OH STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING,
MARCH 19, 2019
Present: Carter Bascom, Dave Kruger, Stephanie Maraldo, Moose Meserve, Florence Peterson, Jerod Richards-Walsh, Stroker Rogovin, Liz Seabury, John Thompson, James Wrigley
1) Treasurer’s Report (Moose)
Alex Ziko has agreed to serve as our next treasurer. Moose has been in touch with preliminary details and will follow up with more mentoring to get Alex up to speed by the official transition in November at Fallfest.
Dues and cabin receipts are slow. It’s been difficult to assess whether these dips are seasonal or annual aberrations, or indicate larger trends. Alex has a background in business analytics and hopes to apply some of that expertise to helping us try to tease out patterns that may be eluding us at present so we can respond. (I.e., which eras are most active attending events, paying dues, using the cabin, etc.). Lots we’re just guessing at right now.
Overall, our balance sheet looks good, and thanks to Moose’s wise management of the books, he’ll be handing Alex a very strong balance sheet. That said, cabin repairs and other major expenses are never more than a year or two away (e.g., paying a crew to shovel five feet of snow off the cabin roof this winter).
Taylor Burt and Moose continue to make progress setting up an OHA Venmo account to make it as easy as possible for OH to pay cabin fees, dues, buy merch, make donations, etc.
2) Cabin (Stroker)
Last winter was a heavy snow year, but to make parking space even more limited at the cabin, the service we share with the Harvard Cabin, out of North Conway, was less than diligent about plowing. Looking ahead, Harvard Cabin management will probably hire someone closer to the Cabin, with equipment better suited to moving snow in our location.
3) Spring Reunion, May 18 (Moose)
Richard Stetson and Bridget Qualey are on track to lead the push to ready the cabin for summer and treat all to another tasty barbeque. They should be posting a FB event notice soon, so don’t be shy about telling others you’re “going.”
Last year attendance was sluggish, so ideas were floated to help increase turnout, including live music/jam, and ramping up the local trail work. Bill Barrett and John Thompson usually head a croo or two, Friday afternoon and/ or Saturday AM. Contact Bill for more info via the website Volunteer Opportunities button if your interested in dong some trail clearing.
4) Fallfest Reunion, Nov. 2 (Stroker)
The OHA is never at a loss when it comes to finding intriguing speakers for Fallfest. After sifting through an embarrassingly rich list of candidates, the Steering Committee settled on asking Hilary Gerardi, Doug Mayer, Jeff Colt, and Katy Shide to put together a presentation on Trail Running. Most if not all the prospective presenters lives thousands of miles away, so if travel is an impediment, second choice for a presenter was Rebecca Oreskes, speaking on the AMC-Forest Service relationship.
Ken Olsen has been nominated to receive an Honorary OH award. AMC’s longtime helicopter pilot of choice, Joe Brigham, will be recognized as a Special Member (posthumously).
5) Gala (Carter Bascom)
Carter Bascom and Phoebe Howe have stepped forward to reprise their performance of last year presenting the OHA and cabin protocol to this summer’s crop of croo.
6) OHA Ambassador Program (Stroker for Josh Alper)
Amanda Henck Schmidt is the sole participant signed up to date. Carter Bascom and Stephanie Maraldo agreed to contact former hut naturalists and information volunteers to see if they’d like to volunteer for a Hut Ambassador visit, or as an AMC hut volunteer.
7) Trail Crew 100th, August 23, 2019 (Stroker)
This event is by invitation only. John Thompson and Florence person asked to be added to the guest list. The OHA will be sending a total of 6 reps to this affair, presumably unarmed.
8) Photo Project (Stroker for Doug Hotchkiss)
Flea croo photos slated for re-installation this spring. Stroker to speak with Sally Dinsmore to arrange transportation to Pinkham in time for airlifts.
Improvements to croo photos at the OH Cabin is winding down, with much space created for new photos of recent croo. Doug Hotchkiss, who’s been spearheading this work, is still searching for photos of older OH women. Unframed photos have been added to album left on site.
All OH are invited to add names, dates, and other info to the backs of any photos lacking this info.
9) Website (Steph Maraldo, Dave Kruger, & Stroker)
Improvements continue to be made to how membership data is stored and retrieved. Thanks to Moose’s indefatigable efforts, all membership data (for 1200 living OH!!) has been updated and condensed into a single master list. The guy deserves a medal. Or at least a bottle of 18-year-old scotch. Emails are available to other OH through the website, provided they’re registered to use the site. Emails and postal addresses are used by OHA officers for Resucitator and dues mailings, and the occasional event notice.
Moose to post a FB notice asking for additional MIA emails and postal addresses.
The evening’s main topic of discussion was whether to change the current OHA Faceboook Group setting from Public to Closed. Stroker spoke in favor of remaining Public, noting that going Closed is forever (no reversing the decision) and would eliminate access to content for the 500 OH not signed on to use the site (as well as any non-OH affiliates like Trail Crew, AMC staff, friends and relatives, etc.). Closed would also mean forfeiting a demonstrably popular medium (700 registered users and who knows how may passive observers), as well as our only means of real-time communication. The website simply isn’t used in this fashion and to the same extent, despite chat rooms and an event board being built into the design. Further, a dozen or so FB admins provide thorough real-time monitoring of content and have yet to identify any “compromising” content for the OHA, AMC, or individual OH.
Arguing for the Closed position was Stephanie Maraldo and Dave Kruger, with reference to a policy paper they wrote with Phoebe Howe in which they noted that the lack of compromising content to date doesn’t guarantee that none would be posted going forward. Also that cultural attitudes are changing towards what is acceptable behavior and values, and public access to posts could come back to haunt us down the road. They suggested changing the FB Group to Closed (content accessible only to OH who have specifically asked to join), and opening a FB Page, which would be a curated “institutional” presence much like the website.
After much informed discussion, a compromise solution was reached: the FB Group would remain Public, Cater Bascom would establish a FB Page, and we’ll craft language to be posted on all our social media sites reminding members that postings are seen by the world and should reflect well on them, fellow OH, the OHA and the AMC. We’ll also continue to monitor posts in real time for any questionable content, and revisit our social media posture every 6 or 12 months to gauge how people are using the various platforms and how well they’re serving the needs of individual members and the OHA. Kudos to all for a difficult discussion well done, particularly the Y-OH mentioned above who put a lot of time and thought into researching this subject.
10) Resuscitator (Stroker for Beth Weick)
Spring issue in the works. Copy deadline is April 15.
11) Hut System Report (James Wrigley)
After three and a half years as Huts Field Assistant, Eric Gotthold will soon be moving on to his next challenge. Applications are now being accepted for his replacement.
Caretaker training will begin late March.
13) New & Other Bidness
Peter Benson has stepped up to replace John Thompson as our third OH on the Joe Dodge Committee, along with Bill Barrett and Dominique Dodge.
PNC 100th anniversary coming up in 2020
We continue to sponsor local NH and VT social events as a way to engage OH who may not want to travel or participate in larger reunions. Phoebe Howe recently hosted an Ethiopian cooking event in the Burlington/Richmond. VT area. Over Presidents’ Day Weekend, Carter Bascom sponsored a ski day at Castle-in-the-Clouds, in the NH Lakes Region, but attendance was sparse, probably due to the holiday weekend. To be continued…
Young OH Jerod Richards-Walsh awarded his first two grants to help support other OH who wish to continue careers in outdoor recreation, research, etc. but feel their options are limited because of school debt. Jerod to write an article about his program for the Spring Resuscitator.
14) Next Steering Committee Meeting: April 16, 6:30 PM, Ri Ra, Portland, ME.