I love to hike. Even though I do other outdoor activities, I am a hiker at heart. Somehow in all the crazy world of social media I met the great Jennifer Chambers of Hiking Along and we collaborated on a few blogging posts together and got to know each other in the social media world of Facebook and Twitter.
Unbeknownst to me, I had been collaborating with the Chair of the American Hiking Society (AHS) Board of Directors for close to a year. When Jennifer asked me if she could nominate me to be on the AHS Board, I was a little shocked and truly honored. Shocked in the sense of when I started "Chasqui Mom" I had no intent other than telling my stories, let alone being on the Board of Directors of the American Hiking Society. I accepted her nomination and this past weekend I became a Board Member.
Of course being a "Board Member" of any organization sounds very rigid and boring, but when it's about something you truly love doing, in this case "Hiking" becoming a Board Member of the AHS intrigued my interest. How I could use my abilities, background and knowledge to contribute to AHS mission.
Now, I know what you are thinking...What does the AHS do?
AHS mission statement is...
"As the national voice for America's hikers, American Hiking Society promotes and protect foot trails, their surrounding natural area, and the hiking experience". "Mission Statement - American Hiking Society." . N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Yeah, But what do they do?
- Advocacy ~ AHS is the hikers voice to Capitol Hill. They represent us, the "hikers," and work to protect our hiking experience, trails, etc. In 2014, the AHS had its 17th Annual Hike The Hill in Washington DC.
- National Trails Day ~ AHS organizes the largest celebration of trails on the first Saturday of every June, with the local organizations and parks. Events include, hikes, biking, horseback riding, trail work, and much more.
- Volunteer Vacations ~ Now everyone has a different meaning of vacation but the AHS coordinates week long vacations where, instead of lying on a beach, volunteers are working hard to maintain the beautiful trails that the rest of this nation is hiking on. I don't know about you, but I've seen volunteers at work on the trails....that's hard labor.
- Resources & Membership ~ The AHS provides resources and memberships to both individuals and organizations. Other than getting some little "perks" both the individuals and organizations get the satisfaction of knowing they are helping protect the places we all love to hike.
|American Hiking Society, Board of Directors Spring 2014 Hike|
Even though a Board Meeting is usually sitting in a conference room, reviewing documents, and planning for the future, I think it's still pretty awesome that the AHS Board of Directors, President Greg Miller and Vice President Peter Olsen finished our weekend of meetings with a six-mile hike to Henninger Flats Campground in the Angeles National Forrest! And yes, they all were happy to have my family come along on the hike!
Now there is a Latina Hiking Mamá, youth leader, former law enforcement officer/accountant on the AHS Board and I'm happy to be volunteering my time for this nations hikers.