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<This document last changed on: Nov 11, 2011>
These are some guidelines for leaders who would like to lead a weekend trip to Harvard Cabin for the Boston chapter's Hiking/Backbacking committee.
1. Contact the HB Harvard Cabin Coordinator ( ) and agree upon a date.
2. Recruit a second leader and two coleaders.
3. Create a trip notice with the AMC online Trip Administration website. The base price you should be charging participants is $60 for AMC members and $65 for non-AMC. If you expect any unusual expenses (e.g. breakfast or dinner at Pinkham Notch), add their cost onto what you charge. These prices are needed to help pay for ongoing state-mandated improvements to the cabin*. The leaders and coleaders do not normally pay. In order to attract enough participants to break even, it is important to create this trip notice early enough to insure that it makes it into the appropriate issue of Outdoors magazine. 4. The cabin has a legal capacity of 30 people. However, the Harvard Outing Club is permitted to occupy up to six of these slots on any given weekend. Therefore, if you have signed up more than 24 people, make sure you bring along enough tents to accommodate the overflow should it occur. HOC people pay their fees directly to the cabin's registrar, not to us.
5. Designate one leader, normally the chief registrar, as Trip Treasurer. Have all participants make out their checks to the Trip Treasurer and send them to him. He deposits the checks in his checking account and brings his checkbook and a calculator to the cabin.
6 You should generally be able to feed people two hearty breakfasts, one sumptuous supper and happy hour snacks around $15 per person and still have a ridiculous amount of food left over. Please budget accordingly. Every leader who buys supplies for the trip should save the receipts and bring them to the cabin where they present them to the Trip Treasurer who will write them reimbursement checks.
7. The cabin now has a keyless entry system. About a week before the trip, the cabin coordinator will email you the current key code, instructions on how to use it, and a report form to bring to the cabin with you.
8. Before the end of the trip, while it's still fresh in your mind, have the Trip Treasurer write a check to "Hiking/Backpacking Committee" for a sum equal to the total amount collected from participants minus the total spent on expenses. Fill out the report form and send it ASAP, together with the check, and the receipts to the Harvard Cabin Coordinator. Please try to do this on a timely basis.
* About cabin costs: The Harvard Cabin Committee maintains the cabin and pays tax, insurance and utility bills. It also has to make whatever changes that are mandated by state and local building codes, some of which have been quite expensive. The HCC charges a flat fee of $440 for most weekends at the cabin. In your case, the Hiking/Backpacking committee serves as a middleman and bankrolls this "cabin fee". The check you send us helps defray these costs. Some trips will be well attended and more than pay for themselves. Others will fall short, and the committee will have to make up the difference. In the long haul we hope to more or less break even. Opening the Cabin
1. Turn on electricity by throwing the top switch in the electrical panel located in the utility room located to the right as you enter the Cabin. This will power the solenoid for the water tank in the kitchen, the heaters in the dining area, and the cooking stoves. The electricity to the rest of the Cabin is permanently on to provide power to the Exit signs, since they include emergency lights that automatically go on when power is cut. 2. Make sure the back door gets unlocked so that anyone who goes outside to the outhouse can get back in.
3. In cold weather, you'll want to fire up the gas heater when you first open up the cabin. There are illustrated instructions on the wall, but it can still be daunting for a first-timer. Leaders who a familiar with the procedure should be sure to pass along this arcane art to the other leaders and coleaders so they will be able to manage in future. 4. Soon after arriving, check the cabin for mouse droppings and dead rodents. Best these be tidied away before the paying guests arrive. Also make sure there is toilet paper in the outhouse.
5. Make a note as to the general condition of the cabin: Did you find it reasonably clean? Was any trash left behind? Was any food of the sort to attract mice left in the kitchen?
Being there
1. The cabin is something of a firetrap. No smoking or open flames in the cabin. In the winter you will be tempted to prop open the doors to the sleeping loft to let some of the hot air upstairs. Do not succumb to this temptation, especially when someone is actually up there sleeping; if a passing fire marshal should take a notion to drop by, you will be in deep sneakers.
2. We sometimes have a problem with mice. Each night you are there, sweep the floor and clear the horizontal surfaces before retiring.
3. To help keep the sleeping loft clean, allow only clean, dry footwear up there. 4. When leaving for your hike on Saturday, make sure the heater is off and the doors and windows locked.
Closing the Cabin
1. Make sure the stoves and the hood above them are all turned off.
2. Drain the water tank. If left full of water, it may freeze and rupture. As a failsafe, there is a solenoid attached to a secondary drain that will open if you remember to turn off the main power switch when you shut up the cabin.
3. Make sure all the dishes are washed.
4. Sweep cabin and remove all food, trash and recyclables.
5. Turn off all electric light switches.
6. Turn off heater, if it was used (separate instructions).
7. Turn off the main (top) electrical switch on the panel in the utility room. DO NOT CLOSE OFF THE ELECTRICAL SWITCH IN THE PANEL LOCATED OUTSIDE THE BUILDING
8. Take a final walk through the cabin making sure all windows and exterior doors are locked and that no one has left any gear or clothing behind.
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