Seeking Wilderness First Aid Instructors

Do you have what it takes to teach people what to do if an emergency arises when they’re far from medical care? Then the New York-North Jersey Chapter is looking for you to become a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) instructor! 

To be an instructor, you’ll need to be an active EMT or W-EMT. If your card is expired but you still want to teach, the Chapter will pay for the class for your recertification and additional training. The New York-North Jersey Chapter is the only one in the AMC that provides this WFA training. All instructors are volunteers.

The Chapter holds six to seven WFA classes per year. They involve 16 hours of fast-paced instruction over a full weekend.  Most classes are at the Stephen & Betsy Corman AMC Harriman Outdoor Center in Harriman State Park. Classes are team taught, always at least two instructors per class, so no one is “left alone” to teach.

To make the WFA class more “realistic,” the classes go through emergency scenarios and get hands-on practice. To that end, the instructors use a mannequin and stage props of simulated injuries and fake blood. 

All interested folks contact the Chair of the Wilderness First Aid Committee at for more information.

Activity Leaders Will Be Recognized for Organizing Earth Day Activities

To mark Earth Day on Friday, April 22, the New York/Northern NJ Chapter of the AMC is encouraging volunteer leaders to mention Earth Day in your Activities Database postings. In so doing, you will highlight the AMC’s commitment to conservation, recreation, and education.

Leaders posting one or more activities during the period April 16 through April 24 that include #Earthday2022 in the description will receive a thank you note and gift certificate from the Chapter.

-David Hartree, Conservation Chair

Become a Bicycle Leader With the NY-NoJ Chapter

Looking to lead some bike rides? Openings are available in the New York-North Jersey Chapter’s 2022 Bicycle Leaders Spring Training program. This comprehensive multi-day program is designed to teach and reinforce the skills needed to lead groups of cyclists safely along routes in our area. The training program is intended for members who are serious and enthusiastic about becoming leaders for the NY-NoJ Chapter’s Bicycle Committee. Contact the Bicycling Committee at for more information and to apply.

Natalie Smart of Destination Hike to Speak at DEI Meeting on February 16

Celebrate Black History Month by hearing from Natalie Smart of the outdoors organization Destination Hike. Smart was already hiking a few weekends a month when the pandemic hit, making hiking in groups more challenging.

“As a way to stay healthy and sane during this very stressful time, I started doing solo hikes 4-5 times a week,” Smart writes. “I would travel to explore new trails in the D.C., Maryland, Virginia (DMV) area and track my travels through the app AllTrails. As my exploration continued, I would post pictures and videos of my hikes on social media. Friends and family soon took notice and slowly a few people began to join me on my hikes.”

Destination Hike was born. The organization works to connect hikers of all ability levels and encourage people to explore trails both near and far.

To hear Smart speak, join the DEI Committee for its bi-weekly meeting on Wednesday, February 15, at 6:30 p.m. Register for the virtual meeting here.

DEI Chair Crystal Williams Receives AMC’s Volunteer Leadership Award

DEI Chair Crystal Williams

Congratulations to DEI Chair Crystal Williams, who received one of AMC’s Volunteer Leadership Awards for her work in 2021. The award was presented by Regional Director Eileen Yin during the recent Annual Summit:

The Volunteer Leadership Award recognizes AMC’s outstanding volunteer leaders who demonstrate the desire to share their time and expertise in the pursuit of AMC’s recreation, conservation, and education mission. The Volunteer Leadership Award recognizes one or more dedicated volunteers who, in addition to contributing many hours, demonstrate outstanding passion and commitment and are instrumental to AMC’s activities, programs and mission. Previous award recipients are not eligible.

Crystal Williams, DEI Chair, New York-North Jersey Chapter

“As Chair of the DEI Committee for the New York North Jersey Chapter, Crystal has created a regular schedule of meetings including an affinity group for BIPOC women. Crystal is passionate about getting families from Harlem outdoors, which has inspired her to lead events designed to encourage outdoor experiences for BIPOC families in New York City, including a Juneteenth Celebration that attracted 100s of people. Crystal has also joined the AMC DEI Volunteer Representatives group meeting monthly to talk about how to make AMC’s operations and communications more equitable and inclusive. In addition, she has stepped up to serve as the Vice Chair for the Fire Island Committee. Crystal has been vocal in supporting AMC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts by speaking with other Chapters DEI Committees. Congratulations, Crystal.” -Eileen Yin

Other Volunteer Leadership Awardees this year were:

Kevin Cox; Chair of Mohawk Hudson Chapter

John Bergacs; Information Volunteer

David Elliott; Paddling Chair Worcester Chapter

Corey Mott; Connecticut and Narragansett Chapters

Lisa Novins; Chapter Chair Potomac

Jean Carlos Artiles; Educators Outdoors

Jeff Mayes; Volunteer Facilitator

Amy Kelliher; Volunteer Facilitator and OLDC