AMC Annual Volunteer Awards

Hiker in the forest


Volunteers bring AMC’s mission to life from Maine to Virginia, often serving as the first point of contact for our outdoor experiences, learning opportunities, and conservation activities. They maintain trails, organize and lead trips, give naturalist programs, chair committees, manage facilities, maintain websites, edit newsletters, budget funds, train leaders, plan events, sit on the Board, and the list goes on!

Every year AMC recognizes volunteers not only for their invaluable contributions, but also for how they inspire others to step up and share their talents and time to get people outdoors and support conservation action.

The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor AMC bestows upon volunteers. Established in 1976 on our 100thanniversary, this award recognizes AMC volunteers who have contributed outstanding efforts for a sustained period of time, with a special acknowledgement that the recipients have developed a complete understanding of the values and goals of the entire organization. 2021 recipients include Julia Khorana, Steve Cohen, Dinah Buechner-Vischer, and Christine Fogarty.

The Volunteer Leadership Award is given in recognition of AMC’s outstanding volunteer leaders who demonstrate the desire to share their time and expertise in pursuit of the mission. 2021 recipients were drawn from chapters, camps, Educators Outdoors, and Information Volunteers including Bill Fogel, Jeff Pengel, Chris Langelier, David Mong, Bob Vogel, Heather Wyman, Jay Maciejowski, Yves Gauthier, and Raun Kercher.

The Joe Dodge Award recognizes members of the AMC community, either staff or volunteers, who exemplify the type of high-quality public service and mountain hospitality that became the hallmark of longtime AMC Huts Manager Joe Dodge. The 2021 Joe Dodge Award recipients were Peter and Emily Benson.

Our Stewardship Society Awards recognize volunteers who offer significant time in support of stewardship and educational activities. These volunteers often adopt trails, serve as Alpine Stewards, and more. In 2020, even with the challenges presented by the pandemic, we acknowledged 30 Pychowska Award recipients and 13 Hart Award recipients

  • The Marian Pychowska Award is named after a volunteer who stood out for her diverse activities. In the 1880’s Pychowska helped build trails, created a trail map of the Northern Presidential Range, discovered the Pinnacle in Huntington Ravine, and may have been the first AMC-affiliated person to look at the impact of recreation. When a shelter was proposed near treeline she wrote, “we all fear if the public are invited to it the surroundings will become [littered].” Recipients of the Pychowska Award have recorded over 96 hours of volunteer time.
  • The Warren Hart Award bears the name of a volunteer who was AMC Councillor of Improvements (Trails) from 1908-1910. Hart was a stellar example of the spirit of trail volunteerism. He spent 28 days in 1908 creating trails in the Great Gulf Wilderness and inspired other members to join in the effort by his personal example. By 1910, Hart lead “working sections” of 40 people in summer trail building expeditions. This award goes to volunteers who record over 224 hours.

If you know someone who is deserving of any of these awards, please nominate them here by November 20th.

If you are looking to submit your stewardship society award hours please submit them here by December 1st.

About the Author…

AMC Staff

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