Trail Crew Association
TCA reunion board and members meeting (August)
Date: Saturday 8/12 at 1 PM
Current Board Members
President – Marshall Pontrelli (term ending ‘24)
Board Member – John Lamanna (‘25)
Vice President – Sam Hartwell (’24)
Board Member – Alex Milde (‘24)
Treasurer – Peter Jensen (‘25)
Board Member – Bob Biddle (‘24)
Secretary – Carrie Childs (‘24)
Board Member – Dylan DiMartino (‘24)
Board Member – Colin Pogue (’25)
In Attendance: Chris May, Joe May, Craig Whiton, Barbara Whiton, Sam Norton (Bananas), Mark Dannenhauer, Annie Dumais (Zeta), Ally Sholtz, Marshall Pontrelli, Bob Leone, Hunter Scott (Youseff), Carrie Childs, Cora, Peter Jensen, Bob White, Ben English, Kurt Winkler, David Dethier, Finn, Hazel, Colin Coupons, Robin Najar, Dan Kurnick, John Lamana,
Board members are in Bold.
- President’s report. On our accomplishments this year including our work with the AMC, including the use of the Centennial Funds to organize the All-Crew Day, the organization of reunion and the planning of upcoming fundraising and Work Weekend at Shelburne. Thank you to our donors and alumni!
-What the TCA does every year: Organizing All Crew Day for current AMC trail crew and for alumni, dispersing centennial funds (~$6,000/year), Organizing reunion(s), fundraising in august/September, organizing a Shelburne work weekend (recent years has been in October). Publish Chips and Clipping’s issue at least yearly.
-This is what the TCA does typically, but it can morph into whatever we want.
-Thanks to all who have paid dues, it is how we operate! Pay your dues.
-Website and Shelburne are our major expenses every year.
-All Crew Days included Trail Crew alumni Bob and Ariel Biddle, Mark Dannenhauer, Peter Jensen, Nate Lowery, Margie Prevot, and Tom Ross. It was at Rumney, got positive feedback. Will try to have events every year that include alumni working with current crew.
Jad Brown and crew for hanging the AMC signs
Ashley Fife and Sam Hoffman for their services to the board as they step off this year.
-Golden Axe awardees, this year Craig Whitton and Barbara Whitton.
- Treasurer’s report. On the fiscal year and begin discussion on our model moving forward.
-This is a 9 month report, covers from November to August. Next year will be a 12 month report.
-Annual dues are low at the moment, have not yet done the annual solicitation for member dues. Will happen in the next month or two. Last year we had ~$3,000 of income, hopefully we can make that happen again.
-73 life members (some in attendance!). $450 for a lifetime membership, can contribute additional funds.
-No change in the different funds.
-Expenses are camping at Barnes Field and the Golden Axe plaques.
-Association operations costs are low, website and P.O. Box rental, directors and officer’s insurance bill comes at end of August. Chips and Clippings typically happens in the fall as well.
-Shelburne lodge expenses include 2nd real estate tax payment, due in November.
-In 9 month period, loss of ~$2,100
-Discussed idea of taking funds from other memorial funds and putting into centennial fund (held by AMC), we can’t/don’t know what to do with that money, if we put into centennial fund it will gain interest. If we do, money will be managed by AMC. If we keep it with TCA, we can use it for TCA specific things? Keep as “safety money?”
-Do we have a high-yield saving’s account? No. We are operating on a shoe-string. Do we want to plan 5-10 years in advance?
-Motion to accept Treasurer’s report: seconded, approved by all.
- Secretary’s report. On the role of secretary in the organization and how our alumni can request important information about the organization.
-Read overview of minutes from last reunion meeting, motion to approve the minutes: seconded, accepted by all.
- Centennial Fund Committee report. Recap of the All-Crew Day and steps forward for next year.
-Subcommittee that meets to discuss what we should use the Centennial funds for, reach out to AMC and pass ideas around, get something into motion for the summer.
This year it was to fund an All Crew Days for the crew, funded a food truck where Alumni and Current crew could meet together and have an event together. At the end of it, AMC said that they would pay for the food, hopefully it means they will do it in the future.
-Planning for next year is going to start soon, ideas are welcome. We have about $6,000 to work with.
-Bob White has been in contact with Matt Moore about work this summer, Franconia ridge is going to be a big project for the next 5 years or so, good outlet for funding. Opportunities to contribute in other ways. ACD had a positive outcome because Alumni showed up and had a positive outlook. The more we link in with their major priority projects and efforts the better off we will be. Franconia is the major effort in the next 5 years.
-Idea for Centennial fund was to support crew-initiated projects outside of normal AMC operations. Important to advocate for projects outside of normal funding parameters. Had to ensure that the money goes to the Trail Crew, especially with the definition of the crew has changed. Continue to work towards supporting the current crew, initiate projects from the crew up. Not sure if possible in the new landscape.
-How do we increase communication between trail crew generations?
-Relationship worked well this year, but things are still volatile, the more informal and formal relationships we have the more sustainable things will be.
-TCA will work to communicate better with the TCA members in the upcoming years.
- Shelburne on the Ground report. On the state of the cabin and what work we think needs to be done moving forward.
-Hogan road is washed out, they are fixing the washout at the moment, being performed by Eversouce (dam ownership). Work should be done in the fall, hopefully.
- Shelburne Committee report. Discuss maintenance of Shelburne and the land purchase by SPNHF.
-Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests is buying the land Shelburne is on from logging company Beirut LLC. Deal has not happened, we are trying to figure out a new lease, currently in a holding pattern. We have communicated with them about what we want and asked for a very large parcel. Should have more info in the next few months.
-Some talk about buying the land, but it is off the table. Formally no. We tried to move forward with buying the land and it was a no-go.
-Mahoosuc land trust will manage the land for SPNHF. We recently gave Mahoosuc land trust a bunch of money, they should be OK working with us.
- Communications report. On how we can improve our communication with each other and with our alumni.
-Chips and Clipings comes out once a year, has been in paper and e-mail. Support for both electronic and paper version. IN communication with guest editor for next issue.
-Interest in reviving a quarterly newsletter? No interest.
-Website is underutilized as communication tool. Should we liven up the trail crew blog? E-mail thoughts to Mark or Marshall. Material from 50’s crew can go onto the blog.
-Should we add classifieds section to the website? Nods of approval.
-Current communication is going through Facebook and Constant Contact, are there other channels that we should be using? Instagram? Want someone who is interested in metrics and measuring and managing the website. Integrate the blog into other forms of communication.
-How to get our website and stories in front of people?
- Memorabilia. Discussion on the maintenance of Trail Crew memorabilia.
-50’s crew is getting rid of memorabilia, what should we do with it? Give to UNH archive? Do we want to donate to the current crew and Dodge Hutton?
-Gathering archival documents to send to UNH? Support from the group. Apparently UNH only wants photographs and papers (documents and media), not axes, packboards, signs, etc. Need to know if there is a cost.
-Interested parties can get in touch with Marshall or Mark.
-What should we do with axes, packboards, etc.? Donate?
- Fundraising. Brainstorm ideas to fundraise this fall.
- Board Members. Ashley Fife and Sam Hoffman and stepping down from the board.
-Currently have 9 board members. Do not want lack of turnover, have 3 year term limits, right now we are OK but in 2024 we are going to have a lot of openings and turnover.
-Need more involvement for project leaders? Interested, email Marshall. Tell your friends.
-Board needs to find a few people to work with Peter before he retires for real and we need to find a new treasurer.
- Open Dialogue
-How to get better connected with the current crew?
-Have a “tales and lies” style event in a public place that includes current crew and alumni.
-Put 100 summers and Ben English’s books in Hutton, make news stories and trails history into a book.
-TCA angle was ACD, succeeded for people who went, but there used to be many events at different levels, this was the only one this summer. We want a crew representative, want to know what the crew wants.
-Sledding at Ben English’s over New Year’s?
-Hutton mushrooms and photos, investigate whether the current crew wants those things? Use journals that are coming up as a way to get to the crew?
-Use the blog more, use TCA organization
-Organize a s’more party (something more informal) with the current crew.
-Turn alumni journals and diaries into books.
- Golden Axe: Craig and Barbara Whitton
Golden Axe is recognition of TCA member for long and meritorious service.
-When the current crew left Whitefield, things changed a lot and Craig and Barbara Whitton kept things together. This group would not be here today if Craig and Barbara had not kept the trail crew together by having annual meetings. They have kept TCA alive.
August 2023 The Trail Crew Association
Presents This Golden Axe Award to
Craig Whiton (TC “67, ’69-‘71, TCA president ’10-‘16) &
Barbara Whiton (TCA roster manager, newsletter editor, innovator, ’10-‘16)
In appreciation for your years of outstanding service to Trail Crew
including your sustained and sustaining leadership and
lasting contributions to Trail Crew, to our members and to the