48 Hours

AMC Outdoors magazine | Nov/Dec 2015

As a new employee to AMC, I was struggling to understand the breadth of this nonprofit organization.

Did we really run 6 (now 8) full-service lodges, 12 camps and cabins, 27 campsites and shelters, and 8 huts at 4,000-plus feet in elevation; program thousands of staff-led activities every year, from fly fishing to snowshoeing; connect 12 separate chapters of members across the East Coast, each of which programmed and led thousands of their own activities every year; support a research department of credentialed scientists investigating everything from climate change to dam relicensing; actively engage in legislature via policy staff based in key hot spots throughout the region; employ a full-time construction crew, as well as a professional trail crew; offer trail work and adventure camps, in the United States and abroad, for all ages; publish upwards of 12 books and maps a year, not to mention a separate journal and this magazine, with a dedicated editorial department and a staff cartographer?

Yes. And then some.

We took a pitch from a previous editor—to capture a day in the life of AMC—and ran (wild) with it, enlisting everybody we could cajole into documenting everything they did over 48 hours at the height of the summer season. The result was both overwhelming and perfectly whelming. Veteran staffers told us they’d never had such a good grip on AMC’s scope of work.

In the midst of all of that spreadsheet updating and file-folder-convention-naming, we encountered an unexpected byproduct. The organization—full-time staff, diehard volunteers, seasonal employees, decades-long members, and curious but intimidated newbies—drew together and became a community.