Rapidan Dinner and Weekend in the Park

 October is a wonderful time to be in the Shenandoah National Park, and we had glorious fall weather for our Rapidan Dinner and Weekend in the Park celebrations. 

Our hardworking and dedicated Board of Trustees had a work session prior to the October Board Meeting, where we welcomed two new Trustees, Norm Laudermilch and Jenny Leech. We also honored several outgoing Board Members, including Greg Yates, Janet Eden, and Wendy Fewster. We cannot thank Greg, Janet, and Wendy enough for their years of dedication to the Shenandoah National Park Trust. 

At the Rapidan Dinner, we had the pleasure of hearing from Pat Kenney, the Shenandoah National Park Superintendent, Artist in Residence Nathan Cornelius, SNP interns Jordan Malhiot and Anna Burtch, SNPT Board Chair Ed Fuhr, and Jessica Cocciolone, SNPT Executive Director. SNP division chiefs Roy Wood, Jim Schaberl, and Jessica Kusky were also in attendance and spoke to guests about the programs in their divisions. 

Those who spoke gave us a firsthand account of the positive impact Shenandoah National Park Trust-funded programs make on the Park, and the spirit of collaboration to preserve and protect Shenandoah National Park was felt throughout the room.

Saturday morning, guests had the option to attend a tour of historic Rapidan Camp or go on a guided nature walk through Big Meadows. Rapidan Camp, a National Historic Landmark, was the presidential retreat for President Herbert Hoover and First Lady Lou Henry Hoover during their time in the White House. SNP Interpretative Specialist Claire Comer and Ranger Jodi Davis shared details and little-known facts about Rapidan Camp so attendees could further appreciate the site’s significance to Shenandoah and to United States history.  

The Big Meadow Nature walk was led by Ranger Ginny Browne. Ginny spoke to the group about the history of Big Meadows, from its use as a trading post for native Americans and later its use as a base camp for the CCC. She also shared information about the family whose homestead was situated on the Big Meadows site. In addition, she told our group about the flora and fauna that make their home in Big Meadows and the work done by the Park to maintain and protect the area.

The Rapidan Society provides a “behind the scenes” look into the Park, as well as an opportunity to see firsthand the projects and programs you support. You can learn more about the Rapidan Society here.

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