leadership skills, group dynamics, and whether the trip plan needs revision. This talk and discussion will examine the skills required for safe and effective leadership, either formal, as in AMC leadership, or informal, as in leading a group of friends. The presenter will draw from his own experience consisting of ACA training and AMC sea kayak leadership and various reported incidences where sea kayakers have gotten into difficulty.
Trip Talk Video Screening
Join us for an AMC volunteer video contest screening! We will be showing the top submissions to the trip talk video contest which we launched in September to find the ultimate training video for new AMC leaders. The Grand Prize winner will be determined by a panel of staff and volunteers on January 20th; this is your chance to vote for a People’s Choice winner! The leader’s talk before a trip is an important time to welcome participants to an activity and make sure that they have all of the information they need to have a safe and fun trip.
Center for Outdoor Learning and Leadership
This session will provide an overview and update on the AMC’s plan to launch the virtual Center for Outdoor Learning and Leadership (COLL) in 2017. The COLL is intended to make it easier for people to get outside, further their connection to the outdoors, learn new skills, and build their connection to AMC. We will spend the majority of our time focusing on the skills based learning tracks which are especially relevant to our volunteers. These tracks are being crafted to make it easier for constituents to stay engaged with AMC as they hone their outdoor skills and prepare for a lifetime of enjoyment in the outdoors. This session will afford participants the opportunity to learn more about this evolving project and share input with the staff and volunteers working on the COLL initiative.
Energy Projects and Open Spaces
Natural gas pipelines, transmission lines, wind farms. As the Northeast region makes positive strides toward cleaner energy sources, public and undeveloped land is often perceived as the path of least resistance for development. Join AMC staff for an update on proposed projects as well as and AMC’s approach to engaging on such projects and potential energy solutions that can reduce the need to transport energy long distances. This will also be an opportunity to learn about the process by which these projects typically get reviewed, and ways to make effective comments.
Online tools are only useful if you know how to use them. There are a huge variety of online resources available to you as an AMC volunteer. Do you know all the tricks and secrets to all of the tools at your disposal? Ask questions and learn all about the resources that are only a keystroke away! This training will explore the use of AMC's online tools by focusing on best practices for using Meetup with AMC activities, how to
list an activity or volunteer opportunity in the Activities Database, as well
as Activity Digests.
Sharing is Caring
Volunteers who love to talk to people about AMC are needed to represent the club at a range of fun and interactive events throughout the region. Come learn how you can be a part of how we share AMC with local communities at festivals, fairs and other events! Attendees will have the chance to test their current knowledge of AMC and practice talking about the club in this highly interactive session.
Have you ever wanted to travel to far off locales and discover hidden natural wonders all over the world? AMC's Adventure Travel crisscrosses the global on amazing adventures! Come listen to stories and see pictures of some recent trips and discover how you can participate as either a trip leader or as a part of travel group!
In this interactive session, we will use an in-depth case study to explore and learn from a past paddling incident. Through group discussions and guided review, the goal of this session is to assist participants in understanding the variables that influence outcomes in the field. We will also discuss the benefits of using case studies as a tool to engage new and existing activity leaders. This session is designed for active paddlers, paddling leaders and committee chairs that have a role in training new leaders.
Family Leader Training
This training will prepare participants to become family day hike leaders, particularly those interested in leading family programs. Concepts apply to all AMC activities. Topics will include leadership styles, group management, safety considerations and trip planning all with kids in mind. We will combine indoor classroom time with outdoor leadership practice, so be prepared to spend time outside. More details will be shared upon registration.