On The Other End of a Certified Tourism Ambassador Experience

On The Other End of a Certified Tourism Ambassador Experience

Virginia’s slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers” turned 50 in 2019. To celebrate, letters spelling LOVE were setup throughout the state. Deltaville was chosen as one of the locations. The Deltaville Maritime Museum is in the background.

What does it feel like to be on the receiving end of a Certified Tourism Ambassador? My husband and I recently took a vacation that took us to some well-known tourist destinations and to places less known. We visited Myrtle Beach, Key West, Miami, and several places in the Caribbean.

But my best experience was in a small, out-of-the-way town in Virginia called Deltaville, located on a peninsula with the Rappahannock River to the north, the Piankatank River to the south, and the Chesapeake Bay to the east. The town developed around a large boat building industry, mostly for commercial bay watermen, but those days have passed.

Now the area is dotted with numerous marinas, boatyards, and marine-related businesses. Stingray Point, at the end of the peninsula, gets its name from the 17th century when Captain John Smith was stung by a stingray while fishing there. Seriously injured, Smith gave orders to his men to prepare a grave for his body. Legend has it that he was saved when Native Americans provided a cure, found at a nearby creek, now known as Antipoison Creek.

There isn’t much in Deltaville to brag about. No red lights. No fast food places. There is, however, a 7-11 convenience store, but there are no restroom facilities inside. It does offer a “job-johnnie” along the side of the building, if you are need. Our favorite place is the Maritime Museum and Grounds where we like to settle down at a picnic table, eat Maryland blue crabs and enjoy the beautiful view of the river. We have a small camper on a plot of land my husband owns outside Deltaville. It is raw camping. No electric. No heat. But the camper keeps us out of the weather.

Every year at the beginning of November, a near-by town, Urbanna, holds its annual Oyster Festival. It is a two day event and we enjoyed the first day of it together. The next day my husband wanted to go back to the festival, but I needed to find some place to park for the day and do some writing. I needed a table, a chair, electric, warmth and, hopefully, a place with wifi. We drove around Deltaville looking for a coffee shop or restaurant that would allow me to stay there for about five hours, but it was still too early. It seemed nothing opened until 10 am.

At one point we went to the Maritime Museum, but it was not open yet either. That’s when I spotted a woman walking on the grounds. I asked her if she knew anywhere in town that would meet my needs. She said, “I work here at the museum. You can use the board room, which is the library, and it will be quiet. There are snacks there that you can enjoy. And we also have wifi.”

I told her I felt like hugging her. After the museum open, I sat for hours and wrote our church’s Christmas production. I had to leave before it was done, but I finished it that night back in the camper, writing by the light of a small lantern, while shivering from the chilly night.

During the Tourism Summit in September, Mickey Schaefer talked about making positive experiences for the visitor. While this woman, who came to my assistance, probably was not a CTA, she should be, as she exemplified everything that the CTA program teaches.

While thousands were walking the streets of Urbanna at the Oyster Festival, I had the best experience as I enjoyed the hospitality of a place, which does not have many attractions to offer visitors. Deltaville was my favorite memory of our four week vacation along with that one person who portrayed the true CTA spirit. She showed me that it is not what your community has to offer that matters; it is what you offer those visiting your community.

By: Nancy Godfrey, CTA

CTA Newsletter Editor

Volunteering Is Good For The Soul

Volunteering Is Good For The Soul

For the past several years, I have tried to give back to the communities I’ve lived in by volunteering when possible.

My busy schedule doesn’t allot much time to do as much as I would like, but whenever I find time to give back, it always feels incredible.

I recently had two opportunities in October to give back — Renfrew’s Pumpkin Festival in Waynesboro and the United Way of Franklin County’s Day of Caring.

At Renfrew, groups of volunteers came together to help serve visitors enjoy a beautiful fall day with their families.

The sun was shining bright, and I was amazed at how well perfect strangers worked together to accomplish a goal.

I was placed at the soup stand, and ladled hearty vegetable soup to hungry patrons. The line was slow at first, but picked up quickly.

I worked with a group of Mount St. Mary’s students and Claire Cahill of Waynesboro. While we formed an assembly line to get bowls of steaming soup to visitors, we learned about each other’s lives for a few hours. I was extremely impressed with the future aspirations of the students from the Mount’s swim team. Future doctors, engineers and political science majors having fun together while helping others.

A few weeks later, I wanted to help the United Way with its Day of Caring. The organization had a list of various projects to be completed throughout Franklin County, and I chose to help spruce up the exterior at Coyle Free Library in downtown Chambersburg.

I was paired with three gentlemen from FirstEnergy Corp., who thankfully came prepared with leaf blowers and rakes.

While they worked to clear the walkways and do the tough part of the job, I walked around the building pulling weeds from the mulch and flowerbeds.

It felt amazing to get outside in the fresh air, knowing we were making the area beautiful for passersby, as well as the library staff and patrons. The library was especially grateful for our help, and a few staff members told us how appreciative they were because they can only hire landscapers every so often for the upkeep. A few passersby also commented on our work and thanked us for helping.

Thank you to the volunteers who worked with me during those events, and made the days run smoothly! There are so many amazing people in our communities that work to make Franklin County a great place to live, work and play.

There are numerous volunteer opportunities available year-round, and I hope anyone reading this is inspired to help with some of them. Donating your time is free, and is good for the soul!

By DENISE BONURA

Shippensburg News Chronicle

Franklin County CTA

CTA Spotlight on Tyler Baum

CTA Spotlight on Tyler Baum

Tyler Baum personifies one of the top CTA rules about Going the Extra Mile. As a technology advisor for Marco, the miles rack up as he sees current Marco customers and engages new clients throughout the Cumberland Valley. What sets Tyler apart from other sales people, and what makes him a stellar CTA, is his ability to listen and his enthusiasm for going above and beyond customer expectations.

“I love the sales world; there’s obviously pros and cons with people having the perception that all we want to do is sell, sell, sell. I like to create relationships and get down to what the customer needs and wants. Whether it’s with their office equipment, or having documents shredded, or the other services that we provide.” Working at Phillips Office Solutions (which Marco later acquired) in the office, purchasing, scheduling, logistics and warehousing, he decided to enter sales a few years back. Being a Marco rep may open doors, but being a CTA develops common ground, Tyler says.

“The Visitor’s Bureau happened to be one of my customers and that was just when the CTA program kicked off. I met Doug. I thought it was a great opportunity to get to know the county that I cover and as well as other counties, and to get more knowledge about the territory where I spend most of my days. When I wear my CTA pin, most people ask what it is, if they don’t know already, and it makes the conversation easier to just have a normal talk with people. We want to live, work, play in the communities we visit.”

A native of Newville, he graduated from Big Spring High School, attended Shippensburg University and later moved onto Phillips, working in Middletown for four years before the transition into sales. At 28, with family in the area, he is active in his church in Shippensburg, plays flag football every weekend and serves as an assistant executive director of a flag football league. “We’re trying to give young adults something to do, that’s not the party scene, or the drug culture. We’re putting a good effort forward to be a family community where people get to know each other and friendships really thrive.”

With customer service paramount in his career, Tyler takes note when there is a lack of it. “Every year I travel to Ocean City, MD for a flag football tournament. Whether it’s at the hotel or the restaurants we go to, or mini golfing we do, if there is not a good vibe, good customer service, I can feel that right away. It turns you off to want to go back to said place or even said city. It really makes a difference – with the CTA program, I really see the big picture – that Doug, Janet and the whole team is trying to implement, county wide – no matter where anybody walks, or eats, or sleeps, they should have a pleasant experience in Franklin County.”

He loves the energy of the Cumberland Valley. “Everybody with technology has information at their fingertips now. If you have somebody at your hotel or your restaurant, who can provide the info you want, at a moment’s notice and provide it with a smile and pleasant attitude, I think that really gets people talking about Franklin County. It changes the energy from a negative to a positive outlook. Yes, there’s things to do here. Some really cool things.”

Special thanks to Franklin County CTA Dianna Heim,Director of Strategic Relationship Development, for contributing this CTA spotlight.

Christmas on the Farm at Renfrew Museum & Park

Christmas on the Farm at Renfrew Museum & Park

Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas on the Farm at Renfrew Museum & Park in Waynesboro PA on December 6, 7 and 8. This year’s Christmas on the Farm includes access to the Museum House, summer kitchen, smoke house, cabinet shop, and pottery shop. Each building offers historic period interpreters sharing holiday traditions from Yuletides past. Enjoy cookies and cider, live entertainment, family photo opportunities, and a chance to make Christmas crafts.

Event hours will be December 6 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, December 7 from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm and December 8 from 1 pm to 5 pm. Admission is: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $6 for ages 7-17 and children 6 and under are free. Members of Renfrew Museum and Park Members are admitted free.

Museum House tours begin every fifteen minutes and include a chance to view interactive, historic vignettes that explain the progression of Christmas through the years. Decorations in the Museum House represent simpler times. On Friday evening and Saturday, guests will be treated to live music performed by Bill and Joyce Weaver in the dining room.

Local Boy Scouts of Waynesboro Troop 97 will offer a greens lot; volunteer readers will read Christmas stories near the warming circle between the Visitors Center and Museum House; and historic tradespeople will share their skills including blacksmithing, wool spinning, chair caning and more.

Luminaries will provide soft light as guests walk around the grounds and access buildings to enjoy the sights, sounds and wonders of Christmas on the Farm. Crackling cresset baskets will be positioned in front of the Museum House helping to provide additional light for guests walking around the property.

Refreshments will be served in the beautifully decorated Visitors Center. The Wagon Shed room will offer crafts. Guests may make a picture frame, a fragrant orange pomander, or a Victorian scrap ornament. Take a break from the festivities to shop special gift items available in the Renfrew gift shop–including commemorative ornaments, holiday décor, pottery, jewelry and more.

Additional information can be found by calling 717-762-4723 or visiting: http://www.renfrewmuseum.org

Catch The Holiday Spirit at Chambersburg’s Christmas on Main

Catch The Holiday Spirit at Chambersburg’s Christmas on Main

The businesses of downtown Chambersburg present Christmas on Main, December 6, from 5 PM to 8 PM. Celebrate the beauty of the season and the holiday spirit with the Cocoa Crawl, Kinder Christmas Market, and the final evening of Festival of Trees.

Cocoa Crawl

Cocoa Crawl is a chance to taste special hot cocoa recipes served by downtown businesses and organizations. At 5:45 PM, Cocoa Crawl mugs go on sale on the square in front of F&M Bank. Participants can sip, stroll, shop, and enjoy the beautifully decorated Main Street of Chambersburg. At the end of the evening after tasting all the cocoas, vote for favorite your favorite.

Kinder Christmas Market

Kinder Christmas Market is a special Christmas Market. It gives young artisans a chance to showcase their talent and try their hand at entrepreneurship. These wares are extra-special gifts to share original art with friends and family, plus support young talent and build their confidence.

Festival of Trees at the 11/30 Visitors Center

Be sure to visit Festival of Trees at the Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center, located next door to Central Presbyterian Church. Enjoy the beauty of more than 30 trees and wreaths, decorated by county-wide businesses, organizations, and groups. Vote for your favorite or bid on one to take home. Children can color a Ben Franklin holiday page or make a candy cane or wreath ornament. At 6:30 PM in the lobby of the 11/30 Visitors Center, enjoy the 2019 A Cappella & Unplugged winners—For F4ith—as they sing selections from their holiday cd—A Faith-Filled Christmas. (The cd will be on sale for $10.) At 7 PM, Marla Hart, a 2019 A Cappella & Unplugged finalist, will perform holiday favorites, including fun, jingle bell songs and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Plus, Santa will be downtown from 5 PM to 6:30 PM. Holiday music along Main Street will be proviced by Rick Summers and James Buchanan Alumi Chorus,

“Last Chance” For Franklin County Certified Tourism Ambassadors To Renew

“Last Chance” For Franklin County Certified Tourism Ambassadors To Renew

Time flies! The final CTA renewal date is quickly nearing the 12/31/2019 deadline to renew your Franklin County CTA certification. If you took the Certification in 2018, the visitors bureau hopes that you will choose to continue to serve as a Franklin County CTA for 2020. CTAs will be contacted via email and by phone over the next few weeks before the 10/31/2019 deadline. We are here to help you through this process!

Why Should You Renew? Top 4 Reasons:

  • Keep receiving invitations to Franklin County CTA-exclusive events and mixers and discounts!
  • Keep in the know: continue learning and building on the Franklin County knowledge you already have.
  • Continue to be a part of over 20,000 CTAs worldwide (and over 150 Franklin County CTAs!) who work together to enhance the visitor experience, make people feel welcome, and give back to their city everyday.
  • Continue to meet new people in Franklin County, make friends in the community, and discover new volunteer opportunities.

2 Easy Steps To Renew:

  1. Add your 50 CTA points at www.ctanetowrk.com. Need your login and password – email Doug Harmon at dharmon@explorefranklincountypa.com
  2. Pay your $25 renewal fee (payable by check or cash). To pay by credit card, you can call us at 717-552-2977. Checks can be made out to “FCVB” and mailed to 15 S. Main St., Chambersburg, PA 17201. You can also come by The 11/30 Visitors Center to pay.