Ned Kuhns & David Helms
This month, ATC honors Ned Kuhns and David Helms, the two volunteers coordinating Virginia Journeys, ATC’s 38th Biennial conference. Held from July 1 – 8, 2011 in Emory, Virginia and hosted by the seven Virginia Trail maintaining clubs, the Biennial is organized around ATC’s membership meeting and offers workshops, hikes and excursions to local sites.
Ned and David, of Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club and Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club respectively, have been active on the A.T. for twenty years and have built up an impressive list of accomplishments.
Both Ned and David got involved with their local clubs because of their interest in hiking (Ned completed his thru-hike in 2003), but each quickly took on volunteer responsibilities. Both are Trail maintainers and have held several different leadership positions locally, regionally and now, in a Trail-wide position.
In the past two years, coordinating the Biennial has taken up most of their time. It is “a full-time position” says Ned, and David adds, I “really learned what busy was when I started to help with Virginia Journeys 2011.” Leading the committee of volunteers that is coordinating the event is a huge undertaking; and Ned and David have overseen all aspects of planning, from workshops, hikes and excursions, to arrangements for housing and meals.
Both Ned and David credit the members of their committee. “As chair of VJ 2011, I have been blessed with a superb Steering Committee,” says Ned. As leaders of the effort, Ned and David “are dedicated to making the biennial a success,” says ATC’s Royce Gibson, “I have never worked with event volunteers who are so organized and willing to put in the hours needed to get the job done.”