OH Steering Committee Meeting,
Dec. 13, 2016
Present: Nat Balch, Bill Barrett, Nathaniel Blauss, Tom Kelleher, Jenna Whitson Koloski, Moose Meserve, John Thompson, Stroker Rogovin, Beth Weick.
Treasurer’s Report (Moose). Financials looking good overall. Dues are slow, now at 95 (typically 400 annually), but are expected to pick up. Expenses way below income to date. Larger expenses to come in the year ahead include road work, Lonesome and Greenleaf Hut Croo photo projects, and production costs of video related to the recent Lakes and Mizpah hut anniversaries.
Cabin (Stroker). Photos of Y-OH photos are finally finding their way onto the walls of the cabin with the help of Huts Field Supervisor Eric Gotthold and John Thompson. A recent Resuscitator article invited younger members to contribute more photos.
Cabin signage needs improvement. Info needs updating, simplifying, consistency, more visible posting, etc. John Thompson to review, possibly with help from Ari Ofsevit.
Fallfest (Beth Weick and Nathaniel Blauss, Bill Barrett, Stroker). Bill Barrett reported on the Greenleaf Croo Photo auction he managed, which sold 6 of the 8 decade photos, netting the OHA $170.
Lincoln Benedict produced a short video of the Lakes 100th Anniversary which he also helped shoot. He has access to additional raw footage and will be approached about producing additional videos. David Huntley donated his time and talents to the original push of shooting and cataloguing material, so after the cost of equipment rental, our original budget of $5K for video of the Lakes and Mizpah events still has funds remaining that can be put towards additional work. Both David and Lincoln are expected to contribute videos as their schedules allow.
A trail race held earlier in the day, was promoted and produced by Ari Ofsevit, who also conveniently won the event. Bill Barrett cooked chili for the surviving contestants.
Grace Pezella gave the featured presentation based on her graduate thesis: the history of women in the huts. The talk was well received, and Nathaniel Blauss will ask her for copies of her slides and text for archiving on the OH Website.
Beth Weick facilitated another fruitful Y-OH listening session before Happy Hour, with help from Nathaniel Blauss. It yielded additional helpful suggestions from Y-OH regarding the website, events, communications, the Cabin, and things we can do to improve our “brand.” Many of these suggestions have been mentioned before, and some have already been acted upon by the Steering Committee in the past few years. Some of these past accomplishments were reviewed, including:
Ideas we’ve implemented:
– affirming zero-tolerance for sexual harassment
– pack multiple events together during Fallfest (e.g., interesting speaker, music jam, trail race, after-party at the Cabin)
– non-PayPal options for paying dues and cabin fees (including credit and debit cards)
– delegate regional “fun coordinators” and encouraging them to plan social events
– reminders for ‘Tator submission before deadline (email and FB)
– use ‘Tator to solicit member info
– post Y-OH photos at Cabin (in progress)
– Y-OH representing the OHA at Gala
– OH opportunities in the huts, including fill-in croo and OH Ambassador Program
– OHA reps at End-of-Fall party (as well as Vinnie Night)
– keep events affordable and, where possible, accessible by public transportation
– encourage Y-OH to enjoy OH Ambassador hut visits
– link OH croo database to online member map
– sponsor events specifically geared toward Y-OH (pub crawls, trail race)
Ideas we’ve tried or are actively discussing:
– merging Gala and Spring Reunion (not viable in the short-term)
– upgrading the website
– more succinct and visible signage at Cabin
– family events targeting OH in their 30s and 40s
Ideas others have run with:
– online easy-to-use directory (via FB, courtesy of Caty Enders)
Ideas promoting Y-OH already undertaken by the Steering Committee:
– leadership sharing (7 of the 11 nominees for the 2017 Steering Committee are Y-OH, including both ‘Tator editors)
– direct outreach to Y-OH to help with events and planning
– “road show” Steering Committee meetings to towns with concentrations of members
Additional ideas proposed at this year’s Y-OH listening session:
– encourage people to refer to us as the OH, or OHA, not the Old Hutman’s Association. We have been officially incorporated as The OHA for over a decade, but confusion persists. Time to drop the old name. Women have been working in the huts for 40 years. We don’t need a name that makes us sound like a men’s club. This can be confusing and off-putting to younger women in particular.
– OH should hold each other to high standards of conduct and practice inclusivity, especially toward women and younger members
– distribute free OHA tees to incoming croo (Moose to get sizes from James Wrigley)
– make website compatible with mobile devices
– improve website functionality (particularly croo data base); simpler and more attractive design
– multiple ideas for leveraging online presence for job networking, help wanted, etc.
– improve communications with Fall croos, including welcome letters, OH membership cards,
OHA reps at Fall Gala and End-of-Fall party, invitation to join upcoming events, etc.
– stay on message that sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated
– keep expanding Cabin photo collection to include photos of more recent croos
– sponsor work projects, such as trail work, or volunteering in local communities (possibly
partnering with AMC and/or current croo), or a cabin work day
– actively promote opportunities for Y-OH to return to the huts as info vols, fill in, OH Hut Ambassadors, etc.
Membership Development (Elizabeth Seabury). Elizabeth organized a family day at a waterfront park in NH last August, targeted at OH with young families, but the event was poorly attended. She’ll continue to explore whether there’s a demand for family-oriented OH events, and what they might look like.
Lonesome Croo Photo Project (Stroker for Beth Eisenhower). Bushes have been beaten, funds raised, and missing photos found, all thanks to the persistence of Beth Eisenhower. James Wrigley and his crew have also done some searching for missing material. Plan is to move forward with what we have in hand to date, for delivery to the hut next spring. Stroker to follow up with Beth as well as Sally Dinsmore, who coordinates production for our Hut Croo Photo Project.
Greenleaf Croo Photos. No report.
Website (Nathaniel Blauss, Tom Kelleher, Stroker). Nathaniel reviewed recent Y-OH suggestions for improving the website, including more attractive design; easier navigation; mobile device compatibility; easier interface with croo database; ability to easily post events, photos, etc. John Thompson to provide Stroker with name of website designer who may be able to assist webmaster Tom Kelleher. A budget of $5K was approved to facilitate upgrades.
Resuscitator (Beth Weick). Fall publication date has been moved from 10/1 to 10/15, pending approval by Richard Stetson and Bridget Qualey, who organize Oktoberfest. Oktoberfest typically relies on word-of-moth and website listings on the website and Facebook, but Beth to check with the principals to ensure the new publication date doesn’t compromise promotional efforts.
Trails Report (Bill Barrett, John Thompson, Elizabeth Seabury). No new trail report. Future events should solicit help from Y-OH and current croo as a way to introduce generations to each other and encourage more active stewardship of the Hutman’s Trail and Hall’s Ledge.
New & Other Bidness. Various Trail Crew alum have suggested that the next Fallfest be a joint OH/TFC reunion, featuring Bob Proudman, who joined the AMC TFC in 1965, authored the AMC’s first guide to trail building and maintenance, and served the Appalachian Trail Conservancy as a department head for many years. The Committee approved Bob as speaker; Stroker to make arrangements.
OHA Scholarship Fund for current hut croo? Nathaniel to explore the idea further with James Wrigley. What would such a program seek to accomplish? How would it be administered? How would the program be funded?
Date for Next Steering Committee Meeting: TBD. Stroker to select an accessible venue in Boston for next meeting, with help from Nat Balch, Nathaniel Blauss, and others.