The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 4, 2013

Bob Garrett's Talking Points: Shikellamy's new leader

Daily Item

---- — "Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better."

-- Albert Einstein.

The Shikellamy State Park Complex is in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Lycoming counties.

Freeburg resident John Clifford was recently named the manager of this facility by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. He will be based out of the Shikellamy State Park, where the inflatable Adam T. Bower Dam forms the 3,060-acre Lake Augusta.

However, he will also have responsibility for the rest of the park complex that includes the 82-acre Milton State Park and the 20-acre Susquehanna State Park that is a pleasant riverfront park in the City of Williamsport. The Hiawatha Riverboat docks at the Susquehanna State Park. The Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources head, Ellen Ferretti, said Clifford is the perfect professional for the position due to his background in parks that host water-based activities.

A Susquehanna University grad, Clifford added that, "I've always been something of an urban park kind of guy, all the way back to my first after-school job working for the Howard County park system in Maryland, so I'm looking forward to getting back to my roots."

He has been working in central Pennsylvania since 2005, when he was a ranger at the Little Buffalo State Park. A big welcome to John Clifford, and best wishes as the top guy in several of our valley's parks.

n Wounded warriors

What could be more rehabilitating than a day in nature with your family and friends? Wounded service members, veterans and their families are invited to a day of kayaking, biking, fishing and other outdoor activities at the Gifford Pinchot State Park near Lewisberry from 10 3 p.m. Saturday.

Some of the activities planned include handcycling, adaptive kayaking, fly fishing, disc golf, hiking, yoga, children's games, painting, therapy horses, outdoor photography, campfire cooking, nature journaling, geocaching and rowing. Experts will be on hand to demonstrate and coach participants who are new to accessible and adaptive recreation.

Experienced participants are encouraged to bring their own gear. If your scout or church group, family or just a couple friends want to help out with this event, there are plenty of volunteer jobs to be filled. Potential exhibitors and vendors are also welcome. This event is being hosted by the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and you can visit its web site at for more information about participating or volunteering.

n Rock hounds unite

The 48th Annual Gem, Mineral and Jewelry Show, hosted by the Central Pennsylvania Rock and Mineral Club, is set for next Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 14 and 15 at the Kembo Shrine in Harrisburg.

The shrine is located at 2801 N. Third Street. More than 25 vendors and exhibitors are expected to attend this popular show. There is a $6 admission charge for adults but scouts who are in uniform may attend free.

Boy and Girl Scouts are encouraged to log onto the club's website ( to learn about the merit badge requirements that may be completed while attending the show. The show incudes plenty of fun activities such as fossil displays, educational displays and a rock and gem dig.

n Fall outdoor show

Outdoor shows in the fall have traditionally been duds. The thought was that folks were too busy getting ready for the upcoming hunting season, or they were still trying to get in some late-summer fishing, or they had spent the wad of cash that they had budgeted for outfitter trips way back in the spring.

Well the good folks at Carlisle Events are about to change all of these misperceptions. Carlisle Events is known for putting on mega-events that mostly focus on cars and trucks, but there's no question that they know how to promote a show, no matter its focus.

The First Annual Carlisle Sports and Outdoor Nationals opens Friday and runs through Sunday. This weekend's weather is shaping up nicely and the list of vendors, exhibitors and presenters scheduled for this show is truly impressive. You can check it all out at

Do yourself, your friends and your whole family a favor and head to Carlisle this weekend.