Trails Volunteer of the Month - June 2008

George Brown

I began my volunteer work with AMC as an Information Volunteer back in 2000, mostly doing winter stints at Pinkham. I view that role primarily as educational, trying to ensure that hikers are adequately prepared and informed about the variable winter conditions they might encounter on a trip in the White Mountains. Since then, other volunteer hats I wear are as Trip Leader for the Maine Chapter and Volunteer Naturalist, although the latter I haven’t had the opportunity to work much with.

I am a four season hiker myself, out every weekend, and soon began to notice the extensive and complicated trail work I was walking on . I learned about the Adopt- A- Trail Program in 2001 and it seemed a perfect fit-a section of Basin Rim in Evans Notch was open and after my first inspection, it was love at first sight. My trade is carpentry and I very much enjoy creating things with my hands and this same principle applies to trail work although in a much different manner. After a long day of cleaning drainage or brushing it’s very rewarding to walk back to the trailhead and see the improvements you have made. After putting so much care into the section, it seems like a special, almost personal, connection has developed-every Spring I anxiously wait to see how it faired over the long winter, like visiting an old friend you haven’t seen for a while.

Two years ago I took on the job of Region Leader for the Baldface/Royce area in Evans Notch , one of those undiscovered sections of the White Mountains with lovely remote open summits.This new position not only lets me hike the trails more often but also allows me to work with a great team Adopters. I’m finding the most difficult part of this position is coordinating schedules with the Adopters so we can go over their particular section.

Two years ago the Trails Department offered their Volunteer Leadership Training Program which allows us to co-lead work trips with Trails staff. It also allows me to do the refresher training for Basic Skills which is very helpful for the Adopters in our Region.Part of what makes my volunteer work with AMC so rewarding is the support the AMC staff. Whether Trails, Volunteer Services, Naturalist or Pinkham Front Desk, their energy, knowledge, professionalism and genuine support of volunteers helps me realize that my small contribution is important.