Chair John Barron
We probably don’t think often enough about the level of volunteer effort that goes into operating the Laurentian Chapter. The sidebars in each issue of the North Wind indicate the offices we have and the people occupying them. The different roles all have different rhythms: some of them bubble along at a constant level of activity all the time; some give the appearance of going quiet for a time, then generating bursts of intense activity to attain a fixed deadline; some involve great amounts of effort interacting with other organizations, so that the visible effort inside the chapter may not appear great but in fact there’s much more beneath the surface. I suspect that all of the people listed are spending time, thought, and effort far beyond what any of us would imagine; they all deserve a great deal of credit. There are many others who do not even appear on the officers list who are extremely important to the chapter: trip leaders come to mind. We can never have too many of them, nor too many types of trips. Also there is the nominating committee, which normally accomplishes its tasks for the year in the space of a few weeks, but has a large impact on how the chapter functions for years to come. We should all be grateful to the many who work hard to make the chapter and the club function, and one of the best ways we can say thanks is to take on a role ourselves.
We’ve had a very successful summer outing season. Of particular note have been the high turnouts on the New Hikers Series events. Some outings have been in conjunction with broader events including Raquette River Awareness Week and Colton Country Day, and have raised the profile of the chapter in the wider community. Even in high summer, Adirondack weather seems to have a way of forcing changes in plans. Disappointingly, a few events had to be cancelled outright, but others went ahead either as officially rescheduled chapter outings or as independent trips involving the same participants who had hoped to go on the originally listed chapter outing.
We’re continuing our efforts to take advantage of conservation easements that the DEC has established for recreational purposes. We’ve made a couple of exploratory bicycle trips into the Grasse River Easement and have developed what we think is a first class outing opportunity; we hope to list it on the calendar next summer. We continue our special relationship with the Raquette River Blueway Corridor, which opened an information center in South Colton in July and is planning to develop regional information kiosks highlighting recreational opportunities.