We Love Us

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.

Adirondack 46ers President’s Award


The Adirondack 46ers organization is unique in many aspects. Chief among those ways is that it is, and always has been, run entirely by volunteers. In fact, it could be said that without the commitment and effort by these hundreds, if not thousands, of people over a 75-year history, the organization would not likely exist.

Historically, the 46ers had gathered information and recognized the contributions of the Trail Crew in terms of hours. Those hours were recognized with patches according to how many hours they had accumulated; i.e., 46, 146, 346, 546, 746, and 1046. Other volunteer contributions such as those serving as Directors, Committee Chairs, and other elected and appointed positions had never been asked to track the hours they spent/accumulated in conducting that work. Those elected and appointed volunteers readily agreed to assist the organization with no expectation of earning any hours or other accolades. The Founders Award was established as a way in which historically these persons had been acknowledged.

As volunteer projects expanded, with the addition of the Outdoor Skills Workshop, Trailhead Stewards, Adopt-A-Highway, Herd Path Maintenance, and Correspondents, the eligibility for volunteer service hours (VSH) expanded. However, the Founders’ Award was not given appropriate timely attention and updating.

This need led to the melding of the Recognition Committee (who had developed the current Volunteer Service Hours protocols) with the Founders’ Award Committee. This joint group undertook the task to reform the criteria for the Founders’ Award, or develop something new.

The new committee has developed an entirely new award, The President’s Award, with its own criteria. It will replace the Founders’ Award. The first recipients will be honored at the spring meeting in May 2024.

Criteria for the President’s Award

In brief, recipients of the award will have demonstrated significant, exemplary service to the Adirondack 46ers and its client community for a lengthy time, typically in more than one area of service. The following criteria should be met (and considered a minimum for being nominated):

  • Volunteer service to the 46ers includes service not otherwise recognized, i.e., by Volunteer Service Hours
  • Service has been in support of, and compliant with, the vision and mission of the Adirondack 46ers
  • Service has been for an aggregate of at least five (5) years
  • Service has been rendered in two or more areas essential to the effective, efficient, and lawful operation of the organization, that is, non-tangible work such as elected position(s) and/or committee membership/leadership
  • Tangible contributions, i.e. VSH
  • Must have been an active member for ten (10) years and be an active member of the 46ers at the time of being nominated

Additionally, nominees may also illustrate broader support of their communities in other volunteer roles (e.g., but not limited to, leadership in a local hiking or conservation group: this is illustrative only).

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.

The Physical Award and related Recognition

A physical plaque with the official emblem of the 46ers; affixed below the emblem is a personalized engraving with the recipient’s name, date presented, and a few words about their contributions.

Sample image below: (Wording is illustrative only; subject to change)

The emblem should be cast metal, similar to the ones used on the belt buckles that were sold at one time.

We recommend that the wood used be “local”, with each slab being unique in some way.

Badge of Honor (The Gold Award)

The most visible way in which 46ers (and non-46ers) give back to the mountains we live is through trail work, which is a main focus of the 46ers’ stewardship mission. Perhaps less visible (but just as vital!) is the work put in by volunteers on the education front, by way of the Outdoor Skills Workshop, trailhead stewarding and the correspondent program. The value of these and other efforts was recognized (again) at our recent board meeting, and we laid out an expanded plan to thank and recognize those who give their time in furtherance of the 46ers’ mission.

The current system of recording “hours” will be retained, but will now be called “Volunteer Service Hours.” Milestone hours will continue to be recognized (46, 146, 346, 546, 746, 1046 and – gasp 2046 hours, the equivalent to one year of full-time work) and volunteers who reach these milestones will be recognized and celebrated in Peeks.

When a design gets approved and patches made, those who have recorded more than 146 hours will be eligible to have an enhanced 46er patch. It will be the same one we currently use, but with a prominent gold border. Furthermore, those who have surpassed this same mark will be entitled to use the suffix “V.” Winter 46er who have surpassed the mark can use “WV,” rather than advertise for a car manufacturer.

Volunteer hours can currently be accrued by recorded 46ers for, Adopt-A-Highway work, correspondent work, volunteering at the Outdoor Skills Workshop, being on the trail crew, and being a trailhead steward. Because sexual harassment and other training is required for these, those training hours will also be tallied for inclusion.

A formula will be shared in the future. It should be noted that there are other volunteer tasks that contribute directly or indirectly to our mission of education and stewardship; these will be detailed by the (new) Standing Committee for Recognition in due course. The task of updating the entire membership list with Vs as appropriate will occur over the next few months.

We want to stress that we (the recognition committee) believe that giving back is its own reward, but that receiving a tangible “thank you” and public recognition are always appreciated. We also hope that by being public with our thanks to our volunteers, we can attract more people to join in on the giving back.

Founders Award

The Founders Award is awarded to members who have contributed three or more years of service to the 46er organization in some approved capacity. These are presented at the Fall Meeting each year. [Note: The Fall Meeting of September 2011 was cancelled following hurricane Irene, consequently no awards were presented for the year. Awards were not presented in 2017, and 2018 due to there was not a founders award committee.]

Founder's award patch

2019, 8 Founders Award Recipients

Dan Kane #7532Director/Historian Office
Hank Sondheimer #1626Director
Laurie Rankin #5525WDirector/TSP Committee
Pete Hickey #3202Trailmaster/Director
Doug Varney #6468WDirector/Trailmaster
Dan Stec #7348Director/Grace Peak Committee
John Barron #4945Recording Secretary
Fran Shumway #7097Director/TSP Committee

2016, 8 Recipients

Sally HoyPast President
Don McMullenOutdoor Skills Workshop
Nancy BuckleyCorrespondent
Bob CiecieregaCorrespondent
Marta Bolton QuilliamCorrespondent
Gail SandersCorrespondent
Dean GiulianoDirector
Chris SekellikDirector

2015, 9 Recipients

Joe RyanDirector/Correspondent
Brian SutherlandDirector
Tom WheelerPresident
Doug ArnoldGrace Peak Committee
Phil CorellTreasurer/President
Tom FaulknerCorrespondent
Mike GebhardCorrespondent
Millie GittingerCorrespondent
Ben TennysonCorrespondent

2014, 10 Recipients

Siobhan Carney-Nesbitt #5930WSiobhan recently completed a term as Director, was a herdpath adopter for Tabletop, a correspondent for many years and currently co-chairs the Office of the Historian
Marilee Urbanczyk #3530Marilee has prepared the 46er climbing certificates since 1990.
Mike Becker #1889WMike has prepared the annual statistical summary of the finishers (“PEEKS Sketches”) for PEEKS magazine for the last 20 years. He also prepared the club roster for the last 46er book.
Joe Busch #3814Joe has been a volunteer in the Office of the Historian for 20 years doing a variety of porojects including creating the first database of recorded finishers.
Joe Bogardus #3342Joe recently completed a term as Director, donated hundreds of hours of voluntary trail work and has served as a Trailmaster since 2010.
Gary Koch #1137WGary has served as a correspondent since 2003 and has donated hundreds of hours to trailwork each year.
Tony Solomon #3626WTony helped Grace run the Historian’s Office and then took over her responsibilities as Head Historian in 2000. He continued in that capacity (with a little help from his friends) until his retirement in 2013.
Ken Ryba #1661WKen served as a Director and has been on the staff of the Outdoor Skills Workshop for almost 30 years. For the past several years he has co-chaired the OSW.
Sharp Swan #566WSharp served as a Director and has been on the staff of the Outdoor Skills Workshop for over 30 years. He contributed chapters in the previous two 46er books.
Christine Bourjade #4967WChristine served as a correspondent since 2001 and wrote the Boulder Report for several years. She contributed a chapter in the last 46er book, designed the 46er webpage, and has donated many hours of trail work.

2013, 9 Recipients

Jim Barnshaw #2156WJim was Club President from 2006 to 2009 and helped develop the Founder’s Award Program.
Chuck Bennett #1934Chuck served as a Director and an assistant to Grace in the Historian’s Office. He helped Ed Ketchledge with the reseeding and earned his Conservation Service Award. Chuck developed and produced 46er promotional items including the 46er Board Game and the “Then and Now” DVD.
Herb Clark #1Herb was a guide for the Marshall Brothers. All three of them finished June 10, 1925
Marilyn Corson #2686Marilyn has been involved with the 46ers for over 25 years, from initially maintaining and changing out the summit log books to becoming a correspondent after the removal of the summit canisters.
Mindy Jatulis #2383Mindy has been directly involved with the Historian’s Office since 1995 and continues that work today. He has also been a correspondent since 1998 and has written over 3500 letters.
Fred Johnson #1788Fred was a Director and received the 46 Hour Conservation Serv ice Award. Fred was known as the 46er’s “Ideas Man” and designed the club’s t-shirts, hat, and belt buckle. He also worked assisting Grace in the Historian’s Office.
Walter Johnson #4101Walt has received his 1046 Hour Conservation Service Award and continues to be a constant trail volunteer.
Curt Snyder #4608WCurt has been a Director and is fast approaching his 346 hour Conservation Service Award.
Barbara Traver #2241Barbara has been a Director and has served as a correspondent since 1997. She also acts as the Vesper Service Coordinator.

2012, 10 Recipients

Matt Clark #4373WMatt served as a Director and has performed over 146 hours of trail work.
Jim Coyne #3815Jim served as a Director and was a Trail Master from 2006 to 2012 and has over 746 hours of trail work.
Pam Keida  #3533 and
Sherri Martin #3534
This sister tag team have been Directors, and both have over 546 hours of trail work.  They also are involved with the annual Outdoors Skills Workshop and Spring Banquets. – OSW
Don Kinnear #3019Don has been a Spring Banquet Volunteer, a Director and has over 1,046 hours of trail work.
Mike McLean #3869WMike has been a Director and has been the Winter Correspondent since 2002.
Jane Nye  #4142Jane has been a Director and been involved with the Historian’s Office for numerous years and is the Archivist for the club.
Alan Ratcliff #1129Alan was responsible for the initial Development of the 46er Web Site and maintained the site for several years.
John Rutledge #3553WJohn served as a Director and had over 46 hours of trail service.  Sadly John passed away before the award could be presented. His family attended the Fall Meeting to accept the award in his behalf.
S. Garen Szablewski #5376Garen has helped the Historian’s Office in many ways for several years.

2010, 2 Recipients

Len GrubbsYears of Service -Trailmaster/Director
CSA (Conversation Service Award) 1046 hours
Mary Lou RecorPast President/Director/Secretary
CSA 346 hours

2009, 2 Recipients

Pat DesbiensDirector/DEC Camps Coordinator
CSA 146 hours
Peggy MacKellarFormer Director, Winter Banquet Coordinator
CSA 46 hours

2008, 6 Recipients

Pete FishDirector/OSW staff
CSA 46 hours
Ron KonowitzDirector/OSW staff
CSA 46 hours
Bill Lasher #1277
Patsy MeyersDirector
Helen MenzDirector/Did it all!
Connie MorrisonDirector/Trails
CSA 746 hours

2007, 13 Recipients

Nancy AllenPresident
CSA 346 hours
Chris G. BehrTrailmaster
CSA 1046 hours
Chris M. BehrTrailmaster
CSA 1046 hours
June BehrDirector/Trailmaster/President
CSA 1046 hours
Jules ComeauPresident/OSW Coordinator
CSA 46 hours
Don HoffmanPresident
CSA 46 hours
David LancePEEKS Editor
CSA 346 hours
Suzanne LancePEEKS Editor/Book Editor
CSA 546 hours
Martha PrecheurDirector/WFA Program Coordinato
CSA 46 hours
George SloanPresident
CSA 346 hours
Tim TefftPresident/OSW Coordinator/Book Editor
CSA 546 hours
Joe TuronPEEKS Editor
LJ Van NordenDirector

2006, 13 Recipients

Werner BachliPresident
Jim BaileyPresident/OSW
William FrenettePresident
Henry GermondPresident
Jim GoodwinDirector/First Trailmaster
Barb HarrisPresident/Director
CSA 146 hours
Wally HerrodPresident
CSA 46 hours
Bill JohnsonDirector/Trailmaster
CSA 1046 hours
Ed KetchledgeDirector/President/Summit Seeding
Winifred LambPresident
Carol ReeseDirector
F.L. Peter StonePresident
Joe UrbanczykPresident/Trailmaster
CSA 1046 hours