Fairy Stone State Park and VMNH Weekend


Virginia Museum of Natural History / Fairy Stone State Park Retreat
June 21 to June 23, 2019

HMN Chapter President Chris Bowlen and Continuing Education Committee Chair Margaret Speicher have been making plans since early this year for a 1st Annual HMN Retreat to visit another part of the state. We will stay at a Virginia State Park and spend time with a VMN sponsor organization and another VMN Chapter.

Our weekend will begin with a Summer Solstice Celebration Friday night at the Fairy Stone State Park Campground. Come ready to relax, chat, and bring instruments.

claudOn Saturday we will carpool to the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville for an exciting day of volunteer and continuing education opportunities. Training is available for all activities and everyone will have the opportunity to rotate through the various offerings throughout the day.

  • Behind the scenes tour – What happens in the areas that the public doesn’t get to see…..you will find out !
  • Bone Cleaning – Over one hundred boxes remain to be washed, sorted, and catalogued under the guidance of museum staff. Where did these bones originate, you ask? Trash!
  • Sifting for Beads – Screened material from the Chesapeake and Virginia Beach area are likely to contain Native American beads.
  • Slide Scanning and Documentation – As to be expected in any museum of natural history, there are A LOT of data, and a lot of resources. We can thank the museum for our time there by helping with some of the administrative tasks that just keep coming. We can help by working on scanning and filing the many resources.
  • Wet Lab – Topping off alcohol in the lab’s specimen jars. This is a neat opportunity to investigate the hundreds of jars of bugs, reptiles, mollusks and other curious creatures.
  • Tour of the Museum Exhibits
  • Presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Moore, VMNH Curator of Archaeology – During lunch Dr. Moore will give us an up close and personal talk about one of their archaeological sites.
  • Chapters’ Projects Discussion – After lunch we will have an opportunity to sit down with members of the Southwestern Piedmont Chapter and discuss some of our ongoing projects and hear some of the great things they are doing in their area.

Saturday evening we will join members of the Southwestern Piedmont Chapter for a potluck dinner at the home of (former) Chapter President, Kathy Fell. She has a large kitchen and outdoor fire pit. Hone up your “stick cooking” skills and bring your pie iron to cook dinner over the fire. A “perfect potluck” link with the Southwestern Piedmont group can be found HERE(Please note that this potluck signup link replaces the one published in our May newsletter). We ask everyone to contribute to the dinner. Please contact Margaret Speicher at margaret.speicher [at] gmail [dot] com with any dietary restrictions so that she can pass them along to Kathy.

fairystoneincircleSunday is on your own at the park. Contact Fairy Stone Park for information and availability for renting kayaks or canoes. You can also contact Smith River Outfitters at http://www.smithriveroutfitter.com/

Camping is available in either the group campsites or the rustic lodge (bunkhouse), you must contact Chris Bowlen at bowlenchris [at] comcast [dot] net to reserve your spot. The fee is $20. We currently have spaces available in the bunkhouse and group tent sites, first come first served. If you would prefer, you may contact Fairy Stone State Park to reserve a private campsite, they fill fast so check their website for availability.

This is sure to be a memorable weekend you don’t want to miss.

– Margaret Speicher, Continuing Education Chair

Top two photos are from the Virginia Museum of Natural History’s Facebook page.