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High on volunteering: 'I think it is a lot like being addicted. It's like mountain climbing, or running' PDF Print E-mail
Written by KEVIN COUTURE, Contributing Writer   
Wednesday, April 04, 2007

When most people reach their "golden years" they enjoy relaxing hobbies or leisurely traveling.
Not 69-year-old Herman Drollette.
The Dannemora native, and avid mountain hiker, volunteers for every project that he can.
He volunteers for the Clinton County Historical Association, where he has been helping with the new county museum.
He assisted with the restoration of the Bluff Point lighthouse.
He is a member of the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services, which provides communication in such emergencies as the 1998 ice storm.
He is a member of the Search and Rescue of the Northern Adirondacks.
Drollette belongs to the Adirondack Mountain Club and the Adirondack Forty-Sixers. They help clean and maintain trails in the high peaks. He is also a member of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy.
There is one common thread to all of his volunteering: that of the outdoors.
"I just like the outdoors," Drollette said. "I grew up in Dannemora. I hiked, walked in the woods, fished, kayaked, boated and scuba dived. I am the outdoors type, I guess."
It wasn't until 1992 that he started to take mountain hiking seriously, but just like volunteering, when he started, he couldn't stop.
In nine months, he hiked the 46 peaks. He has hiked all of the high peaks in the northeast and he is number 45 on the list to do so.
When hiking, Drollette uses a global positioning system device, something that wasn't available when he started. The system communicates with satellites and tells the hiker where he is, and how fast he's moving.
Drollette explained why he has a love for the sport.
"It's a challenge. You are close to nature, and it's a good chance to get to know yourself. You get to know your capabilities. And you get to meet a lot of people."
Drollette's wife, Diane, commented on her husband's dedication to volunteering.
"Having watched him volunteer a lot, it's the bonding that takes place once you start volunteering. He wants to keep going like it's a paying job. He knows that the others are out there working, and they work together, and he knows that they need his help."
Said Herman: "I think it is a lot like being addicted. It's like mountain climbing, or running. You get a high after you run, the same with mountain climbing. You get addicted to volunteering, and you think, this project is being done. The next day, you are out there doing something."

 

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