Monday, February 15, 2016

AT Museum Volunteer Newsletter - February 2016

February 2016
brought to you by Joe Harold, Appalachian Trail Museum Manager

The snow is sitting deep around the Museum as the picture below shows.  Before too long we will be cleaning up the building and getting ready for a new season.  I have been busy purchasing retail merchandise and planning the things that need to be done before we open once again to the public.  In this month's newsletter you will learn about the clean up day, some orientation sessions for new Docents and old timers alike and something about our upcoming Volunteer Picnic in April.  I hope you are all as excited as I am when you think about another season at the A.T. Museum.


Clean Up Day 

I have scheduled this year's Clean Up Day for March 19th.  As usual, we will clean out the cob webs and dead lady bugs and get the place ready for another season, as well as spruce up the grounds around the Museum.  

Last year's cleanup crew
If you are interested in helping, please head on over to the VolunteerSpot Group Page and select the 2016 Museum Cleanup Day event.  We hope to meet around 9 am, where everyone will pick something to do and get to work.  I will provide light refreshments to help fuel everyone up.  

If anyone wants to help with the snacks, just let me know.  Thanks, Joe

Orientation Sessions 

I have added five Orientation Sessions to the VolunteerSpot Group Page.  They are Friday, March 18th at 11 am, Saturday, the 19th at 1 pm (after Cleanup), Sunday, the 20th at 11 am, Friday, the 25th at 11 am and Saturday the 26th at 10 am (prior to first day of the season).  

Blah, blah, blah...
I have updated the Docent Manual and sent it out to all active Docents, but if you need a copy, you can find it on our website in the Volunteer area.  

If you want to refresh your memory or are someone new to volunteering at the Museum, these sessions will be very beneficial for you.  

Volunteer Picnic 

I have scheduled this year's Volunteer Picnic for April 16th.  This picnic is for all those who give their time to the A.T. Museum or are interested in getting involved.  We think of it as a nice meet and greet with all the greeters and other volunteers.  I perfect way to get to know each other.  

There will be dogs and burger and all the other nice things that a picnic entails, especially getting together in our shared passion.  You can sign up to help with the food at the handy dandy VolunteerSpot Group Page

The Barn Wall has Fallen 

You may have already heard, but as Punxsutawney Phil was getting ready to make his appearance, the old barn wall up on Michaux Road decided it was time to tumble down.  

Most likely the night of February 1st, as the temperatures once again dove below freezing, the wall decided it had had enough.  Down most of it came in what I imagine was a loud rumble.  

January 2014
I was camping a mile or so away out in the woods, but I didn't even feel a tremor as I shivered in my sleeping bag on about a foot of packed snow.  Our good friend Andre Weltman let me know about the wall on the morning of the 2nd and I headed up there to take a few pictures before going home that day.   

Feb 2nd, 2016
In the end, Mother Nature always takes back what is hers.  It is a little sad, but time moves on.  

Planning Hikes 

For a while now, I have been hoping to schedule a little one or two night hike in our area.  I know a few of you are interested in strapping on that pack and doing a little walking, so I will try to commit to something this Spring.  What I'm thinking about is a little one or two nighter that covers about 20 miles of the A.T.  Caledonia would be the start after a simple shuttle from the Museum and we could stay at the Birch Run and maybe Toms Run shelter areas.  I haven't picked a date yet, but if anyone finds this interesting, let me know and we can start planning.  

You may have noticed that each year, I disappear for a little while as I feed my obsession with backpacking.  Last year, I hiked the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail and also did some hiking with my wife in NY, ME and NJ on the A.T.  I really need my dirt time.

Setting up camp in NJ. Getting our dirt time.
This year, the plan is to participate in the North Country Trail's Hike 100 Challenge.  The challenge is in honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and the idea is to hike 100 miles within the year.  I hope to complete the challenge with about eight days of hiking.  Hiking through Northwestern PA's Allegheny National Forest. 

The way we hope to do it is an interesting technique my wife and I have used on the A.T. before.  We will use two cars. We park one, drive South in the other and start hiking North (or I guess East if you are talking about the NCT).  When we hike back to car one, we resupply from our car (or a nearby store) and leap frog car number two to another spot on the trail and continue hiking back to car number two.  Repeat until you are done.  The NCT is a lot different from the A.T.  Resupply is not as easy as on the A.T. and I'm pretty sure there are no Hostels at all along that 100 mile stretch of the Allegheny National Forest.  

I love planning hikes.  And I get even more excited when the plan becomes reality and I am on the trail moving along to my next goal.  The plan is to do this hike around the middle of June, just as the Solstice arrives.  

The Volunteer Sign Up Site 

I have updated the VolunteerSpot Group Page and they are now fresh and ready for your sign ups.  In addition to the Docent shift sign up, we have Road Scholar, Orientation, Picnic and Clean up sign ups.  It's never too early to start planning your season.  Thanks to all who give their time. 

Things Coming Down the Trail

March 18th, 2016 - First Orientation Session
March 19th, 2016 - 9 to Noonish - AT Museum Clean Up Day and Second Orientation Session. 
March 20th, 2016 - Third Orientation Session
March 25th, 2016 - Forth Orientation Session
March 26, 2016 - Last Orientation and AT Museum opens for the 2016 season
April 3rd, 2016 - Annual A.T. Museum Board Meeting
April 16th, 2016 - Volunteer Appreciation Picnic
April 25th,, 2016 - Road Scholar Hike

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