Catoctin Mountain Park Volunteers Win National Park Service Regional Awards
Contact: Debra Mills, 301-663-9388
The National Park Service, National Capital Region, has announced that Catoctin Mountain Park Volunteer Robert Wirt, and the Appalachian Trail and Catoctin Mountain Chapters Order of the Arrow (OA), Boy Scouts of America, have won the 2010-2011 George B. Hartzog Awards for the National Capital Region. The regional awards ceremony was held at Ford's Theater National Historic Site in Washington, DC on August 18, 2011.
The Appalachian Chapter and Catoctin Mountain Chapters, Order of the Arrow combine each year to become one of the many groups that help Catoctin provide the measure of excellence for our visitors. The OA completed two major workdays during the 18 months of the current nomination cycle. The group contributed over 2800 hours of service during these two events. In 2010, OA candidates and leaders converted three sites in the Owens Creek Campground, making them universally accessible to the disabled. The group tackled multiple projects from fire prevention to relocating latrines in 2011. The group won the Outstanding Youth Group category.
Volunteer Robert (Bob) Wirt received the Regional Enduring Service Award in recognition of the 18,000 hours he has contributed at Catoctin Mountain Park, and other National Park Service areas, including Fort Frederica National Monument (GA) and Big Bend National Park (TX). Bob has worked tirelessly "providing enjoyment" for visitors by providing visitor information services, maintaining trails and improving the camping experience. He is an important part of the park maintenance team and has often been one of the first people on scene to clear downed trees and other damage from major storms. Bob was essential during the rehabilitation of campsites at Owens Creek Campground and has worked extensively with park youth programs and partners. Bob Wirt and Dolores Morisseau, from George Washington Memorial Parkway were co-winners of the Enduring Service Award.
George B. Hartzog led the National Park Service from 1964 to 1972. As Director, he recognized the need to make it easier for citizens to donate, without compensation, their time and talents to the NPS and pushed through legislation creating the Volunteers- In-Parks Program. The National Park Service created the Hartzog Awards to honor volunteers' hard work, and draw attention to their vast skills and contributions. These awards distinguish individuals or groups who give of their skills, talents, and time beyond the normal call of duty.
Catoctin Mountain Park is one of 394 units administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The park Visitor Center, located on State Route 77 three miles west of Thurmont, Maryland, is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., and from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Correspondence should be addressed to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Our website address is www.nps.gov/cato. General information can be obtained by calling the Visitor Center at (301) 663-9388.
Did You Know?
Early April, 1942 a basic training school for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was opened at Area B (Catoctin Mountain Park).The school evolved into primarily paramilitary training with British Captain William Fairbairn, “Fearless Dan” or “Shanghai Buster” as it’s most famous instructor.