Bill Saunders

December 2021

Before retiring, Bill Saunders was searching for meaningful ways to remain active and hiking had a huge appeal to him. After joining the Mountain Club of Maryland (MCM), Saunders found himself hiking at least twice a week post-retirement and on average he hikes 20-30 miles each week. Since then, Saunders became a hike leader for the MCM – a role he still fulfills today among other responsibilities. 

In March 2012, Saunders was on a hike where the hike leader mentioned that the MCM was looking for a volunteer to serve in the Club’s governing council. Saunders explained to the hike leader that if no one was willing to take on the responsibility, he would be willing to do it. This offer to step up and take on responsibility if no one else was willing to would lead Saunders to a variety of positions. Needless to say, Saunders became a member of the MCM’s governing council. 

Later that year, Saunders was attending another hike when the MCM’s Supervisor of Shelters and Privies explained that they were looking for someone to be their replacement. After providing his signature offer and then attending a few events as an apprentice, Saunders became the MCM’s Supervisor of Shelter and Privies, another role he still fulfills today.  

Then, one year while Saunders was attending the Fall Mid-Atlantic Regional Partnership Committee meeting for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as the MCM’s President, the Secretary of the meeting mentioned that they were looking for a replacement. Since 2016, Saunders has been fulfilling this volunteer role.

 “Bill is an exceptional secretary. His notes are thorough and complete, and they showcase how he listens for understanding while note-taking. That is no easy task,” explains ATC Visual Resource Inventory Manager Pamela Roy. 

Saunders has also participated in Visual Resource Inventory events and training, and he has served as a section maintainer for the MCM since 2016. He recently stepped down from his role as a section maintainer after finding someone else to fulfill the responsibility. Now he is volunteering his extra time as a corridor monitor with the MCM. Throughout all of his roles, Saunders has found that being the Club’s Supervisor of Shelters and Privies has been the most rewarding. Especially in 2017 where he designed a new privy and supervised its construction. 

When asked what he enjoys most about volunteering, Saunders explains that he enjoys being active and busy, being outside, hiking, leading groups, exercising, getting fresh air, working with people, socializing, and giving back to the beneficial public resource that is the Appalachian Trail.