For May is Membership Month, I asked some of ADK’s young members about why they joined and what they love about ADK. Here’s what Felicia Neahr of the Northville-Placid Trail Chapter had to say!

Why did you join ADK?

I initially joined ADK in 2013 after attending a guided hike up Street and Nye for my first ever winter hike – it was a birthday present. The staff members were nice and approachable, even though I was one of the slower participants on this hike, and this trip helped me become more comfortable with winter hiking. After that, I received a membership offer in the mail and decided to join for the discounts, particularly on parking at the HPIC, as I was starting to get serious about my 46er goal.

What is your favorite part about being an ADK member? 

My favorite part about being a member are the bonds I’ve formed with other members of my chapter. I currently volunteer as a Trip Leader and as the Membership Committee Chair, and I’m part of ADK’s Membership and Development Committee. I enjoy knowing what’s going on in the organization, having a voice in the decision-making process, and introducing other people to ADK and sharing my love of the outdoors.

What’s the benefit of belonging to an ADK chapter?

The benefit of belonging to a chapter is being connected and getting to know other chapter members well. I think it helps you have a greater impact vs. being a member at large.  For example, the Northville-Placid Trail chapter does trail work and while you can participate even if you’re not a member, I think you’re more likely to learn about these opportunities as a chapter member. My chapter also has trip leader retreats and time built in to discuss our progress, issues and concerns, and where we’d like to see the chapter grow. Our quarterly newsletter also has some great information.

How has being an ADK member impacted you?

ADK is a big part of my life. I have learned a lot about conservation and Leave No Trace from conversations and interactions with other members. Some of my experiences and accomplishments (backpacking Devil’s Path) most likely wouldn’t have occurred without the connections I’ve made through ADK.  The chapters I’m involved in have introduced me to great friends and hiking partners. I appreciate the trail work and advocacy that ADK does, so it’s money well spent.