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What's New: Committee Reports (4/06)

Every spring, section members who volunteer on committees keep us up-to-date about all the important work that’s being done, from trails and shelters to educational and outreach activities, wilderness ethics, and how to have fun outdoors.

Education Committee

In addition to “regular” hikes, we hosted educational outings including a wildflower identification walk, a trip for beginning birders, a yoga outing, and workshops on map and compass skills and orienteering. We want to thank outgoing Education Committee Co-Chair Brynne Lazarus. Walter Lepuschenko is continuing as co-chair. We’re looking for someone to share leadership of this committee.

Outings Committee

In 2005, the Burlington Section sponsored ninety-eight outings. There were hikes in Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, Maine and even the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee. There were ski trips in the backcountry and at ski touring sites. There were backpacking events as well as overnights in heated cabins. There were Mud Season road walks, paddling adventures, and nature walks. At the Annual Meeting, nine members were honored for leading at least four outings each during 2005. They are: Dot Myer, Pat Collier, Larry Levine, Pam Gillis, Pete Saile, Herm Hoffman, Phil Schlosser, Rich Larsen, and Bob Chaperon. Their contributions have been vital in providing outdoor experiences and fun for a large number of hikers!

Shelters Committee

The Shelters Committee chair receives reports from shelter adopters and hikers about the condition of lodges, tent sites and lean-tos. A few minor repairs were needed on shelters in 2005.

Duck Brook Shelter had some tree damage early in the year, which Chris Hanna and adopter Kerstin Lange repaired. Incoming shelter coordinators John Connell and Linda Evans also organized a tree-cutting trip to the Shelter in November.

The winter wind ripped off the privy door at Twin Brooks. This was repaired before the start of the hiking season.

Present and future Shelters Committee members owe a big debt to Chris Hanna, who recently left this committee after years as coordinator. Chris’s guidance and expertise served us well! We also thank our shelter adopters: Kerstin Lange, Clem Holden, Herm Hoffman, Jeff Bostwick, Leo Leach, Todd Mallory, Scott Buckingham and John Bennett. (See an exciting opportunity to join the ranks of shelter adopters.)

Special Events Committee

The Special Events Committee organizes the Section’s Annual Meeting and the yearly Taylor Series Event. The 2005 Taylor Series presentation was Vietnam Vets in Uzbekistan by columnist and trail designer John Morton. This year’s Annual Meeting was a big success. Ninety members showed up to enjoy lasagna, garlic bread, salads, and homemade desserts. Reports from committees helped keep everybody up-to-date about all the work needed to keep the Section going and maintain our trails and shelters in good condition. After supper and the meeting, there was a high-tech presentation about a trip to the Yukon by five Section members.

Brenda Wright is retiring as Special Events Coordinator, to be replaced by Anneliese Koenig and Wendy Savoie as co-chairs.

Heard At the Summit

Two hikers were making their way along the ridgeline near the top of the Cliff Trail. The dad was carefully reminding his son that there were things up there that needed careful protection. “See, son?” he said, pointing at the lichen-covered rock face, “that green stuff’s very delicate. Very. You don’t walk on it.” Then he pointed to the fragile low-growing sedges. “We’re supposed to walk on this grass. Remember. Don’t walk on the rocks. Always walk on the grass.”

(Editors’ Note: We strongly support parents hiking with children and we loudly applaud parents sharing their knowledge with their kids. This well-meaning dad’s confusion underscores how important it is for us all to educate fellow hikers about fragile plants on Vermont’s alpine summits!)