Northeast Kingdom Section – Green Mountain Club
NEKGMC Annual Meeting, Burke Mountain Club, East Burke Vermont, April 7, 2024

 NEKGMC President’s Welcome – NEKGMC President John Predom welcomed the primarily in-person gathering at the Burke Mountain Club in East Burke. He spoke of the nice hike that had occurred in the morning prior to the meeting.

NEKGMC Award Presentation – As a special event  at the start of the 2024 NEKGMC Annual Meeting, John Predom spoke of Cathi Brooks extraordinary service to and support of the NEKGMC and the Main Club, through her official roles as the NEKGMC’s Treasurer, President, and since 2020 Section Director  on the Main Club’s Board of Directors. She has also served the NEKGMC as a Trail Adopter on Burke Mountain and as a Main Club committee member, serving on the Camps and Trails Management Committees. In recognition of her two decades as an essential NEKGMC member and leader, John, on behalf of the section, presented Cathi with  an NEKGMC Volunteer Award, in the form of a beautiful 3D trail illustrated art work. Cathi was surprised and especially appreciative of this well-deserved honor. Her memorable comment was “so cool.” Kevin Williamson asked Cathi if she had worked on the Monadnock Tower project in 2004. She responded that although she had hiked Monadnock early on that her first NEKGMC work experience was at Moose Mountain. John also mentioned Cathi’s pivotal leadership in organizing the Main Club’s Annual Meeting at the now Vermont State University’s Lyndon campus in the mid 20 teens.

Secretary’s Report – NEKGMC Secretary Michael Chernick reviewed highlights from the January 2024 meeting, held at NorthWoods Stewardship Center in East Charleston, Vermont.

MOTION to Approve the Secretary’s Minutes as presented [Brooks/Caamano]
Approved unanimously

Treasurer’s Report – In the absence of NEKGMC Treasurer Angela Smith, John Predom summarized highlights of the report.  The submitted report is as follows:

Northeast Kingdom Section ~ Green Mountain Club Quarterly Financial Statement – As of April 4, 2024

Operating Account

Beginning Balance (as of 1/17/24)​ $4,663.29

Dues Sharing
Dec (posted 01/22/24)​ $407.50
Jan  (posted 03/14/24)​ $156.25
Feb  (posted 03/18/24)​ $78.75

Cash Deposit ​(Sweatshirts)​ $180.00


Treeline Terrain ​$284.08
Kingdom Embroidery​ $216.30
GMC Donation (in memory of Karen Guest) ​$250.00

Ending Balance​ $4,735.41
Certificate of Deposit
CD#1​….4489/Matures 01/12/2025 @.40%​ $1,605.69
CD#2​….3785/Matures 06/27/2024  @.40%​ $1,765.38
Grand Total All Monies​ $6,666.48
Angela Smith ~ Treasurer

The membership discussed the extremely low rate of return on the two CDs and the need to find better returning alternatives when each is due for renewal.

Main Club Director’s Report – NEKGMC Director Cathi Brooks reported on recent Main Club activities.:

As of the February 2024 Main Club Financial Report, revenue totaled $1.93 million, 116 percent of the last fiscal year’s budget (Note: GMC’s fiscal year runs from May 1-April 30). Membership revenue stood at $207,000.00, 69 percent of the budgeted amount, membership is in decline and the Main Club is examining ways to retain more renewals, on the other hand, non-membership contributions stood at $793,000.00 or 123 percent of the prior fiscal year. Non-membership revenue has been a more reliable resource than renewals. The important fee for service income was $458,000.00 or 118 percent of last year’s. At 84 percent of the budgeted amount, this lower figure reflects the inclement weather of summer 2023, including the ramifications of the July 2023 flood. Total expenditures of $2.26 million were 89 percent of the annual budget and 98 percent compared to last year. The endowment’s value was $7.4 million.The fiscal year’s line of credit, which the Main Club enters-into, in order to meet immediate expenses, was paid back in December 2023.

The other primary financial development is the disbursement of the $910,000 Wissman Bequest. $500,000 was deposited into the Endowment. $310,000.00 was temporarily set aside for a high priority purpose, and $90,000 was allocated to operating expenses per GMC policy. At the March Main Club Board meeting, the Board voted to allocate the $310,000 to construction costs for the new Herrick Building  (Visitor’s Center). Originally budgeted at $1 million, the construction cost has now risen to $1.4-$1.5 million due to inflation, design changes (adding an insulated panel system for exterior walls and the roof), and the extended timeframe attributed to 2023 flood related delays,causing the contractor’s availability to be limited. Despite these temporary setbacks, the project is now moving forward. The old structure was demolished in 2023, and construction on the new building began in March 2024. The Main Club is hoping for major forward progress in the coming months.

Other Main Club developments of importance include progress on developing a Mt Mansfield – MT Worcester Trail, the rolling out of a new code of conduct covering staff and volunteers, updating the chainsaw use policy, and for the NEKGMC’s immediate concern examining the Kingdom Trail’s management prior to the next renewal of the hiking corridor manager agreement with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

Also, the work proceeds on constructing the new Bromley Tower. Since December 2023, 13 new trail adopters have started volunteering for the GMC.

The new Jean Haigh Cabin is receiving rave reviews. The most recent rental capacity figure for both Wheeler cabins was 89 percent. Dedication of the Jean Haigh Cabin is scheduled for Saturday June 1 (National Trails Day). Major repairs to the Hadsel Mares Cabin are now scheduled for 2025.GMC has been continuing work on land conservation around the Long Trail Johnson. Land in Duxbury, which is not needed for the Long Trail, is being sold to the State of Vermont. GMC is also working on a Camel’s Hump State Park parcel transfer to the State.

Nominations & Elections 2024-25

The following slate of officers was proposed for election to serve during the 2024-2025 year.

President – John Predom
Vice President – Paul Trojano
Treasurer – Angela Smith
Secretary- Michael Chernick
Director – Cathi Brooks*

MOTION Approved Slate Sec [Caamano/Winsor]

*New Director – NEKGMC Director Cathi Brooks was elected with the understanding that she may possibly move out of state later in the year. A motion was adopted authorizing the Executive Committee to appoint an interim successor (if necessary) and providing that the membership ratify that appointment  at the subsequent quarterly meeting.

Approved unanimously.

KHT Ramble – The KHT Ramble is scheduled for Aug 10. Jesse Holden is in charge. The course of this running race extends from the foot of Gore Mountain at Lewis Pond to Bluff Ridge in Island Pond. Participation is capped at 100 runners The race organizers are responsible for any damage and liability coverage.

Forests, Parks and Recreation 2024 Trail Work Projects – In the absence of Luke O’Brien, (the Department’s regional recreation specialist) John Predom presented Luke’s report on planned 2024 department  trail activities. Note, no work on the Kingdom Heritage Trail is planned for this year. The highlights include Bald Mountain Fire Tower (volunteers needed) and moldering toilets at Golden Road Shelter and Burke Shelter. The crew from Northwoods will spend 3 weeks on the Burke Mountain Red Trail and one week on either the Long Pond Trail at Bald Mountain or at Black Mountain on the Approach Trail. NEKGMC will participate on the Bald Mountain Fire Tower project.

NEKGMC Annual Financial Donations – The membership unanimously approved the donation of $500.00 to NorthWoods Stewardship Center, for trail related work; $100.00 to the Burke Mountain Club, as payment for use of its facilities for section meetings, and with one negative vote $100.00 to Front Porch Forum, as the section has availed itself of this digital information service.

Upcoming Events

April 28 –  (9:00 A.M.) Trail Work on Cow Mountain (meet at the Burke Mountain Club)
May 11 – Hike to the East Haven Mountain Cabin (the cabin has been reserved)
May 19 – Map and Compass Training – Gordon DuBois is leading this program, Although currently filled, openings may occur. 

June 1 – Dedication of the Jean Haig Cabin at Wheeler Pond
June – Steve Farrow will lead a Mt Haystack trip
June 22 or June 29 – Possible dates for the Brighton Trail Days should NEKGMC decide to organize this event. It would involve multiple hikes. We would need to work with the Brighton Recreation Department, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Silvio Conte Refuge. John Predom and Sue Winsor agreed to serve as the coordinators (should the event proceed forward).

August – Steve Farrow offered to lead a destination to be determined hike in Holland.
 August – Long Trail Day (assuming the event is occurring)possibly Route 242 to Route 58

 September – Westmore Challenge with the NEKGMC serving as a partnering  organization with official duties staffing a break station

October 12-13 – Wood stacking weekend at Wheeler Pond.

 Suggested ideas for other trips –  Mooseway in Pondicherry NH (winter trail), Pisgah East, Brighton State Park, Turtle Pond, Gore Summit.Owl’s Head (Quebec)

Trail Adopters – NEKGMC Trail Adoption Coordinator Kevin Williamson reported that only the Moose Bog and Accessible Trail at Victory’s Crossing are available for a new adopter.

NEKGMC Membership Update – NEKGMC Membership Coordinator Linda Caamano reported a total section membership of approximately 180. Linda hopes to be more  effective at staging promotional events. There was discussion of scheduling another Meet & Greet gathering. The NEKGMC still has a credit with Parker Pie in West Glover. The possibility of a Perry Holbrook membership event in early June or at Greensboro’s Barr Hill was mentioned.

Volunteer Appreciation Day – Conducting an NEKGMC Volunteer Appreciation Day has previously been proposed but has not actually happened. Scheduling a joint event for this purpose in conjunction with the Northern Frontier Section was a suggested option. No final decision was made on this score.

 History Project – In Andrea Kane’s absence, no updated report was submitted on this endeavor, which remains a work in progress.

Wilderness First Aid Training – There are several NEKGMC members ready for Recertification. The options of either teaming with NorthWoods or continuing with TrainNEK were both discussed.

NEKGMC Sweatshirts-Tee Shirt Sales – Cathi Brooks is overseeing this project.

GMC 114th Annual Meeting – This vent will be held onSaturday June 15 at Main Club headquarters in Waterbury.

Next Meeting – The next NEKGMC meeting was tentatively scheduled for Sunday July  14, 2024 at Lenny’s camp in Holland. Cathi will be in touch with Lenny to confirm his and the camp’s availability.

Adjournment– The NEKGMC Annual Meeting was adjourned at approximately 2:25 P.M.

NEKGMC Winter Quarterly Meeting, NorthWoods Stewardship Center – East Charlestown, Vermont, January 21, 2024

Attendees: Linda Caamano, Geoff Commons, Matt Colter, Maria Young, Hope Crifo, Beth Barnes, Cathi Brooks, Jeff Morris, Kevin Williamson, Sue Winsor, Luke O’Brien, John Predom, Paul Trojano, Ed Guest, Janet Steinert, Gabriel Harte, and Victor Caamano

Welcoming Remarks & Call to Order – NEKGMC President John Predom called the meeting to order at 1:00 P.M. All attendees introduced themselves. The Section’s new Membership Director Linda Caamano was among those attending. John Predom spoke of the strange winter weather and the presence of trail damage that will need repairs. The Section recently held a celebratory event at Parker Pie to mark the NEKGMC’s collection of the largest sum of funds in the 2023 Long Trail Day fundraising campaign.

Secretary Report – NEKGMC Secretary Michael Chernick reviewed highlights from the Fall 2023 quarterly meeting.

MOTION [Barnes /Victor Caamano] move to approve the minutes as presented.

The motion was approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report – In the absence of NEKGMC Treasurer Angela Smith, NEKGMC Secretary Michael Chernick the Treasurer’s Report as follows:

Northeast Kingdom Section ~ Green Mountain Club

Quarterly Financial Statement

As of January 17, 2024

Operating Account

Beginning Balance (as of 10/05/23) $4,827.90


Dues Sharing

(discrepancy of check to cleared amt) .20

Reported last statement check #274 was

for $54.69 cleared as $54.49

Sept (10/27/23) $38.75

Oct (posted 11/15/23) $118.75

Nov (posted 01/08/23) $101.25


Local Donut (Woodstacking Event) $84.00

Kingdom Embroidery (1/2 Sweatshirts) $278.10

Vista Print $61.46

Ending Balance $4,663.29


Certificate of Deposit

CD#1 ….4489/Matures 01/12/2025 @.40% $1,603.58

CD#2 ….3785/Matures 06/27/2024 @.40% $1,762.74


Grand Total All Monies $8,029.61

Angela Smith ~ Treasurer

There was discussion of switching CDs to secure a higher rate, which currently is extremely low.

John Predom will discuss this matter with Angela Smith

Director’s Report – NEKGMC Main Club Director Cathi Brooks reported on a variety of topics reviewed or acted upon at the December 16, 2023 Main Club Board meeting. With respect to construction, of most interest to the NEKGMC, the long-anticipated Jean Haigh Cabin has been completed. Other projects of importance were completion of a contracted privy at Grout Pond, decommissioning and removal of the Forest City Trail Bridge, major maintenance at the Back 40 staff housing, progress on the installation of new native puncheon at Laraway Mountain, and the continuation of the Burrows Trail reconstruction project at Camel’s Hump. This multi-organizational endeavor completed its second of three work seasons, and the remaining work will be finished in the summer of 2024. The 2023 field season was completed, despite the problematic July 2023 weather. This was possible due to the growth of the GMC Field Program, which has included increased leadership and professionalization. While these improvements raise costs, the capital trail projects garner overhead revenue for the Main Club. But caretakers and teaching volunteers are deficit producing roles. Despite the challenges, it was overall an extremely strong field season. On a non-field construction project, the Herrick Building at Waterbury headquarters was not completed. The old building was raised , but construction of the new facility was delayed until 2024.

On the financial front, special mention should be accorded to the Main Club’s receipt of $900,000 of the nearly $1 million bequest from the Joan Wissman estate. Per GMC’s policy , 90 percent of this gift was deposited in the endowment and the balance was allocated to current expenses. The endowment has experienced fluctuations and currently stands at $6.6 million.

However, despite this extraordinary donation, the financial picture is challenging. A $40,000 deficit projected for FY 24 (May 23-April 24), memberships are down (efforts to increase the percentage of renewals continues). On the positive side, contributions are up significantly.

According to the GMC November Financial Report, revenues totaled $1.29 million. This revenue is 60 percent of the budget, comprising contributions of $452 thousand, membership is projected at $123,000, and fee for service income is $347,000. The lost weeks due to the inclement weather resulted in a revenue loss.

The GMC is communicating with the leadership of the Quebec-based Odenak First Nations, concerning their assertions that the State of Vermont recognized Abenaki bands that are not legitimately indigenous, and therefore not Abenaki.

In 2023, there were 217 new End to Enders. A new Mt Mansfield map is scheduled for publication. Hadsel Mares had a 57 percent capacity for the latest reporting period. Construction of the Jean Haigh Cabin resulted in cancellations.

Lastly, Cathi Brooks announced she will be moving by the end of the year and is not certain if she will remain the NEKGMC’s Main Club Director beyond 2024.

NorthWoods Stewardship Center – NWSC Executive Director Maria Young welcomed the gathered NEKGMC members and detailed the programs the organization offers.

Specifically, Environmental Education, Forestry (with a land ownership aspect), the Internship Conservation Corps (the largest NWSC program with both youth and adult components and a partnership with U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service), and the newest program, the Conservation Science Program. NWSC also collaborates with GMC and the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR).

A new ADA all access trail is being constructed at the NWSC’s East Charlestown campus. The second edition of the NEK Hiking Guide has been published, exclusively under NWSC’s imprint. The Westmore Challenge in 2024 will involve a greater and more structured) NEKGMC volunteer participation in this truly community event. The cap on hiker enrollment in the Westmore Challenge will be 175 persons.

NWSC, Maria stated, has become a go to organization for area trail projects. For example, the Lewis Pond connection to the Gore summit was an NWSC endeavor.

NorthWoods is exploring possibly expanding its role in the Kingdom Heritage Hiking Corridor

Management process, when the agreement is next renewed. Maria mentioned that NWSC

also interested in helping to resolve the Monadnock access problem in Lemington.

FPR Update – Luke O’ Brien, the regional FPR recreation specialist presented a synopsis of

current and planned trail and support facilities maintenance and new construction projects. He also reviewed trail and road damage on area State lands, which occurred, as a result of the July 2023 severe rain storm and flooding.

One topic he raised was long-term access to the Kingdom Heritage Lands and the status of ongoing discussions with the relevant private landowners for the development of an overnight camping site. Although a potential site was visited, it is scheduled for a maple tubing installation. Further discussions will occur.

The various recreational management agreements for the Kingdom Heritage Lands are scheduled for renewal in 2025.The covered recreational activities are climbing, hiking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling. Luke did not think a whole lot would change if NorthWoods assumed a larger managerial role.

Among the projects he mentioned were the new parking infrastructure at Westmore’s south end, a new connector between the parking infrastructure and the beach, and the possibility of a boardwalk reconstruction at Pisgah South.

The adoption of a new statewide recreation plan (renewed every five years) is important for the securing of federal funding for recreational construction and maintenance.

Sweet Tree has new local management, which seems more open to trail involvement on its land. This may include the possibility of GMC volunteers being given vehicular access.

There will be a series of projects for 2024, including funds for NorthWoods work on Hor. The State crew will be working on Holbrook land. The private landowner, who owns the parking area, is in discussion with FPR to turn this parcel over to State. FPR is still working on the Monadnock access problem. All wooden elements on Burke Mountain will be replaced in the summer of 2024. There is a larger statewide grant to maintain tower pedestrian access addressing fenced in areas. Alice Mountain and Burke Mountain will be the first to receive this new support, as they are the two representative designs.

Luke is interested in a volunteer day for Bald Mountain, which would be held in the late summer of 2024. He also has several other projects, such as Long Pond and Peachman Bog. John Predom reminded Luke of the Gore Brook crossing that would use stones. There may be a possibility for NEKGNC involvement. There was discussion on bike access as well as e-bikes.

Jean Haigh Cabin – An NEKGMC Section event at the new cabin is scheduled for Feb 6. There is now a wood bin by the cabin, but it needs to be maintained. Paul Trojano, Chair of the NEKGMC Camps Committee and NEKGMC Vice President, asked that wood be moved periodically to the bin. Howard VanBenthuysen asked if signs need be painted. Paul responded affirmatively. The cabin’s dedication is now rescheduled for Saturday June 1 (National Trails Day). Snow plowing is limited at the cabins. Discussion of carpooling for Feb 6 was suggested.

Trail Adoption – This discussion was postponed until the NEKGMC Annual Meeting. NEKGMC Trails Adoption Coordinator Kevin Williamson mentioned Westmore Town Trails are eligible for GMC adoption.

Outings – NEKGMC Outings Coordinator Susan Winsor reviewed November’s and December’s hikes, which were one per month. She requested more leader volunteers. Interested individuals should contact her directly. There was discussion of Groton State Forest hikes. The NEKGMC Section will offer Wilderness First Aid instruction if interest is expressed.


NEKGMC Membership Coordinator – John Predom introduced Linda Caamano as the new NEKGMC Membership Coordinator.

Facebook Inquiry – Paul Trojano asked whether Facebook participation required NEKGMC membership, the answer was no.

Newsletter Publication Inquiry – Beth Barnes inquired regarding NEKGMC Newsletter publication of members’ externally generated writings. The pros and cons were raised. Issues of copyright and opinion were also discussed. After weighing the matter, it was decided that previously published articles, letters, or other writings would not be published in the NEKGMC newsletter.

NEKGMC Volunteer Appreciation Day – Cathi Brooks suggested a date in the spring.

This would be an event to express appreciation for our members who contributed to the Section’s activities in different ways. Dusty, from the NorthWoods staff, has offered to offer a field work training session, which could be offered on the same day.

Date of Annual Meeting – The NEKGMC Annual Meeting will be held at the Burke Mountain Clubhouse in East Burke on Sunday afternoon April 7. Details will be announced closer to the date.

Adjournment – A motion to adjourn was approved at 2:20 P.M.

Michael Jay Chernick – NEKGMC Secretary

Fall Quarterly Meeting, Wheeler Pond Camps – Barton, Vermont, October 15, 2023

Attendees – Sue Winsor, Paul Trojano, Bart Selle, Jeff Morris, Cathi Brooks, Beth Barnes, Linda Caamano, Victor Caamano, Janet Steinert, Kevin Williamson, Hope Crifo, Geoff Commons, Michael Chernick, John Predom, and Michael DeBonis (GMC Executive Director)

Welcoming Remarks & Call to Order – NEKGMC President John Predom called the meeting to order at 12:47 PM. John offered these comments:

All the rain. Our trails here in the NEK held up well, though because of the soft, wet ground we had more blowdowns and overgrowth than I can remember in previous years. Our trail adopters diligently were out keeping the trails clear and I saw great reviews on social media on trail conditions, other than muddy.

Jean Haigh Cabin build is happening this summer and volunteers responded when requests were sent out for help. Lots of building materials have been moved and installed with a planned November finish.

Looking back at Summer Events it’s heartwarming to see the smiling faces of participants. The Vermont Symphony Orchestra/ Moose Bog and Northern Frontier/ Northeast Kingdom GMC Jay events standout as creative ways to get out and have fun while meeting others with similar interests.

The call for volunteers to support Northwoods Stewardships Westmore Mountain Challenge was met with a resounding response. Hikers and Northwoods are thankful and grateful for our support.

Our Long Trail Day hike plans fell through because of a severe weather forecast. This is an event we truly look forward to every year. Our team Kingdom Express raised the 2nd most funds as a team in support of the Green Mountain Club and Vermont Trails. We were surpassed on Long Trail Day by team Psyched to Hike.

Thank you all for being part of the Northeast Kingdom Section of the Green Mountain Club,

Secretary’s Report – NEKGMC Secretary Michael Chernick reviewed highlights of the section’s summer quarterly meeting held at Lenny’s Camp in Holland.

Motion [Paul Trojano /Cathi Brooks] moved to accept the minutes as presented

Approved unanimously

Treasurer’s Report – NEKGMC Treasurer Angela Smith submitted in advance the section’s latest quarterly financial statement. In her absence, NEKGMC Secretary Michael Chernick reviewed the highlights.

Northeast Kingdom Section ~ Green Mountain Club

Quarterly Financial Statement As of October 5, 2023

Operating Account

Beginning Balance (as of 07/07/23) $5,280.77


Dues Sharing

June (posted 08/02/23) $71.25

July (posted 09/15/23) $107.50

August (posted 09/22/23) $118.75


Burke Mountain Clubhouse (Donation) $125.00

Northwoods (Donation) $500.00

John Predom (Reimbursement Business Cards) $32.84

Cathi Brooks (Debit Card – Reimbursement Maps) $37.84

Beth Barnes (Reimbursement – BBQ) $54.69

Ending Balance $4,827.90


Certificate of Deposit

CD#1 ….4489/Matures 01/12/2024 @.40% $1,600.86

CD#2 ….3785/Matures 06/27/2024 @.40% $1,760.07


Grand Total All Monies $8,188.83

Angela Smith ~ Treasurer

The section accepted the report and anticipates much higher interest rates on the CDs upon their renewal next year.

Main Club Report – NEKGMC Director Cathi Brooks reported on the September 2023 Main Club  Board meeting which met in Stowe. Among the major points related to Main Club activities were the following:

Flood Communications Summary and Highlights:

  • Social Media: Reached at least 113,580 people with 32 social media posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Instagram stories (July 9 – July 22).
  • Email: Two emails to our entire distribution list of 17,000 had an average open rate of 57%, and average Click-Thru rate of 4.75%. GMC’s average open rate is 52.17% and non-profit averages are around 28.59%.
  • Web Traffic: We created a dedicated July Flood Updates page to keep the information front and center. Visitor Center handled about 100 phone calls, 30 emails, and 82 in-person visits related to the flood and hiking advice.
  • Media Requests: We were interviewed or quoted in 8+ articles about the flooding impact, including Backpacker, The Trek, WCAX, VTDigger, Seven Days, and Vermont Public. Mike spoke with Vermont All Things Considered host Mary Beth Engisch for a 7-minute segment about the club’s climate change mitigation strategies. As with mud season, we saw our messaging spread far beyond our own accounts. The hiking community treated us as the voice of authority and passed our guidance of when, where, and how to hike on to the broader public.
    Full Flood Communications Report Flood Communications Report.pdf

Other Accomplishments

  • Raised nearly $15,000 from individual contributions and secured a $20,000 match for Long Trail
  • Scheduled four guided hikes and “trail magic” activities for various audiences for the rescheduled Long Trail Day
  • Welcomed a new Development Coordinator – Tori Dobbs – who brings a strong background in corporate giving, event planning, and database management.
  • Spearheaded by Lily LaRegina, we held our annual photo contest resulting in nearly 700 photos from about 125 participants, our most ever. As of 9/1, 304 people had voted in the annual Hikers’ Choice category.

GMC Priorities for Fall 2023 Quarter

  • Continuing the momentum of Long Trail Day fundraising by introducing a trail sign raffle giveaway and $20,000 match. We hope to raise $60,000.
  • Engage business members, corporate sponsors, and local businesses to engage in Long Trail Day via corporate sponsorships, employee teams, and/or gifts in kind.
  • Keeping the hiking and leaf-peeping public informed with fall hiking guidance during what has become GMC’s busiest and most variable season
  • Distribute a fall flood recovery fundraising appeal
  • Use newly approved programmatic messaging to create talking points and training for consistent GMC communications statewide (rack cards, business cards, social media guidelines, Power Point Templates, etc.).
  • Create and implement a GMC awareness marketing campaign through social media and marketing platforms.
  • Create and distribute high quality Long Trail News publication, electronic communications, and social media posts that share GMC’s hiking resources with the public and highlight the important work being done in the field.

GMC Headquarters Phase II – Herrick Rebuild

The Herrick rebuild has experienced some interruption of progress due to the July 2023 flooding and ongoing rain. The weather has disrupted contractor scheduling and workflow, thus causing our project to be delayed. However, even with the delays, much has been accomplished, including:

  • Demolition of the existing Herrick space in early July.
  • Preparation and cutting of our timber frame structure, which is complete and stored at the contractor’s facility.
  • Preparation and cutting of insulated wall panels for the building envelope, which is complete and stored at the contractor’s facility.

Land Protection -Update

  • Long Trail: 83% (128 miles) permanently protected, 13% (20.5 miles) partially protected, and 4% (6.7 miles) unprotected.
  • Long Trail/Appalachian Trail: 99% (100 miles) permanently protected, 0.8% (1 miles) partially protected, and 0.2% (0.2 miles) unprotected.
  • Side Trails: 73% (126.75 miles) permanently protected, 20% (34 miles) partially protected, and 7% (12.5 miles) unprotected.
  • Appalachian Trail in Vermont: 89% (36.75 miles) permanently protected, 10% (4 miles) partially protected, and 0.7% (0.3 miles) unprotected.
  • 1000-ft Long Trail System Corridor: 78% (365 miles) permanently protected, 4% (21 miles) partially protected, and 18% (85 miles) unprotected.

The Main Club Board meeting also reviewed the proposed Strategic Plan, the adopted Strategic Conservation Plan, continued the discussion on Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion initiatives and policies, reviewed the proposed Code of Conduct as well as Club finances. Due to inflationary pressures, the budget has been revised with selective tightening, but all major initiatives remain intact.

GMC Executive Director – Mike DeBonis, who attended at the NEKGMC Fall Quarterly Meeting, offered comments to the section members. He reported that Long Trail Day raised over $67,500.00 from all donors and over $8,000 from sections. The NEK Section raised $2,325, which was the highest amount that any section raised. This sets a tone for further fundraising and for continuing social fundraising events. GMC is wrapping up the field season. The special projects crew will be at the Jean Haigh Camp in an effort to complete the project. This was a very productive year from a construction perspective. The crews did really well (especially with the flood and staffing issues).

Westmore Mountain Challenge – Northwoods Stewardship Center has offered NEKGMC the opportunity to serve as an event sponsor and exhibit gear at the Mad Brook Shelter stop.

Jean Haigh Camp Plaque – Cathi Brooks reviewed various texts and ideas for the plaque honoring Jean to be placed at the camp. An event dedicating the camp will occur in the spring. Jean’s daughters will be the first overnight visitors.

Forest Parks, & Recreation (FPR) Report – Luke O’Brien

In his absence, Luke O’Brien the regional FPR Recreational Office submitted the following report of recent activities in St. Johnsbury District:

Thank you for reaching out for an update on trails activities on state lands. I want to thank you and all of the NEKGMC volunteers for your help caring for trails in the Northeast Kingdom. Your work is incredibly valuable and very much appreciated. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions about a particular trail, maintenance issue, or other matter involving state lands in our district.

For an update on activities this year, I’ve provided a summary below. As you can imagine, the list is not comprehensive, and projects are often completed only partially as time, funding, and staff capacity allows. Still, I’ve endeavored to offer an update on what we did this season and what we hope to accomplish in the year(s) ahead. This season, our District (Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties) received less funding than in years past and had fewer large trail projects. As a result, we focused on more broad-based maintenance, smaller crew and volunteer projects, and work accomplished by a small field staff. Although we received less damage than other parts of the state, our work was also disrupted by the July floods.

2023 Field Season Report

  • Vail Pond- parking and access trail improvements completed by Northwoods Watershed Crew.
  • Northern Trail Roving- 10 days of NorthWoods crew maintenance at Wheeler Mountain, Burke Red Trail, Pisgah North Trail, Bluff Community Trail, and northern Bluff Ridge.
  • Peacham Bog Loop- tread improvements completed by NorthWoods Backcountry Crew.
  • Burke Mountain Red Trail- installed minor trail adjustments to incorporate sidehill tread alignment, grade reversals, and drainages (NorthWoods).
  • Accessible Trails- State Trail Crew (STC) maintained accessible trails at Moose Bog, Victory Basin, and Brighton State Park
  • Kettle Pond- maintained Kettle Pond Loop and installed new puncheon bridges (STC).
  • Brighton State Park- VYCC crew replaced the accessible boardwalk and two viewing platforms on the Boreal Nature Trail.
  • Tug Mountain Lean-to- FPR staff raised the Tug Mountain Lean-to in Victory State Forest, installed new stone footings, stained the structure, and removed trash.

2022 Shelter Maintenance

FPR staff maintained DSP Red Trail, Bennet Road, and West Peak lean-tos; the Umpire Lean-to on Golden Trail in Victory SF, Bald Mountain cabin, and Peacham Pond lean-to in Groton State Forest. Work generally consisted of staining, roof repairs, and re-setting stone footings. Work is on-going to restore the Coldwater Brook Camp in Groton State Forest; likely to be completed in 2024. Burke Mountain Fire Tower- FPR staff completed replacement of all treads, landings, and cab floor lumber with 2-inch white oak.

2024 Season Preview

  • Bald Mountain Fire Tower- replace tread, landing, and cab floorboards with oak lumber.
  • Burke Mountain Fire Tower- install interior cab railing and wire mesh infill on stairs and landings.
  • Burke Mountain Trails- continue work to install grade reversals, trail adjustments, and drainages on upper Red and West Peak Trails.
  • Bald Mountain Long Pond Trail- complete trail assessment and prioritize maintenance on upper trail.
  • Pisgah South Trail- complete trail assessment and prioritize maintenance on upper trail.
  • Sentinel Rock State Park- install additional bridging on woods trails.
  • Seyon to Spruce Trail- replace aged foot bridges (2) near Seyon Lodge in Groton State Forest.
  • Telephone Line Trail- restore eroded areas damaged in July 2023 storm.
  • Trail signs, signposts, blazing and markers- on-going repair and replacement of trail markers throughout district.

I’m sure I missed some projects and/or details. Reach out with any questions. Notably, FPR will be mobilizing a large volunteer effort to replace the wooden elements of the Bald Mountain fire tower. This will likely involve multiple volunteer days with student and community volunteers. Let me know if the NEK Section is interested in supporting this task and I will be in touch with dates and details.

Again, thank you for all your good work.

Quarterly Membership Reports – Monthly reports from the Main Club had been inconsistent. There is now a procedure in place to provide consistent reporting. The Website (Main Club) now features new information for new members to join a section.

Upcoming Events – Last quarter there were eight successful hikes. But hike attendance is down, which is a problem. There was discussion of forms of publicity and whether biking or kayaking

should be added. Gordon was scheduled to lead a map and compass session. Susan Winsor requested offers of hike leaders. John indicated interest in a Brunswick Springs hike. Paul Trojano offered to lead a Kettle Pond hike after muzzle loading season

Adopters – Kevin Williamson, NEK Section trails adoption coordinator reported no changes since last summer.

Wheeler Pond Camps Update – We are passing the four-year anniversary of Jean Haigh’s’ passing. It will be nice to complete the new camp that is to be named in her memory. Groups from UVM, North Country High School, and Sterling college provided enormous assistance in stacking wood. We are set for the coming year. 11 NEK Section members assisted with wood stacking. The plan is to create a space for wood near the new camp. The plan is for the new camp to be ADA accessible. For the most recent reporting period there was a 91 percent capacity for the Hadsel-Mares Camp and 38 percent of the guests were GMC members.

Section Name -The section’s bylaws provide that the official name sf the Northeast Kingdom Section of the GMC. Consequently, the section will continue to be known as the NEKGMC.

Wilderness First Aid – The section will continue to offer and pay for wilderness first aid with Andrea Kane as the instructor.

Membership Coordinator – The position remains open and interested persons should contact NEKGMC President John Predom.

Free Night Camp – As the best section fundraiser for the 2022 Long Trail Day, the NEKGMC is entitled to a free camps’ night. The section opted for a night at the new Jean Haigh Camp once the camp has opened.

Sweatshirts – New NEK GMC hooded sweatshirts will be ordered.

Business Cards -Business cards with QR codes to the website were offered for distribution.

Next Meeting – Sunday January 7, 2024, hopefully at the NorthWoods Stewardship Center in East Charlestown.

Adjournment – The motion to adjourn was offered at 2:15 P.M.

Motion to adjourn [Paul Trojano/Cathi Brooks]

Approved unanimously

Summer Quarterly Meeting – July 9, 2023, Lenny’s Camp – Holland, Vermont

Attendees – Ed Guest, Michael Chernick, Paul Trojano, Cathi Brooks, John Predom, Beth Barnes, Sue
Winsor, Kevin Williamson, Angela Smith, Lenny Targonski, Nancy McClellan, Alison Selle (& Lulu-her
dog), Bart Selle, Steve Farrow, and Jeff Morris
Call to Order & Welcome – NEKGMC President John Predom convened the meeting at 12:54 P.M. John
spoke of being away in California, and his recent clearing of Iris plants at Wheeler Pond with other GMC
members. At the Main Club Annual Meeting, it was announced that former Judge Howard
VanBenthuysen has retired early as GMC President due to health reasons. GMC Vice President Nancy
McClelland has assumed the GMC Presidency. Nancy was present at today’s NEGMC meeting to
introduce herself and present a GMC President’s Award to NEKGMC’s Trail Adoption Coordinator and
GMC Publications contributor, Kevin Wiliamson. The call of a loon beautifully punctuated the opening of
the meeting.

Secretary’s Report – NEKGMC Secretary Michael Chernick summarized the minutes from the 2023
NEKGMC Annual Meeting held on March 26, 2023.
MOTION [Trojano/Brooks] to approve the Secretary’s Report of the 2023 NEKGMC Annual Meeting
Approved unanimously
Treasurer’s Report – NEKGMC Treasurer Angela Smith presented the following report on the section’s finances:
Northeast Kingdom Section ~ Green Mountain Club
Quarterly Financial Statement
As of July 7, 2023
Operating Account
Beginning Balance (as of 03/25/23) $4,964.66

Dues Sharing

Feb (04/07/23) $45.00
Mar (posted 07/03/23) $161.25

Apr (posted 07/05/23) $413.75
May (posted 07/06/23) $76.25


Cathi Brooks (Shirt Shipping) $33.00
John Predom (Reimbursement Website) $137.14
Victor Caamano (Chainsaw Course ½) $110.00
John Predom (Reimbursement Gift Card) $100.00

Ending Balance $5,280.77
Certificate of Deposit
CD#1 ….4489/Matures 01/12/2024 @.40% $1,598.44
CD#2 ….3785/Matures 06/27/2024 @.40% $1,757.40

Grand Total All Monies $8,636.61

Angela Smith ~ Treasurer
The Treasurer’s report was accepted as filed.
Angela raised the issue of securing a debit card at Passumsic Bank (PB), where the NEKGMC maintains
an account. The lack of a debit card is causing logistic issues in purchasing transactions.
MOTION [Farrow/B. Selle] That the NEKGMC Treasurer be authorized to secure a debit card at PNB with
the following restrictions .Any purchases of $50.00 and above must receive EC approval. Cathi Brooks
will retain possession of the card. All paper and digital receipts must be submitted to Angela Smith as
Approved unanimously
Main Club Report – These highlights are from the June materials submitted to the GMC Board prior to
the June Annual Meeting in Craftsbury at Sterling College. John Predom attended in lieu of NEK’s GMC
Board Director Cathi Brooks, who was out-of-state at a family wedding.
Fiscal Year 2023 – May 1, 2022 through April 30, 2023

Fiscal Year 2023 ended with a net deficit of $129,281. The Club was able to use surplus funds
from FY 21 as well as a portion of the working capital fund to bring the deficit down to $45,000. The
working capital reserve is currently at $131,000 or 5% of the budgeted expenses, our target for the
reserve fund. During the coming year we will decide to retire the deficit in the near future.
Total operating revenue for the year was $1.96 million, up substantially from last year, reflecting, in
part, the additional work that was done on the trails funded through fees for service funds and grants.
Revenue in this area was down from the budgeted amount this year due to changes in the work plan for
the field season after the passage of the budget. Contributions came very close to budget and up
significantly from the previous year, due in part to a successful Long Trail Day fundraising event.
Previously the funds from this event went into the Capital Campaign, but now are directed to operating
revenue. Membership was steady from last year’s amounts, but at 91% of the budgeted amount.
Thanks to the development staff for their monumental effort in bringing additional funds in the last 2
months of the year. Some personnel expenses as well as building supplies and lumber were reduced due
to the change in field work plans, but many aspects of the summer field work were increased when
inflation took off in July 2022).
Vehicle costs, contracted professional services, and office expenses were all over budget. Staff and
volunteer support was over budget with quarantine costs due to COVID. The staff worked hard to hold
down expenses, especially late in the fiscal year with a freeze on expenditures and holding off on
rehiring when vacancies occurred.
Non-operating income was up substantially from the previous year from $362,399 to $440,603 with the
increase in the distribution from the endowment and distributions from restricted funds due to the
successful capital campaign.
New efforts to contact lapse members and urge membership renewal have proven successful, resulting
in 312 renewals and $18,000 in revenue.
Fiscal Year 2024 Budget – May 1, 2023 through April 30, 2024
The drafting of the FY 24 budget began in December and worked its way through the Finance
Committee and the Executive Board to be presented at the Board meeting in March. However, as we
approached the end of FY 23, it became clear that adjustments would need to be made, recognizing
current economic realities. The budget being presented is version 3 and reflects those adjustments.
Though this budget is less than the approved FY 23 budget, there is growth from last year’s final figures.
On the revenue side, this budget continues to take advantage of federal funding opportunities to
collaborate with a variety of partners on the Burrows Trail Restoration Project. The goal for
contributions continues to grow. The membership goal is higher than the actuals for FY 23 but reduced
from the previous budget. Total operating revenues are projected at $2.15 million and non-operating
income from the endowment, restricted projects, and the Northern Trail Capital Campaign funding of
$390,000 for a total of $2.54 million. Total operating expenses are projected to be $2.53 million. There
will be 3 Long Trail crews. The base rate of pay for seasonal staff has been increased to $15/hour and as
well as increases to HQ staff salaries as the Club works to be the Employer of Choice and remain
competitive with other organizations. There is a decrease in contract and professional services as there
will be no airlift this year. Transportation/vehicle costs have increased with inflation. Interest expenses
have increased for short-term borrowing with the increase in interest rates. There will be ongoing
challenges. The Club will continue to face inflation and economic uncertainties as we move ahead as
well as a competitive employment market. With its dynamic staff leadership, the Club is in a good
position to meet the challenges.
Overview of FY 24 Budget Revised – Adopted at June Board

The FY24 budget version three is a revised budget for the fiscal year that just started,
addressing the previous year's reality and providing additional financial stability
moving forward. The fiscal year just closed reflects the areas where the organization
could hold or cut costs, the significant increase in work completed and related
expenses, and the impacts of growing inflation and market turmoil.
We will continue facing tight fiscal operations as we spend more money and complete
more in the field and across the organization than in previous years. An increasingly
competitive employee market and an unstable economic outlook add pressure. The
rising cost of goods and services has also put a strain on our budget. This updated
budget reduces income projections, cuts back on some non-essential items, and finds
ways to reduce our costs in other areas. A tight budget environment will persist
through FY24, impacting our operations.
The revised FY24 budget reduces income by 100k and expenses by 78k while
maintaining a balanced budget (surplus of 10k).
Strategic Plan- A draft of the GMC Strategic plan, a document periodically updated, is close to
completion. The GMC Board will review and possibly adopt it at the September GMC Board meeting.
Code of Conduct – GMC continues to revise a new code of conduct addressing all aspects of the
Club’s activities. Concerns have been expressed regarding its length and a summary document may be
included in the final proposal presented to the GMC Board.
Membership, Development, and Communications Activities – Aside from the successful renewal
drive, the GMC conducted a reception for its Ridgeline Society contributors, held a LT sign auction that
raised $9,596, and completed a highly successful multi-media platform Mud Season Information
campaign that reached a broad audience. The Club’s About GMC messaging has been standardized for
all platforms, the grant application procedures have been modified to maximize effectiveness, and plans
are proceeding for the 2023 Long Trail Day fundraiser in August.
Visitor Centers & Herrick Construction – A new Visitor Services Manager, Emily Mosher, has
been hired. She will be responsible for overseeing operations at both the Waterbury and Barnes Camp
Visitor Centers. The long-planned construction of a new Herrick Building, to house the Waterbury Visitor
Center, among other functions, has begun. The current Visitor Center will become additional office
Field Operations – The seasonal crews are planning on a 30-project week (approximately 7-
month season). The multi-year Burrows Trail project on Camel’s Hump is continuing as is construction of
the Beaver Dam (Jean Haigh) Camp. A new AT Management plan for the GMC’s (Vermont) segment of
the AT has been submitted to the Appalachian Trail Conference for approval. Work will start on
examining a new route for the LT on Mount Belvidere. The seasonal crews are fully staffed.
Camps- For the latest quarter Hadsel Mares had a 71 percent rental capacity. 31 percent of the
guests were GMC members. The other camps were closed for Mud Season.
GMC President – Nancy McClelland, the new GMC President, spoke to the section. She thanked
everyone for the invitation to attend and offered memorable comments on the late Jean Haigh. Nancy
spoke of the success of the $ 4 million Capital Campaign and mentioned that long-time GMC and

Burlington Section member and leader, Dot Myers, died in her mid- 90s. Nancy referenced the women
of the NEK. She is willing to learn and welcomes everyone to contact her. Nancy is very dedicated to her
new and unexpectedly early role. She presented a GMC President’s Award to Kevin Williamson for his
long- standing coordination and implementation of the section’s trail adoption program , noting he has
volunteered 100 hours to the Club. Another role has been his leadership as a publications’ contributor
and distributor. Kevin is also an explorer of old trails.
NEKGMC Bylaws Revision – NEKGMC Secretary, Michael Chernick, in response to a request from
NEKGMC President John Predom, drafted an NEKGMC Bylaw Amendment to update a provision that
requires the membership application to be written (with no digital option). Michael submitted the text
to GMC Executive Director Mike DeBonis for comment. Mike replied that review of the various sections’
bylaws had found inconsistencies on membership language. He also identified other bylaw provisions in
conflict with the GMC Bylaws. Rather than adopt a new provision, Mike DeBonis will explore the
adoption of a GMC Membership Bylaw that will cover all sections. He will also work with the GMC
Executive Committee and Board to address the inconsistencies in sections’ bylaws on other topics.
Consequently, the NEKGMC will presently take no further action on an NEKGMC Membership Bylaw
Volunteer Appreciation Day- At one time, Andrea Kane was assuming the lead on this idea, which for now is being deferred.
Upcoming Events –
Bald Mountain July 15 (Cate Bishop) Long Pond Trail Sat
North Branch – Stat July 15 Beth Barnes
Steve Farrell Haystack Mountain – August 12 (Sat)
Long Trail Day – Aug 19 John Predom asked for volunteers to lead a team (Kingdom Express) John
Predom was thinking of hiking the two side trails on Belvidere. This would be an approximately 8 -mile
Cathi Brooks agreed to offer another Sentinel Rock hike for a date to be determined.
Position Vacancies – In light of her resignation as Newport City Mayor, Beth Barnes has graciously
agreed to remain on as the Newsletter Editor. Her relinquishing of the Membership Coordinator’s role
remains unchanged, and a successor is needed.
Next Meeting – The NEKGMC Fall Quarterly meeting will take place on Sunday October 15, 2023 at the
Burke Mountain Clubhouse in East Burke. The specific time and an any associated hike will be
announced at a lat4er date.
Adjournment- At the sound of thunder, the meeting was quickly adjourned at approximately 2:20 P.M.
Submitted by Michael Jay Chernick – NEKGMC Secretary

2023 Annual Meeting, March 26, 2023, Burke Mountain Clubhouse, East Burke, Vermont

Welcome & Called to Order – NEKGMC President, John Predom, welcomed everyone to the 2023 NEKGMC Annual Meeting at 1:05 P.M. John reported on his third year as NEKGMC President, a role he initially assumed at Jean Haigh’s request. Jean was concerned the section would fragment after her passing. This happily has not occurred. He spoke of starting during the pandemic and following COVID-19 guidelines. John had intended to relinquish this role in 2023 but has decided to continue (applause). The challenge to find hike leaders remains. John mentioned incentives to attract hike leaders. He has only 4 to 6 persons who consistently lead hikes. The only requirement to be a hike leader is GMC membership. Incentives are offered for consistent hike leaders such as payment for wilderness first aid. John mused on the thought of a dozen leaders per quarter. On a different topic, he noticed that membership forms must be in writing per the bylaws. As the matter had not been warned, it will be addressed at the Summer quarterly meeting in July.

Secretary’s Report – NEKGMC Secretary, Michael Chernick, reviewed highlights from the January 2023 quarterly meeting held at the NorthWoods Stewardship Center in East Charlestown.
Motion to Approve the Minutes – [Brooks /Commons] Approved unanimously

Treasurer’s Report – NEKGMC Treasurer, Angela Smith, submitted the following quarterly report on the section’s finances:
Northeast Kingdom Section ~ Green Mountain Club
Quarterly Financial Statement
As of March 25, 2023
Operating Account
Beginning Balance (as of 01/14/23)
Dues Sharing
Nov (01/24/23) $120.00
(posted 01/25/23) $266.25
January (posted 03/05/23) $51.25

Cathi Brooks (Shirt Shipping) $82.06
Kingdom Embroidery (Deposit on T-shirts) $186.00
Kingdom Embroidery (Remainder on T-shirts) $186.00
Burke Mountain Clubhouse (Donation) $25.00
Ending Balance
Certificate of Deposit
….4489/Matures 01/12/2024 @.40% $1,595.24
….3785/Matures 06/27/2023 @.40% $1,755.87
Grand Total All Monies

Angela Smith ~ Treasurer
​The section accepted the report as received

Main Club Director’s Report – NEKGMC Main Board Member, Cathi Brooks, reported on the March Main Club Board meeting. The GMC is granting an honorary life membership to XXXX. Someone will substitute for Cathi at the June Main Club Board Meeting as she will be attending a family wedding in Virginia. Long Trail Day will be Aug 19. NEKGMC Executive Director, Mike DeBonis, will take a sabbatical following the 2023 Annual Meeting in June and through the summer. Deputy Director, Alicia Di Coco, will serve this role in Mike’s absence. Mike testified to House Commerce Committee, in the General Assembly, in favor of VHCB funding and other outdoor recreation legislation. A full field season is planned, including construction of the Bromley Tower, the Herrick Building’s reconstruction, and the Jean Haigh Cabin (already under construction). There will be contractor support (already signed) for the timber framing of the Herrick Building. Last year, the field season focused on the multi-organizational reconstruction of the Burrows Trail on Camel’s Hump. This project will continue through next summer (2024). There will be three trail crews
this season and crew members’ base rate will be $15.00 per hour. Funding for Herrick and the Jean Haigh Cabin is from Capital Campaign proceeds and separate fundraising occurred for the BromleyTower. Membership numbers have fallen, and the Main Club hopes to revive them. But contribution numbers are up. A GMC bequest challenge has been started with two anonymous donors providing base funding. Main Club finances are strong. There is an operating deficit that GMC is working to alleviate. The Club is also looking to hire a new manager for the Visitors’ Center.
In 2024, there will be a new edition of the publication 50 Hikes in Vermont. Unfortunately, due to the current lack of public access, the Mount Monadnock article will probably be removed from the book. The Main Club has implemented a new digital geo-system for trails management. The GMC is still looking for volunteers for the Volunteer LT Patrol. This will consist of seven weeks of trail hardening on a designated section of the LT. GMC will be offering, through a private contractor, a chain saw class. Sections were encouraged to support enrollees with tuition grants. The class will take place April 14-16. The 10 class slots will cost in excess of $5,000 (in total). Lorne Currier at Main Club is the coordinator. The class will occur on GMC land in Johnson. NEKGMC Section member, Victor Caamano, may be interested and will contact the Main Club. There will also be cross-cut training in June, but priority for that class will be given to sections with wilderness areas (not NEK). Lot 49 at Wheeler Pond Camp (the parking lot across the road) is completed. The loft space at Hadsel will no longer be a permitted sleeping area due to safety reasons. Various repairs have been completed at Hadsel. The Judevine track has been transferred to the State. There are approximately 6 miles of LT still requiring protection. The connection to North Country Trail (an east-west National Scenic Trail extending from Vermont to North Dakota) has been approved. The final eastern end of North Country Trail will be at Maine Junction. There will be updating on management planning aspects of this project. Lastly, the FY 2024 (starts May 1, 2023) Main Club Budget was approved.

NEKGMC Officer Elections -The following slate of officers for the 2023-2024 year was proposed:
President – John Predom (1 year)
Vice President – Paul Trojano (1 year)
Secretary – Michael Chernick (1 year)
Treasurer – Angela Smith (1 year)
Rep to Main Board Cathi Brooks (3 years)
No other nominations were offered
Motion to direct the NEKGMC Secretary to cast a single ballot for all four elected officers- [Barnes/Caamamo], Approved Unanimously
Appointment of NEKGMC Section Archivist, Andrea Kane to the NEKGMC Executive Committee
Motion to direct the NEKGMC President to appoint the NEKGMC Archivist, Andrea Kane, to the Executive Committee [Barnes/Caamamo], Approved unanimously
Membership Coordinator Vacancy – Beth Barnes is stepping down as NEKGMC Membership Coordinator/Newsletter editor as she will be busily engaged in her duties as mayor of Newport. The opening is posted. Beth will remain in these roles till a successor is appointed. The posts could be split but usually have been unified.

KHT Corridor Management Agreement – The agreement designating the GMC as the organizational manager for hiking trails on the Kingdom Heritage Lands expires in the near future and will be up for renewal. John Predom is interested in modifications to the plan regarding Unknown Pond (remove) and Black Mountain (added). V The idea of designating NorthWoods Stewardship Center as a co-manager will be discussed.

Wilderness First Aid Renewals – Section hike leaders (Susan Winsor/Cathi Brooks) Wilderness First Aid certification is expiring. The NEKGMC will cover the cost for renewals via attendance at a class that Andrea Kane (a qualified instructor) will offer.

Trail Work Day – Tentatively set for Sunday June 4. Exact location is to be determined. Kevin would prefer a new location. Kevin suggested Unknown Pond (South side of Middle Mountain).
Brighton Trail Day (June 24 tentative). Sue Winsor will work with someone from the Town of Island Pond on the necessary arrangements and the permitting process. After discussions, it has been decided toretain this event in Brighton.

Section Workings Group and Membership – Beth Barnes reports the exact number of members is uncertain. Rick Dugan, the Main Club Membership Coordinator, is responsible for this data. Beth is assuming 300 members, based the knowledge that four new members have joined. On March 29 there is an NVU-Lyndon Health Fair. Beth discussed a joint event with the Northern Frontier Section at the Jay Recreation site off River Road. But on further discussion that site was determined to be too small. The section discussed August 5 or September 9 as possible dates for this event. Beth will contact Ken Whitehead (President Northern Frontier). She is considering a Newport hiking event at a later date. The idea of a bike ride across the border via the Beebe Spur Trail was proposed. The date of the next section working group is undetermined.

Camps Committee – Paul Trojano, Chair of the Main Club’s Camps Committee, indicated that volunteers will be welcomed (on set dates) to participate in the raising of the walls of Jean’s Cabin. The parking lot across the street has been expanded. There will be a new woodshed near the Jean Haig Cabin. Paul emphasized that there is a need to keep 10 chords of wood at Wheeler on a continuing basis. In the fall, there will be a wood stacking event. Paul will be visiting the site on 3/27.

Trails Management Committee (Main Club) Cathi Brooks – The LT Management Plan is being revised. One issue is that hikers have been staying overnight for multiple nights. The issue of vandalism and hate speech has arisen, a more effective policy is needed. An update on the Leave No Trace policy and the associated issue of waste disposal is also required. Another topic is the policy on tree removal. Only qualified persons should be determining if tree should be removed. There was not any discussion at the most recent TC Meeting regarding the primitive camp sites on the KHT. This is a topic that John Predom wants to move forward. John mentioned new Pisgah signs are coming. The Caretaker fees at GMC shelters are being eliminated. The idea is to eliminate the caretakers handling cash. Alternative revenue sources will account for this loss of income.

Section Volunteer Appreciation Date – The idea of staging this event in April is off. It will be rescheduled for the fall. There remains no indication that Main Club will reestablish a Volunteer Appreciation Day. Therefore, proceeding forward with a section event is warranted.

Volunteers to Lead Hikes – John Predom again stressed his desire to find creative ways to entice new hike leaders.

GMC Annual Meeting – June 17 at Craftsbury Outdoor Center
Bylaw Update– Michael Chernick will send out proposed language to address updating the Section Bylaws relative to the written application required for GMC membership.
GMC Summer Quarterly Meeting – July 9-Lenny’s Camp Holland Vermont. Details to follow

Kevin suggested a group trail even at John’s Trail or Cow Mountain. (see above)
Agreement on adjournment at 2:46

Submitted by Michael Jay Chernick – NEKGMC Secretary

Winter Quarterly Meeting, January 22, 2023, NorthWoods Stewardship Center- East Charlestown, Vermont

Call to Order – NEK GMC President John Predom called the meeting to order at 1:10 P.M., thanking the volunteers. He spoke of volunteering as a hike leader and referencing the GMC “Hike Leaders’ Guide.” John emphasized that a trip need not be in the NEK. Kevin Williamson noted a trip is not limited to hiking (mentioning cross country skiing, snowshoeing, canoeing, and biking). Cathi Brooks mentioned the availability of taking a first aid course with Andrea Kane, with section subsidization.

Secretary’s Report – NEKGMC Secretary Michael Chernick highlighted the minutes of the October 1, 2022 fall quarterly meeting.

MOTION [Brooks/Barmes] moved to approve the secretary’s minutes as submitted.

Approved unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report – NEKGMC Treasurer Angela Smith submitted the following report, which Michael Chernick summarized in Angela’s absence.

Northeast Kingdom Section ~ Green Mountain Club

Quarterly Financial Statement

As of January 14, 2023

Operating Account

Beginning Balance (as of 09/30/22) $5,136.72



Dues Sharing

July (posted 10/18/22) $161.25

August (posted 10/20/22) $173.75

September (posted 11/15/22) $111.25

October (posted 11/15/22) $183.75


Local Donut LLC $124.00

Cathi Brooks (Deposit on T-shirts) $305.00

John Predom (Coffee) $26.50

Kingdom Embroidery (Remainder on T-shirts) $305.00

Ending Balance $5,006.22


Certificate of Deposit

CD#1 ….4489/Matures 01/12/2023 @.40% $1,593.99

CD#2 ….3785/Matures 06/27/2023 @.40% $1,755.16


Grand Total All Monies $8,355.37

Angela Smith ~ Treasurer

Beth Barnes inquired on the mechanics of dues sharing and a short discussion on the reports from Main Club ensued.

Director’s Report – NEKGMC Director Cathi Brooks reported on the most recent Main Club Board meeting, conducted via Zoom. The Club continues to follow any State COVID guidelines. A new 5-year strategic plan is in development. The GMC’s auditing firm recently issued a clean audit. Finances are looking good. The Club’s revenue is tracking above the 2022 level compared to this point last year. The Club continues to offer supportive activities for Ridgeline Society members. The Capital Campaign’s goal of $4,000,000.00 was achieved. The Herrick Building reconstruction project at Waterbury headquarters will start during 2023. Despite challenges of inflation and supplies, the original Herrick Building budget remains as the Board adopted. Construction on the new Wheeler Pond Camp continues, as well as renovations on Hadsel Mares. Northern LT construction continues as part of a five-year effort to bring conditions on this segment of the trail to the level of the federally protected segment to the south. The 2022 field season was extremely busy catching up on the COVID related backlog. Finding crew leaders was challenging, but ultimately successful. The GMC closed on the Judevine parcel and transferred 1.25 acres of the LT to state, with the Club’s retention of a trail easement. The GMC and the Watermaan Fund held an outdoor stewardship session on Mt Mansfield.

An extensive membership survey was recently completed, and Cathi Brooks distributed a copy for viewing. According to the survey, the Club’s membership is becoming older. Key topics on members’ perspective on participation in GMC activities were surveyed. For example, 92 percent of survey respondents thought the LT was important. One interesting point, some members did not find section membership was important.

Cathi Brooks reported a much-needed new road sign is being installed at the car entrance to the Waterbury headquarters on Route 100.

Closer to home, she reaffirmed the new camp at Wheeler Pond will be named in Jean’s honor. Six new parking spaces are being constructed across the road from the camps.

This past summer’s LT Day, Club-wide, raised over $49,000. The NEKGMC again was the most successful LT Day fundraiser. This year the LT Day is scheduled for Aug 19. The Burrows Trail reconstruction project on Camel’s Hump continues this summer as a cooperative effort of several trail-focused organizations. The 2022 effort resulted in extensive trail improvements with more planned for 2023.

Appointment of Outings Coordinator – Susan Winsor has volunteered to serve as the NEKGMC’s Outing’s Coordinator. John Predom listed recent section trips. He reminded everyone that leaders have discretion to determine whether a participant is equipped and able to participate in a hike. He also asked for volunteers and stressed the option of S.L.O.T.H. (Sauntering Ladies on Therapeutic Hikes) (less stressful) events.

NorthWoods Stewardship Center (NWSC) – NorthWoods Executive Director Maria Young, today’s meeting host, thanked everyone for supporting the organization, which was established in 1989. NWSC has approximately 15 full-time staff and expands to over 100 in the summer, including youth crews. The organization hosts school groups, a summer camp, and is looking to leverage conservation experience from youth and adults. She commented the NWSC experience for young people is very meaningful. NWSC is committed to fostering the next generation of conservation and stewardship leadership.

The NWSC headquarters site in East Charleston encompasses 1500 acres, including forestry demonstration projects. NWSC seeks to eliminate economic and social justice barriers to participation, in its activities. The new conservation barn recently opened. Looking ahead, the organization will continue to invest in trails. A new main lodge entrance and bringing the lodge into ADA compliance is planned. Linked to the ADA proposal is a plan for an all-person trail. The Camel’s Hump collaboration with GMC (Burrows Trail) continues. The NWSC also participates in the Kingdom Heritage Trail (KHT) Partnership hike.

This year, NWSC will partner with the White Mountain National Forest on the Franconia/Saco loops, as well work in the Green Mountain National Forest and at Cow Mountain Pond. There will be locally based crews, and their assignments will include work in the Nulhegan Refuge. NWSC has constructed many of the refuge’s boardwalks and has work on the Northern Canoe Trail. There was further discussion of camping sites that have involved NWSC ‘s construction participation. The second edition of the “Northeast Kingdom Mountain Trail Guide” has been issued under NWSC’s exclusive auspices.

NEKGMC has volunteered at the annual Westmore Challenge. Maria mentioned the NEK Challenge Facebook page. NWSC has now hired a full-time communications person. 2022 was the first offering of the Jean Haigh scholarship for the Westmore Challenge. Ami English was the 2022 recipient of this scholarship.

Maria Young stated there is not a formal NWSC volunteer program, nor is one immediate planned.

Forest, Parks, and Recreation (FPR) Update – FPR Recreation Specialist Luke O’Brien thanked everyone for helping to keep the trails’ program alive. FPR is now focused on state trails’ resources. He appreciated reports on trail problems posted on Facebook. Luke has just received news of projects to be funded in 2023, but there were not as many as he had hoped. Unfortunately, the financial request focused on staff and limits project opportunities. There is some funding for crew projects, including two weeks of NEK roving crews, supporting work on Bluff Ridge. The boardwalk at Brighton State Park will be replaced. There will be work on the Peacham Bog Trail and improved access for a fishing access.

There are new recommendations for limiting tower access for safety reasons, but miscellaneous safety repairs to multiple towers is planned. The roof on the Bald Tower has been replaced. To complete all the tower work initially proposed in the NEK would cost $2.8 million. This amount will be revised to below $2 million. Bald’s construction is based on the 1933 design and Monadnock’s and Burke’s were built on the 1937 design. Initially major revisions will be made at the Burke and Bear Mountain towers. Treads will be replaced on Bald’s tower. Luke is hoping the Bald tread project can be achieved through volunteer-community participation.

This past field season, Luke oversaw the renovation of seven lodging shelters, largely as a forestry staff project. He is trying to develop a funding source for trail work on Burke as well as the Long Pond Trail on Bald. Luke suggested a couple of trail maintenance outings with the NEKGMC. There will be a bunch of trail work at the south end of Lake Willoughby. CRAGVT (a rock climbing organization) will probably be granted corridor management status for rock climbing on Black Mountain. The KHT (formerly Champion) Corridor Management plan is up for overall review in two years. FPR is starting to think ahead on the specifics of the next corridor proposal. The Plan is scheduled for signing in 2025.

There is a growing awareness of human impact on wildlife, but Luke also pushes back a little bit in the belief that humans can be separated from nature. The key is finding the right balance. There might be a hard end goal on the number of trails, whether prospective or to stop at the current number. He is trying to remove all bias and determine the impact of all trails from a landscaping and site perspective.

Camps – Paul Trojano, the Main Club Camps Committee Chair (and the NEKGMC Vice President) reported, as had Cathi Brooks, on the Main Club Board’s approval, at its June 2022 Annual Meeting, of a motion to name the new Wheeler Pond Camp in Jean Haigh’s memory. But the specific name will be decided later this winter. Plywood stacking at Wheeler Pond has been completed. At the next Camps Committee meeting, he will advocate for expanding the existing Wheeler firewood storage area and to build a new one, after the new camp is completed. But, he will also suggest that the stored high-quality would be limited for heating (and not outside pit fires). Luke O’Brien suggested securing separate camp firewood for the outdoor pits. Renovations for repairing Hadsel Mares should be finished by Feb 1. The GMC, ideally, would modify the two camps to offer ADA compliant.

Luke commented on the need for a tenting site proposal on the KHT. One site is on Weyerhaeuser land another on Sweet Tree. Weyerhaeuser has a resource concern. Sweet Tree may be more willing, but the U.S. Forest Service holds an easement, which may prove problematic.

Trails – NEK Trails Adoption Coordinator Kevin Williamson reports, assuming all current adopters return this coming season, he is optimistic that nearly full coverage will be available. The only certain problem is the Wheeler Pond Trail. The meeting’s attendees discussed the crossing at Beaver Dam. In response to an inquiry, Kevin Williamson reviewed a listing of trail adopter duties. He stated he hopes to arrange a spring trail workday at Cow Mountain Pond. Maria Young mentioned that bringing out a group of young students to perform trail work requires adult supervision.

Membership – (John Predom reporting for NEKGMC Membership Coordinator Beth Barnes who needed to leave the meeting early). At present, the NEKGMC has 296 enrolled members. Beth is working with Discover Newport to list hiking as a local heritage activity. Jesse Holden is interested in an all-day KHT event in October. But this would cause a Moose season conflict. The members had questions on insurance coverage and other details. Permitting from GMC, the town, and FPR would be required.

NEK Appreciation Day – Cathi Brooks wishes to recognize a few section volunteers at an annual section event. The future of the Main Club’s Volunteer Appreciation Day is uncertain. She is working with Kingdom Embroidery in Lyndon to design a gift for the honorees. Luke would love to support a Volunteer Appreciation Day. The event could feature information on trail training activities. No budget for the event has been approved. It was mentioned that April is Nation Volunteer Month. The section decided on Sunday April 16, and a committee will be developed, including Andrea Kane and Luke O’Brien, to organize the event.

NEKGMC Membership Incentives – John Predom had posed the question whether after an individual has attended a set number of trips a membership would be required. Attempting to incentivize membership was discussed with different approaches. Maximizing membership promotion at more opportunities both in person and digital, such as at organized events or trailheads was discussed. In response to this challenge to increase the percentage of hike participants, who are section members, several persons offered written comments as follows:

Paul Trojano: I think if someone who wasn’t a member came on group hikes, a gentle prompting about membership will either coax them into joining or stop joining group hikes altogether. The macro concept to me, aside from all your poignant comments, is how to sustain our section both financially and with “young blood”.


Cathi Brooks: Very well said, I joined years ago when I was looking for people to hike with and loved the camaraderie I found also. I had supported AMC for several years, but switched after finding GMC.  I have a good friend who does pamphlets for groups including Kingdom Trails. I also liked the idea of having contact info on maps. 


Andrea Kane: There was a lot of exuberance around the topic of non-members going on hikes, and I never had a chance to finish my thought in the meeting today, so I want to be clear I initially joined the GMC out of obligation to support the trails financially, rather than a desire to hook up with hiking partners. Then I had young kids, and I started a GMC Young Adventurer’s Club for the Bread Loaf Section. Then I heard of an opening on the publications committee and that fit with the freelance writing I was doing at the time. Then we moved back to the NEK and Jean roped me in with her charm. (I believe her words to me were, “Why haven’t you joined the NEK Section yet?”) But the reason I stay involved to this day – and look forward to a long future with the section – is because of all of you. My point is that there are lots of reasons people get involved and stay involved, but whatever brings them to one of our events – be it a meeting, an Eat N Greet, or a hike, I don’t think it makes any sense to turn them away for not yet being members. Especially when the sense of camaraderie with the section is so strong. How could they resist your charms? WWJD? (What would Jean do?) I say we approach every interaction with the assumption they do want to get involved, then keep ’em coming, hope they have a fun and memorable time, get their email addresses, invite them to take a role with this or that (“Have you led a hike yet? Oh wait, are you a member yet?”) and if they still don’t join, let them know their dues are overdue. I don’t have everyone’s email who was at the meeting, but wanted to be sure at least you all knew what I meant.

Sue Winsor: Very well said …. I tend to agree. I lead hikes to get people the experience of hiking. I myself did not become a member until after numerous hikes. Promoting on the hikes is good and I do that. I wonder if a simple handout with levels of membership and some of benefits would be helpful. 


Invitation to Jean Haigh Descendants – It was decided that the first stay at the new Wheeler Pond Camp should be offered to Jean Haigh’s family with recognition of Jean at a dedicatory event.

Taylor Series – A Zoom facilitated virtual Taylor event will be held on February 16 hosted by our section. The ‘American Alps’ in Washington’s Northern Cascades; Adam and Ruthie LaRoche of Franklin, Vermont, spent ten days in August hiking and backpacking in Washington State’s northernmost wilderness, the North Cascades. .

Next meeting – The next NEKGMC meeting (the Annual Meeting) will take place on Sunday March 26 at the Burke Mountain Club in East Burke, time and pre-meeting outing to be determined.

Adjournment– The meeting adjourned by mutual consent, without a motion, at 3:58 PM.

Link to Past Minutes