Who are Our Leaders?
Program leaders for the Allegany Nature Pilgrimage come from many walks of life. Some are professionals in their field of expertise; others pursue their areas of interest as an avocation. Some have been coming to the Pilgrimage for many years; others are new. All are passionate about sharing their knowledge about the natural world with others.
Each leader agrees to do a minimum of two 1 1/2- to 2-hour programs in exchange for a small stipend or food and lodging. Some leaders offer the same program twice, others offer two different programs. Some leaders offer one double-length program instead of two shorter ones.
What Kinds of Programs are Offered at the Pilgrimage?
Presentations: Indoor classroom spaces with electricity allow for PowerPoint presentations. Some leaders also use the small tents outside for presentations with a hands-on component, or to show off live animals. There have been presentations on bats, carnivorous plants, fossils and rocks, the elk of Pennsylvania, and many more. Live birds of prey, exotic animals, and rescued herps have also made appearances at the pilgrimage. As long as the rain doesn't prevent it, there are bird banding demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday mornings at 7am.
Walks Near Camp Allegany: There are several habitat types in the near vicinity of the Pilgrimage headquarters. Walks that have been led near Camp Allegany include Wild Edibles, Plant Lore, Salamanders, Tree ID, Wildflower Photography, Underwater Monsters, and more. Some of these walks may start under a tent with some introductory remarks and resources.
Workshops: Over the years participants have been able to go home with handmade recycled paper, small leather-bound journals, little woodland fairies, or tie-dyed shirts. Some of these workshops can be offered outside under the tents, especially if electricity is not needed. There is also a room in the Rec Hall with tables and chairs that works well for workshops.
Field Trips: Allegany State Park has some pretty amazing trails and destinations. Some of the programs involve carpooling to one of these. Examples include the Old Growth Forest Hike, or the Fern walk - over on the Red Jacket Trail which was planted a long time ago with every fern found in New York State. Most of these programs start at Camp Allegany, then folks carpool to the destination. Some will start at the destination.
Evening Tent Programs: On Friday and Saturday night we try to get everyone into the Big Tent for a presentation that is both informative and entertaining.
Food and Lodging
Leaders choose either a small stipend, or free lodging and meals for the weekend.
Please contact walks & programs coordinator Rob Thomson.