Maine Appalachian Trail Club's 2015 Spring Meeting Pictures

Susan Tompkins, in the middle of the action at the Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The 2015 Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) met for their 2015 Spring Meeting at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine on Saturday, April 11th.

About 90 members came for a day of camaraderie, workshops, recognition and to taste delicious gorp. They allow anyone to come to the annual conclave, so I stopped by myself.

Willing volunteers at the Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Willing volunteers at the Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Awards were given to recognize and honor the work and commitment of dedicated MATC volunteers.

The MATC and the Appalachian Trail depend on the stellar efforts of dependable partners, such as:

  • Don Millett: White Cap District for 1,800 hours of service
  • Mary Jane Millett: White Cap District 1,200 hours of service
  • Elizabeth Reinsborough: White Cap District 1,050 hours of service
  • John Reinsborough: White Cap District 1,200 hours of service
  • Dana Thurston: Kennebec District for 680 hours of service
Hostel owners from Millinocket & Monson at the Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Hostel owners at the Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting. L-R: Paul & Jamie Renaud with Appalachian Trail Lodge in Millinocket and Rebekah Anderson of the Lakeshore House in Monson, ME. ~~ Photograph courtesy of MATC

We especially enjoyed hearing from friends who operate great hostels in Maine: Paul and Jamie Renaud with Appalachian Trail Lodge in Millinocket and our pal, Rebekah Anderson, of The Lakeshore House in Monson.

They all spoke graciously about how recent flocks of thru-hikers appear to believe they're "entitled" to special treatment.

Rebekah, a trained counselor, uses those skills abundantly to help hikers heal emotionally before they head northward into the 100-Mile Wilderness.

Click Here for The Lakeshore House in Monson

I missed the workshop by David Field on "Corridor Monitoring" but I was fortunate to hear MATC President Lester Kenway's presentation about "Maintaining the Trail."

Lester Kenway -- the man, the Trail Maintainer, the Artist -- at Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Lester Kenway -- the Man, the Trail Maintainer, the Artist -- at the 2015 Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

David Field at the Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

David Field at the Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Lester's message on maintaining trails took the better part of an hour to deliver, but the Big Idea he wanted us to remember came down to three words: "Drainage, drainage, drainage."

Other speakers included David Field, a renowned, beloved and indispensable leader with MATC, along with Dave Dobra, Bruce Grant and Laura Flight.

The Maine Appalachian Trail Club, formed 80-years ago, maintains MATC maintains the AT from Katahdin to Maine Highway 26 in Grafton Notch, roughly 267 miles. They also tend to more than 60-miles of related side trails and 40+ campsites.

The leadership of MATC is busy planning events for the future and preparing for meetings that are already on their calendar.

MATC, for example, will host the ATC Biennial in 2017.

Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

They'll do a fine job showcasing the work of MATC and how many more hands are needed to maintain the Trail in the beautiful State of Maine. Interested in pitching in? Email biennial2017@frontier.com to learn more.

Claire Polfus of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy said a grant from the Quimby Foundation helped ATC host the Maine Youth Summit in March. That endeavor was met by an overwhelming response.

The Maine Youth Trails Stewardship Coalition looks forward to hosting another event this May.

Claire Polfus encouraged us to read the ATC's Strategic Plan.

Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Maine Appalachian Trail Club Spring Meeting ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Highlights of the 2015 MATC Spring Meeting

  • New brochure: The MATC Brochure Committee unveiled the new MATC brochure, featuring club activity and colorful photographs of volunteers on the A.T. Thanks to Committee Chair Doug Dolan and the committee volunteers who helped shape its development.
  • Rangeley Vista Coordinator: Welcome Amanda Gardner who will serve as ATC's Vista Coordinator based out of the Rangeley office. Amanda is just getting settled and we'll share more about her activity during the season.
  • GORP Champ: The competition was fierce! Sweet victory goes to newly crowned GORP Champ Tony Barrett.

Thanks to Susan Tompkins for her kindness to me at the 2015 MATC Spring Meeting.

Click Here for the 2015 MATC Spring Meeting Newsletter

Click Here for the Maine Appalachian Trail Club Website


Tags: Events, Appalachian Trail, News, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Appalachian Trail Conference, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Conservation, and Hiker Hostels

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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