There’s something really exciting going on in ADK’s Schenectady chapter! After a few months of meetings, discussions, brainstorming, and planning with volunteers, the Schenectady chapter kicked off the revival of its Young Members Group (YMG) in April!

The Schenectady chapter’s YMG is modeled after the Albany and Genesee Valley chapters’ programming, as well as the groundwork laid by Jonathan Lane. The YMG aims to build community among young adults in their 20s, 30s, & 40s through recreational outings, social activities, and volunteerism. There is no age limit, however, and all are welcome to participate in YM outings. Activities range from family-friendly picnics and beginner trips to challenging hikes and paddles throughout New York State.

The Schenectady chapter’s YMG is now led by an ambitious volunteer, Dustin Wright, who not only serves as the chapter’s Membership Chair and Director, but who took on the role of Young Members Chair as well! Dustin is a natural leader who brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the ADK community. Dustin led his first two activities for ADK last month, which included a potluck social event and a hike up Overlook Mountain in the Catskills. I was fortunate enough to be a part of these first two outings, and was impressed by how smoothly everything went. Both activities involved a mix of catching up with old friends and making new ones, and participants came from three different chapters to join the fun. One family even drove all the way to Woodstock from Syracuse to hike with the group, and we had a blast exploring the Overlook Mountain House ruins and
taking in the view from the top. There’s also nothing like watching the
joy and excitement on a four year old’s face as he runs up and down the fire tower and begs to do it again. Or the amazement on everyone’s faces when they realize the same four year old has figured out the concept of the self timer on the camera and photobombed two attempts at a photo he wasn’t going to be in.

Dustin is working on planning outings for May and June, which will be added to ADK’s online master calendar at Chapters who currently have regular Young Members outings include Albany, Schenectady, Glens Falls-Saratoga, and Genesee Valley.

Interested in getting involved, becoming a YM outings leader, or helping your local chapter start a Young Members Group? Email Stephanie Graudons at or call her at 518-415-9016 for more info about young members programming.