During his time as a student at Dartmouth College, Bernie Waugh frequently participated in extracurricular activities with the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC). The DOC is one of the thirty-one A.T. maintaining clubs and is tasked with maintaining the Trail from Hanover, NH to Mount Moosilauke. After graduating from college in the 1970’s, Waugh decided to remain in New England. Since then, Waugh has spent well over two decades volunteering on the Appalachian Trail.
Initially, Waugh and his wife were snowshoeing near remote mountain tops reviewing a proposed re-route location for the Trail so that it could be removed from along a roadside and into the woods. After that specific section of the Trail was successfully relocated, the DOC was seeking a volunteer who could monitor and maintain the boundaries of that now federally protected land and Waugh was more than eager to fill the position.
As the DOC’s AT Boundary Program Volunteer Coordinator, Waugh is tasked with leading and training volunteers who help to protect the boundaries of the federally protected land that encompass the DOC’s nearly fifty miles of Trail. Endlessly, Waugh has strived to provide meaning and importance to the work accomplished by the dozens of volunteers that he recruits, trains, and supervises. “Waugh has made us feel the work is important and has helped us to see the woods beyond the Trail with new eyes” states one of his fellow volunteers.
In addition to personally monitoring some of the most arduous landscapes throughout his Club’s section, Waugh’s colleagues also mention that his enthusiasm and spirit is contagious. His knowledge and appreciation for the Trail enables Waugh’s teaching skills to find an engaging balance between sharing his wisdom and care for the Trail without over explaining what he is teaching.
In his professional life, Waugh is as an attorney who works with municipalities on land use issues. This professional experience and deep understanding enables Waugh to easily answer questions centered around land use issues with care and authority. Coupled with his teaching method of leading by example, Waugh naturally inspires everyone also to take on the most arduous of tasks.
Whether he is working to keep the Club’s boundary and volunteer monitoring program alive, or running up Mount Moosilauke (and giving himself a minute for each year that he is old to complete the run!), or hiking along the Trail with a fiddle and surprising the College’s first-year students during their orientation trips, Waugh is steadfast in his commitment to the Appalachian Trail.