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Catoctin Mountain Park Celebrates Bell and History Day with a Frederick County Outdoor School Reunion and Blacksmith Shop Demonstration
On April 6, Catoctin Mountain Park is partnering with Thurmont, Maryland's Catoctin High School to present a reunion of the Frederick County Outdoor School alumni as part of the National Park Foundation's Park Stewards program. The Park Stewards Program launched in 2009, gives high school teachers and students the opportunity to explore how national parks are relevant part to their lives. The program enables them to become civically engaged stewards of their national parks. High school teachers and park rangers work together to develop curriculum and service-learning activities benefiting the students and the parks. The Catoctin High students will apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to collect oral histories documenting the history and impact of the Frederick County Outdoor School Program that operated at Camp Greentop from 1957 until 1996.
The Outdoor School Reunion will be held in an open house setting at Camp Greentop from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 and will provide opportunities for Outdoor School alumni to revisit Camp Greentop, share their outdoor school memories, and tour this special place with family and friends. Catoctin High School National Park Club members will be on-site to conduct oral history interviews with alumni willing to record their memories as a way of documenting the activities and impact of the Outdoor School program. Former Outdoor School principal Eddie Main will staff a display of Camp Greentop memorabilia collected throughout the history of the residential camp. The day will feature opportunities to interact with former Outdoor School teachers and principals and to participate in activities reminiscent of camp activities.Former teacher Matt Gilford will lead a hike to Wolf Rock at 10:00 a.m. Hike participants will meet at the Wolf Rock Parking lot approximately .4 mile north of the Visitor Center on Park Central Road. Former teacher Avadna Coghill, known to many as "Pocahontas" will tell Ken the Wardog and other stories. Sharing begins at the Rec Hall at 1:00 p.m. Selected camp buildings will be open for self-guided tours throughout the event.
Outdoor School alumni willing to share pictures, letters or other memorabilia from their experiences at Camp Greentop are encouraged to bring these items to the reunion. Catoctin High Students will scan the pictures and documents and photograph other memorabilia. The electronic versions will become part of the Catoctin Mountain Park Historic Archive. All items will remain in the possession of their owners.
Volunteer Blacksmith Don Cornell, will demonstrate basic forging techniques at the Blacksmith Shop in Camp Round Meadow from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The demonstration and Outdoor School Reunion are part of the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium's Bell and History Day program. Visitors are encouraged to obtain a Bell and History Passport to History at the Catoctin Mountain Park Visitor Center or other participating locations in the county.The Catoctin Mountain Park "bell" will be available at the Blacksmith Shop.
Catoctin Mountain Park is one of nearly 400 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.