You have not!
I apologize for the long gap between posts. Since my last piece on episodic volunteering, “Bridging the Gap to Sustain the Trail“, things have really taken off! I now look back and have a good chuckle at the past me who was worried there wouldn’t be enough for her to do around here. Hind sight is 20/20, eh?
Let’s get caught up. Here are a few highlights from the last month or so…
First I attended the Biennial Conference at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA. Finally! A chance to match some names with faces. It was filled lots of great information, introductions, meetings, and name-tag use. I attended several educational seminars on topics ranging from thru-hiking for females to work shopping youth friendly trail activities. I also attended the Federal Land Management meeting where I presented my preliminary research on youth and diversity outreach to some of our federal agency partners. It went over well, but felt like an easy task to tackle next to the discussion on how to handle issues such as the pipeline proposals, cell towers, and mining that threaten the A.T. on a daily basis – important topics worthy of their own post at another time.
The Biennial then rolled right into the Trail to Every Classroom (TTEC) Summer Institute where I worked with some wonderful speakers and teachers on how to incorporate the Appalachian Trail as an educational resource in classrooms. Here I once again had the opportunity to present my research on youth and diversity outreach, with the added opportunity to discuss how TTEC might fit in as I plan options for the future. All things I’m taking into consideration as I draft my list of official recommendations for the 2016 ATC budget meetings. I then began coordination for this year’s Family Hiking Day (once again, that’s worth an entire post of its own), featured the A.T. in Harpers Ferry on SnapChat for a day, and of course started on a zillion other projects that aren’t quite worth mentioning yet. My to-do list is about 2189.1 miles long, growing every day, and I’m not even sure if I’ve left Springer Mountain yet!
Anyways, I could go on and on, but let’s get to the new stuff.
One of my most recent projects has been compiling an FAQ sheet regarding the Every Kid in a Park initiative and how it can be used in the A.T. community. Like most of my projects it started small and quickly grew. What I originally intended to be a single FYI-type document has morphed into the start of an entire series addressing all things NPS Centennial related and how they correspond with the A.T.. In the end what I’ve come up with is the start of – or what I would like to think is – the ultimate resource for the A.T. volunteer. This most recent document includes, not only, general Every Kid in a Park information, but details how it can be used on the A.T., who you may need to contact, how to contact them, and just about any other related resource someone might need.
A considerably comprehensive compendium of sorts.
So, in lieu of my more typical narrative type blog, I’m taking advantage of this venue to officially release part one of my series…
As I noted in my previous post “Extended Network” communication is a massively time consuming part of any A.T. activity. Information is often scattered between several different sources and can make even the simplest task seem daunting. Therefore, it is my belief that a vital step towards a stronger trail community is bridging these gaps in information.
Peruse, ponder, and post publicly at your will. This resource is meant to be shared, and you would certainly make my day by doing so. So get to reading! And feel free to share any thoughts you may have. Until next time…
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