Voices: Boston Young Members

From left: Young Members Courtney Coyne, John Schmidt, Debbie Flusberg, Matthew Miller, and Zoe Rath take to the air during last January’s “Go Mad for Vermont Weekend.”
AMC’s award-winning magazine, AMC Outdoors, has a new look in 2015 with fresher fonts, compelling photos, and new departments to inspire your next outing and develop a deeper appreciation of the natural world. Every issue is packed with trip planning advice, how-to guides, photo-filled features, and local and international trip listings led by experienced AMC staff and hundreds of volunteer leaders. Voices is a new section that appears in print only, but we'd like to give you a sneak peek!

Voices: Boston Young Members

By Ryan Smith

If you’re concerned that not enough young people are spending time outdoors and connecting with the natural world, look no further than AMC’s Boston Young Members, one of several such groups across AMC’s 12 chapters. Consisting of more than 1,300 members in their 20s and 30s, Boston Young Members (YM) strives to connect younger folk with the outdoors and the myriad opportunities that exist with AMC.

Activities range from social outings in the Boston area—including get-togethers on AMC’s Boston headquarters’ deck—to day trips in the White Mountains, to the ever-popular trip to Mount Orford, Canada, where participants cross-country ski and ice skate by day and hit the spa and unwind by night. Board chair and trip leader Philip Baraona of Somerville, Mass., encourages anyone who is looking to connect with like-minded, friendly people who love the outdoors to give Young Members a shot. Baraona, who’s been involved with YM for six years, says as a trip leader he enjoys giving back to AMC and showing new members what makes YM so special to him. “In the years I have been attending YM events I have met some amazing people and explored some fantastic places with [AMC]. Becoming a leader was the best way I could think of to ensure other people would be able to have similar YM experiences.”

Get to know a couple more YM leaders and discover what inspired them to become part of this vibrant group of outdoor enthusiasts.
“AMC and YM’s mission matters! The outdoors is special—and we need open spaces and the Earth to be clean. We owe it to future generations to make sure [the outdoors] is there for them and to leave it more pristine than we found it. YM is a great group of people who works to make sure this happens.” –Chester A. Osborne
“It warms my heart to know I have helped connect AMC-ers to our local natural world, one salamander at a time. And from here, I hope these 20- and 30-somethings share this insight with their nieces, their kids, and even consider serving on a municipal board. Everyone can influence change.” –Michele Grzenda
“It’s funny how a little altitude brings on a high in a literal and figurative sense. One feels giddy and a sense of awe while hiking. A feeling I wish to keep as my own little secret. But as this feeling continues to fill me, I realize I can no longer contain it. This feeling and [outdoor] places are special. And I have no choice but to shout from the mountaintops and share it with the world.” –John Schmidt
Come out and join a YM event in your area. Check out more details and YM listings at outdoors.org/youngmembers.

Photo by Michele Grzenda.

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