Tuesday, June 29, 2010

First C.A.M.P Adventure of the Summer

To the joy of everyone the sun came out just in time for our first C.A.M.P session of the summer. Mount Rainier had never looked so inspiring for our first-time campers. Since the mountain was out we made sure to make a stop at Kautz Creek for taking photos. Then it was off to Cougar Rock Campground to set up camp. Kevin Bacher, Russ Aguilar and Hilary Gaddis helped the three families become oriented to the campsite by helping with the tents and setting out the camping chairs. Next on the agenda was a hike of Trail of the Shadows. The families with their Flip video camera in hand were out in full force documenting everything they saw. I would be hard-pressed to choose one event as the highlight of the day but the banana boats around the campfire may have a lead on first place. By the end of the night every kid had a smile on their face.

On the second day the families woke up to the smell of scrambled eggs and fresh fruit and muffins. We loaded up the vans and headed towards Paradise for a day of new experiences. Once we got there some families went on the Nisqually Vista trail and others spent time exploring the visitor center. A spontaneous snowball fight went on for awhile while touring Reflection Lake. As we got back to the campsite a nice array of snacks was nicely laid out on the picnic tables. Dinner came soon after and it consisted of roasting hot dogs over an open fire an s’mores for dessert. The night ended with a wonderful rendition of Old McDonald had a park instead of a farm and many other fun songs. On the third and final day we packed up all our gear and went to Carter Falls to say farewell to the mountain and shared our favorite memories from the last two days. I had so much fun over those three days that I can’t wait for the next session to start.

Eatonville Fourth of July Parade

We have finally broken the back of a long and wet spring and summer is here! Once again we will be walking in the Eatonville Parade and would love to have all of our wonderful volunteers walk with us waving and spreading goodwill.

The parade starts at noon and is always finished by 1pm. If you'd like to participate, give Jim Ross a call at ext. 6045 or send him an e-mail at Jim_Ross@nps.gov

Shadows of the Past

Here's another reminder about our upcoming Shadows of the Past program. We are in particular need of Lantern Bearers this year. Lantern bearers illuminate the path for visitors and the characters during the program and have more of a "behind the scenes" role.

Characters Welcome and NEEDED

Ever wish for the simpler days? Does today’s fast pace and impersonal electronic age have you down? Well, Mount Rainier is looking to take a few select folks Back In Time! This summer we are expanding our living history program and we need people passionate about the park, history, and people, and who have a penchant for dressing up, to join us for some fun. We need volunteers to fill a variety of roles to bring history to life this summer for our Shadows of the Past living history programs and a variety of vignettes at historic Longmire. Volunteers are needed for the following:
Characters – Have a flair for the dramatic? Ever wanted to wear a fake beard and talk with a Scottish brogue? We need people to fill a variety of roles from Mount Rainier’s history, memorizing scripts and portraying characters in at least one Shadows of the Past program and one character in a roving vignette.
Guides – Do you like to answer questions and play follow the leader? Guides are needed to lead visitors through the Shadows of the Past program by memorizing a script and monitoring the group. We also need guides introduce vignettes and answer visitor questions.
Writers – Like to write short stories? Vignettes need to be written for 15-minute programs involving three to five characters. Topics will revolve around the 1899 – 1920s history of Mount Rainier. Specific topics will be discussed and assigned to writers.
Lantern bearers – Want to be involved, but want to stay behind the scenes? Lantern bearers are needed for Shadows of the Past programs to illuminate the path for visitors and the characters during the program.
Researchers – Have a general curiosity about Mount Rainier in the late 1800s to early 1900s? Researchers are needed to create a general outline and bibliography of background information about Mount Rainier and characters from 1889 to the 1920s.

    Dates to Remember The dates of the performances are July 10th, with rehearsal July 2, - need only Lantern bearers now. July 24th, with rehearsal July 17 August, 7th with rehearsal July 31st August 21 with rehearsal August 14 Lantern bearers do not need to attend training. The Characters have a 5 to 7 minute monologue to memorize. You dont need to have acting experience to participate as a character. Leads guide the visitors along the trail and will introduce each character. This memorization is longer than the characters, since you have to introduce each one. We also need lantern bearers who light the path for visitors, and illuminate the characters, but don’t do any talking. There are 4 groups each night. Characters would perform 4 times, while Leads and lantern bearers only one trip. The programs start at 8:30, but participants will need to be early to get ready.
For more information on the program or any of the positions listed please contact Lee Snook at Lee_Snook@nps.gov or 360.569.2211 x 6043. To apply fill out the online volunteer form found here:

Friday, June 25, 2010

MRNPA Work Party!

The next Mount Rainier National Park Associates volunteer work party will be Saturday, July 10th.

Rather than doing trail maintenance, we will be working with Will Arneson's Ecological Restoration crew doing exotic plant removal (weeding). The project is to work along the Westside Road removing non-native plants that are invading the areas adjacent to roadway. The target species are dock and two species of daisies, but we will remove other exotic plants as we find them. The work area will be the 3.5 miles of the Westside Road from the Nisqually Road junction to the end at Fish Creek.

To participate there is no need to know all that much about native plants. Will and his crew will teach you which plants to remove, and they will be able to identify for you all the native plants in the area. Westside Road is not heavily traveled so car traffic will not be much of a problem. There will be no heavy tools (like shovels and pulaskis) to carry and work with. Because we will working along the road, you will not be so far from you car that you will need to carry a pack. And, who knows, we may even get a dry day.

Things you should bring are your work gloves, a small digging tool like a hand trowel or your favorite gardening tool, your lunch, plenty of fluids to drink, and a full set of rain gear. If you have a reflective safety vest, bring that too. We will be required to wear safety vests because we will be working along a road open to traffic. And two more things: bring a small tablet that will fit in your pocket, and a pencil. You will need to count the number of exotic plants you remove - this is a government project after all!

We will meet at 8:30 AM at the junction of the Westside Road and the Nisqually Road. (That is about a mile just inside the Nisqually Entrance to the park). We will be ready to go to work by about 9:00 AM and expect to finish about 3:00 PM. Tell the ranger at the park entrance you will be working on a volunteer project and you will be admitted to the park for free.

If you plan to attend the this work party, please go to volunteer@mount-rainier.org to indicate that you are coming. It is important that MRNPA has an accurate number of expected participants to provide the needed resources. You may also email John Titland @ volunteer@mount-rainier.org.

If you would like to camp for free in the park before or after (or both) participating in this work party, camping is available at the Longmire VIP campground. To make camping arrangements, contact Evan Escamilla at evan_escamilla@partner.nps.gov or (360) 569-2211 ext. 3312.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Nationwide grants program is made possible by the National Park Foundation and Unilever as part of the
America’s Best Idea Grants Program

Ashford, WA – June 16 – Mount Rainier National Park today announced receipt of a $10,000 grant from the National Park Foundation in support of the Camping Adventure with My Parents (CAMP) program. The CAMP program, now in its second year, takes families who have never camped before on a two night camping trip to Mount Rainier. The project is part of the National Park Foundation’s America’s Best Idea grants, a nationwide program currently underway in 33 national parks which seeks to connect youth and other underserved audiences to parks.

“The CAMP program opens the door for kids who have never camped to experience nature with their parents,” said Mount Rainier National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. “The park rangers make it safe, fun, and a great chance to learn.”

“As stewards of the parks, there is nothing more important than connecting our communities and young people to these treasured places,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation.

Mount Rainier National Park recruited families for this opportunity through partnerships with Student Conservation Association, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Tacoma Metro Parks. The families will learn the basics of setting up a camp site, go on ranger-led hikes, and at night sit around the campfire roasting marshmallows. The park provides participants with transportation to the park, equipment, food, and instruction—all free of charge.

“The CAMP program would not be possible without grant support from the National Park Foundation and the McKibben Merner Family Foundation ,” said Uberuaga.

Inspired by the epic Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea , the National Park Foundation , in partnership with Unilever, has awarded America’s Best Idea Grants totaling roughly half a million dollars, to 33 national parks across the country.

You are the part-owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites -- all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to help connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us – This is Your Land . www.nationalparks.org

FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/nationalpark
TWITTER http://twitter.com/goparks

Invite for Meadow Rover Training

Greetings! The time is close at hand for Meadow Rover Training. We are excited to get you all up and running for the summer. Please find the agenda below. It is a jam-packed day and hope the addition of break out sessions will be of interest to you seasoned Rovers. We will be in the Longmire community building. If you turn into the housing area at Longmire and follow the road up and over the bridge you will eventually come to the Community Building. Please bring a sack lunch. We will have coffee, however we are asking you to help us stay green and bring your own mug.

If you have questions please call Erin Whittaker at 360.569.2211 x 3414, or email her at Erin_Whittaker@nps.gov
Meadow Rover Training
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Community Building, Longmire

9:30 Welcome and introductions
Kevin Bacher, Volunteer and Outreach Program Manager

9:45 The role of Volunteers and Meadow Rovers at Mount Rainier
Kevin Bacher

10:00 Informal Interpretation and Creative Communication Techniques
Julia Pinnix

10:45 Logistics and Resources for Meadow Roving
Lee Snook/ Erin Whittaker, Paradise Interpretation
Christine Czazasty, Sunrise Interpretation
Kevin Bacher

11:30 Lunch and New Rover Registration

12:15 Keeping Wildlife Wild
Alyssa Herr, Wildlife Biologist

1:00 Subalpine Ecology and the Revegetation Program
Will Arnesen, Restoration Ecologist

1:45 Resource and Visitor Protection
Jordan Mammel, West District Wilderness Ranger

2:30 Snow Roving
Jennifer Glyzinski, Backcountry Maintenance

3:15 Break out sessions. Pick one break out session to attend.
Jen Glyzinski: Trail projects
Jordan Mammel: Pre-SAR (Search and Rescue)
Will Arnesen: Q & A about revegitation and meadows
Alyssa Herr: Fox Protection and Keep Wildlife Wild Weekend
Erin Whittaker: Mentoring and visitor center assist

4:00 Adjourn

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vacancy at the Longmire VIP Campground

We are excited to announce that the Longmire Campground hosts, Harry and Jean Millan, are settled in, the platform tents are up and are now available for all volunteers to use thanks to the fine job work done on National Trails Day. To all the Geocachers and individuals who came out THANK YOU! Your many hands made for light work.

If you will be volunteering at Mount Rainier this summer and are interested in staying at the Longmire Campground reserve your spot by contacting Evan Escamilla at (360) 569-2211 ext. 3312 or evan_escamilla@partner.nps.gov

We rewarded our volunteers that day by turning off the mountain fog machines and offering a spectacular view of the mountain afterward.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

VIP Program in the News

Our recent volunteer video has gotten some attention from the media at The News Tribune and Bellingham Herald.

Our own Kevin Bacher was quoted; "These videos, donated to us as a labor of love for Mount Rainier, allow us to spread those messages more widely and more effectively than we could with our own resources. We expected that we’d end up with something worthy of putting on YouTube, but what we actually got was this amazing production in high definition that is suitable for television broadcast. Having these videos means we have an opportunity to convey our message to a larger audience, to share the story of the amazing work that volunteers are doing every day to help us protect our resources and serve our visitors.”

Read the full article at http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/06/06/1215179/videos-promote-volunteer-work.html

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drivers and Camp Chefs needed for Mount Rainier's Camping Adventures program!

Mount Rainier National Park’s outreach program is looking for volunteers to help with its “Camping Adventures with My Parents” (CAMP) program this summer. Beginning later this month, five groups of families—25 people in each group—will visit Cougar Rock Campground for a three-day, two-night experience in the park. Most have never been camping before, and will be learning for the first time how to set up tents, hike trails, build campfires, and cook out in the woods. All equipment, food, and transportation is provided by grants.

Volunteers are needed specifically to drive two 15-passenger vans between Seattle and Mount Rainier, with a stop in Tacoma. In addition to the commute to the park, CAMP participants will need to be transported to various locations for guided hikes and sightseeing during their experience. Drivers may otherwise participate in CAMP activities along with the groups.

Volunteers are also needed to provide food service for the visiting groups. This may include helping to plan menus and shop for supplies, though the greatest need is to help by preparing evening meals at the group campsite on the first two days of the experience, and coordinating preparation of simple breakfasts and sack lunches. CAMP participants are encouraged to help as well with food preparation and cleanup, but we’ve learned from past experience that having a designated and dedicated camp chef makes things run more smoothly!

Five dates are available for both drivers and camp chefs:
  • June 22-24
  • July 9-11
  • July 23-25
  • August 6-8
  • August 17-19
Applicants must be willing to undergo a basic background check. Previous experience driving large passenger vans or cooking in a camp setting are recommended. Drivers must be 25 years old and have a good driving record. To apply, fill out an application online, or simply contact Volunteer and Outreach Program Manager Kevin Bacher directly at 360-569-2211 ext. 3385 or Kevin_Bacher@nps.gov. You can also learn more about the program—and review a video of last year’s experience—at www.nps.gov/mora/supportyourpark/camp.htm.

We look forward to camping with you!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Glacier Basin Trail

This past weekend a lot of hard work was put into the new Glacier Basin Trail. All summer long the WTA and other groups will be focusing their volunteer efforts on rebuilding this popular trail after the flooding in 2006.

Thanks to everyone who came out last weekend! If you're interested joining a Trail Work Party at Glacier Basin you can sign up with the WTA or contact me, Evan Escamilla at evan_escamilla@partner.nps.gov or (360) 569-2211 ext. 3312.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Volunteer in your National Parks!

Check out our brand new Public Service Announcement, narrated by Shelton Johnson! Share widely and freely! Also available to watch and embed from YouTube and Vimeo.

Mount Rainier National Park: The 20th Century Volunteers

Here's a seven-minute video about our volunteer program, produced as a volunteer project and donated to Mount Rainier National Park by Three Moon Bay Video. Enjoy it in high definition on YouTube or Vimeo and embed and share widely!