MichaelJParticipantMay 24, 2005 at 12:58 amPost count: 839
Flags on the 48 2005 Planning Meeting
May 21, 2005
Transcribed by MichaelJ
We cleaned up from our hikes (hot showers … wow!), had our respective dinners, took our cue from the two exhausted dogs, and gathered around the campfire. As a light rain tickled the tarp over our heads, SilentCal took the podium. Okay, he stood in front of the fire. Anyway…
We all agreed there were two issues that had to be addressed first: First was that we’ve had people in the past be highly turned off by peaks all being taken right away; we agreed the first step would be to open all signups the same day; we would not open things up to friends and insiders early, as was done last year. Later in the meeting we would amend this policy slightly.
Secondly, we all agreed that it was important to keep this a Memorial event. While it’s nice to see people, hike with friends, etc., and while we would certainly take some effort to organize a get-together for participants, we need to keep the focus on the memory of 9/11.
The idea of having a peak for the on-call hikers to climb in the case they are not needed elsewhere was floated. We never followed up on the idea and I believe later discussion obviated any desire to do this. MichaelJ and a portion of SilentCal’s group were recognized as being available for last-minute peak coverage.
We would like to have the first person to sign up for any given peak be the “responsible” person for that peak; the Peak Coordinator, per se. They will have to accept additional responsibilities up front: they must agree to take and provide to us a photograph of their summit and flag, and they must agree to be the contact person for subsequent hikers interested in the same peak.
The vision we have is for each peak to have a popup/pulldown with 10 available slots. The first slot will be shown in bold / starred to emphasize that person being the coordinator. The other 9 slots are available for additional hikers. Groups should fill in a name per slot, not “Jim + 4” in one slot. By being one of these “subsequent signups” the web site will generate an email to the peak coordinator informing them of the additional hiker’s interest in being a part of that summit, and they can communicate either by email or PM, depending on preference and privacy concerns (and implementation details).
It is very important to show all the names of the signed-up people. People are very proud of seeing their names on the web site as participants in this event. Anyone after #10 can always just hike the peak themself, but will not be officially recognized by us. We chose 10 as the limit based on LNT, USFS, and Wilderness regs. Peak coordinators should be reminded of these principles and encouraged to take alternate approaches to peaks if they do have all 10 slots.
There are 3 Boy Scout troops that wish to participate again: Dracut and Wrentham, MA, and Alton, NH. While we really wanted to not hand out peaks early, we recognize that the Scouts are a special case, and it is well worth it to stand behind them and help them, since they’ll have one group of younger kids who will need an easier hike. They want to base themselves out of Osceola Vista Campground, and we decided unanimously to hold Tecumseh and the Tripyramids for them – the Tri’s for the older kids who’ve done them the past years running, and Tecumseh for the younger troop. SilentCal agreed to contact the Scouts and inform them of the plan.
We agreed to start advertising the event on various hiking web sites on Flag Day in June. We do not anything posted to other web sites prior to that date, for two reasons … the posting will too quickly be forgotten because it is so far ahead, and if it keeps getting rementioned or reposted, people will get really annoyed.
We will open signups at noon on July 11th, recognizing that although July 4th is a more than fitting date, many people will be away on vacations that long weekend, and it wouldn’t be right to ignore that.
We discussed again holding back Cannnon, Washington, and Wildcat since they are more accessible due to the tramway, cog, and auto road. The idea of using the handicapped “wheelchair” icon came up, but MichaelJ advised against that since these locations do not necessarily meet the legal definitions behind that symbol (Washington comes closest, Cannon less so, Wildcat not at all). We eventually decided on the following scenario:
We will get a tramway icon and a car icon and put them next to those peaks. We will hold them back from signups and in place provide text such as “These peaks are being held from signups because alternate, non-hiking methods of transportation are available to reach their summits, and therefore we would like to make them available first to those who would benefit from such accessibility. If you would like to discuss signing up for one of these peaks, please click to send us an email.” or something like that.
As of August 11th, any remaining slots for Washington, Cannon, and Wildcat will be opened to the general public.
We will not do any general publicity for the signups; hiking web sites (AlpineZone, VFTT, Backpacker.com, Hike-NH.com, GoNewEngland.com, and the AMC Hiker Journal) and word of mouth should be enough to fill the event. We will, however, do publicity for the event itself as the date gets closer. Alpinista and Dirt Girl agreed to be our co-publicists.
V will be speaking to a Vets’ group she has contacts with. We would really love to see a group up on one of the peaks.
We mentioned the need to do reminder packets (email if possible) in mid-August to ping everyone and make sure they’re still involved, still committed, and are ready with their flags. At the time of signup, however, we will send them a different kind of email, one which should mention how to use the forums for help, support, and ideas for how to rig their flags, do their hikes, etc.
It occured to MichaelJ while writing up these minutes that we should consider precreating some sticky topics that people can read or post to. Nobody should feel like they’ve been left hanging – while they are responsible for their peak, they should feel supported. MichaelJ also thinks we should post stories of what people have done on their summits beyond just raising the flag: the sign-in books, the singing, the musical instruments, etc.
MichaelJ agreed to several tasks. He will make up a set of page-sized, laminated advertisements for the event. He will also make up a design for simple business cards and Vicki will get a production run of around a thousand. These are not for soliciting signups; they are for spreading the word about the event. These will go out to the various Fot48 supporters to put on bulletin boards, at trailhead kiosks, etc. He will also do a trimmed-down version to be combined with a business card holder stand from Staples and we’ll ask to leave one at the Mountain Wanderer, and wherever else we get permission to. The designs for these will be subject to review here on the web site before anything is printed. The primary goal is to get people to the website to read more, but the full-size flyers will have a trimmed version of the mission statement to get people’s attention.
There was talk of doing bumper/window stickers. It was revealed that these are being done as a surprise by a participant and so we’ll all see them in the fall.
We agreed that the event will always be on Saturday except when Sep 11th is a Sunday, in which case the event will be on that Sunday.
Frodo is going to talk to Madeleine Eno, co-editor of AMC’s Outdoors magazine, to see about an article. It may be too late for something pre-event, and she may be more interested in an article about the event, thus coming out midwinter, but it’s worth a shot to talk to her. I suggested we also consider the chapter newsletters, which don’t have such a long lead time.
We all hope Stephen will be able to implement on the website the ideas we had for signups, and to keep an eye on getting things ready for ’05. We also feel that while we are waiting for Flag Day to post anything to other web sites, we can certainly “advertise” this year’s event on the Flags web site so that people who come here wondering what’s up will get an answer. I think that means we want to go ahead and mention July 11th on our site, but it was unclear.
Finally, we were all thrilled with the facilities provided to us by the Broken Branch KOA Campground in Woodstock. There’s a big “island” of trees and campsites with an open area in the middle that was ideal for us, and we began to float the idea of staying there for the weekend of 9/11. Stephen’s emailed-in preference for the Highland Center was discussed, and while its centralized location was nice, we felt it was too restrictive in that people would have to buy their food, pay their prices, etc.
The idea was floated to approach the campground about taking those same sites, and portions of the outer ring, on Saturday 9/10 starting early afternoon. A number of people would commit to staying there, and a number of people would commit to bring grills. The participants would be notified of a BBQ and get-together, and for the campground’s $5 visitor fee would be able to come by, put their own food on the grill, meet, hang out, and then either head off to motels or facilities in the eastern Whites, or set up camp and stay over. SilentCal would briefly speak to the campground the next morning about this idea and they seemed very receptive to it.
We all agreed that the campground was an excellent, clean, friendly place; the “island” of sites in the middle (lower-right on this map) was perfect for us, and everyone raved about the clean, heated bathrooms with free hot showers and piped-in music (except for MichaelJ, who suffered with Billy Joel every time he went in there), and several people mentioned sending thank-you’s to them for accomodating us for the planning meeting.
As we closed, MtnMagic cranked up the fire, the rain poured down, and a good evening was had by all.
MichaelJ, SilentCal, MtnMagic & Ghostdog, Jaytrek & Jackson, Alpinista, V, Sonic Boom, Ladybug, the Chris formerly known as Coberg, Dome, Frodo, Dirt Girl, Pucknuts, and Brownie.MichaelJParticipantMay 24, 2005 at 12:59 amPost count: 839
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