Volunteer Leaders

If you are a trip leader for the AMC, you probably started your journey as a participant as its one-of-a-kind leadership training experience.  Hopefully, this prepared you well for leading trips in your favorite outdoor activity.  If you are not yet a leader, perhaps you have attended an AMC outing, focused on safety & fun,…

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Often we get asked by folks, “What’s one thing people can do to make the outdoors more inclusive?” Despite the fact that we are diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) professionals, this question always seems to stump us. It stumps us not because we don’t have an answer; in fact, we’re stumped because we have too…

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As America’s oldest conservation organization, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) has a rich history of offering high quality volunteer led outdoor leadership trainings and outings. Volunteer leaders providing positive experiences in the outdoors, for members and non-members alike, have been a fundamental means to grow AMC’s  membership and to support the club’s mission: to promote…

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In March, we started talking about communication. I asked us, as leaders, to reflect on these questions: Were we mindful of the “novices” in our community? Did we adapt our communication so those individuals felt welcome? If not, why not? How would we change our approach in the future? I recently returned to these questions…

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Twenty-seven men and women stand in a rigid line, backs straight and eyes ahead, attuned to the instructor up front. As she calls out directions, the line begins to dissolve. “If it’s most important for you to reach your goal in the outdoors, step to the left,” she tells them. “If it’s most important that…

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  Part 2: Communication In the last installment, we discussed how people, or interpersonal skills, are an elusive component of leadership. As I mentioned before, the scope and complexity involved with these skills is hard to capture in a single word or phrase. Still, as leaders, mentors, facilitators, educators, or simply the intellectually curious, we…

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When people think about conservation in New England, verdant forestland or meadows teeming with wildlife might come to mind. But for Norm Sims, of Winchester, N.H., and Julia Khorana, of Stow, Mass., conservation is a little more fluid. Sims and Khorana, along with other AMC members, are the unsung heroes of whitewater conservation in New England. They’ve…

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Part 1: The Art of Listening Working in an outdoor environment our role as leaders often incorporates technical or, “hard” skills, and people, or “soft” skills. The technical skills are tangible elements: How to tie a bowline, how to execute a forward stroke, how to set up a tent, and there are a lot of…

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From time to time, many of us find ourselves taking a step back and admiring the handiwork of our fellow lovers of the outdoors—those volunteers who devote time and elbow grease to trail work. We can think about it a bit differently, too, considering not just what we do for the trails, but what trail…

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Volunteers from AMC’s Adventure Travel program talk about leading groups to their favorite corners of the globe. And you can read about an Adventure Travel trip to Glacier National Park in the AMC Outdoors story “Among Friends.” Learn more about AMC’s Adventure Travel program >>

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