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Woodloch's 12 Days of Giving, Part 2: "The Kindness of Strangers"

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girlfriend getaways, spa resort

~shared by J. Ranner

Many moons ago, I was a business student trying to learn as much as I could about the economy, salesmanship, consumer trends, advertising and management. And while deep down I truly love the subject matter and the challenge it presents, I was always thrilled to choose my "gen ed" credits in school. They offered me a chance to free my mind from the business world for a few hours and appreciate all kinds of arts, sciences, and humanities. 

My favorites of these electives were always Philosophy courses.  Even if it had "nothing" to do with my ultimate career goals, I was always up for a good spirited debate with friends on the issues.  One of the topics that I latched onto and kept in my life long after my last Scantron was the definition of "Good." What makes something or someone good?  Is there such a thing as "good for the sense of good" without any selfish alterior agendas.

I've come to the conclusion that there certainly IS.  It's entirely possibly for all of us to commit truly good deeds so long as we expect absolutely nothing in return. The deed is the reward in itself, so to speak.  The next set of our "12 Days of Giving" objectives all centered around what you might call "random acts of kindness." 



5. The Salvation Army "Angel Tree" - Back in early November, a tiny Christmas tree was placed in our staff dining area with the names, ages, and needs of local children on tags.  And little by little, the spirit of the season drove our employees to each "adopt" a child and ensure that they have a nice holiday.  Little did we know that the program would take off the way it did!  

What started off as an uncertain 50 names being placed on our tree was quashed with our signature positive energy. Not ony were all 50 names snatched up within a few weeks, we kept going until over 115 children were adopted and shopped for.  Storage for the gifts spilled out of the normal executive office hallways... and into the executive offices themselves!


6. Coffee Shop Takeover - Because you're a loyal reader, I'll be frank with you about myself: my day simply cannot start without a proper cup of coffee.  Throw in anxiety about shopping, bills, and work pressure and I will eventually transform into your worst nightmare. But not if I get my coffee. It makes everything right in the world, and I feel I'm not alone on this issue.

So on one chilly morning a week before Christmas, I sent my boss (loving the role reversal) and our very own Road Trip Concierge to surprise some people with an unexpected free cup of joe at the Northern Lights Coffee Shop in downtown Scranton.  For an hour, patrons showed up and were treated to delicious java and a holiday greeting from the Woodloch family.


7. Free Hugs - Outside of this marvelous microcosm I like to refer to as "Woodloch Land," the world can sometimes be a very cold and dark place.  And sadly, I sometimes feel that society is slowly descending into a state where outward love and compassion are taboo- if a man kisses his girlfriend in public, we're so quick to stare, scratch our heads, and even be outwardly disgusted.  I don't buy that at all. Show love and let someone know how you feel while we're here and can do so, because NONE of us know what lies ahead in the future.

But, as Dr. Marvin would say, "baby steps."  So moving directly between the lines of yuletide fire (i.e. busy shopping malls on a December Saturday morning), Woodloch sent a collection of our most cuddly and friendly faces to offer those in need "FREE HUGS."  Distraught and stressed out shoppers and even employees approached us with our "FREE HUGS" sign.  Little gestures like that can certainly go a long way- sometimes, everyone just needs a hug. 


8. Random Gifting - Once again, I'm pointing the finger of blame upon "society."  Everyone always thinks that no matter how great of a thing might be happening directly to you, there's always some kind of "catch." There's no such thing as a free lunch.

Except when there IS.

Once again utilizing a crowded shopping mall as our environment, The Woodloch Crew purchased a stack of Visa gift cards that can be used literally everywhere. And then, we simply handed them out to people that looked like they needed a picker upper.  We said "Hi- happy holidays," made our drops and disappeared as mysteriously as we had arrived. We got a great reaction, including one from an employee that was down on his luck.


So just like Stella from "A Streetcar Named Desire," every once in a while, you actually CAN depend on the kindness of strangers.  Especially if Woodloch has anything to say about it!  


Catch our last bit on our "12 Days of Giving" initiative here!  

Woodloch's 12 Days of Giving, Part 1: "The Greater Good"

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12 days collage 2

~shared by J. Ranner

Whenever you might feel alone in the world, remember these words:

"Play a little part in something BIG."

Whether we realize it or not, the cogs of the world and life are ALWAYS turning and the smallest things that we do- no matter how miniscule they may initially seem, can go on to impact the world in ways we never could have imagined.

Over the past month or so, I've had the pleasure of coordinating and participating in Woodloch's inaugural "12 Days of Giving" initiative.  And truth be told, it was personally one of the most rewarding holidays I've ever celebrated.

But that's getting ahead of myself.

The 12 Days of Giving program's objectives spanned from icredibly simple to rather challenging- but all brought some form of joy into lives of recipients and givers alike.  I feel that they can be broken down into three different but equally important categories:

  • "The Greater Good" - together everyone achieves more.
  • "The Kindness of Strangers" - pay it forward...
  • "What Woodloch Does Best"- using our personal strengths to bring cheer!


1. Woodloch's Hunger Relief Record Attempt - On November 23rd, 2013, guests, staff, friends and other volunteers assembled in our Heritage Night Club and rewrote history.  With the help of our friends at Pocono Pro Foods, we collectively assembled 656 hunger relief packages in one minute and 18 seconds, setting a world record. After celebration, volunteers from Woodloch and the Pike County United Way distributed all of the packages to chuches, rescue missions and food banks in the local area. 


2. Supermarket Tailgate Food Collection - Along the same lines of our world record, this objective brought together two of the basic cornerstones that have made Woodloch guests happy since 1958: "eatin' & competin'."  With the help of Gerrity's local grocery stores, the Woodloch gang braved the cold December winds to have a "parking lot party"- grilled food, live music, games and giveaways drew crowds to donate canned and non-perishable goods.  After a great afternoon, donations were immediately dropped off at The Scranton Rescue Mission to provide those in need with a holiday feast.


3. Adopt-a-Family - They're the first cheery staff members you'll typically meet when visiting, so it's no suprise that the ecclectic family at our Front Desk spent a good deal of time and resources to adopting not one but TWO local families in need this season.  Together, they collected what they could- toys, clothing, and food items to be directly handed to local families in need.  


4. Operation Christmas Child - in conjunction with local churches, Woodloch started their own drive for "Operation Christmas Child" shoeboxes.  Basically, shoeboxes are filled with essential items for children - including soap, socks, toothbrushes, shirts, paper and writing utensils - as well as toys.  The boxes are then shipped to children around the world in need and distributed.  It's a fun way to help a child that has almost nothing to his or her name. After weeks of strong efforts, Woodloch pooled 31 boxes together and sent them away. "Every box means a child didnt have to go without a Christmas present," says Tammy Compton of Woodloch Reservations. "Every box lets a child in a third world country know that they are loved."


Here's PART 2 of our 12 Days of Giving!


Woodloch's Hunger Games: Breaking a Guinness World Record from Endless Echo on Vimeo.



Christmas is Love in Action; An Unexpected Gift from a Pocono Resort

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christmas in the poconos header 01

The greatest gift you'll ever receive isn't found under any tree. What is it? Well, that's up to you.

"Love," said my friend Katie O'Hara.

"Family," said my friend Sam Postrion.

Love's the secret ingredient found in every batch of homemade Christmas cookies - better still when shared with others. It's found in fixing supper for a lonely neighbor or reaching out to an elderly shut-in, clearing snow from someone's sidewalk, or just brushing snow from a family member's windsheild.

It's that special gift of self found in serving others: at a soup kitchen, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, placing presents beneath the Angel Tree, and more.

It's taking the time to tell someone else - -with or without words --that they matter, that they're special, that you care.

That's what Woodloch did this season with its 12 Days of Giving, including a record breaking weekend when 400 staff members, guests and friends assembed a whopping 656 hunger relief packages filled with Thanksgiving food items for families in need. With the generous support of Pocono ProFoods and the United Way, the charitable event was accomplished in 1 minute and 19 seconds - earning a place in the Guiness Book of World Records.

There were gift-filled shoeboxes collected for Operation Christmas Child to benefit children around the world, toys collected for the Salvation Army's Angel Tree - benefiting more than 100 families, gifts for Toys for Tots, hug deliveries at area shopping malls, and random gift giving to name a few. The latter involved the Woodloch crew handing out pre-paid Visa gift cards to random shoppers.

One heartfelt recipient sent back an email. Woodloch worker Sam Monaghan had spotted the man at a Scranton mall. He looked a little down, so she approached and handed him a gift card.

Here's what he emailed back: "I just wanted to let someone from WoodLoch know how much the gift card for $25 they handed out at Viewmont Mall on Saturday 12/7 meant to someone. I am a housekeeper and as I was pushing my trash cart, I was handed a card. I am constantly being handed things from people, be it sales or religious stuff, or things people want thrown away. I took the card, and simply stuck it in my pocket. I probably did not even say "thank you." But when I got back to the break room and saw it was a gift card for $25, I went back out looking for the people to say thank you. You see, I had given someone else some money for gas earlier in the week, and was going to run out of gas myself before payday to get back and forth to work. So the $25 gift card was an answer to a prayer. You can not out give God. Bless you for your gifts. One of the other housekeepers found a gift card in the trash, and it answered a specific prayer request for him too. Thank you so much, God Bless, and Merry Christmas."

It's like motivational speaker and author Leo Buscaglia once said: "Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring all of which have the potential to turn a life around. "

Merry Christmas!


Woodloch Staff Share Their Favorite Holiday Traditions

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~Shared by M. Crandall

Everyone celebrates Christmas a little differently. Traditions vary from home to home. My family started a tradition years ago. We would buy pajamas to open on Christmas Eve; we'd all change into a PJ’s and wear them to bed and continue to wear them Christmas morning to open our presents. On Christmas morning, we would each open our stockings one by one. My husband always sneaks something fun into each stocking, you might find a can of spam, canned meat or something really ridiculous. It always makes us laugh.

I have some amazing co-workers that wanted to share some of their Christmas traditions as well.

Touzon Woodloch Christmas02 retouch

Laura Molins, Front Desk/Reservations, says, “Every Christmas Eve, we celebrate the Italian tradition of the seven fishes and eat a seafood feast for dinner in honor of my Italian heritage on my mother’s side of the family. We spend the day in the kitchen cooking all the seafood together, which always includes lobster, mussels, calamari, tilapia and scallops.”

Tammy Compton in the reservations department says, “My mom would always allow us to open one gift on Christmas Eve. Sometimes we chose well and enjoyed a new toy for the night; sometimes we wound up wearing new pajamas. You know, the gift you love to get when you're older, but not so much as a kid. Then we’d gather around the Christmas tree and play 'I Spy.' Someone would find a decoration and describe it by color, and the listener would have to figure out what they were talking about. If you were close, they’d say, 'You’re warm or hot.' If not, you were cold. My sister, brother and mom were great at playing the game; I always seemed to get frustrated long before figuring it out. It was one of those games that didn’t cost anything but was loads of fun. I haven’t thought about that in a long time. My beloved mom has passed away. My siblings are older, but that was the good stuff. Great family at Christmas time can’t be beat.”

Colleen Mitchell in Reservations says, “We wake up around 9:30 am. Mom makes a pot of coffee; we play Christmas music and open all our presents. Towards the end of opening presents, my dad would make breakfast. We all get ready, dressed in nice outfits, take some family photos, and drive to Grandma’s house in New Jersey to have dinner with my mom’s side of the family. We enjoy great memories.”

At Woodloch, family and traditions are what it’s all about. What are your most memorable Christmas memories or favorite holiday traditions at home or at Woodloch?


"Brighten" up your holidays at Woodloch!

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~Shared by J. Ranner

Our waterski boats no longer sit in Lake Teedyuskung. We spend a few extra minutes each day to defrost thin layers of ice off of our cars. And we all pine for that extra cup of coffee or hot chocolate. To quote Ned Stark, "Winter is coming."

Yet we find a way to get through these long nights. In the spirit of the holiday season, strands of lights are strung from eave to eave of our houses, providing a much needed glow when we crave it the most.

2013 festival of lights 2

Holiday decorating has been a proud tradition for Woodloch Pines since opening in 1958. Our main lobby, dozens of trees, bannisters, shrubs and everything in between are instantly illuminated on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. That is also the debut weekend of our famous "Festival of Lights" rides along our mile-long nature trail.

From a staff standpoint, the most impressive part of all of the decorating is how much of it actually goes on behind the scenes. Weeks beforehand, my fellow co-workers are crafting wreaths, testing bulbs, building structures, and ascending skyward on lift trucks so that the tree lightings go off without a hitch. The prep work for the holidays begins just as soon as we begin our first Haunted Hayrides of the season in early October. It's a lot of work, but there's something to be said about smiles on everyone's faces in the warm glow of the lights.

Our Festival of Lights has steadily become bigger and better. In addition to thousands of lights, we now use pyrotechnics and computers to enhance guest experience. All in all, the experience amounts to about half-an-hour of illuminated joy through a dozen scenes on our nature trail. And if you're good boys and girls, Santa Claus just might show up . . .

This is really just the beginning of all the fun times that await you this holiday and winter season at Woodloch. Scavenger Hunts, snow tubing, walnut and yule log hunts and of course our Winter Olympics . . . we have it all! So bundle up, relax, and hang a shining star upon the highest bow. The holidays at Woodloch start right now


Woodloch Staff Share Thanks

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~Shared by T. Compton

My Creator. A loving family. Faithful friends. Each new day. The chance to try again.

These are the things that I'm most grateful for. As author Melody Beattie says: "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life."

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength." ~ New Living Translation.

Woodloch Pines Special Events Coordinator Amanda Gallo says she's abundantly blessed. That's she's thankful for her family "and especially for Tommy to wake up. That I'm back with the love of my life, and we're taking the right steps forward. I could sit here and tell you a million things Im thankful for. I'm very, very blessed."

Woodloch Pines Reservations Supervisor Mariann Crandall shared from the heart: "I am thankful for a husband who is understanding, patient and kind. A man that would do anything to make me happy, and someone that I can't imagine life without.

"I am thankful for a sister who is my best friend - someone I can call to talk about anything - someone I can laugh or cry with.

"I am thankful for my two-year-old nephew, who surprises me everyday with his knowledge, for his hugs and kisses and for when he tells me he loves me to the moon and popcorn and chips!

"I am thankful for my mother-in-law who definitely is one of the best cooks (besides my mom)! I always look forward to whatever she's making. A simple dish like baked sweet potatoes with carrots are just better when they are made with her love.

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"Finally, I am so grateful to have had my mother, even though my time with her was cut short, she passed away 2 years ago. She was my best friend. She always supported me and stood behind the decisions I made. She never judged me for my choices and always told me she was proud of me."

So, what tops your gratitude list this Thanksgiving?

"A busy year at Woodloch, a healthy family, and great people to work with," says Woodloch Pines Resort family member/owner Steve Kiesendahl.

"I'm thankful for my family and my health," says Woodloch family member and Special Events Manager Brooke James.

K Fam 2 resized 600

"I'd have to say my family. They're always positive and upbeat and they'd help you through anything," says Woodloch Management Trainee Alexis Peregrim.

I once saw a card depicting a family gathered around the Thanksgiving table, with a child speaking from her heart. "We have so much to be thankful for. One day a year hardly seems adequate."



Holiday Craft Fair Makes for Easy Shopping at Woodloch!

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poconos shopping, girlfriend getaway

~Shared by J. Ranner

It seems that we live in a world of opposites and stark comparisons. Day and night. Republicans and Democrats. Dreamers and realists.

And those who love shopping and those who can't stand it.

The holidays are soon coming up, and that means venturing out into the wonderful world of retail searching for that perfect holiday gift, whether you enjoy it or not. Some people enjoy flocking from outlet to outlet in search of something special, while others end up tired and frustrated. My mother could probably be a professional shopper while I tend to sympathize with those who soldier on through the motions. As a matter of fact, I do everything in my power to minimize my shopping trips.

But what if I told you that there was a way to keep everyone happy? Shoppers are content because of the wide variety and selection of products while the non-shoppers have the painless experience of minimizing the "back and forths." You would be able to do most of your shopping under one roof . . .

If this sounds at all appealing then you are in luck. In grand tradition, Woodloch Pines will be hosting their annual Craft Fair on Sunday, December 8th from 10 AM to 2 PM. Held in the Heritage Club, more than 40 local vendors set up shop and proudly display all of their 100% homemade goods. I also like the idea of my holiday spending cash staying in the area and benefitting local artisans. 

The selection of crafts has become more and more varied over the years. There are items available for nearly everybody on your shopping list including:

  • hand-crafted woodworks and carvings
  • sculpted glass and pottery
  • hand woven quilts, mittens, hats and sweaters
  • toys
  • food and wine accessories
  • and so much more!

And as always, this event offers free admission and is open to the general public as well as our house guests. PLUS, sign up for our exclusive Woodloch Diner's Club for a chance to win a free golf outing at Woodloch Springs, Boathouse Restaurant certificates, a complimentary "Dinner & Show" package and Woodloch Springs Grille Room gift cards- just for showing up! Meal reservations and overnight accommodations are also available. Why not make a day of it all?

So you can either join the legions of other shoppers, braving the elements to head to a crowded store, battling crowds to net possibly fruitless results, or you can head to Woodloch's Craft Fair, browse in a relaxed and stress-free environment where you are sure to find exactly what you need. To me, the choice is clear and easy. 

I will have my shopping complete (save for a trip to the coal mines for my poorly behaved friends) before I even miss a second of my 49ers game . . . 

Tis' the season. :)


Woodloch's Famous Hayrides Share some Scares in the Poconos!!!

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class trips, reunions

~Shared by J. Ranner

It's dark and chilly. As you enter the barren October woods, you think you hear rustling about in the leaves... probably just nothing, right? Your heart starts to beat as your mind begins to race- what kind of nightmares could possibly await... BOO! A werewolf menacingly grabs your shoulder as you let out a childish scream. Your friends and family applaud with laughter. All in good resorts, spa resort

You are seated on one of Woodloch's famous "Haunted Hayrides." What began 20 years ago as a simple ride through the woods with a few dedicated staff members in costume has expanded into a Halloween tradition that simply should not be missed. While the charisma and spirit of ambitious "goblins" in the woods remains the cornerstone of the fun, the rides now include extensive "sets," live animals, loud music and pyrotechnics. 

And we're constantly researching new ways to spook you out. It's a labor of love.

We're also pleased to announce that, for the first time, that these rides will be included entertainment when you make a dining reservation at our resort. Enjoy family style course meals at the Pines with abundant food and delicious deserts. Appetites satisfied, get ready to hop aboard our wagon for the ride of your life! (Due to their scary nature, these rides are generally not recommended for "little ghouls)

Once you board your wagon, your journey of terror will begin. You will traverse through approximately a dozen different "scenes" based on classic horror movies and more. The wagon will periodically stop moving... and that's when the fun begins. Of course, these are done in good spirit to embrace the season, so as terrifying as we attempt to be, remember- it's all make believe (or... is it?).

So between pumpkin picking, jack o' lantern carving and candy stockpiling, remember that a fun escape- the treat of an award-winning resort close by and the tricks of our "monsters" in the forest- wait for you at Woodloch. 

Reservations will be "disappearing" quickly- call 800.WOODLOCH today for a night to remember!


Help Woodloch in its "Operation Christmas Child" Donation Efforts

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~Shared by T. Compton

Wading chest-deep through a river in Ecuador, a little girl in pigtails holds a shoebox high above her head. Happiness crinkles the corners of her eyes.

Behind her, a young boy smilingly holds his red and green shoebox out of the water, careful not to get its contents wet. Inside are toys, school supplies, a toothbrush, a bar of soap, and other hygiene items.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, delivers love and hope in the form of shoeboxes to children around the world, kids haunted by poverty, hunger, disease, war and more.

Operation Christmas Child

"The whole purpose is sending a filled shoebox to children ages two through 14 around the world. This gift doesn't just give them the joy of receiving the box, but the love of Christ comes with it," said Marianne Korman, Dropoff Center Relay Coordinator for New Covenant Fellowship Church in Hawley, PA .

"The goal for our church in Hawley is 500 boxes, but I would like to reach that 1,000 box marker when all of the (contributing) churches are in," Korman said.

Korman reached out to Woodloch Pines Resort in Lackawaxen Township, knowing that the Poconos Resort has a heart for children and supporting the community.

Each shoebox is filled with donations such as:

* Hygiene items: toothbrushes, toothpaste with expiration date visible, mild bars of soap, combs, washcloths.

* School supplies: pens, pencils, crayons, sharpeners, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, or loose leaf paper.

* Toys: small cars, balls, dolls, stuffed animals, kazoos, harmonicas, yo-yos, jump ropes, toys that light up and make noise (with extra batteries), etc.

**To help cover the shipping and other costs related to delivering your gift box to a child overseas, please donate $7.00 for each shoebox you prepare.**

Please note: You may also enclose a note to the child and a photo of yourself or your family (if you include your name and address the child may write back).

Katherine Harrison, a friendly volunteer who assists Korman at the collection site, calls herself "a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord."

Harrison encourages participants to pray over each box. "If you pray over it, that box goes to the child who needs what's in that shoe box at the time," she said, words strong with belief. She went on to share the story of a little boy whose family had suffered a fire in their village. His feet had been burned and he sorely needed something to cover them. When he opened his box, it was filled with socks. Seeing what was in the box, the Samaritan's Purse volunteer offered to exhange it for one filled with toys and other items, but the child said, no, this box - with its gloves and socks - was exactly what his family needed.

There's no such thing as coincidence; I belive it's God working behind the scenes.

Franklin Graham, President of Samaritan's Purse and son of popular evangelist Billy Graham, said, "Multitudes of children around the world are rejoicing with Operation Christmas Child as we celebrate over 100 million shoe box gifts since 1993. These gifts have enabled us to share the Gospel in some of the darkest corners of the world, reaching more than 150 countries and territories," said Franklin Graham.

Filled shoeboxes, donations of items to be placed in the boxes, or monetary donations are being accepted by Sarina Betz at Woodloch Pines Resort (ext. 8041) or Tammy Compton in the Reservations Department at Woodloch Pines Resort.

Donations must be received at Woodloch by Monday, November 18.


A Plethora of Local Historical Treasures Surround Woodloch

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~Shared by T. Compton

I am soooo bored.

Ever said that? Heard your kids, siblings, friends say that? I'd hazard a guess that we've all said it at one time or another.

But, you don't have to be. How's this for a solution: Exploring what's in your own backyard.

Thursday was an awesome day - marking the second annual Wayne-Pike Ambassadors Tour sponsored by the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau (PMVB) and PPL. Offering an all-day educational and historic tour of Wayne and Pike Counties, the program was most informative and also a lot of fun.

Lake Wallenpaupack Visitor Center BearThe bear that greets you at the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center

Guided by local historian and retired school principal, Tom Kennedy, and Wallenpaupack Visitors Center Manager, Keith Williams, the action-packed trip started with a stop at the Dorflinger-Suydam Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dorflinger Glass Museum in White Mills, PA. Museum Curator Hank Loftus coaxed history to life with his talk of Christian Dorflinger, whose glass factory was famous for producing some of the finest lead crystal in the country - even pieces used by President Abraham Lincoln. Who knew that sand, pot ash and lead oxide could combine to create such beautiful glass: sparkling stemware, kerosene lamp chimneys and punchbowls that seemed to all but dance in the lighting?

It was at the Columns Museum in Milford that President Lincoln's name was once again mentioned - this time on a sad note - regarding the night of his death. Operated by the Pike County Historical Society, the museum claims to have the very flag used to cushion the President's head following the fatal shot at the Ford's Theater in 1865. A small derringer fills a nearby display case, similar to the one used to assasinate the 16th President.

President%27s Flag

A wealth of knowledge awaits at your local historical society.

Take the Wayne County Historical Society in Honesdale, for instance, which currently features the artwork of the late Howard Becker, detailed information on the Delaware & Hudson (D & H) Canal, not to mention the privilege of walking through an authentic passenger coach used by the gravity railroad, and the impressive, full-size replica of the Stourbridge Lion.

The maiden run of the Stourbridge Lion, the first steam locomotive to operate in the United States, was over three miles, from downtown Honesdale to downtown Seelyville and back again. Weighing in at more than five tons, it's interesting to note it was found to be too heavy for its four-ton track. Sadly, the Lion never roared again. That was August 8, 1829.

"Sometimes we forget to look in the mirror and appreciate what we had, what we have, and what we could be," Kennedy said.

Perhaps a Native-American, 18-foot, dugout canoe is right up your alley. Viewable at the PPL Environmental Learning Center, the well-preserved, man made canoe surfaced on Lake Wallenpaupack in 1955, following Hurricane Diane. Lake Wallenpaupack, by the way, is 13 miles long, boasts 52-miles of shoreline and is the 3rd largest lake in the state, after Pymatuning and Raystown lakes. Amazing that the canoe was found.

Do you love beautiful gardens? Then you absolutely must visit the Grey Towers National Historic Site in Milford. As described by the U.S. Forest Service, "Grey Towers is the ancestral home of Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the US Forest Service and twice Governor of Pennsylvania. Today, Grey Towers serves as a conservation education and leadership center, with programs that interpret the lives of the Pinchot family." If you've not been there before, you're in for a real treat. Be sure not to miss the Finger Bowl - an outdoor dining area built around a raised pool. Floating appetizers, anyone


Then there's the Zane Grey Museum in Lackawaxen. To stand in the home of a man considered the father of the western novel, to envision him seated in his chair, feverishly writing about heros and heroines, is beyond words.

When you get a chance, perhaps during your next visit to Woodloch, take a look around Wayne and Pike counties and all of the museums, historical societies, and points of interest. Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

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