DATC Festival!

Picture of Duncannon from the End of Cove Mountain

DATC Newsletter

May, 2014

Duncannon AT Community SignNEW FESTIVAL LOCATION:  The DATC Festival (Duncannon Blast) has moved around the corner from our previous Cumberland Street location due to a traffic detour.  We’ll still be right next to the fire company but now we’re on High Street between Cumberland and Ann streets.  You can zoom in to the DATC Festival map for a detailed look.

FESTIVAL INFORMATION: Saturday, June 21st, prepare for a great day with friends and family.  The festival is coming together quite well thanks to the efforts of our wonderful volunteers andgenerous contributors.  Six different clubs are sponsoring hikes in the Duncannon area on the morning of the festival so pick one that’s right for you and enjoy Duncannon’s unique natural resources.  We have about 50 vendors composed of hiking clubs, local businesses, public service groups, arts, crafts and food vendors.  There will be family-friendly live musical entertainment during the festival, thanks to the Appalachian Music Conservancy.  We’ll have Smokey the Bear to raise fire prevention awareness and a variety of presentations throughout the afternoon covering topics such as backpacking, live raptors, photography, Perry County history, birds of Duncannon and veterans hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Vendors have donated over $500 worth of prizes to be raffled off to lucky festival attendees, get one free ticket and be sure to buy more to increase your odds of winning.  Thanks to the Susquenita Middle School, we’ll be giving out super-cool laser engraved commemorative tokens to anyone donating $5 or more to the DATC.  We’re expecting a large turnout so we’ve provided multiple parking locationsthroughout the town as well as regular on-street parking, please be courteous and park only in designated areas or where it is legally permitted.  This festival couldn’t happen without great people like yourself so bring your friends, family and associates to the 3rd annual Duncannon A.T. Festival to show your support for the Appalachian Trail!

FESTIVAL QUICK LINKS: General Info • Attractions • Hike Info • Presentations • Raffle Prizes• Commemorative Tokens • Parking & Directions • Festival Friends • Join the Fun • Mission Statement

MILES FUND GRANT: The DATC is fortunate to be a proud recipient of a Miles Fund Grant from the Mountain Club of Maryland.  Special thanks to Mike O’Connor of MCM for his helpful insight and guidance!

DUNCANNON OUTDOOR CLUB HIKES:  On Saturday, June 21st hike a slower paced 1.14 mile easy-terrain hike through woods and fields on mostly wide paths. This Scavenger Hunt Hike is for the whole family, especially young children ages 5 and up. Try to find as many things as you can to check off your scavenger list. Meet at the Cornerstone Christian Church Duncannon at9:00 am. Call 834-9216 or email dtakach@duncannonatc.org to register.

NEW ARTICLES ON THE DATC WEBSITE: Check out these interesting new articles:

NEXT MEETING: The Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee will hold its next meeting Wednesday, June 11th at 6:30 PM in the Duncannon Municipal Building located at 428 N. High Street.  An RSVP is not required but it’s greatly appreciated.  Our agenda will focus on promoting and putting the finishing touches on the Duncannon A.T. Community Festival.

JOIN US OR HELP LEND A HAND: Anyone who would like to be involved with the DATC, offer guidance or influence its policies is welcome to attend our meetings. You might find a volunteer opportunity that suits you in any number of fields such as: planning our next 2014 DATC Festival, fundraising, supporting the Duncannon Outdoors Club, learning about Appalachian Trail maintenance and inspiring people to enjoy outdoor activities in the Duncannon area.

Thank you Julie for your interest in the Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community and for helping us make Duncannon a better place.

Visit our Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community website for more information

Rangeley School Board Learns of Outdoor Program

Reposted from: Dale Hill, Special to Sun Journal

Franklin |Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm

RANGELEY — The school board saw two PowerPoint presentations, voted for funds for a school bus parking area, and elected a new vice chairman at its meeting Tuesday.

Starting in 2010 with GPS mapping, Simonds worked with student volunteers to develop Maine Trail Finder, Hike Safe and Leave No Trace. Participation has grown considerably for activities such as work on the Fly Rod Crosby Trail, survivor hikes and night skiing, a scavenger hunt with four teams, and a rescue scenario with live victims.

Participants also support the Warrior Hike, in which military veterans hike the Appalachian Trail “to walk off the war,” and join in Rangeley’s Trail Town Festival, “though the latter is difficult to ramp up less than two weeks after school starts,” Simonds said.

Lucy SimondsSimonds confessed that as the program continues to grow it has become part of her. “A Trail to Every Classroom has been the thing that has revitalized and transformed me,” she said.

Superintendent Susan Pratt presented a rundown of report-card data and its connection to funds from No Child Left Behind grants. The federal funds are administered by the state and are used to hire a teacher, Georgia Campbell, assisted by Shirley Schrader and Susan Damm.

The intervention program serves 40 students from kindergarten to eighth-grade in the fields of math and reading. Parents have the right to decide yearly if they want their children to be involved in the program.

The old skate park on the school property, which was in disrepair and had become a dangerous liability, has been demolished and school buses currently park on the site. Pratt recommended installing a culvert and creating a wider driveway onto the access road, installing wiring from the electrical panel to the site, installing  receptacles for bus charging and installing motion-activated lighting. The board unanimously approved the plan with costs not to exceed $13,000. It will be paid from the maintenance budget, which currently has a $22,000 surplus.

Pam Ellis was unanimously elected to replace Michele Eliot as vice chairman of the board. Eliot had asked to step down from the position.

Pratt received approval for hiring of Danielle Ellis as physical education teacher, John Crosby as coach of middle school boys’ soccer, Don Turner as ESL education technician 2 and Hannah Johnson as Special Education education technician 2.

The Facilities Committee discussed options for the portable classroom, and hopes to take action by the end of next year. The Finance Committee is looking at how reports and warrants are formatted and comparing Rangeley with other schools to see how they do things differently. The committee is going through monthly finance reports and noted there are no outstanding expenses.

The board approved second readings of a policy on student use of cellphones or other electronic devices, edited to include digital photographic devices, and a policy on student wellness. The board waived third readings of both policies.

Troutville Traildays

Post by Rebecca Kyle of James River High School Buchanan, Virginia
Leaf No Trace Craft Time
Leaf No Trace Craft Time
Principle #6
Principle #6
T-Shirt Designs
T-Shirt Designs

The Troutville Trail Days celebration came at the perfect time this year. There was a little bit of apprehension because of the weather forecast, but the rain stayed away and it turned out to be a beautiful day.  Following a long week of testing students were able to learn about the history and importance of the Appalachian Trail in the days leading up to the community festivities.  In groups of two or three students created posters depicting the 7 principles of Leave No Trace.   Their creative works were displayed at the Troutville town park during the trail days events and students volunteered to help teach the principles they learned to younger children.  We encouraged participants to create their very own “Leaf” no Trace signs with images of leaf prints. Another great addition to the trail days were the t-shirts.  Middle and high school students competed to enter the best design.  First, second, and third place winners all came from James River High School!


Page County Celebration

I had my first visit in Luray, VA for the recent designation ceremony and I can’t wait until my next one!  Driving into town, a relaxing feeling comes over you as you look out on the glorious, long pastoral views bordered by mountains.

Driving into Luray
Driving into Luray

Thanks to the generosity of the Mimslyn Inn, ATC staff stayed in luxury at the beautifully renovated Inn at no cost to the organization. We had a lovely dinner with some of the Advisory Committee, and discussed many of the opportunities and challenges for the community.

Dinner at the Mimslyn Inn
Dinner at the Mimslyn Inn
Karen Lutz, ATC Mid Atlantic Regional Director, getting excited about the ceremony!
A bustling Luray at the Festival of Spring!

Ceremony day! It was SUPPOSED to storm all day (70% chance) and the lucky-ducks that we are, it was a beautiful day of festivities! Artists, food vendors, local organizations, and a kid village was set up in town bringing hundreds of regional residents out for the fun.IMG_0028

Sonja Carlborg shows us how to make a Quest Stamp.

The Front Royal A.T. Community Committee had a booth next to ATC’s. They’ve worked to develop 5 Quests in Warren County, and were providing information and the materials to make the Quest stamps  for families.

Front Royal A.T. Advisory Committee
Karen and Luray/Page County A.T. Ambassador, Jennifer Keck

The Designation ceremony itself was emceed by the Chamber President, John Robbins. Mark Wenger, ATC’s CEO/E.D. provided a welcome and the two Park Service Superintendents (Appalachian National Scenic Trail and Shenandoah National Park) provided thanks to the volunteers working hard to make the partnership happen, and highlighted the importance of public lands to communities. The 3 mayors of the towns in Page County, Stanley, Luray and Shenandoah, all provided fantastic remarks on the great work of the partnership’s effort. Mayor of Stanley Douglas Purdham stated,”All too often, someone comes into this area and says: “What a beautiful place in which you live,” – we locals don’t say that enough. When it (the A.T.) was created, it was said that it is good.
It is our responsibility to make sure it continues to be not only good, but great. But folks, we’ve got a job to do. We’ve got to protect our natural resources. Not JUST the A.T. Not just Shenandoah National Park. It is everything that the good Lord put our feet upon and we’ve got to do a better job. We are called to be stewards of this wonderful place that which God has allowed us to live. After all, we are all it’s got.”

The last speaker, Will Meade, a local thru-hiker of 2012, provided advice and tips, “Either here in town, or if you’re out on a day hike, what makes the Trail so special is the people. When I stopped in towns along the way, the warmth and generosity of the locals that I met enriched my experienced more than I can express. The hikers that I met out there were people of all ages and backgrounds. There might not be a better place to meet a wonderful and diverse group of people than on the A.T. If you run into a hiker, yes, they’ll probably smell, they’ll be dirty, and the guys will be sporting an impressive amount of facial hair, maybe some of the women too.
…a small interaction can lift a hikers’ spirit more than you can possibly know. Listen to their stories, it’ll probably make you want to go out there and hike as well, or at the very least follow your own dreams. The camaraderie on the Trail and the good samaritan complex that exists in the A.T. community is what makes the A.T. so special. I’m excited for this community to be an official part of that now.”

Lots of media coverage (Washington Post!), added to the success of the celebration: Outdoor Hub, DNR online.

IMG_0013 News Courier Pic

Trailfest in Hot Springs!

Festival organizers Debbie DeLisle and Jack Dalton pose for a picture on Saturday afternoon.

Attendance records were set this past weekend during Hot Springs Community Trailfest, held Friday through Sunday, April 19-21. More than 100 thru-hikers were in town for the festival, which catered to both hikers and non-hikers alike. All proceeds from the event went to the Hot Springs Community Learning Center, a non-profit organization that serves children ages three to 12 with preschool, transitional kindergarten, an after-school program, out-of-school care, and holiday and summer camps.

The weekend kicked off on Friday with a spaghetti dinner (that sold out!) and storytelling by North Carolina resident Amy Allen, author of Summoning the Mountains. (Amy hiked the A.T. in 2006; definitely check out her book, which chronicles her completion of the Trail right before turning 40.)

Kids participate in the hula hoop workshop on Saturday afternoon during Trailfest.
Festival goers enjoy the beautiful weather on Saturday.

Events on Saturday included plenty of activities especially for thru-hikers, such as hiker games, an ice-cream eating competition, and a talent show, which featured lots of great singer/songwriter acts. Hot Springs was also excited to welcome A.T. hikers participating in the Walk Off the War Program, designed to support veterans transitioning from military service. These Warrior Hikers were honored during a town parade on Saturday afternoon.

Trailfest concluded on Sunday with a pancake breakfast and an afternoon soccer game, which continued to engage both hikers and community members. 

Warrior Hikers were honored during the parade downtown Hot Springs on Saturday.

A.T. hiker Moose summed up the weekend perfectly. While talking to Randy Anderson (aka “Chuck Norris”) of the Hostel at Laughing Heart Lodge, she commented that the weekend was perfect – not only because of the weather, but because of the fun yet relaxing atmosphere that Trailfest allowed.

Even the dogs had fun at Trailfest!