The National Park Travelers Club, a diverse group of nearly 800 national parks enthusiasts representing almost every state and multiple foreign countries, will hold its 9th annual convention from August 4-9 in Washington, D.C.
The National Mall will serve as the host park with the Holiday Inn Capitol (550 C St SW near L’Enfant Plaza) as the venue for the Club’s Annual Meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 6.
The NPTC was founded to connect and provide fellowship to all those who enjoy visiting the nearly 400 units currently managed by the National Park Service. Following the recent Ken Burns documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, interest in America’s National Park System is higher than ever.
Members of the NPTC share park experiences, travel tips, pictures, upcoming events, and other relevant information that promotes park travel and federal protection of historically, environmentally, or culturally significant sites within the United States and its insular areas.
Members typically seek to document their visits via stamp cancellations in the Passport to Your National Parks® program. Passport books for this program are available for purchase in nearly all park visitor centers, along with rubber ink stamps that imprint the name of the park, the city and state of the park’s location, and the date visited.
This program was created in 1986 by Eastern National, Inc. (formerly the Eastern National Park and Monument Association), and the year 2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the Passport to Your National Parks® program. The club maintains a master list and a Google Earth Master Map of all Passport stamping locations, among other resources for Park travelers.
At the 2011 NPTC Convention, Dan Seckinger will receive the club’s highest honor, the Platinum Lifetime Achievement Award, given for visiting all 394 units of the National Park System.
To date only 19 individuals are known to have ever reached this challenging goal of visiting every unit of the National Park System. Of the 18 living persons to have achieved this feat, 10 of them are currently scheduled to be in attendance at the annual meeting on Saturday.
While in the Washington metro region, members will also take tours of the White House, the Department of the Interior headquarters building, and more than a dozen National Park Units located in and around the District of Columbia.
Convention speakers include Ranger Jen Epstein of National Mall and Memorial Parks, Ranger Vincent Santucci on World War II resources in the National Parks System, Eastern National representative Joe Falco, and NPTC Members Dan Seckinger and George Morgan on their travels to all 394 National Park Units.