December 2015 Volunteer of the Month
The North District Hoodlums firmly believe that no good deed should go unpunished, and that sentiment was in full play last spring when they asked volunteer of the month Janice Cessna to become their new chief. In a moment of weakness, Janice agreed and history was made. There have been four Head Hoodlums since George Walter founded the crew over 20 years ago and Janice is the first woman. In fact she just might be the first woman to lead any PATC trail crew. Former Head Hoodlums have been known to bump their heads but not necessarily on ceilings, glass or otherwise.
Janice was born and raised outside Pittsburgh but moved to northern California, where she hiked the Sierras. When she returned to Virginia she stumbled on the Hoodlums and it was downhill from there. For nearly a decade she has been an active member of the crew and also served as an overseer on the AT on South Marshall in Shenandoah National Park. Janice loves to introduce new volunteers to the finer points of trail maintenance. For the last few years she has led the novice crews at the North District trail maintenance workshops each September. This June and July she worked with inner city youth crews in SNP as part of the NPS’s and SNP's Association’s summer outreach.
A freelance writer and photographer, Janice’s interest stretch well beyond trail work. You are quite likely to sees her running along Skyline Drive, training for her next marathon. Summers usually find her on a trip out west or the places like the Boundary Waters. This year it was Yellowstone to indulge a new found passion, fly fishing. And then there is always her pal, Jax, a plott hound mix.
Janice is already exploring some new pursuits for the Hoodlums. In addition to working with youth, she see the Hoodlums reaching out to other districts, possibly running day and half-day workshops for new crews and volunteers. So keep an eye peeled for Janice in her bandana or straw hat. She’s the one getting it done—and well.