Sunday, June 15, 2014

AT Museum Volunteer Newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 8

Volume 1, Issue 8 - June, 2014

We have entered our Busy Season.  Lots of NOBO Thru Hikers are coming through the Park, eating their ice cream and visiting the museum.  The days have grown warm and the grass is growing fast.  The Museum is in the peak of its full day hours and the visitors, sales and donations have been promising.  The time you give to the museum is like the water that used to flow into the museum and turn the grinding stone to make the flour.  With out it, the flour doesn't get made.  Thanks for All You Do.

Dusk at the Museum


Renovation Progress

The basement renovation has begun and the old oil tank has been removed.  Lots more work will continue later in the Summer and we are hopeful that it will be complete before next season.  The 2nd floor ramp has also continued to grow and soon will be stretching towards the trees and then back.  Here are a few pictures.

Ramp progress
Bench near the door
Bye bye oil tank
Utility area

Hall of Fame Weekend

Last weekend was a busy one.  Friday marked the Fourth Annual AT Museum Hall of Fame Banquet where we inducted its newest members.  You can read about the banquet here.  This article has some more detail on the Inductees.  
Saturday continued the fun as the reunion classes of 74, 79, 84 and 89 came to the Park and we heard lots of stories from the class of 74, had lots of food and a nice cookout, followed by a campfire at the Group Camp Area in the park.  There was also a kids Mini AT Race and some musical entertainment. The whole weekend was beautiful.  

All in all, the whole weekend was a success and I thank you all for your help in making it possible, especially Gongo, our web master (class of 1983), who organized the reunion.  We plan on continuing this tradition next year, which will honor the Class of 1980 (Larry Luxenberg) and 1985 (Wood Chuck).

HOF Inductee Representatives
Here is another interesting site.  John "Bodacious" Baudet is the talented artist who makes all of our Hiking Stick Awards (aka Bo D. Hofman or a BodHi)  Check it out here. ____________________________________________

A Letter from the Park Office

Tara Gettig, the Park Office's Environmental Education Specialists sent this letter to me to include in the next Newsletter.  This shows the importance of the Museum and the Park's relationship.  

AT Museum Volunteers- KUDOS!
As the 2014 summer season gears up, I have noticed more thru hikers trekking through the park, the weather warming and the general excitement about all things summer in the park.  I would like to take a moment to sincerely thank all the volunteers that make the museum a success.  When I conduct programs or talk informally to the public about the AT Museum, I always mention the tremendous volunteer effort that goes into making it all happen.  It is a testament to the love and dedication that many feel towards America’s beloved footpath and the importance of sharing the AT’s story with others.

I have consistently noticed the effort that docents take to reach out to the visitors of the museum and offer up fun and interesting tidbits about the exhibits or trail in general.  This casual interpretation is immensely important and it may be the visitors’ only interaction with any formal worker at the park.  In many cases, I believe it makes the difference between a visitor taking an uninterested stroll through some displays and piquing interest in a fascinating trail. Please keep up the good work and be encouraged to know that you may have fostered another advocate of the Appalachian Trail.

All the volunteers, whether he or she has front-line interaction with visitors, mows the lawn, works on construction projects or any other behind the scene jobs, are helping to share the story of a trail, a culture, an ideal and a dream.  I believe that the Appalachian Trail is a unique and important resource here at Pine Grove Furnace State Park and I am proud of the work happening to share the story.  Thank you for your dedication and keep up the good work.   

Tara Gettig, Environmental Education Specialist, Pine Grove Furnace State Park

Sadly, Tara will be leaving us soon as she moves on to more wondrous things down in Maryland.  She will be missed, but her replacement Angelea (Lea) Smith has reported aboard and is fitting in nicely.  We welcome Lea to the Park Family and look forward to continuing the amazing relationship that exists between all of the staff of the Park Office and the Museum.  

Screen Door

You probably all remember that the screen door had some "issues" and looked like a pushed out fishing net, but thanks to Ed Riggs (Phys Ed - Who will be back on the trail when this gets published) used his skills to make it all right again.  Thanks Phys Ed for the nice job on the screen and good luck on finishing your hike.  See you in August.

Phys Ed + door = perfection

Hiker's Lounge

This is the season where the Hiker Lounge in the Museum get its most use.  This picture is a quick look into a day when the rain is falling and the Hikers are waiting for the Hostel to open.  Charging phones, Skyping home, trading stories and having a good time.  Keep on hiking, Hikers.


Think on your Feet Article

An interesting article on how to boost your creativity sent in by Larry Luxenberg.  Enjoy.

Public Programs are Underway

Memorial Day weekend kicked off our Sunday Public Program agenda.  Our first presenter was Tara Gettig and she talked about "Myron Avery: Celebrating an AT Veteran".  My presentation was "lightly" attended and one of the two listening to me talk about "Social Networking and the Hiker" was a nice German Gentlehiker who needed a ride.  I had fun anyway.  Who needs an audience.  Last Sunday, was a very nice presentation by Dump Truck and Clever Girl, two 2013 Thru Hikers who created a beautiful picture book of the hike and talked about how to "Like Your Own Hike".  It was so fun finally meeting those two and I really enjoyed spending some time with them at the museum.  I would love to hike with them some day.  

We have more programs scheduled through July, but are still looking for interesting topics to fill out the calendar to at least Labor Day.  If you have something to talk about, or know someone who would like to present a public program, let me know.  You can check out the Program Calendar in the link up at the top of this page.

Myon Avery: Celebrating an AT Veteran
Like Your Own Hike

Things Coming Down the Trail

June 22nd, 2014 - Public Program - Don's Brother: A Hike of Hope on the Appalachian Trail
June 23rd, 2014 - Road Scholars Hike - 9:20am-4pm
June 29th, 2014 - Public Program - Hiker Picnic - Potluck dishes requested
July 6th, 2014 - Public Program - The Park Before the Park: Jackson Fuller's Amusement Park at Pine Grove Furnace, 1878 - 1900
July 7th, 2014 - Museum Hours return to one shift Noon to 4PM.
July 7th to July 9th or 10th - Joe Hiking from Pen Mar to The Museum with a friend.  Who wants to come along?
July 13th, 2014 - Public Program - The Trail Journey of JD and the Princess and The Idea Miners: The Lost Lake Dig
July 20th, 2014 - Public Program - Cancelled.
July 27th, 2014 - Public Program - Wilson and Jolin - Family Concert

I'll leave you this month with a few more interesting pictures from around the Museum including some from our new White Blaze exhibit.  Enjoy...

Golden Ragwort in bloom
Old Blaze Markers


  1. Another great newsletter, Joe. Thanks to everyone who helped with the Banquet and Hall of Fame.

    Jim Foster

  2. Good . . . great "stuff"! Howard