Minutes for

OH Steering Committee Meeting,

Nov. 20, 2018

Present: Bill Barrett, Phoebe Howe, Dave Kruger, Moose Meserve, Stephanie Maraldo, Stroker Rogovin, Doug Shaffer, John Thompson.

1)  Treasurer’s Report (Moose). 

With current treasurer Moose Meserve stepping down at the end of 2019, the search for his replacement is taking on real urgency.  A few potential candidates have stepped forward to accept the job in whole or in part, including Bill Oliver, Phoebe Howe, and Dave Kruger, but all have expressed reservations about being able to offer the continuity and/or time to discharge all duties.  The possibility of sharing or outsourcing portions of the job are under discussion, but we still need one person to assume ultimate responsibility for the post, a “clerk of the works.”

Moose is setting up aVenmo account, to facilitate payments for cabin stays and merch via mobile devices.

2)  Cabin (Stroker). 

Thanks to Doug Hotchkiss and Sally Dinsmore, many of the older photos at the Cabin have been restored and remounted for better display, and to make room for additional photos.  Younger OH are encouraged to contribute to the existing collection.

A new survey of the OH property is due out shortly, focusing on the road and Cabin access, to help us determine if and how to improve parking and access, and possibly reduce our tax bill.  Road work was recently completed, including grading of the surface and improvements to the drainages.

Stroker to update signage for posting at the Cabin, and a pamphlet for distribution at the Pinkham front desk.

3)  Y-OH Listening Session (Phoebe Howe). 

Another listening session was held in November, at Fallfest, the OH fall reunion.  Hosted by Phoebe Howe, the meeting was well attended by Y-OH and mostly-Y-OH, and yielded many useful ideas for how to make the OH more inclusive, welcoming, user-friendly, and fun.  The OH Ambassador program, where OH visit huts to connect with current croo, remains undersubscribed.  Carter Bascom and Stephanie Maraldo agreed to serve as Y-OH recruiters, given the enthusiasm and knowledge that many Y-OH can bring to this program. 

AMC volunteer coordinator Kyra Salancy reviewed the many volunteer opportunities in the huts for Y-OH.  Carter and Steph agreed to help publicize these programs and recruit Y-OH participants.

Communications was also a hot topic, with Y-OH universally declaring their preference for direct email as opposed to other forms of electronic notifications for events, etc.             Mackenzie Little and Carter Bascom agreed to monitor and host the OH Instagram site.

Promoting Y-OH regional chapters was a popular suggestion, as many areas already have active enclaves of Y-OH (looking at you VT). Phoebe Howe agreed to provide advice and support to others looking to set up these groups, with the expectation that they’d host 2 or so gatherings/activities per year, open to all Y-OH in the area.   The following Y-OH volunteered to chair these efforts in their area: Maine-Eliza Hazen and Hannah Underwood; NH-Carter Bascom; Boston-Steph Maraldo; American South-Ryan KV.  Other possible chapters: Bozeman, Missoula, Seattle, Denver/Front Range, NY, Providence, and San Francisco.

Professional networking opportunities continue to be a popular ask among Y-OH.  The OHA currently offers a link to our own LinkedIn group, and some vocational info is available through the membership database, but more would be helpful.  Phoebe Howe will follow up with webmaster Taylor Burt and others to determine if professional info could be made more readily available internally, through the OHA website.

4)           Fallfest Report (Doug Shaffer).

“The Huts Down Through the Decades” presentation was well received, thanks to the creative and riveting accounts of all speakers who represented decades from the 40’s down through today.  The program went a bit longer than planned, but nobody seemed to mind.  Doug Teschner and Ken Olson presented Mary Sloat with an Honorary OH Award for herself and recently deceased husband, Bruce, with some heartfelt comments added by Geoff Burke.  Doug Shaffer videotaped the proceedings, with help from Miles Howard, and is now editing a version of the whole show.  Cost continues to be a concern—if not a barrier—for some OH, so the suggestion was made to explore ways to reduce the price of dinner or eliminate hors d’ourvres.

After many years of dutifully handling Fallfest arrangements, Sheldon Perry has given his notice that he’s stepping down as head planner. 

5)           Joe Dodge Award (Bill Barrett & Stroker)

Benny Taylor is vacating her seat on the Joe Dodge Award Committee, and will be replaced by John Thompson.  The OH has three representatives on the committee, the other two being Dominique Dodge and Bill Barrett.   The Steering Committee voted to nominate for consideration for this year’s annual award Bill Barrett (AMC and OH volunteer) and Mitra Karimian (AMC staff).

6)           Trail Crew 100th, August , 2019 (Stroker)

OHA members are invited to join this historic anniversary at Camp Dodge, August 25th.  Details to follow on the OHA website and FB page.

7)           Photo Project (Stroker)

Sally Dinsmore has completed work on the updated Flea croo photos.  The collection will be airlifted for installation next spring.

8)           Website (Moose & Stroker)

Merch has been added to the online store, including hats, shirts, etc.

Updating our membership data continues to be a major concern, and Moose Meserve has stepped up to spearhead the effort, focusing on updating email and postal addresses in particular.

The privacy status of our Facebook page continues to be the subject of much discussion.  We are currently accessible to the public (although only members can join and post).  If we switch from Public to Closed, only members will be able to see content, and there’s no going back to “Public” status if we regret the change.  The case for remaining Public:

1) none of the 15 or so admins has ever had to censor or delete “compromising” content (i.e., there’s minimal “risk” to our current status);

2) converting our status to Closed would eliminate access for multiple constituencies who currently benefit from knowing about OH news and events, including (a) OH who are not yet signed on as members; (b) friends, spouses, and family of OH; (c) AMC hut volunteers; (d) members of affiliated organizations (Mt. Washington Obs., RMC, AMC Trail Crew, AMC staff, etc.); (e) authors and journalists looking to connect with OH for their work; and (f) no doubt many others. 

3) Over 700 OH now actively use the FB page (plus untold numbers of non-members); it’s our primary tool for real-time notices and advertising events, many of which are of interest to non-OH. 

Bottom line: Do we want to sacrifice this PR and communications asset for largely non-existent “potential” risks?

Given the stakes at hand, the Steering Committee voted to table the matter until the next meeting, with Phoebe Howe, Steph Maraldo, and Dave Kruger to offer a joint recommendation at that time.

11)         Trails Report (Bill Barrett)

During the OH Oktoberfest weekend at the Cabin, Bill Barrett patrolled the The Halls Ledge Trail and Hutmen’s Trail, with help from his son and grandson.  Many blowdowns were cleared and the trails are in “good shape.”  The OH should do what it can to support the trails race The Hutcroo Hustle, held the morning of Fallfest (weather permitting), as the event promotes awareness of these trails, both maintained for the USFS by the OHA.

12)         New & Other Bidness

Shane Lessard & Jen Granducci (both 90s OH) continue to explore the possibility of sponsoring family-friendly OHA events.

The 100th anniversary of Pinkham Notch Camp is coming up in 2020, and AMC staff are already helping to shape the celebration(s).  OH are welcome to contribute ideas

13)         Next Steering Committee Meeting: Jan. 22, 6:30 PM, the Rusty Hammer, Portsmouth, NH.

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