story by Nell Doyle
photos by Nell Doyle and Tricia Turner
Over 75 NCAMN members and guests celebrated the holidays and one another during a gala holiday luncheon and awards ceremony December 2 at the Van Matre Senior Center in Mountain Home, Arkansas. They had several good reasons to celebrate, having worked almost 8,300 volunteer hours (by 124 volunteers) and completed almost 1,600 advanced training hours, with the month of December yet to go. Both President’s and Master Naturalist of the Year Awards were presented. Seventy members received certificates and pins for from one to eight years of service. Lunch attendees also raised $300.00 for Baxter County Meals on Wheels.
Carol and Ron Beasley and Gordon King took home special awards for their outstanding dedication to and work with the chapter.
Carol and Ron, who received the 2017 President’s Award, hosted the annual early summer Buffalo National River float and cookout for many years; Ron organized the float, and Carol the cookout. They have also contributed a tremendous amount of time, effort and care to other chapter activities. Ron, who joined in 2011, is an active trail and stream team worker, often wielding chain saw, blower or string trimmer on trails and kicking and identifying critters with the best of them on the five creeks that NCAMN monitors quarterly. Carol was famous for her cookies at NCAMN events before she ever joined the organization. After she became a member in 2013, she helped host and organize numerous NiT class refreshments and chapter potluck meals. The President’s Award is not given every year, explains president Karen Woods, but this year she thought a special tribute was in order for such outstanding service.
Gordon, 2017 Master Naturalist of the Year, is well known among chapter members for organizing recreational hikes, maintaining and transporting trail and stream team equipment, and hosting potluck meals around the outdoor fire ring or indoor hearth at his home off Push Mountain Road, said Rebecca Carabelas in presenting the award. He keeps the chapter’s trail and stream equipment in tip top shape and stores a lot of it at his place. His faithful companion Minnie knows the trails as well as he does, since the golden lab mix pre-hikes all of them with him, Rebecca added.
Karen also announced the 2017 “Friend of Master Naturalist” award, which will be presented to Tina Marie Wilcox, Ozark Folk Center Herbalist, at the 2018 BioBlast AMN Annual Meeting on April 14.
With the help of those hard-working and good-cooking NCAMN “elves,” Joan Barker organized a scrumptious luncheon of roasted pork loin and apples, lentil loaf, fruit and vegetable salads, vegetable medley and wild rice. The ever-popular shrimp cocktail was back as the featured appetizer this year. Desserts included pecan pie, red velvet cake, cobbler, praline pecans, raspberry linzer cookies, chocolate fudge, and many more. Joan’s elves—who prepared, transported and served food and arranged decorations—included the following: Joan Barker, Dwan and Gerald Garrison, Karen Woods, Michelle Skinner, Rebecca Swesey, Beth Kennedy, Jeff and Sue Hoeper, Ellen Chagnon, Tricia Turner, Wendy R. Johnson, Carol and Ron Beasley, Jeanne Louise Chauffe and Tommie Walton.
Annual certification requires 40 hours of volunteer work and eight hours of advanced training. Following are the 2017 certification awards:
Eight-year recertification and coneflower pins: Anita Hayden, Deborah Fleming, Pam Phillips, Roy Stovall, Ed Metcalf and Dwan Garrison
Seven-year recertification and green frog pins: Gerald Garrison, Jim Kouns, Lee and Terri Argyle, Todd Dahlin, Vickie Martin, Ron Beasley, Tricia Turner, Anne and Ric Criss, and Pat Cromwell.
Six-year recertification and black bear pins: Nell Doyle, Barb Bremer, Ward Fleming and Ellen Chagnon.
Five-year recertification and Diana fritillary butterfly pins: Wendy R. Johnson, Peg and Tom Krohn, Peggy Kratzer, Pam Cook and Carol Beasley.
Four-year recertification and ornate turtle pins: Tina Cole, Bob Verboon, Diane Quinn, Diane Mongno, Ginger Turk, Jeff and Sue Hoeper, Karen Woods, Pam Sinning and Ted and Rebecca Carabelas.
Three-year recertification and pine tree pins: Tina Cole, Liz Harris, Beth Kennedy, Gordon King, Sally Soderblom, Donita Winters, Suzanne Harrison and Tommie and Charlie Walton.
Two-year recertification and white-tailed deer pins: David LeMay, Karen Tietmeyer, Mark and Lori Shockley, Judy Bearer, Mike and Debbie Rees, Paula Caprio, Wayne Fulmer and Shelley Trost.
First-year certificates and round AMN logo pins: Amy Larea Johnson, Sanford and Joanne Rines, Barb Tietmeyer, Deb Schroeder, Mary Adair, Sally Moore, Jim Krieger, Janine Egerton, Daniel and Debbie Foster, Edie Kate Hampton, James Mott and John Wilson.
Certification photos can be found on the NCAMN Facebook page: https://business.facebook.com/pg/NCAMN/photos/?tab=album&album_id=916446481863455