Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club, a Pennsylvania Hiking Club
An Appalachian Trail Maintaining and hiking clubTrimmed and Skinned Logs Ready for the BMECC Rausch Gap Appalachian Trail Shelter building project
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"There is
an intense but simple thrill
in setting off in the morning
on a mountain trail, knowing
that everything you need
is on your back.
It is a confidence in having
left the inessentials behind
and of entering a world
of natural beauty
that has not been violated,
where money has no value, and possessions are a dead weight.
The person with the fewest possessions is the freest.
Thoreau was right."

The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific, 1992

Rausch Gap Appalachian Trail Shelter Rebuild Project 2011-2012

This exciting project will leave a legacy of comforting shelter for AT hikers for many decades to come!

The Appalachian Trail shelters provide hikers refuge from the elements. The BMECC maintains 7 shelters, and some require serious maintenance at times. The Rausch Gap Shelter was built in 1973 within State Game Lands Tract #211. It also includes a privy built in 2005. The shelter was scheduled for a roof replacement this year but, upon starting the work, it was discovered that too many of the logs had rotted and needed to be replaced. As a result, a total rebuild project was undertaken. The work was done entirely by volunteers at the BMECC Rentschler Arboretum for ease of accessibility and, when completed, the shelter was disassembled, transported to its state game lands site, and re-assembled.

This project was a rare opportunity to witness, learn, and participate in woodsmanship and craftsmanship from our pioneering past (with some "modern" assistance!). We had BMECC members and non-members alike (see below) volunteer their help at various times throughout the project and it is likely that anyone who helped in any capacity will remember their time on the project with great satisfaction and pride!

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Thanks to our amazing volunteers!

We greatly appreciate each and every person and organization who volunteered their time, effort, and skill to the Rausch Gap Shelter project. Without you, this piece of American history could not have been built:


Dave Bailey
Mark Bailey
Ryan Beltz
Sarah Besterman
Troy Brendle
Dennis Burkhart
Mick Charowsky
Dave Crosby
Kevin Dealy
Linda Enders
Rita Floriani
Tammy Fuller
Todd Gladfelter
Alfie Glase, Jr.
Tyler W. Gray
Carol Green
Phil Green
John Grundowski
Martyann Gutierrez
Marie Helmold
Michelle Hnath
Sean Hnath
Steve Hnath
Glenn Hoskins
Martha Kaufman
Larry Kramer
John Leber
Kieu Manes
Mike Manes
Ed McLaughlin
Miles Newman
Dillon O'Shell
Jim O'Shell
(Boy Scouts of America,
Troop 65,
Hershey, PA)
Jim Peifley
Kathy Peifley
Dory Peterson
Bob Phyel
Janice Reich
Diane Reider
Dennis Reis
Dave Reitz
Fred Roxberry
Catherine Shade
Jude Shabrach
George Shollenberger
Kim Schultz
Luke Schultz
Don Stripling
Brian Swisher
Lou Velez


Alpha Phi Omega
(National Service Fraternity),
Mu Eta Chapter,
Albright College:

Morgan Jones
Maria Levandowski
Dan McGurl
Jenny Reinhart

Wayne Bailey (ATC Ridgerunner)
Bob Sickley

Boy Scouts of America, Troop 422,
Bernville, PA:

Scoutmaster Elwood Kline
Assistant Scoutmaster Larry Groff
Assistant Scoutmaster Thane LaFollette
Assistant Scoutmaster Dusty Risser
Austin Beard
Jacob Carles
Kyle Deitrich
Jacob D. Hare
Alex Kellenberger
James LaFollette
Johnathan LaFollette
Timothy Groff
Derek Lorah
Andrew Risser
Josh Risser
Zach Risser
Chris Rohrbach

Boy Scouts of America, Troop 652,
Mahantango Valley, PA

Scoutmaster Andy Rothermel
Assistant Scoutmaster Carl Schaible
Senior Patrol Leader Jared Kehler
Josh Masser
Colton Schaible
Tanner Wolfgang (Troop 662)

Gail Brossman
Jeff Buehler
Dennis Hurley
Gary LaBelle
Joe Wychock

Mike Bankes
Lucas Csovelak
Mark Doman, Jr.
Mark Doman, Sr.
Craig Fisher
David Fisher
Lorenzo Fisher
Scott Fisher
Guy Gresh
Matt Hummel
Sean Laudenslager
Andrew Martin
David Martin
Mike Mathias
Larry "Skip" Nagle and Bella
Matthew Pouss
Dmitrii Rassokhin
Mitchell Reinhart
John Reitz
Benton Schwartz
Dan Schwartz
Jacob Shultz
Sharon Southall (Lebanon Valley Hiking Club)
Larry Sundberg (Pagoda Pacers)
Carlos Velez
Tom Weaber

Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club, P. O. Box 14982, Reading, Pennsylvania 19612-4982, USA,

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Photos: Dave Crosby, Kevin Dealy, Rita Floriani, Martyann Gutierrez, Michelle Hnath,
Brian Swisher
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