Tuesday, July 15, 2014

AT Museum Volunteer Newsletter - Volume 1, Issue 9

Volume 1, Issue 9 - July, 2014
brought to you by Joe Harold, Appalachian Trail Museum Manager

Well the peak of Northbound hikers has come and is starting to fall off a little now, but many section hikers still have plenty of PA hiking to do this year and our other visitors are still enjoying the museum.  There's still a good deal of summer left and the museum will be open to welcome all who come.  The 2nd floor ramp is slowly taking shape and the basement will be looking very different soon too.  Our retail sales are doing great and I am still adding items for our visitors to purchase.  Our latest addition will be Coffee Mugs with our logo.  I can't wait until they arrive.

Larry Luxenberg stands below our new flag donated by Georgia Freet

Desperately Seeking Helpers

As the museum grows and matures, we are constantly in need of experts and other professionals and their unique skills.  The following is a list of people/things we are seeking to help with the expansion and continued upgrading of the museum.  If you can help, or you know someone who may be willing to help, please let me know or pass this on.

1.  A plumber/HVAC professional to install two heat pump systems to provide the museum with year round climate control as part of the current renovation projects.

2.  People interested in working on cataloging the extensive artifact collection.  We also need 1,000 square feet of relatively nearby climate controlled storage space (heated and cooled).

3.  A Public Program Chairman to run the Sunday Afternoon Programs.  (A team of two or three would be the best makeup, but we need to start with someone taking the lead)

4.  Someone to video the Public Programs and events such as the Hall of Fame Banquet.

If you have any interesting in helping out, please email me at manager@atmuseum.org.


Museum Welcomes Warrior Hikers

On June 15th the museum along with Pine Grove Furnace State Park and the Friends of Pine Grove Furnace State Park welcomed the Warrior Hikers to the Park.  Of the fourteen or so veterans who started the hike, six were still hiking.  The park office dispatched a van to pick up the hikers at Caledonia State Park and brought them to Pine Grove Furnace where we proceeded to hear their stories and feed them some food.  

It was a pleasant day and the food was fantastic.  After a nice meet and greet, one of our volunteers, Michele Burton and her daughter, Meagan Consedine (a veteran herself and the spouse of a previously deployed soldier) provided a ride for the Warriors to Chambersburg, where the Marine Corps were putting them up in a hotel for the night.  Meagan said, "she wanted to help however she could because she respected what the program and what those veterans were doing."

André Weltman, President of Friends of Pine Grove Furnace,
cooks while the hungry hikers fill their plates.
Photo by Dan Innamarato
Tara Gettig (right) of Pine Grove Furnace State Park was instrumental in
getting the Warrior Hikers to the park for the feast.
Photo by Dan Innamarato
2014 AT Warrior Hikers
Photo by Dan Innamarato

Museum and PATC Provide Another Annual Hiker Picnic

On the last Sunday of June, the Museum, along with the hard work of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) put on another Hiker Picnic which has become an annual event.  The day started out slow, with nary a hiker in sight as we set up the tables and the charcoal and got everything ready.  There was an abundance of food provided by volunteers and the PATC and we were ready to feed hungry hikers, but no one was around.

I had been spending the last few days in the area and I had noticed that each day around 11:00am or so, I could look over at the General Store and see from five to ten hikers sitting at the tables, eating their ice cream, but that wasn't happening today.  

We needn't have worried, because before too long, we had plenty of Hikers showing up, some after eating their half-gallon of ice cream, but most of them still with room in their always hungry stomachs.  About forty people participated in the event.

We finished off with having the hikers tell us their stories and answer our questions.  It turned out to be fun (and filling) for all.

All set up and waiting for some hikers to arrive
Thru Hiker Q&A Panel

Docent Stories: TGIF

Docent Stories is a new feature of the newsletter that I hope to continue each month.  One of the things I love about this job is the stories I hear, not only from the hikers, (which are always interesting), but from the people who greet the visitors, our Docents.  This is the first installment.  This story comes from Georgia Freet, one of our Girl Fridays and our Master Gardener.

On a Friday in the month of June, Georgia was serving her shift as usual, but she didn't have her usual partner Joan McKean with her and was alone at the desk.  Georgia, being our Master Gardener and the person responsible for all those lovely native flowering plants outside the museum, usually spends some time each friday, weeding and watering the plants to make them look as good as they do.  Today was no exception and she had spent some of the day when there were no visitors, doing just that. But being alone, she would have to stop and come inside when visitors came to check out the museum.

During one such break a hiker (named Dreads), noticed the work that had been started and after talking to Georgia for a while asked if she could finish the job for her.  She mentioned that she was a gardener herself and one of the things she missed most during her hike was working in a garden.  Georgia happily agreed and Armila, aka Dreads, happily went to work to finish the weeding Georgia has started.

Spiderwort in the garden
As they talked, the subject of Trail Names came up and Georgia was gifted her own by Dreads.  She named her TGIF, which stands for Thank Georgia It's Friday.  A very fitting Trail Name for one of our Girl Fridays.  

If you have a Docent Story, let me know and you will be featured in the next newsletter, either tell it to me, or better yet, write it up yourself and receive your own By Line. No story is uninteresting when told by a Docent.  

Any inaccuracies or mistakes in the telling of this story are my fault and not that of the original teller.

Steering Clear of Poison Ivy

Larry Luxenberg sent me this link with the suggestion that it might be a nice addition to the next newsletter.  I sure did see a lot of poison ivy on my hike the other day, but none of it touched me (I think).  Check it out here and share with your other outdoor friends and family.   


A Bright New Flag Hanging at the Museum

I'm sure most of you noticed how faded the old flag that was hanging in the upper door was getting.  Well Georgia Freet has come to the rescue once again and has donated a very nice cloth flag to replace the old one.  It looks very nice hanging in the window and I have also added a solar powered spot light to properly light the flag at night as is required when flying Old Glory in the dark of night.  Make sure you thank Georgia for her donation the next time you see her.  
New Stars and Stripes with Larry Luxenberg

How Do You Count Our Visitors?

We seem to have a number of ways to track the number of visitors we have coming into the museum.  We have the clicker, that little black device which increments one for each push of the lever.  We have the Visitor Log that can be used to number our guests and also is our source of which of the visitors are hikers and which are "normal" visitors.  There is also the Daily Sheet where we put tick marks for each of those who walk in the door.  

I'm sure there is no perfect way to numerate our visitors, but Larry did a "scientific" test during his last stint as a Docent.  He used the clicker and his partner used the visitor log and they came out with two different numbers.  

I will be the first to tell you that when we get an influx of people coming in, and some of them are asking questions and maybe someone else wants to buy things, an accurate count goes out the window.  All I can say is do the best you can.  

The numbers are important when we apply for grants, so trying to be as accurate as possible is key.  I personally will use each of the methods at the same time and try to match them up as the day proceeds.  But it is easy for things to go awry.  

Each of you can do what is most comfortable for you, but we have found that the clicker is an easy way to get pure numbers.  It is also a good backup for those large groups who arrive at the same time.

I have also prepared a second clipboard which is usually sitting on the bottom right of the docent desk that you can use when a number of people are waiting to sign in.  It helps move things along and gets the visitors looking at the exhibits quicker, which is why they came in in the first place.

So what is your method for counting our visitors?

Things Coming Down the Trail

July 16th, 2014 - Goddard Leadership Legacy Institute visits the museum. 7:00pm
July 27th, 2014 - Public Program - Wilson and Jolin - Family Concert.  2:00pm
August 3rd, 2014 - Public Program - Earl Shaffer Biography Launch.  Also our new exhibit of Earl Shaffer artifacts is scheduled to be unveiled on this day.  2:00pm
August 6th, 2014 - Museum hours shift to Wednesdays through Sundays, Noon to 4:00pm
August 10th, 2014 - Public Program - Stories from the Trail: Adventures of the Early A.T. Hikers, by Larry Luxenberg.  2:00pm

I'll leave you this month with a few more interesting pictures from around the Museum.  Enjoy...

Larry S skin under glass
Happy Feet donates a shirt that he literally wore
until it fell off his back
Duffy, one of our newest Greeters

André Weltman fills the museum (as usual) with his
presentation on the Park Before the Park

No comments:

Post a Comment