Association Meeting Minutes – Sept. 18, 2009

Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association Meeting

Cove Ridge Center

Friday, September 18, 2009


Present: Charlie and Mary Allen, Jim Addington, Harold Jerrell, Barbara and Benny Reed, Joe Fuller, Megan France, Joy Nihil, Jean Brown, Craig Seaver, Wanda McConnell, Mary Erwin, Jim Stafford, Bill Smith, Lisa McConnell, Jim Stallard


The meeting was called to order at 12:05. Bob McConnell introduced guest Mary Allen, wife of Charlie.


Secretary Sally Kelly asked for additons and corrections to the minutes of the July meeting. With the addition to the list of those present at that meeting of Joy Nihil and Harold Jerrell, Charlie Allen moved that the minutes be approved. Wanda McConnell seconded the motion and it was approved.


Treasurer Joe Fuller read the report for the period July – September. Benny Reed made a motion to accept the expenses, the motion was seconded by Harold Jerrell and approved. Benny also moved to accept the treasurer’s report, Wanda McConnel seconded it and it was approved. The balance in the checking account is $5793.78. The complete treasurer’s report is in the minute book.


Committee Reports:


Blockhouse Site, Chris Edwards – He is working on getting a bellows made at WRSP. It is for our planned forge.


Events, Sally Kelly – Sally reported that tomorrow is our annual Native American Day. Our presenters include Mark and Sherry Finchum, Robert Rambo, and Danny Dixon. Harvest Celebration at the Blockhouse is scheduled for Saturday, October 17. She reported seeing a Scott County Tourism rack card at a hotel in Bristol. It promotes the Blockhouse as one of the County’s top tourist draws. Bob McConnell reported that a full page ad is to be purchased by DBWTA and WRSP for Siege 2010 in Muzzleloader magazine. Mary Erwin mentioned that the Siege date has been set for May 21, 22, 23, 2010. Billy Heck at WRSP needs the information for the ad from us by Dec 1.


Volunteers, Jean Brown – Jean counted over 200 visitors to the Blockhouse in August. Concern was expressed that visitors often skip visiting the Interpretive Center. Long term plans include a restructuring of the terrain that would guide visitors first to the Interpretive Center, then on to the Blockhouse.

Wanda needs some volunteer coverage in October at the Interp Center: Oct 10, Oct 25 . Also next Sarurday, Sept 26.


Music, Ron Short – Our CD is in progress. Studio time has been hard to come by, and that has contributed to the delay Probably we will have it available for sale by November.


Furnishings, Barbara Reed – The rope bed is in place, and it has received a lot of attention.


Media, Harold Jerrell – Dale Carter gives us permission to use his material for our new driving tour materials Bill Smith metioned that a Virginia Tourism marketing and leverage grant might help pay for our new publications. Charlie Allen made a motion to support seeking such a grant in principal, it was seconded by Bill and approved.



Natural Tunnel State Park, Craig Seaver and Megan France – The budget cuts at NTSP have effected some programs: Spirits of the Cove hayrides, and Christmas lighting of the tunnel are cancelled for this year. The Park will have to reduce interpretive programs next summer. This is the result of a 20 thousand dollar reduction for this year, and 40 thousand last year We will probably not light the flag at the Interpretive Center until next March. For Marcia’s position ther were 79 applicants. There have been 800 position applications statewide. All are frozen for time being. There are 42 vacancies statewide at this time. The District Manager is taking early retirement, and reorganization is likely. The volunteer dinner is on Sept 29. Craig personally appreciates time given by many of the folks at this meeting.The new cabins will likely open in April. Seven have roofs,and there are three more to come.

Director Elton was recently elected Nationall State Parks President, and is still state President. Bill Smith mentioned that a new VA Parks web site, Outdoor Virginia will feature vidio clips, etc for various parks.

Megan France spoke about the Park’s educational outreach program, Travel Through Time. She passed around the binder that was put together. Nineteen teachers registered, fifteen participated. the two day program included Natherland Inn, the Blockhouse, WRSP, and Cumberland Gap. The teacher participants enjoyed it. Driver Bill Kawood acted as a tour guide enroute. Joan Short also prepared participants on the bus. Background information included the Sycamore Shoals connection, and a suggestion was made that the tour become three days and include SS Many participants had never been to Netherland Inn, Cumberland Gap. There was a very moving experience at the CG Park and the entry shelter onto trail remnant through that Park. Interprtive reader rails and recorded sounds helped that tunnel experience to tell the stories of those who went that way, including those of African descent. The various sites liked the workshop and would like to have it continue. Tour also included presentation of the in-class materials that were develped for check out. Joan has really promoted it to former colleagues in Wise County. A discussionis in process regarding getting college credit for a course on Wilderness Road History. this effort is spearheaded by Joan, Megan, and Sue Ella Boatwright.

Megan met with David Oaks and volunteers from Exchange Place who are retired Kingsport teachers. They were also interested in getting Kingsport teachers into TTT workshops. Megan is also discussing a number of other possibilities including kid camp for summer. She said thanks to DBWTA for its contributions to the project. Craig is quite excited about MECC’s interest in offering a college credit class.. Joe very appreciative of the Tennessee connection Megan has brought about. Bob stated that Megan has provided great leadership and deserves a round of applause Jean Brown mentioned that we need more DBWTA members who will volunteer to support these kind of programs


President’s report – Bob spoke about our intern last year. Wes did a lot for the Association, including a tremendous amount of research. We had hopes to repeat that internship this year, but were not able. So Bob and Megan have been working with UVA Wise. This led to connection with a Prof Goings who wants to offer new course . The outcome is a new intern project for two Scott County residents, Megan Herron and Megan Akers. It requires 5 hours on site per week. They have chosen two projects: A paper – Todays Culture and Society in Southwest Va is a Product of those who came here between 1750-1800; and a perpared portfolio of materials for use in public schools that address Va SOLs


Bob is working with Jared Bently about our web site. He wants to create a new page called Life on the Va Frontier in 1775. It will feature a collection of articles that describe various aspects of frontier life, such as fiberr arts, herbs, etc. He will want DBWTA memberrs to write the articles.

We also want to improve the Frontier Kids part of the web site. It currently contains only a test. W will add cross word puzzles, word searches, etc.. We need someone to create the answers and clues for each cross word puzzles. They are also adding pictures. The entire membership is now listed on the web site A quaterly newsletter is also being planned. All are encouraged to look at web site to help us locate and correct mistakes.


Finace, Margaret Crouch – We were unsuccessful in acquiring a grant to fund Native American Day from Virginia Humanities. She suggests for next time that we ask for more money and partner with our presenters in making the grant application.


Announcements: On Oct 9, 10, 11 there is a Civil War program at Cumberland Gap. That is also the weekend of WRSP’s Oct event.


Bill passed out a rack card on Wise County’s Fall Fling.


The meeting was adjourned at 1:25


Respectfully submitted, Sally Kelly, Secretary