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Three more opportunities remain to attend Winter Hiking Essentials Workshop

Snow and ice had not yet made an appearance, but more than 20 aspiring winter hikers did for the “Intro to Winter Hiking” event at Illick’s Mill in Bethlehem, PA, on December 4.

Participants had fun learning about winter gear, clothing and safety. Many said they are eager to venture out in the snow and try out gear. A woman, who recently completed the AT, said she was excited about continuing to hike into the winter, and meet other hikers.

One participant said, “I’ve wanted to snowshoe for a long time, and this presentation inspired me to procrastinate no more.”

Another commented “I’ve done some winter hiking, but this presentation really opened my eyes to how to do it more safely.”

Another reported that it was a very thorough presentation that balanced the safety issues while capturing the fun of winter hiking.

Three more sessions are scheduled this winter:

Thursday, January 11, Newtown Township Municipal Building, 7-9 PM. Registration fee: $12 (township resident, $10). Registration: at www.newtownfun.com; phone 215-968-2800, ext. 239.

Friday, January 19 – Sunday, January 21, Mohican Outdoor Center, includes lodging, meals, instruction and practice hikes. Registration fee: $179 for AMC members, $193 for non-members. For reservations please call 603-466-2727. Questions about Camp Mohican call 908-362-5670.

Thursday, February 8, Newtown Township Municipal Building, 7-9 PM. Registration fee: $12 (township resident, $10). Registration: at www.newtownfun.com; phone 215-968-2800, ext. 239.

Participants for all sessions will be offered the opportunity to join an introductory winter hike on a later date when there is snow.

Rich Kowal, a dedicated trail maintainer, volunteer of month

Our Volunteer of the Month is Rich Kowal, a dedicated trail maintainer, part of the New Jersey Highlands Trail crew that maintains trails in the Jenny Jump State Forest.

He is always dependable in being present on trail work days and often takes his clippers and does a bit of extra trail work while hiking with a group or by himself.  As Rich lives near Jenny Jump State Forest, his local knowledge of the area and trails is a valuable resource to the Highlands trail crew.

In addition, Rich is volunteering for a second year as an Appalachian Trail corridor monitor. To monitor, volunteers walk the tracts and boundary lines of lands acquired for the trail and assess them  to ensure their continued conservation. To maintain, volunteers must locate, clean, and paint around surveyor’s monuments and “witness” trees, repaint boundary blazes, and brush out the line, keeping it well marked and easy for surrounding neighbors to identify.

Rich is always a cheerful and positive companion during activities. Rich has also introduced his son Zachary to trail maintaining and corridor monitoring, building our next generation of conservation minded young people. Thanks Rich for all of your service.

The Chapter’s Volunteer of the Month program was initiated to recognize volunteers nominated by their peers. Chapter members can nominate volunteers by e-mail to recognition@amcdv.org.

The nomination should contain the nominee’s name, reason for the recognition, and name of the nominator. Each nominee name is entered into a random drawing for the Volunteer of the Month recognition. The monthly winners are entered into an annual drawing at the Annual Dinner for a grand prize of a weekend stay at an AMC facility. Nominees must be an AMC member, not a member of the current Executive Committee, and may serve in any volunteer capacity that benefits the Chapter mission in the Delaware Valley area. See the past Volunteers of the Month.

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