The Holiday Season in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the chapters have been busy celebrating the holiday season and all their hard work in 2009, all the while beginning to think ahead to the opportunities and challenges in 2010. Here is just a sampling of the Holiday events in PA:

Thank you, Volunteers!

Wampum Chapter Christmas Party
-December 11, 2009
-Hito’s Restaurant in West Pittsburgh (near Wampum, PA)

The Wampum Chapter poses for a fun group picture at their annual Christmas party

The Wampum Chapter poses for a fun group picture at their annual Christmas party, held at Hito's Restaurant in West Pittsburgh, PA.

The group mingled and enjoyed potluck wine and snacks, followed by a buffet dinner at Hito’s. Chapter President Lee Fairbanks led a group discussion about an upcoming project to install road signs near a bridge to promote the trail. A gift raffle, mixer games (led by Julie Elkins, PA Communications Coordinator), and a delicious cake dedicated to the volunteers all converged to make a very nice evening for everyone in attendance!

Butler Chapter Giftwrapping at L.L.Bean
-December 11, 2009
-L.L.Bean at Ross Park Mall, Pittsburgh, PA

PA State Trail Councilman Paul Henry and NCTA Butler Chapter member Tom Baumgardner put their wrapping skills to the test.

PA State Trail Councilman Paul Henry and NCTA Butler Chapter member Tom Baumgardner put their wrapping skills to the test.

The Butler chapter received $200 from L.L.Bean for running a gift wrapping table in their Pittsburgh store.  Butler chapter members did their best to wrap the presents and tie them up with pretty bows, with hopes of earning tips to benefit the chapter!  The group also used the opportunity to promote the trail to those who stopped by the table, handing out fliers, pamphlets, and stickers to accompany each present.  Chapter Vice-President Joyce Appel brought plenty of Christmas decorations (including a dancing Christmas tree) to keep the table festive!

The All-Pennsylvania NCTA Holiday Party
-December 12, 2009
-Jennings Environmental Center

The group at the All-Pennsylvania NCTA Christmas Party, held at Jennings Environmental Center

The group at the All-Pennsylvania NCTA Christmas Party, held at Jennings Environmental Center. The decorations on the Christmas tree were all made from things found in nature! (Check out the milkweed pod tree topper!)

A mock Christmas cookie baking relay, wind-up toy race, candy toss, and grab bag gift exchange made the All-PA party a memorable event.  After the potluck dinner, the group was entertained by an abundance of games and activities planned by Joyce Appel.

Winter Solstice Party
-December 21, 2009
-North Country Brewing, Slippery Rock, PA

Bagpipers and a priest led the Winter Solstice ceremonial prosession outside, where participants cast holly branches into the fire to represent wishes for the new year.

Bagpipers and a priest led the Winter Solstice ceremonial procession outside, where participants cast holly branches into the fire to represent wishes for the new year.

The group that gathered for the Solstice party at North Country Brewing participated in the yule log ceremony, following a procession of bagpipers and a priest who led the group outside.  After the priest spoke about the darkest night that is the winter solstice, everyone, one by one, tossed a twig of holly into the fire, representing their hopes and wishes for the coming year.  After a delicious dinner at the Brewery, the group held a gift exchange and participated in several holiday and Pennsylvania-themed games.


To see more pictures from the Holidays in Pennsylvania, check out the photo album on the North Country Trail Association facebook page!

Bows at the Butler Chapter L.L.Bean giftwrapping fundraiser

No Responses to “The Holiday Season in Pennsylvania”

  1. bill majernik December 29, 2009 at 11:07 am #

    …………Great pictures Julie ! Good to see that everyone throughout PA~NCT had a great time this Christmas Season. Wish I could have been at each and every event! A belated Merry Christmas to All.
    Bill from the wampum chapter

  2. julie December 31, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    Thanks for commenting, Bill! Hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas season, too!

    Thanks also to all the organizers who planned the holiday parties, and of course- thanks to all of the great people who spent time in 2009 working to build, maintain, and promote the NCT! Happy New Year!

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