This past Sunday, August 23, we had our annual Volunteer Appreciation BBQ for Boston National Historical Park and Boston African American National Historic Site. Volunteers from all departments were invited, even those who are now staff or used to be volunteers with us were sent invitations. Over 60 VIPs and staff were in attendance for the event, it was held on the Commandant’s Lawn at the Charlestown Navy Yard.

With cloudy skies and a little bit of rain, the event was still able to go on outside of the Commandant's House.
With cloudy skies and a little bit of rain, the event was still able to go on outside of the Commandant’s House.

The Caribbean sounds of Steel Rhythm made everyone feel like it was a sunny, beach day instead of a gloomy late Summer afternoon.

The steel drum band we hired, Steel Rhythm, livened up everyone's day!
The steel drum band we hired, Steel Rhythm, livened up everyone’s day!

A nice BBQ meal was prepared and while everyone ate their food the Superintendent, Michael Creasey, talked about how much volunteers help and contribute to our Boston parks and the National Parks. Supervisory Park Ranger and Volunteer Coordinator Ethan Beeler also handed out pins to recognize those who have been volunteering for ten-plus years. I will also be checking hours for the America the Beautiful Volunteer Pass soon to determine which VIPs earned the year-long pass for free entry to all NPS sites.

Food was available to Park staff, volunteers, and their guests. Some Park Rangers and staff who used to be VIPs at Boston NHP, Boston African American NHS, and other parks were sent invitations as well.
Food was available to Park staff, volunteers, and their guests. Some Park Rangers and staff who used to be VIPs at Boston NHP, Boston African American NHS, and other parks were sent invitations as well.
Superintendent Michael Creasey giving a speech in front of VIPs, guests, and Park Staff. Park staff were very helpful with setting up the tables, chairs, and finding extension cords for the band.
Superintendent Michael Creasey giving a speech in front of VIPs, guests, and Park Staff. Park staff were very helpful with setting up the tables, chairs, and finding extension cords for the band.

The event ended with a private tour of the Commandant’s House for VIPs and a few more songs from Steel Rhythm. Thanks to all of those who helped make this Volunteer Appreciation BBQ possible, especially those who helped us set up that morning. We are very grateful to all our volunteers at Boston National Historical Park and Boston African American National Historic Site. A big thank you to everyone who came out in the gloomy weather to enjoy some conversation, food, and music on Sunday!