OH Steering Committee Meeting
Jan. 30, 2018
Present: Josh Alper, Catherine Amidon, Nat Balch, Bill Barrett, Becky Fullerton, Doug Hotchkiss, Dick Low, Scott Macomber, Moose Meserve, Stroker Rogovin, Ryan Smith, John Thompson.
1)Treasurer’s Report (Moose Meserve)
Both income and expenses are more or less on track for the year. Road work and an updated survey of the road should run around $7 – $8K in 2018, but reserves should cover this. Contributions towards this much-needed work will not be refused!
According to Cabin caretaker Mike Waddell and historical averages, there appear to be more people using the cabin than are paying for that privilege. Not a new problem, but one that can be reduced if all visitors help reinforce the message that firewood, gas, taxes, and insurance aren’t bestowed upon the OHA by a benevolent woodland diety. PAY TO STAY. More on this subject below.
2) Cabin (Stroker)
In concert with writing copy for the website makeover, Cabin info and rules have been clearly spelled out online. For consistency, the same info will be posted inside the cabin and distributed to everyone signing out the key at the PNC desk. Expectations and responsibilities of all users are clearly stated, including PAY TO STAY.
PNC desk continues to ask a $20 deposit from anyone signing out the key. This procedure will be replaced by the signing of a waiver. This will relieve the desk of having to handle cash for a third party (us). And having users sign a waiver will help impress upon them the responsibilities they assume when using the cabin. Josh Alper to help draft the waiver. A new cabin sign-out log for the front desk will be organized to make the procedure easy and thorough; Mike Waddell to follow up with this.
3) Gala 2018 (Stroker for Beth Weick)
1 Y-OH rep signed up to date, with more to follow.
4) Website (Stroker)
In answer to the eternal question: ”What does ‘OHA’ stand for?” the new website offers a complete etymology of the abbreviation. The logo on the home page reads “The Old Hutcroo Association,” as was worked out at earlier Steering Committee meetings, in deference to our gender-neutral status. “The Old Hutman’s and Hutwoman’s Association” was deemed too much of a mouthful. For legal purposes, our legal name continues to be simply “The O.H. Association.”
Stroker suggested offering a wider assortment of merch beyond tees and hats, for members who want things like jackets, tote bags, etc. The AMC purchasing agent has sources for high-quality, low-cost merchandise (including L.L. Bean) that could help raise our visibility and bottom line. Committee decided not to pursue additional merch at this time.
Management of the database through the new website continues to have bugs which complicate the job of maintaining the mailing lists and other data. Web designer Dan Racowsky is working with treasurer Moose to address these concerns and make the list easier to access and manage.
5) Fallfest 2018 (Stroker)
The Steering Committee voted to go with a “Now and Then?” theme for Fallfest 2018, with representatives from various decades giving brief presentations on their time in the huts. Hank Parker is on deck to represent the 40s. Stroker to follow up on Committee suggestions for other decades.
Discussion of awarding a posthumous Honorary membership to Bruce Sloat tabled for next meeting.
6) Governance (Josh Alper & Stroker)
Jenna Whitson Koloski has agreed to assume the duties of Secretary, now that Tom Kelleher has handed off the website to our new webmaster, Taylor Burt, and will be focusing on obituaries.
Josh Alper will file amended by-laws with the State of NH to reflect desired changes, including increasing the size of the Steering Committee to up to a maximum of 13 (now 11), creating a new executive position of Webmaster, and moving the date of the annual business meeting to the fall.
Since the Steering Committee currently consists of 6 officers (president, treasurer, secretary, secretary or treasurer emeritus, newsletter editor, and assistant editor), and since the size of the committee is now capped at 11, it was thought best to increase the overall committee size if adding another executive officer—webmaster—so we wouldn’t have to reduce the number of members-at-large. This is typically an entry-level position awarded to members who’ve expressed an interest or shown an ability to contribute to the governance of the organization. A larger Steering Committee also increases the chances of actually having a quorum to conduct the more serious business (it does occasionally happen).
7) Diversity (Stroker for Nathaneial Blauss and Liz Seabury)
The hut system is currently exploring ways to attract more minorities and members of populations not typically represented among hut croos. Across the AMC as a whole, encouraging diversity among members and guest as well as staff is an important and fresh focus. For the past year, the OHA has been exploring ways we might help. Nathaniel Blauss, Stroker, and James Wrigley (Huts Manager) have had extensive conversations to explore the topic. The hut system welcomes ideas and help; we’re just not sure if and how that help might be offered. One of the more promising ways we might assist is to help recruit candidates for croo though college outing clubs, sports teams, and other forms of campus outreach to minority students who may already be predisposed to consider a physically demanding job in the woods. Another form of help might be financial assistance with tuition or other college expenses for someone who might not otherwise be able to afford to work in a hut, as opposed to more lucrative summer employment Not an easy needle to thread, but one the Committee agreed was deserving of further discussion.
8) Resuscitator Update (Stroker for Beth Weick)
Spring deadline is April 15.
9) Cabin Photo Collection (Doug Hotchkiss)
Doug Hotchkiss proposed improving the collection of photos at the Cabin by removing some of the older photos for scanning, with the originals archived for preservation. Subjects would be identified by name, date, and place of work. Some would be clustered in larger frames, similar to our effort with hut croo photos. This would have the advantages of making more space for additional photos, as well as preserving the originals while providing more info. Sally Dinsmore has generously agreed to help with the work, which the Committee readily approved.
10) Trails Report (Bill Barrett & John Thompson)
The USFS is overwhelmed with trail maintenance duties and is looking to private organizations and concerned individuals to help take up the slack. With the 200th anniversary of the Crawford path approaching, in 2019, Bill Barrett suggested the OH participate in some maintenance of that historic trail, and elsewhere . Bill to post a query on Facebook to gauge interest.
11) New & Other Bidness
This meeting was held at the new AMC headquarters in Charlestown, largely thanks to our hosts, Becky Fullerton, AMC Librarian and Archivist, and Ryan Smith, Managing Editor of the AMC’s magazine, AMC Outdoors. Thanks to both for staying late to give us a guided tour of the new digs, and for contributing to the conversation.
One take-away from the tour that wasn’t lost on anyone who attended was what a wonderful asset the AMC library and archives represents to the AMC and to the OHA, and how minimally funded it remains. The AMC has one of our nation’s premier collections of early mountain photography, a rare books collection focused on mountaineering literature, and similar assets that are currently in storage and virtually inaccessible. As the Library is also a repository for OHA memorabilia, objects (packboard collection anyone?), and historical records, the need and possibility of OHA financial assistance is a topic deserving of further discussion.
Last but certainly not least, our long-serving and long-suffering treasurer, Moose, will be stepping down in 2020. Any and all applicants should contact Moose or Stroker.
12) Next Steering Committee Meeting: Three Tomatoes, Lebanon, NH, March 20.