Schedule of Events for 2023 Chapter Picnic at Harriman!

Join us for our Annual NY-NoJ AMC Chapter Picnic Weekend! This year the Annual Picnic returns to the Corman AMC Harriman Outdoor Center! Come for just the Saturday Picnic, stay over Saturday night, or join us for a whole weekend (Friday-Sunday). It’s up to you!


We’ve lined up an entire weekend of fun outdoor activities, with the picnic highlight on Saturday at 4:30 pm. Full schedule is below, and click here for more info and tickets!


Appalachian Mountain Club
New York- North Jersey Chapter Picnic Weekend 

June 9 – 11, 2023

Schedule of the Event

Meeting Time Outing and Location  Leader(s)

FRIDAY, JUNE 9, 2023

3:00 p.m. onward Registration   CHOC staff
** greeters
6:00 p.m. Dinner @ Dining Hall 
8:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Sunset Paddle Eileen, Loretta,
Mary Ann
9:00 p.m. Campfire, Fire pit by shelters Scott Frank 
10:00 pm Quiet Hours Begin 


Registration CHOC staff
** greeters
7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Morning Yoga, The Swim Dock Martina Puchta
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast @ Dining Hall
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Swags (Bandanas, Patches, Hats) to be sent out
greeter to guide on how to sign up activities
9:15 a.m. -12:15 p.m. A leisurely Bird-watching walk of a few miles
Please bring binoculars
Miriam Rakowski
9:15 a.m. Fishing seminar Jim Om
9:15 a.m.
– 2 p.m.
Trail Maintenance Hike –
hike a 1-mile stretch of the Suffern Bear Mountain Trail from CHOC to Big Hill Shelter
Eileen Yin
9:15 a.m.  Vigorous Hike – Northern Harriman – 10 miles
(Lake Kanawaukie in a loop).

Meet at Visitor Center, CHOC

Tim Watters
9:30 a.m. Laurel on Diamond Mountain – 6 miles
Meet at the Lake Sebago Parking Lot

Very hilly terrain at a moderate pace

Judy Kossover
10:30 a.m.  Moderate Hike – participants are invited to join in using iNaturalist and/or Seek apps for plant identification on this hike
Meet outside the Visitor Center
David Hartree
10:30 a.m. Paddling Demo 

By the Dock

Richard Dabal
10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Fairly Easy Hike – 3 miles
Meet outside the Visitor Center
Don Kress
11:15 am to 12:15 p.m. Tour of Camp Baker, limited to 10 people
Meet outside the Visitor Center
Esther De Vito
Andrew Ricci
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Scavenger Hunt by the Beach
with Prizes (limited to 16 ppl)
Cheryl and Len
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Birding by Kayak
(experienced kayakers only)

Please bring binoculars

Miriam Rakowski
Loretta Brady
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Hike by the Lake
Meet at the Boat Launch
Tamara Wrenn
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. First Aid Demo @ Pavilion
Simple first aid given out
Richard Dabal
2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Tour of Camp Baker, limited to 10 people
Meet outside the Visitor Center
Daria Mickowski

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Leave No Trace Workshop @ Pavilion Anna Harrington and Frank Wortner
4:00 p.m.  A blind Chocolate tasting @ dining hall or Pavilion
with prizes
Cheryl and Len
4:30 p.m. Chapter Picnic and BBQ
Chair speech & prizes Dawn Riley
6:30 p.m.  Chocolate Fondue @ dining hall Cheryl and Len
8 p.m. Chocolate-related movie x 2 @ Rec Hall Cheryl and Len
8 – 8:30 p.m. Sunset Paddle
Meet at the boat launch
Eileen, Loretta,
Mary Ann
9:00 p.m. Campfire, Fire pit by shelters NEED A LEADER
10:00 pm Quiet Hours Begin

SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2023

7:15 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Morning Yoga, The Swim Dock Martina Puchta
7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast @ Dining Hall
9:15 a.m. –

A leisurely Bird-watching walk of a few miles
Please bring binoculars
Meet outside the Visitor Center
Miriam Rakowski
10:00 a.m.

Easy Hike – 3 miles
Meet outside the Visitor Center
Don Kress

** Greeters

Friday, June 9

Registration desk: 

3-4 pm Miriam Rakowski  

4-5 pm Loretta Brady 

5-6 pm Mary Ann Hoag 

Saturday, June 10

Registration desk:

9-10 am Mary Ann Hoag  

10-11 am Rebecca Goldburg/Ed Spirko

11-12 pm Rebecca Goldburg/Ed Spirko

12-1 pm Martina Puchta

2023 Annual Summit Leadership Award Winners, David Hartree and R.J. Lau!

Please give a huge and well-deserved congratulations to David Hartree and R.J. Lau, NY/NoJ chapter members who received awards at the AMC’s annual summit in Norwood Massachusetts in January 2023.

R.J. Lau

RJ Lau worked with Amanda Knight of the NH chapter as lead organizers for the Rumney Together Climbing Festival in the White Mountains, bringing together over 100 people for a weekend. The inclusive event featured clinics and affinity spaces, providing an opportunity for historically marginalized and underrepresented climbers could meet and enjoy time with other climbers. With support from partner organizations and outdoor retailers, the event included a land acknowledgement, observance of Juneteenth, celebration of Gay Pride month, bonfires, raffles, and presentations. 

David Hartree

David has dedicated generous amounts of his time to AMC for more than 15 years, including as Conservation Committee chair, an Executive Committee member, and one of the Chapter’s top five hike leaders for the past decade. In addition to his committee roles, David coordinates activities with neighboring chapters, organizes Earth Day events and champions the chapter’s participation in iNaturalist. In short, David exemplifies what it means to be an AMC volunteer.


Congratulations to the Winners of the 2022 Chapter Awards

Please congratulate the dedicated volunteers who were honored at this year’s Annual Meeting with our Chapter Awards for 2022! 


Hiking Chair Steve Galla

For a member who embodies the spirit of our chapter and inspires others by leading, mentoring, or encouraging leadership or activity for AMC this year.

“Steve took on the role of Hiking Committee Chair at a challenging time with the number of leaders and hikes still not rebounding after the pandemic. He has made it his mission to get members and our community outdoors. Steve is an active hiking leader and mentor. He encourages others to become leaders, removes barriers, and is always available and accessible to assist volunteers and members.”

AMBASSADOR AWARD: Dionne C. Monsanto

For a member who encourages others to participate with AMC or promotes AMC and our Chapter by recruiting, advocating, and speaking for or representing AMC at events (including in office, outside venue or related to an activity), etc. this year.

“Dionne started participating with the Chapter’s DEI committee a couple of years ago, as a featured wellness speaker at a BIPOC women’s meeting.  She quickly became a regular participant and contributor to the DEI committee. Dionne is a yoga and dance instructor as well as a gifted public speaker, has taken AMC leader training, canoe/kayak and hike leader/co-leader training, and led yoga/dance events at the Stephen & Betsy Corman AMC Harriman Outdoor Center (CHOC) and at Fire Island. Her poise, grace, big smile and talents make Dionne a worthy ambassador for the Chapter.”


The Unsung Hero Award is given to the member who supports the Chapter behind the scenes, in less visible or celebrated ways. This may include handling membership or communication initiatives, trails work or public service, other committee work, or record keeping, etc.

“Perhaps no one has dedicated more care and attention to the Chapter than John Allman. Week after week, he’s poured his passion and formidable financial acumen into the Chapter and AMC community at large, serving as the Chapter Treasurer and a representative in the Club-wide finance advisory group. He’s known for creating financial reports exceeding all expectations and advising the Executive Committee on planning, procedures, expenditures, and excess reserves. He’s also a member of the Greater New York Committee, ensuring that the interests of Chapter members are represented. 

Beyond that, John is a champion for DEI initiatives and a staunch supporter of the AMC mission, advancing ideas and opportunities for the Chapter to uphold our commitment to the community. His work has had a multiplier effect, because it directly enables every other volunteer and participant in the Chapter to be successful. His encouragement, creativity and partnership with other leaders is truly appreciated.”

And find out who won Appie of the Year for 2022.



Congratulations to Charles Michener, the 2022 Appie of the Year!

The Appie of the Year award was presented by Nominating Committee Chair Henry Schreiber at the New York-North Jersey Chapter’s Annual Meeting on November 30.

The Appie award is for an individual who gives selflessly of him/herself for the good of the Appalachian Mountain Club; one who works tirelessly, often behind the scenes, organizing, leading in fact and by example; someone who has served in this manner for several years, thus over time continuing this commitment; an active volunteer, rather than someone who served well in the past, or for a limited time. The Appie exemplifies what is best about the volunteer ethic that makes our Club, and particularly our Chapter, so special.

Nominated for decades of service to AMC

“Charles has served nearly 20 years, repairing our boats and hearts in our fleet of growing paddlers of the NY-NoJ chapter.

His pride in the club and his warmth and generosity brings in kayakers, quiet water folk, whitewater experts, and canoeists of every shape and size. He served with the Inter-Chapter Paddling committee to propose, promote, and select worthy conservation projects. He served as the Canoe and Kayak Committee Chair, encouraging DEI awareness and more than one successful program to showcase and integrate persons of color and of all ages. He is watchfully guiding the transition from the Youth Program to continue paddling opportunities for the less privileged, stoking the training and confidence of leaders in that former arm of AMC. 

Charles’s passion is spotting and training leaders, and promoting instruction for safety and access to the astounding sport of paddling in all its flavors.He has led multi-day trips as leader and support boater to promote the wonderful Adirondack Park, as well as streams and rivers far and wide.

His policies and decisions have guided our award-winning publication, Paddle Splashes, which has helped buoy interest in working with AMC’s Mark Zakutansky and AWA to expand Mongaup Pond releases in Sullivan County, New York, and appreciation of that area, and Esopus Creek inter-club committees, to continue attention on the safety and continuity of releases, which help the economy of the Catskills region.

Charles has promoted partnerships with many regional clubs to augment our mutual strengths, and assist each other in our gaps. He also successfully completed a partnership to train Bergen Community College NJ Outing Club folk. 

Lately, his guiding increased Young Members participation with SUPs, along with Volunteer Relations Manager Justin Bailey. Most of all, in his years leading as Quartermaster, Equipment Chair, CKC Committee Chair, Instructional Chair and so much more, he leads by example and grows the community by generous outreach.

We would not be the incredibly far-reaching, long-lived, thriving special club that it is without Charles Michener.”


Annual Awards Will Be Announced and Photographer Max Milligan Will Speak at the Annual Meeting

We’re pleased to announce that the featured speaker for the Annual Meeting on Wednesday, November 30 will be author and fine art photographer Max Milligan.
“Milligan is renowned for his painterly eye and the fact that he uses no filters, flash and only minimal digital correction in his work. With eight books published and two in production, his titles have appeared in The Times Top Ten Travel Books of the Year and Condé Nast Traveler Book of the Month.
He began his career working as a wildlife cameraman for the BBC and National Geographic Video in the Amazon jungle before becoming a documentary editor at the BBC and Channel 4 in London.
His artworks hang in private and corporate collections worldwide, including the prestigious Deutsche Bank collection in London. Previous exhibitions include Kensington Palace, City Hall London and The European Parliament.
Max’s words and pictures have appeared in newspapers such as The Times, Daily Telegraph, FT, Guardian, Independent and magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, Condé Nast Traveler, FT How to spend it, New Scientist, Saturday Telegraph Magazine and Porter.
Milligan has also taken stills on the sets of movies such as James Bond, Harry Potter and Bridget Jones and numerous others on behalf of the Corporation of London.
He has lectured to MENSA at Cambridge University and often gives illustrated talks at The Royal Geographical Society as well as giving photography seminars, workshops and courses in institutions all the way from Peru to the University of Brighton.”
In addition, Esther Devito, AMC’s regional director of development in the greater New York area, will speak during the Annual Meeting, which will be held virtually. Nominees for the Executive Committee will be presented and voted upon and chapter awards for the Appie of the Year, Inspiration, Ambassador, and Unsung Hero will be announced during the event. ​​