ADK 46er Recognition Committee and Service Awards Update

At the Fall 2019 executive meeting, Adirondack 46er President Siobhan Carney-Nesbitt appointed a committee to investigate ways to increase volunteerism and recognize the contributions of those that did volunteer.

Historically, the 46ers had gathered information and recognized the contributions of the Trail Crew in terms of hours (at a rate of 8hrs per day worked on trail crew). Those hours were recorded by Trail Masters, collated, and many trail crew members recognized with patches (and t-shirts at one level) according to how many hours they had accumulated; 46, 146, 346, 546, 746, 1046. In subsequent years, those who were on staff at the Outdoor Leadership (now Skills) Workshop, Trailhead Stewards, Herd Path Adopters, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers, and the current Correspondents were added, with set hours assigned for participation in those projects.

The Founders Award was established prior to 2006 as another way in which, historically, other volunteers had been acknowledged. These other volunteer contributions included those serving as Directors, Committee Chairs, Correspondents (particularly in the transition from Grace herself) and other elected and appointed positions. 94 individuals were recognized with this award from 2006 to 2018 inclusive. These volunteers had never been asked to track the hours they spent/accumulated in conducting that work. They readily agreed to assist the organization with no expectation of earning any hours.

In 2021 the Recognition Committee asked the Board of Directors (BOD) to approve a new procedure that would recognize volunteer hours from that date forward (It was carried, as per the Sept 26 minutes). While contributions of elected and appointed volunteers were greatly appreciated, the hours spent in those voluntary elected and appointed positions were not “grandfathered in” as they had never been asked to track hours and they were recognized in other ways; that is, the Founders Award.

It would be a Herculean task to go back to the beginning of the organization and try to reconstruct the significant contributions of those individuals, but every effort will be made going forward to utilize the approved policy should individuals volunteer for one of our existing programs.

The new policy, adopted by the board in 2021, continues the historical one, in that elected and appointed individuals serve with no expectation of receiving hours for their time. Their time is greatly appreciated but voluntarily given to the organization. Other participants in the approved 46er volunteer programs of OSW, AAH, TSP, Trail Crew, and Correspondents are awarded volunteer time according to the newly adopted policy.

The same committee, amalgamated with members of the Founder’s Award committee, has recommended that the Founder’s Award be replaced with a more comprehensive award, namely, The President’s Award. This award would continue the spirit of the Founder’s Award in that it would be a way to acknowledge and thank those who have served in a variety of capacities, such as elected or appointed positions. It would have an updated approach that allows for nominations of people in all volunteer roles, from members, followed by a committee-based selection process.

This award has received approval from the BOD. The process of nomination/deliberation/announcement of recipients will begin in the fall of 2023, with the first recipients at the spring meeting 2024.

If you wish to nominate someone, please contact 46erpresaward@gmail.com, and you will be sent the necessary details. Remember the deadline this time only is 31 January 2024.

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