Outgoing Chair Tom Ortmeyer
I approach writing this (my last) chair’s report with mixed feelings. I have greatly enjoyed my time as chapter chair. In particular, working with dedicated chapter members to make the Laurentian Chapter what it is has been the highlight of my term. I would like to thank all of the elected and appointed officers and trip leaders from the last 4 years for their contributions to the chapter. We have a great tradition in this chapter of members stepping forward when the need arises and contributing to keeping the chapter strong.
Clearly, one of the key changes recently has been to make our membership officer an Executive Committee level position. This was recommended by the By-Laws Committee which was created before I became chair. The recommended changes to the by-laws were approved by the chapter at an annual meeting, when the nominations committee tapped Geri Ames to be the first person to hold the position, and she still serves in it. Membership has been steadily increasing as a result.
Another highlight was the chapter’s hosting of the club’s 2006 Fall Outing. Eileen Wheeler and I co-chaired this event, with strong support from Betsy Tisdale, chapter affiliates Sandy Hildreth and Peter and Marilyn Gillespie, all of the chapter members who led trips that weekend, and the Clifton-Fine group that encouraged us to host the event and organized the housing for the participants.
Of course, there are many memorable outings during this time as well—both ones I joined and ones I wish I had joined after hearing about them through the press releases, photos and newsletters.
We have had an excellent team of officers throughout my time as chair. Next year’s offi cers are equally strong. I’m pleased to see John Barron as incoming chair, and look forward to participating in the chapter under his leadership.
Incoming Chair John Barron
Never would I have expected to find myself chair. It is a great honor and humbling to think of the accomplishments of those who’ve gone before. I’ll do the best I can. I admire the inclusiveness of the Laurentian Chapter. Everyone is welcome – new or experienced, very young or not-so-young, local or from a distance. The children’s program is a special strength of the chapter.
I’m hoping we’ll expand the already excellent outings program, offering highly varied trips for all interests and all levels of ability and fitness. We also will take some steps to encourage enjoyment of the conservation easements that have been achieved recently. This may involve placing signs to advise people of the availability of a particular trail or access point; producing and distributing maps, information handouts, or guidebooks; or organizing outings in selected areas both to celebrate access and as a form of education.
Such a project could be viewed as a lot of work, but I anticipate it being a lot of fun. Outings are one of our primary activities, and I can’t think of a chapter outing I’ve participated in that I haven’t enjoyed.