"" Writer's Wanderings: National Park Travelers Club

Monday, August 07, 2017

National Park Travelers Club

Do you have a National Parks Passport? Are you collecting stamps in your passport as you visit each National Park? We started doing that a few years ago but I didn't realize there was actually a club formed of National Park enthusiasts who are challenging each other to visit each and every park and monument. It's called the National Park Travelers Club. A FaceBook friend has been very busy collecting her stamps and it piqued my curiosity.

The NPTC was organized in 2004 and since has grown to over 1700 paying members and 9700 free online members. Dues are $10 the first year and $5 each year after but you can get some benefits at the online site www.parkstamps.org by signing up for a user's account.

They have a master data base that helps members find all the stamps that are available in a given park and if you are planning a trip to a certain area of the United States, the data base will help you see what stamps you can collect along the way.

Awards are made to those enthusiasts who collect 200, 300, 400 or more units from their visits to the parks. My FB friend, Toni Stutler, has collected 97 and is planning to reach 100 by Christmas Eve. She joined in 2013 and has become quite an enthusiast sharing and collecting information on the parks and the location of stamps (crowd sourcing as it is called). There are a total of 417 units currently and there is one member who is a triple platinum after visiting all 417 units three times.

Each year, there is a convention near a National Park with lots of activities surrounding the gathering of all these enthusiasts including special tours and speakers.There are also smaller group meet-ups. "When President Obama designated Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio, a member arranged a tour for club members before the monument was open to the public, allowing us to collect that coveted passport cancellation stamp dated before the Monument was open," said Toni.

Just by creating a user account I was able to access the quarterly newsletter called the Stamp Pad. What an amazing publication! Everything of interest from a historical aspect to local natural flora and fauna and geological points of interest and even suggestions for some great food to sample. I will enjoy digging through some more past issues and virtually traveling to some new areas of interest. Meanwhile, best wishes to Toni on her quest for stamps. She is on an amazing journey.

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