I look forward to the Carolina Mountain Club annual dinner all year. It’s about the only time I get dressed up. in one of the few skirts I still have left.
The club elects officers, approves the budget, gives out awards and always has a guest speaker. This year, we invited Marci Spencer, author of Pisgah National Forest: a History. She was a marvelous speaker, who seems to tailor her talks to the audience. She knew she was talking to a group of hikers and maintainers.
We also host guests from our outdoor community, the rock stars, as I call them. We had representatives from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and the Cherokee National Forest. Thank you, all for coming.
As a member of the communications committee, I’m one of two official photographers. So I sit in front and make sure that I’m ready for photos, as we move the agenda.
CMC gives out two awards. The Award of Appreciation is given to a member who, during the calendar year prior to the Annual Meeting, has rendered such exceptional service to the operation of the Carolina Mountain Club that its mission was significantly advanced.
This year, the award went to the Friday crew, who worked so hard to finish the Waterrock Knob section of the MST.
The crew was led by Skip Sheldon, the tall fellow, the second man from the left.
Congratulations to all. I can’t wait to hike that new MST section.
So I’m waiting for Marcia Bromberg, head of the awards committee, to call up the next awardee for long-term service.
The Distingushed Service Award is made to a member who, during his/her membership, has made consistent and cumulatively extraordinary contributions to the operation of CMC, and to the achievement of its mission.
To my amazement, Marcia called my name. WOW! She read off some of my contributions to the club, which I’ll let someone else list. But mostly, I’m active with the club because I want to hike with people. Hiking clubs teach you about the area.
I’ve been an active member of a hiking club everywhere I’ve live. Even when I was a temporary resident of Oxford, England or Palmerston North in New Zealand, I joined a hiking club immediately.
Here’s a closeup of the hiking pole I received. The carving is exquisite. It’s going to hang on my living room wall. It’s not going to be subjected to the dirt and rain of the outside world.
Last but most important, we elected officers for 2016.
Barbara Morgan, now vice-president, will lead the club for the next two years. Lenny, current president, will stay on the CMC council as past president. We added a councilor for technology. Jim Ariail, the best treasure we’ve had, has served four years and is moving on.
We have several new faces.
Thank you all for serving. And see you on the trail!