Appalachian Mountain Club Information

Appalachian Mountain Club Information

Appalachian mountain club is an outdoor recreation and conservation facility that ensures that natural resources are effectively utilized while individuals gain maximum recreational advantages from these resources. The club has numerous branches and chapters spread across its park regions. However, the headquarters of its office is situated on Joy Street, Boston in Massachusetts, United States of America. Visitors can contact the main office in case of enquiries or reservations for outdoor activities through the telephone number: (617) 523-0636. The main direct transit to the club is through the Park St. station.

Club Background

The Appalachian Mountain Club was founded back in 1876 and is one of the country’s oldest recreation and conservation agencies. AMC was formed so as to enable people to be aware of the nature and realize the beauty that it brings and take advantage of the mental and physical refreshment that this amenity can provide (AMC, 2012). This agency started operating on a budget of $295 and 134 members only, at a time when there was neither any national park nor forest. An aspect that distinguished AMC from other service providers over the industry was its ability to mobilize and work with volunteers. As such, volunteerism has remained part of AMC’s tradition; an aspect that gives its members a sense of community. 

The club has sustained its highly decentralized organizational structure, although it has been able to maintain its administrative offices in Boston. The club has used its chapters to grow its membership base over the base. The first chapter was formed in 1912 in New York. By 1992, the club had successfully formed twelve chapters, which extended from Maine to Washington (AMC, 2012). Each chapter was semi-autonomous operating with autonomous budget. Since these periods, the agency has evolved to be the most stable agency involved in environmental conservation and outdoor recreational facility. 

The agency ensures that mountains, forests, trails and waters of the Appalachian band are protected and understood by various stakeholders. AMC has a member-base of over 100,000, supporters and advocates, more than 16,000 volunteers and full time and seasonal staff exceeding 450 individuals. Currently, the agency offers more than eight thousand trips in a single year ranging from local recreational activities to global excursions. AMC works closely with over 40,000 young individuals annually through specifically designed programs that makes outdoors and the general environment accessible to youths of all socio-economic backgrounds.

Organizational Culture

AMC has been able to maintain its culture of volunteerism over the years. This culture enables different individuals to freely associate with the agency as well as assisting in various activities without any profiteering motive. After volunteering with the agency, an individual becomes a full member of the club, which enables them to have certain privileges that are not accessible by other ordinary citizens (Knudson, Douglas, Cable & Larry, 2005). Besides, this culture has enabled the agency to create a large network of individuals into a single community.

Mission, Vision and Philosophy

The mission of the Appalachian Mountain Club is to promote the protection, enjoyment and efficient use of mountains, rivers and trails found in the North-Eastern region. The agency believes that the mountains and rivers have intrinsic value that provides spiritual renewal, recreational opportunities, and economic and ecological prosperity of the surrounding region. AMC has a philosophy of encouraging people to appreciate and enjoy the benefits that natural world presents them, and that successful conservation of the same depends on the people’s experiences with it.

The mission, vision and philosophy of an organization provide a direction on where the organization wants to be ion future and through which mechanism it will get there (Schein, 1997). All these components are found in the mission and philosophy of AMC in the above section. 

Goals, policies and procedures

AMC encourages individuals to engage in its mission, vision and activities through its programs, policies and procedures. In order to conserve, enjoy and use the mountains, rivers and trails wisely, the Appalachian Mountain Club actively engages its expanding membership in the process of achieving its five main goals that include:

  • To encourage protection of mountains, rivers and trails in the Northeast while at the same time encouraging their ecological and economic usage.
  • To facilitate the enjoyment of these scenery by providing access to them.
  • To provide stewardship of these special areas.
  • To create awareness on conservation and appreciation of the natural world.
  • To create and maintain financial stability in the administration of these facilities. 

The agency has various programs that are designed for specific age groups of members for special topics and/or activities. The club requires that any person who meets minimum qualifications on skills, experience and fitness, that are established by club leaders for any given activity is eligible to participate in these activities subject to the availability of opportunities.

Programs

The mission of Appalachian Mountain Club is to make the outdoors be accessible and more meaningful to all persons of different socio-economic status. In order to meet this wide range of clientele, the agency has customized its programs to suit every member of the society irrespective of their status. As such, the club has family programs, teen programs, school camp and scouting programs, urban youth programs, and adult programs.

Through partnership with local organizations, schools and other community groups, the agency ensures that people from all walks of life enjoy meaningful outdoor experiences. On the outdoor adventure menu, the agency supports a wide variety of experiences ranging from short walks to backpacking expeditions. These activities include, nature walks, hiking, camping, backpacking, canoeing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

Individuals that participate in these activities gain more experiences through stepping into new environments. For instance, through participating in outdoor activities, the youth have opportunites to develop leadership skills, self confidence and respect  for self and others, trust, a sense of responsibility for self and others, critical thinking skills, teamwork experience, and decision-making skills.

Most of the programs designed for outdoors are customized for the energetic members of the society since these activities are high calorie-consumers. Elderly members of the society do not participate in these activities more often (Schein, 1997). The research conducted reflected these findings and argued that this phenomenon is attributed to the fact that younger members of the society are motivated to take on more challenging and risky activities as opposed to their elderly counterparts.  

Participants

The mission of Appalachian Mountain Club is to provide access to the natural world to all groups of individuals regardless of their race, color, age, or socioeconomic status. With this regard, the clients that this organization serves are a well diversified client-base. As such, the client base of the agency ranges from young adults to the elderly members of the society. Each of these groups has specialized services that are customized for their enjoyment.

Although the club allows all age-groups of individuals to participate in their activities, the research has indicated that the demographics of the clients is skewed toward the young adults and middle-aged participants. This means that people between teenage and forty years are frequenters of the club. The elderly participates in these events less often.

According to the research conducted, outdoor recreational activities are mostly attended by young adults and middle aged individuals. The elderly members of the society are reserved to the indoor recreational programs due to the extraneous nature of the outdoors (Attarian, 1999). The demographics ion AMC participation therefore echoes these findings.

References

Attarian, A. (1999). Collaborative Resource Management: The Stone Mountain Project. Parks and recreation, 38(7), 75-79.

Knudson, Douglas M., Ted, T. & Larry B. (2005). Interpretation of Cultural and Natural resources. Venture Publishing.

Schein, E.H. (1997). Organizational Culture and Leadership. (Jossey-Bass Business and Management Series) Jossey-Bass Publishers, January 1997.

The Appalachian Mountain Club. Accessed on 01 September 2012, from:  http://www.outdoors.org/about

The Electronic Hallway Network. Appalachian Mountain Club. Retrieved from: http://som.csudh.edu/depts/public/fsmith/PDF%20files/Appalachian%20Mountain%20Club.pdf

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