October 2013 Volunteer of the Month
Mike Jenkins works with a chainsaw - Photo by Robert Freeman
Upon joining PATC in 1988, Mike Jenkins was quickly recruited by Andy Hiltz to be the district manager along 32 miles of the AT from Harpers Ferry to Snickers Gap. Four years later he stepped down from this position to build a house beside the AT, keeping about 4 miles of the trail south of Keys Gap to maintain. Chris Brunton, who took over as district manager, said Mike often helps him with trail projects along the entire section, relying on him to take care of any problems. Currently they are working together laying out a major AT relocation on Loudoun Heights.
Mike was in the first chainsaw workshop held by PATC, keeping his sawyer and first aid/CPR certifications current by attending successive workshops.
Besides working on trails, Mike volunteers in other ways with PATC. He built the parking lot at Keys Gap in 1991, then the kiosk, and still monitors the area with trash removal, a big issue at this location. Since 1990, he has been the AT corridor monitor north of Keys Gap. Three years ago Chris Firme, PATC hiking chairman, asked Mike to lead the “Roads Scholars” (formerly “Elder Hostel”) along the AT in West Virginia, which he continues to do several times a year, passing along information about the history, cultural resources and management of the area.
During the 1990s the West Virginia Chapter (now the West Chapter) held their monthly meetings at Highacre in Harpers Ferry. Each summer, Mike would lead the group through Harpers Ferry giving wonderful historical insights into the area.
Along with being a volunteer for PATC, Mike also volunteers with other organizations. He is supervisor of trails for the Mountain Club of Maryland; attends the meetings of the Maryland Appalachian Trail Management Committee, working hard with a variety of partners to defend and protect the AT; and regularly volunteers and assists with the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and Catoctin Mountain National Park. Mike is also a Life Member of Appalachian Trail Club, and will be receiving a Silver Service Award for 25 years of volunteer service to the AT this summer at the ATC Biennial Conference.
The AT in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia is fortunate to have a friend like Mike who takes a special interest in it. PATC is fortunate to have such a dedicated volunteer.
Please e-mail Rick Canter at email@example.com if you have someone you would like to nominate for Volunteer of the Month