Thursday, April 20, 2017

AT Museum Volunteer Newsletter - April 2017

April 2017
Brought to you by Nathaniel "Angry Bird" Shank, Appalachian Trail Museum Manager

Thanks to the boy scouts of Troop #430 from Delaware County for a new walkway! 

You can also check out the photos of our new walkway on our facebook page HERE

New hiking stick medallions added to our store items.


Flip Flop Festival/ April 22nd & 23rd

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy will be hosting its third annual Flip Flop Festival on April 22nd in Harper's Ferry, WV. There will be music, raffles, vendors, workshops, kids activities, pack shakedowns, and more...

For more information click: HERE


Volunteer Picnic/ April 29th @ AT Museum!!!

This picnic (Pot Luck) will be held at the furnace stack pavilion behind the museum. If you volunteer or are interested at all feel free to attend. You can also find our "to bring" signup list at: Volunteer Picnic


CVVB US Army Heritage Center seeking volunteers!

Also check out the CVVB video on YouTube


AT Hall of Fame Banquet/ June 2nd

Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau will be receiving the "Partnership Appreciation Award" at the banquet this year. More information can be found HERE

To register and attend the banquet click here: Hall Of Fame Banquet


AT Hiker Festival/ June 3rd

First I would like to announce that this year our festival will be funded by a grant from Sandy Hollow Arts and Recreation for the Environment (SHARE). They have been very generous and deserve a big thanks for everything they are funding for us this year.

The funding will be going toward our musicians, signage, advertising for the event, and the needs for our activities. Among our kids activities there will be mountain music by the Buc Hill Aces. We will also have a few speakers to talk about books that they have authored about the Appalachian Trail. 

This event will again be a potluck setup and a better schedule of event will be out soon. The event will last from 11 A.M. to approx... 3:30 P.M.
The SignUp that has been created for the festival can be found here: Hiker Festival

Also Very Important...

Saturday morning/ June 3rd, from 9 AM to 11 AM, Pine Grove Furnace State Park will also be hosting a special event for children by the Fred Rodgers Co./PBS WITF/“Daniel Tiger.”


Angry Bird Trail Stories

Because I had dropped my phone in the creek on my first day out on the trail my phone had not been very operational. I was still able to charge it and take photos but was not getting cell tower reception. So it was not until two weeks into my hike in Rangeley(?) Maine that I decided to call home from another phone that did work!!!

It was very freeing to not know what was going on back home but some of my family wondered if I was still alive.

Sight near Horns Pond Lean-tos. What you do not see in this photo is the baby moose that kept me awake all night by crying and running around the shelter looking for its mother. 

My phone did end up working eventually and still works to this day. It has survived falling into water, snow, onto rocks, mud, getting rained on, stepped on, extreme heat in the Mojave, extreme cold in Yosemite, and the list goes on... It has been around with me for the AT, PCT, Via Alpina and I continue to use it for taking pictures for this newsletter. 


Down the Trail
April 22// Flip Flop Festival @ ATC Headquarters in Harpers Ferry WV
April 29// Volunteer Picnic
June 3// Hiker Festival

Friday, March 17, 2017

AT Museum Volunteer Newsletter - March 2017

March 2017
Brought to you by Nathaniel "Angry Bird" Shank, Appalachian Trail Museum Manager

The ramp is holding up to the snow just fine


Museum Cleanup Day//March 18

Help us clean the Museum on Saturday!!!

SignUp at: AT Museum Cleanup Day

All the snow has been shoveled and other outside work will be put off until winter weather is gone, but there is still plenty to do inside. We have merchandise that needs moved around, floors that need swept and mopped, displays that need cleaned, furniture to be moved and cheese and crackers to munch on as well.

The food alone is worth the trip!

Also, the lady bug population has sky rocketed in the museum this winter so there's that. At least the're not stink bugs.

AT Museum Greeter Sign Up 2017 & Docent Training//March 17...

Our first Docent training sessions for 2017 start this weekend and next!!!
March 17, 18, 19, 24 & 25

Click here to SignUp: Museum Greeter Orientation

If you can not sign up for shifts this weekend or next and really want to help just send us an email at 

The Docent/Greeter Schedule is Online!!!

 To SignUp for shifts starting Next Saturday click here: Docent/Greeter SignUp

I have completed the entire seasons SignUp schedule from May 25th to October 29th. You will be notified by email 24 hours before each scheduled shift so that you can't forget. If you have to back out of a shift it is as easy as the click of a button and I will then be notified myself to cover these open shifts. 

$18.00 @ AT Museum

In this genealogy of the Craighead family, the author explores the history and exploits of this famously nature-oriented clan.
$19.00 @ AT Museum

New Shirt Rack and Docent Stools


Road Scholar Hikes//April 3...May 8...

Our first Road scholar hike will be held on April 3rd starting from where the AT crosses Shippensburg Road @ 10:00 am. Meet at 9:20am at the AT Museum to shuttle up.

In partnership with the Road Scholars, we provide hiking guides to help with the 8.5 mile hike from Big Flat parking to the Museum, opening the museum for the group after the hike.

Monday Pennsylvania Hikes, Arendstville-Shippensburg Rd to Pine Grove Furnace

Click Here to SignUp: Road Scholar Hikes 2017



These stairs look wonderful!


Volunteer Picnic (Rescheduled)//April 29

I have scheduled this year's Volunteer Appreciation Picnic for April 29th. This picnic is for volunteers and those interested in volunteering and will be held at the AT Museum around noon during our open hours.

If you are interested and/or hungry I have created a sign up at: Volunteer Picnic


Angry Bird Trail Stories
Coming out of Elm Switzerland!

There was a grocery store in the center of town. It was something like you would expect to see in a small not so well known town along the Appalachian Trail. When I approached the deli counter in the back I decided that I wanted some local cheese. So I asked the nice lady behind the glass, 
                       //"Konnen Sie Englisch?" 
                       //She then replied with, "No."
                       //So I said, "Kann ich haben ein bisschen alpe Kase Bitte?" ...  "Auf hier?"
I knew what I had said was not totally correct but she understood that I was asking if I could have a little Swiss cheese. So she gave me a slice and I excitedly said,
                       //"Ja, gut." While using my hands to specify how much I wanted. 
She then put the blade to the alp cheese as I hand signaled...more...more...good...

Then the cashier asked if I needed any help in prefect English! 

On the way out of Weisstannen
 On the way out of town I stopped at the park. There was a little girl who was trying to talk to me. I understand only a little of what she was saying and told her,
                            //"Ich verstehe nur ein bisschen Deutsche" (I understand only a little)
So she tried harder...
After a minute or so I finally had to tell her,
                            //"Tut mir leid, Ich weiB night" (sorry, I don't know)
She wasn't very happy that I didn't understand her, but it was very impressive that she tried!
The Foostock, also known as the Ruchen


Coming Down the Trail
March 25// Museum Opening Day
April 3// First Road Scholar Hike of the Season
April 29th, Volunteer Picnic

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

AT Museum Volunteer Newsletter - February 2017

February 2017
Brought to you by Nathaniel "Angry Bird" Shank, Appalachian Trail Museum Manager

One of the cold overcast days

Incredible GoPro fish eye lens view

Tetras shelves to replace boxes

AT Museum Greeter Sign Up 2017 & Docent Training

2017 Hours of operation

Saturday, March 25 to Sunday, April 30 – Weekends, Noon to 4:00PM
Saturday, May 6 to Sunday July 16 – 9:00AM to 4:00PM every day
Monday, July 17 to Sunday, August 20 – Noon to 4:00PM every day
August 23 to October 29 - Noon to 4:00PM Wednesday thru Sunday
(Open Labor Day Monday, September 4, and, Columbus Day, Monday, October, 9)

The schedule for volunteers to sign up to be a greeter can be found at: AT Museum Greeter.
The Museum Greeter Orientation will be scheduled for March 17th, 18th, 19th, 24th and 25th. These sessions (5 in total) will provide Docents with a review of the processes and refresh the memory.
Please follow the links provided to sign up for these shifts.


Museum Cleanup Day

I have added shifts on the website for the Museum Cleanup Day on March 18th. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017 is the date for the spring clean-up at the Appalachian Trail Museum. Activities will start at 9:00AM and we should be done by 12:00 noon or 1:00PM. If you cannot make it for the entire morning, we appreciate whatever time you can spare.


ATC Volunteer of the Month

Congratulations to Ron Bungay for being noticed as the Appalachian Trail Conservancies Volunteer of the Month in January. His work around the Museum alone has been very fruitful, but that is only a glimpse of what Ron does for the trail community. I only know a little about Ron myself, but every time I am around him I seem to learn something very useful.
Thank you for all the work you do Ron!

Here is a link to the write up by the ATC: Ron Bungay

Photo by Carol Bungay

Museum Renovations

Closet under stairs
After a little stain they will blend right in


Volunteer Picnic

I have scheduled this year's Volunteer Picnic for April 29th. This picnic is for anyone who gives their time to the A.T. Museum or are interested in getting involved. This is a great way for volunteers to get to know each other. The picnic will be held at the AT Museum around noon on a Saturday. 

If you are interested in getting involved I have created a sign up at: Volunteer Picnic


Angry Bird Trail Stories

The first rattle snake experience I've had was in the state of New Jersey while walking down the trail with my camera in hand not watching where I was stepping. Then, when I least expected it I heard the rattle about six inches from my right foot. After I jumped about six feet I turned around and began to take pictures and recorded two short videos.

Since then I have seen six more rattlers including two Mojave green rattle snakes which are the most venomous native snakes in the USA. The bite from one of these can kill a healthy adult in an hour. This photo of a Mojave green rattler was taken near Burney California.

I was keeping my eye on a group of birds that were trying to strike me when I heard some rustling in the bush I had just brushed my leg against. Thinking it was another bird I got closer to the bush and looked in. About that time I saw a rattle protruding from the branches. After jumping back I hurried to grab my camera and drew a warning sign in the sand for the hiker following me.


Coming Down the Trail
March 3rd - 5th, Appalachian Trail Kick Off Convention, Amacalola Falls State Park, GA
March 17th - 25th, Museum Greeter Orientation
March 18th, AT Museum Cleanup Day
March 25th, Museum Opening Day
April 22nd, Volunteer Picnic

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

AT Museum Volunteer Newsletter - January 2017

January 2017
Brought to you by Nathaniel "Angry Bird" Shank, Appalachian Trail Museum Manager

Though the museum seems quiet there are still quite a few things going on. From organizing little things, to planning speeches I have found that the work never ends, and that is a good thing. 

What the ramp looked like last year at this time

What the ramp looks like now
New clock added to the docent desk


Exhibit Committee Meeting
The date for the Exhibit Committee Meeting has been set for Saturday January 21st, from 10:am to noon on the second floor of the Appalachian Trail Museum. At this meeting we will discuss the idea of our become a hiker cards for the children's mini walk of the AT, the evolution of the backpack exhibit, and any new ideas you may have for exhibits to be displayed in our future.

To sign up you can follow this link: Exhibit Committee Meeting

Afterward we plan to have a social time to enjoy treats and good company. 
So stick around if you can!


January Renovations
Three of our dedicated volunteers decided to
 surprise us with some of their great looking handy work.

Storage Area Door

Trap Door Ceiling Access


Museum Cleanup Day & Docent Training

I have updated a few new shifts on for the Museum Cleanup Day on March 18th, the Museum Greeter Orientation on March 17th - 25th, and Docent Shifts will soon be updated as well. Please follow the links provided to sign up for these shifts.

The Museum Greeter Training Sessions will be scheduled for March 17th, 18th, 19th, 24th and 25th. These sessions (5 in total) will provide Docents with a review of the processes and refresh the memory. I will also be conducting hands on training on the PayPal Here software at all sessions.  Any new Docents will receive more intense training.

Saturday, March 18, 2017 is the date for the spring clean-up at the Appalachian Trail Museum. Activities will start at 9:00AM and we should be done by 12:00 noon or 1:00PM. If you cannot make it for the entire morning, we appreciate whatever time you can spare so we can have the museum in ship-shape for the opening the following Saturday March 25th.


Saturday/Sunday Public Programs 

Once again the Museum is hoping to offer a variety of Saturday/Sunday Public Programs.  We are starting to book the presenters now and hope to offer interesting presentations throughout the season. If you have something you would like to present, let me know and you can have an early pick of which Saturday/Sunday you want to present. Your topic can be just about anything relating to the trail, or the outdoors, or local history, etc... If the program can be held outdoors that would be great as well.

Send me a short description of your presentation and pick your date.  I will be updating the AT Museum Programs both here and at All Sundays are open between Memorial Day and Labor Day.


Angry Bird Trail Stories
Day number one on the Appalachian Trail: Hiking up to Katahdin was a little more than just another peak in the state of Maine for me. I never liked back tracking so I decided to hike up the Abol trail which was shorter and steeper. I then descend on the Appalachian Trail. This trail has been relocated since my accent in May of 2012 but still remains to be the shortest route to Katahdin to this day. Along this accent and for the next two days I hiked with another guy who I call Alabama. One because he is from Alabama, and two because I have forgotten his name. 

Knifes Edge Trail May 30th, 2012
After hiking down to the Katahdin Stream Campground I traded in the day pack that they provided for me and went on to the Hurd Brook Lean-to completing 18 trail miles for my first day on the trail. Along the way I dropped my phone in Nesowadnehunk Stream and had to improvise a way to dry it out in a zip lock full of rice that I kept in my front pocket for the next few days. On the third Morning however on top of Nesuntabunt Mountain I was so determined to take a picture with my phone that I did not care if it was broken in the process. The result was an amazing picture and a phone that has not died to this day. You can see the picture below and understand why I was so determined.

Sunrise view from Nesuntabunt Mtn. on Jun 1st, 2012


Things Coming Down The Trail
January 21st, Exhibit Committee Meeting
January 27th - 29th, Northern Ruck - Bears Den Hostel, VA
March 3rd - 5th, Appalachian Trail Kick Off Convention, Amacalola Falls State Park, GA
March 17th - 25th, Museum Greeter Orientation
March 25th, Museum Opening Day

Friday, December 16, 2016

AT Museum Volunteer Newsletter - December 2016

December 2016
Brought to you by Nathaniel "Angry Bird" Shank, Appalachian Trail Museum Manager.

Thank you everyone for the warm welcome that I have been given as I take on this new challenge at the museum! This year has been blessing after blessing and I am excited to take on this new adventure. I can only hope that you all are as excited as I am.

For those of you who have not had the opportunity to meet me, click on: MEET NATHANIEL SHANK, A. T. MUSEUM MANAGER

My pack and Angry Bird hanging out for the ride

Special Openings and Closing for Season
     After closing the museum for the season we still managed to open our doors to a few hikers and groups. Our approximate visitor attendance for the month of November was 44 including one thru hiker! 

'present' found in the docent desk
It's not that cold!


Volunteer Recognition Dinner
On November 20th, the Volunteer Recognition Dinner was held at the Ironmaster's Mansion. At the dinner we discussed this seasons success, new ideas for exhibits at the museum, the historical route of the AT and shared stories from this years docents and volunteers. 

For more information on the dinner, click on: Volunteer Recognition Dinner

Here are some more photos from the dinner:
JACK ADAMS received the Presidents Award
ED RIGGS received the Volunteer Of The Year
TOM JOHNSON (P.A.T.C.)  talks about the Historical Route of the Appalachian Trail.

Exhibit Committees 
     In January/February we at the museum would like to have a meeting or two about the expansion of the exhibits on the second floor. If you would like to be involved with the creating of exhibits or have some great ideas or even just want to sit in on a meeting, please send an email to

My favorite artifact on display
My second favorite artifact on display

Become A Hiker Card 

                                                             All A.T. Section & Thru Hikers 
     As a part of the new children's mini walk of the Trail, we are creating cards for children to pick up as they enter the basement. The cards will contain a picture of a thru or section hiker and information about their hike. These cards will be available at the entrance to the children’s mini-hike exhibit for children to pick up and BECOME YOU as they take a mini-walk of the A.T.  

For the Become A Hiker Form send me an email at

If you have not yet completed the entire A.T., pass this on to someone who has and invite them to submit a form & photo(s). We’d love to feature children hikers as well.

(To be considered for the 2017 museum season, forms & photo(s) must be returned by January 15.  We will  begin creating 2017 hiker cards with the first 10 forms returned.)


Exploring New Trails
     Approximately 70 miles of shared-use trails exist throughout the Michaux State Forest and the immediate surrounding area. According to the Michaux regulations horses and mountain bikes may be ridden on nearly all state forest roads and trails except the Appalachian Trail, Rocky Knob Trail, Beaver Trail and Buck Ridge Trail. 

Maps can be found at: Michaux State Forest

Blueberry Trail one mile south of museum along 233

Blueberry Trail is definitely an appropriate name for this route! Too bad I was late for the season :(

Angry Bird Trail Stories
     While on the Appalachian Trail I had the privilege of meeting Baltimore Jack along with Bob Peoples at the Kincora Hostel in Hampton, Tennessee. After some humorous conversation about a can of "opossum meat" that had gone missing, and Bob Peoples' cats and a raccoon in which Bob had named, Baltimore Jack told me a story of when he was hiking along the trail and came across another hiker who was hiking with his cat. After Jack had hiked passed the fellow hiker and his cat companion he decided to leave cans of "cat trail magic" at the shelters. Well, on one of these town runs that he had been purchasing trail magic for this cat, another shopper happened to oversee Jack packing away the cans of food. Jack described to me the joy he had on his face as he resupplied his pack. Then the overseeing good Samaritan (most likely showing dread on his face) handed Jack a twenty dollar bill saying, "nobody has to live like that." Not knowing how to explain his situation without sounding crazy Jack reluctantly accepted the twenty dollars. His words to me where, "how do you explain that you are leaving trail magic for a cat to a person who is probably unfamiliar with the trail without sounding completely insane?" 

Climbing the peak of Germany:

Ascending the Austrian side of Zugspitze

The pass crossing into Germany

Zugspitze at last!


Things Coming Down The Trail
January/February - Exhibit Committee Meeting
March 25th - Opening Day