By-laws of The Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club

Adopted March 7, 1965

Article I. NAME

The name of this organization shall be the Mountaineering Section, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. 

Article II. OBJECT

  1. To provide the opportunity for group enjoyment of mountaineering and related activities;
  2. To train interested people in mountaineering techniques;
  3. To provide public service through specialized mountaineering techniques;
  4. To foster the conduct of these activities in a safe manner.

Article Ill. OFFICERS

  1. The elected officers of the Section shall be a Chairman, who must be a member of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer.
  2. They shall be elected in accordance with the by laws.
  3. The Chairman shall have the authority to appoint or remove such addition officers as he deems necessary.


  1. 1. An annual meeting of the Section membership shall be held as specified in the by laws.
  2. Special meetings may be called as provided in the by laws.


The section shall publish a newsletter, Up Rope.


  1. This Constitution may be amended by a two thirds vote of the entire membership of the Section, providing:
  • A proposal for amendment is signed by three members; and
  • That notice is given to the membership in writing by mail at least four weeks prior to voting.


By-laws of The Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club


1. Eligibility

Any person 14 years of age or older who supports the objectives of the Mountaineering Section shall be eligible for membership. Acceptance by the Executive Committee of the application together with payment of dues for the calendar year shall constitute acceptance to membership.2. Termination

  • For non-payment of dues for sixty days. However, a member who has been dropped for non-payment of dues may be reinstated at the discretion of the Executive Committee, providing the outstanding dues are paid in full.
  • For cause. Three-quarters of the Section’s members present at a regular or special business meeting may terminate a membership, providing:
    1. At least three members request such action, stating reasons in full;
    2. The member concerned is notified in writing by the Chair at least two weeks before the meeting;
    3. The member shall have the opportunity to respond at the meeting.

3. Dues

  • Section members shall pay annual dues as determined by the membership at the Annual Meeting.
  • Section members residing outside the greater Washington metropolitan area may request and receive non-resident membership and pay two-thirds of regular membership dues for individuals or families.
  • A joint or family membership includes individual membership privileges and the mailing of one copy of announcements and publications. Dues shall equal regular dues plus two-thirds of same for each additional person;
  • Annual dues for membership will be collected on an annual basis that is based on the date the member originally signed up for the club. [Amended 1/2014]

4. Privileges

  • Members shall be entitled to the use of all the sections facilities and participate in all club activities;
  • Members shall be entitled to vote, either in person or by a written proxy held by the Vice Chair, on all Section business discussed at Annual, Special or Regular meetings.

5. Honorary Membership

  • Honorary membership may be bestowed upon any person who has rendered outstanding service or in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Section or its objectives by a two-thirds majority vote of the members voting, in person or by written proxy, at the Annual Meeting.
  • Nominations for Honorary Membership shall be announced at least 4 weeks prior to the Annual meeting in Up Rope, on the Mountaineering Section website or through the Section electronic message service.


  1. The Executive Committee shall be composed of elected officers and the preceding Section Chair. It shall meet at least once every quarter year and carry out the Section’s business between meetings. The Chair shall inform the Section about Executive Committee actions.
  2. A nominating committee, appointed by the chair in October of each year, shall nominate candidates for the elected positions; these nominations, and any additional nominations submitted by members, shall be announced 4 weeks prior to the annual meeting in Up Rope, on the Mountaineering Section website or through the Section electronic message service.
  3. The officers shall be elected at the Annual Meeting. For each position the candidate receiving a majority of votes cast by members voting, either in person or by written proxy, at the election shall be declared elected.
  4. Officers shall assume their duties immediately upon election and serve for a period of one year.
  5. Voting privileges shall be limited to Section members in good standing.


1. Chair

  • To represent the Section in contacts with the PATC, other mountaineering groups, and the public;
  • To schedule and conduct business meetings;
  • To coordinate the activities of the Section;
  • To ensure the appointment by the Executive Committee of the Coordinators listed in Article IV and the editor of Up Rope;
  • To report annually to the membership at the Annual Meeting on the state of the Section and its activities during the year.

2. Vice Chair

  • To assist the Chair in any and all matters;
  • To assume the responsibilities of the Chair during absence or disability;
  • To act as custodian of written proxy votes from the membership.

3. Secretary

  • To record and maintain minutes and reports of business conducted at regular, special, Annual and executive committee meetings.
  • To post the agenda for upcoming meetings, and the report of the last Annual or other business meeting, in the Up Rope, the Section website or the Section electronic message service.
  • To conduct the Section’s correspondence and maintain Section files.

4. Treasurer

  • To collect dues and fees; accept contributions and gifts; and act as the sole custodian on behalf of the Section of all monies;
  • To maintain a current account of all receipts and disbursement, substantiated by a written record;
  • To disburse funds as approved by the membership and upon instruction by the
  • Executive Committee;
  • To submit funds and records annually for examination by the Executive Committee and at least two Section members of good standing and present them together with the annual financial statement at the Annual Meeting;
  • To release all the Section funds to a climbing related organization(s) and/or 501c3 non-profit(s) in the event of disbandment of the Section. (Updated May 21, 2017)


  1. The Chairman will appoint additional coordinators as he/she deems necessary in accordance with Article III, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution of the Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. The Secretary will publish a list of the appointed coordinators and their duties in the Up Rope immediately succeeding the appointment and then maintain the list of Coordinators on the Mountaineering Section’s homepage. [Amended 12/2008]


  1. The dates for Regular, Special and Annual meetings shall be announced in Up Rope, on the Mountaineering Section website or through the Section electronic message service at least 4 weeks prior to the meeting
  2. The business year of the Section shall be the calendar year,
  3. The Annual Meeting of the Section shall be held in January of each year.
  4. Regular monthly meetings will be held on the second Wednesday of each month unless otherwise scheduled by the Chair.
  5. Special meetings may be called by the Chair as needed.
  6. Unless otherwise agreed, meetings will be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, as revised.
  7. Members may propose motions for consideration at Regular, Annual and Special meetings:
    • Any motion that is proposed and seconded by members of good standing shall be announced in Up Rope, on the Mountaineering Section website or the electronic message service at least 4 weeks prior to consideration at a meeting;
    • Motions shall be accepted or rejected by a simple majority of those members voting, either in person or by written proxy, at the meeting.


  1. In electronic publications, the mountaineering section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club shall be referred to as the Potomac Mountain Club.
  2. There shall be an Editor to edit and publish Up Rope, and such other staff as needed to publish and distribute the newsletter.
  3. Up Rope shall be sent free to all Section members, to selected organizations that could affect mountaineering, to other organizations and individuals for publicity or to other mountaineering organizations and publications for exchange.
  4. There shall be a Webmaster to maintain a website, with the domain name of, which will contain an updated official calendar of events and activities sponsored by the Mountaineering Section.
  5. The Mountaineering Section will maintain an electronic message service, a list server, for the purpose of promoting e-mail discussions of climbing-related topics, club bulletins and to organize club trips and activities. This list serve is free and offered to Mountaineering Section members & the general public. [Amended 05/2008]


  1. The By-Laws may be amended by a two thirds majority of members voting, either in person or by written proxy, at a Regular, Special or Annual meeting; provided that the subject of the proposed amendment is announced in Up Rope and the Section website or through the Section electronic message service at least 4 weeks prior to consideration at a meeting.
Amended March 6, 1974
Last Amended: May 21, 2017 and otherwise noted on each article.