AMC has seen many changes over the years, but one thing has remained constant: a commitment to connecting people to the outdoors. We believe the outdoors belongs to everyone, no matter who they are, where they live, or how they choose to enjoy it. We want to help everyone spend more time outdoors, to fall in love with special places, and to share that love with family and friends.
Establishing that connection takes work, and AMC has a tradition of breaking down barriers, whether those involve access to public lands and waterways, inviting young adults and families to join our programs, offering scholarships for our teen programs, or reducing the cost of outdoor recreation for youth groups in rural and urban areas. But there is more work to be done. We see a future for AMC that better addresses the needs of the communities across our region and welcomes people of all backgrounds.
We have embarked on an effort to reach out to underserved groups, listening and learning how we can be more inclusive and welcoming. This effort will ultimately impact all aspects of what we do as an organization, from hiring and training to building community partnerships to offering programs and services. It will extend from our Board of Directors through all levels of our staff and volunteers.
One early step will be a review of our public communications to ensure they reflect the community we want to be and the values we want to project. Our outreach to current and new community partners will inform our direction in communications, programming, and services. We believe our growing presence in the New York City area will open up opportunities to engage with new constituents and to become a more diverse and inclusive organization.
We will step up our emphasis on recruiting from the broadest possible pool of talent for our volunteers, staff, Board of Directors, and Board of Advisors, and on creating bridges between diverse school and teen program participants and volunteer and employment opportunities with AMC.
I’m pleased with the success of our Youth Opportunities Program, which today reaches 40,000 youth from underserved communities in greater Boston and New York. Our youth programs in northern New Hampshire and Maine provide outdoor opportunities for kids from communities that are struggling economically. Our college outing club program has created connections with younger, more diverse individuals. And yet, plenty of room for growth remains.
We know that broadening our constituency is key to growing a vibrant membership and creating the next generation of conservation advocates. So the doors to the outdoors are open. I hope you will join us, and in so doing, help to make AMC an even stronger organization.
CALL TO ACTION
Find out what AMC is doing to welcome more people of all backgrounds to enjoy the outdoors.
John D. Judge