OH Steering Committee Meeting,
June 20, 2017
Present: Josh Alper, Bill Barrett, Tom Kelleher, Moose Meserve, Stroker Rogovin, Elizabeth Seabury, John Thompson.
1) Treasurer’s Report
Dues are slow for this time of year, with only 339 paid out of 400 expected. Spring reunion income slightly surpassed expenses. A generous gift of $3K was received from the family of Bob Prescott, in his honor. In the expense column, we racked up over $800 for OHA tee shirts for current croo, which were well received, and for a modest grant to Jeff Colt and Phoebe Howe, for “Hutwoman (M)” hats they designed and distributed at Gala to current crew, to much acclaim. Most of their hat project was financed by themselves.
Y-OH photos are still trickling in and onto the walls of the Cabin at the invitation of the Steering Committee, with guidance from John Thompson and Eric Gottlieb, AMC Field Supervisor. John Thompson has also agreed to review existing cabin signage to help make it clearer, simpler to understand, and easier to find and read. After consulting with the Steering Committee and Cabin caretaker Mike Waddell, current croo member Jesse (last name?) has volunteered to plant and maintain a flower garden at the Cabin this summer. Thanks to a $3K gift from “Pemi” Bob Prescott’s family, the upper path from the access road to the cabin will get some much needed love in the months ahead, as will the bridge spanning the culvert by the road.
3) Spring Reunion Report
Spring Reunion had become difficult to manage, but at Bridget Qualey’s suggestion we moved to
a pot-luck format this year, with organizers Bridget Qualey and Richard Stetson providing guidance and basics in the kitchen. The event was well attended by 35 people, mostly older OH. Willy Ashbrook made a guest appearance all the way from Texas, which no doubt helped attendance. The pot-luck model proved itself an unqualified success and will be repeated next spring.
4) Gala Report
Phoebe Howe and Jeff Colt served as OHA representatives to this year’s incoming croos at Gala, and distributed OHA tees, decals, and welcome letters as well as hats they produced themselves, which were a huge hit (see more info above in the Treasurer’s Report).
5) Fallfest, 11/4
Speaker will be Bob Proudman & other AMC Trail Crew alum, giving a presentation on the history of TC. The annual fall meeting will also feature a Y-OH focus group, live acoustic music jam, a report on the summer from recent croo, a brief presentation on volunteer opportunities in the huts by an AMC vol coordinator, and the premier of videos from the Mizpah 50th and Lakes 100th anniversaries.
6) Oktoberfest, 10/7
Weekend of October 7th has been designated for our annual prepping of the Cabin for winter. As usual, Bridget Qualey and Richard Stetson will be organizing the victuals and work party, which is open to all.
7) Membership Development
Young OH and the Steering Committee have been doing a lot of brainstorming over the past few years to come up with fun ways to increase interest and participation by younger OH. Many of these ideas have already been implemented and are bearing fruit. Others are still in development.
While speaking with Huts Manager James Wrigley and Field Supervisor Etic Gotthold, Moose Meserve came up with the idea of hosting a Mountain Selfie Day. OH are invited to climb a mountain on 7/15 and share a photo of the occasion with others on the OHA Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Speaking of Instagram, we now have an official OH account, thanks to our West Coat Resuscitator Editor ,Will Murray: #ohcroo.
Family and individual season passes are now available for cabin use ($100 and $75 respectively), and seem to be catching on.
Putting the OHA brand front and center before current croo is happening in the form of tees distributed at Gala. Incoming croo also receive an OHA decal for the car, and welcome letters informing them of OHA events, cabin rules, membership benefits, etc.
The OHA is now sponsoring multiple ways to reconnect with the huts for free. OH can volunteer to serve as a Hut Ambassador (you and friend visit and help out). Pull a stint as fill-in croo. Or volunteer through the AMC as an info volunteer or naturalist at a hut.
The Steering Committee is still exploring the idea of providing community service opportunities for interested OH, possibly in conjunction with a reunion. Y-OH tell us they’d welcome these opportunities to give back to local communities. Let us know if you have suggestions or would like to help organize such an event yourself.
Our Resuscitator editor Beth Weick has been promoting hut vol opportunities in the newsletter—what good are great programs if people aren’t aware of them? So we’re getting the word out through notices, a regular column in the ‘Tator featuring testimonials, selfies on FB, and peer-to-peer buzz.
Last summer Nat Balch and Elizabeth Seabury sponsored a one-day get-together at a NH state park, geared toward young families, but the event didn’t seem to catch. We’re currently looking for a younger OH with family who might act as sponsor for the next such event, perhaps someone from the 90s? Elizabeth will speak with James Wrigley about likely candidates.
Last but not least, Dave Huntley has handed off the Mizpah and Lake Hut Anniversary video project to Lincoln Benedict. Doug Shaffer has offered to help. The Steering Committee has hired Lincoln to produce a feature film on the anniversaries themselves, and some shorter videos on the current croo experience and other fun topics. Videos will be premiered at Fallfest.
8) Croo Photo Project
Thanks to the indefatigable work of Beth Eisenhower, we managed to locate quite a few missing croo photos for the hut croo photo project at Lonesome, plus some donations to help offset cost. Both Lonesome (new) and Greenleaf (refurbished) croo photo displays will be installed this summer.
Dan Racowsky is currently developing our new website with some help from OH Taylor Burt, Brian Post, and retiring webmaster Tom Kelleher. The new site will offer fresh design and improved functionality, including easier navigation and direct access to croo data. Dan may need help from OH to migrate content, and will be in touch with Taylor, Brian, and possibly others. Target date for unveiling the beta version is sometime in August, with a final version ready by the end of the month. Stroker to solicit photos for the new site from current croo and OH, with help from Huts management.
After some back and forth, it was decided to keep the old website domain name of ohcroo, instead of changing it to hutcroo. This handle is also used for our Twitter and Instagram accounts.
A number of Y-OH suggested developing a news app to allow real-time posting of ‘Tator news updates to the website prior to publishing in scheduled editions of the newsletter. This will be linked to the website. One concern is whether we’ll have enough content to keep things interesting. But for now, the advantages of real-time updates of timely stories and event notifications argues in favor of at least seeing where this goes. Privacy is another concern, but consensus is to make it public. If there’s demand, a private version can always be developed later.
Retiring webmaster Tom Kelleher will remain in change of obituaries and managing the PayPal account, which is an increasingly popular method of dues and cabin fee payments for many OH.
We’re looking for a new webmaster to run the new site. Dan has agreed to pilot the ship short-term until an OH volunteer steps up. This position is critical to our mission and we welcome any and all applicants with the right skills to step forward and join our leadership team.
10) Resuscitator Update
Benny Taylor’s article on “Gender Huts, and Divinity” seems to have stimulated some lively debate, with only one negative review reported by editor Beth Weick. The Resuscitator is attracting an inceasing number of submissions from Y-OH. It’s also an important platform for informing our members about volunteer opportunities in the huts (including testimonials about hut visits) and other events and programs we sponsor.
11) Hut System Report
2017 croo is two-thirds women.
12) Trails Report
Elizabeth Seabury, John Thompson, and Bill Barrett will sponsor a trail work party on 6/29, starting at the cabin at 7:45 AM, to patrol the Hutman’s Trail.
13) New & Other Bidness
For those who missed the previous meeting in Portland, Stroker reminded all that Beth Weick has been unanimously approved to serve as Vice Chair of the Steering Committee. Beth is already serving as Resuscitator Editor, and is one of our more important channels to Y-OH. She’ll be looking for Y-OH to represent the OHA at parties at the end of summer and fall, and fall croo gala.
Given early academic calendars, many summer croo now ship out in August and are replaced by what has effectively become a second wave of croo, fall croo. The Steering Committee has become increasingly aware of the importance of reaching out to fall croo as we do summer croo, and this includes providing representatives at fall events as well as summer with tees and welcome letters, and offering some modest financial support for the fall goodbye party as we do for the end-of-summer event. Moose to speak with Huts Manager James Wrigley about providing this support.
14) Date for Next Steering Committee Meeting: Sept. 19, Boston, MA. Location TBD.