Franklin County Visitors Bureau joins Certified Tourism Ambassador Program and hires CTA Director

Franklin County Visitors Bureau joins Certified Tourism Ambassador Program and hires CTA Director

Tourism in Franklin County is growing. As Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB) moves closer to creating the 11/30 Center in downtown Chambersburg, it is joining the Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) program. The CTA program empowers communities, residents, organizations and businesses to better serve visitors with consistent, quality information. To develop the program in Franklin County, FCVB hired Doug Harmon as CTA Director.

“I am so pleased to be part of the Franklin County Visitors Bureau,” said Harmon. “I am a native of Franklin County, PA and love the opportunity to help promote local events, festivals, entertainment, dining and lodging to explore Franklin County.”

Harmon said the benefits of the CTA Program are numerous. Each builds on the other and leads to a benefits cycle, which includes enhancing the visitor experience. In turn, the CTA program builds a positive destination image, increases community economic impact and then continues the cycle.

The CTA Program is a nationwide certification, customized to each destination. In Franklin County, the CTA curriculum will highlight the county’s natural, historic, and cultural assets. Visitors ask questions. The CTA program prepares people to give the best answers. In turn, visitors have a positive experience. It creates a Franklin County brand, gives quality service, and grows the tourism industry. Annually, Franklin County secures more than $326 million in visitors spending.

The initial hiring of a dedicated CTA Program director was funded with a Regional Capacity Building Grant, which is made by possible by the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network, Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Franklin County Visitors Bureau was part of the South Mountain Collaborative and received a Regional Capacity Building Grant for $20,000. Capacity Building grants help to build civic engagement and social understanding of conservation and environmental respect in all aspects of community life with a diverse spectrum of partners.

Franklin County Visitors Bureau now joins over 17,000 workers and volunteers in the network of CTA programs.

The 11/30 Center makes securing, housing, and training a county-wide corps of these interpretive volunteers achievable. In addition to the space to house the volunteers, the 11/30 Center provides the necessary space to house the volunteers but provides a visual and interactive platform for docents to launch tours and enthuse visitors into planning itineraries one-on-one. The center will host a wide range of tours on a weekly and monthly basis, using interactive exhibits, library, and mobile promotional materials. In addition, the second level of the property is a space that can be used for other special events to complement special events, presentations, book signings and more.
This dynamic center will also be handicap accessible enabling all to access displays, exhibits and event space.

Becoming a partner with the Visitors Bureau will then lead to great experiences, Harmon said.

“The value of the initial visit or purchase, with a positive experience and image, will then continue the cycle of growth,” he said. “The CTA program will help us to better serve visitors and grow tourism throughout the county.”

The CTA initiative involves a seven-month development process,. FCVB begins the process on October 25 with a series of focus groups, a subject matter expert panel, and an extensive online/print survey of front-line and management personnel. This extensive research will help FCVB and CTA to summarize perceptions of the current service level in Franklin County, ascertain needs, and obtain your thoughts and opinions.

If you are interested in finding out more about the CTA program, please contact Doug Harmon at

Franklin County Visitors Bureau was awarded a Regional Capacity Building Grant by the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network.

Allison-Ebbert House

Allison-Ebbert House

Greencastle One Step Closer to Ebbert Spring Heritage Park & Archaeological Preserve

At the end of August, Andy Stout, Greencastle native and Eastern Regional Director of The Archaeological Conservancy (TAC), and Bonnie Shockey, President & CEO, on behalf the board of directors of Allison-Antrim Museum, Inc (AAMI), signed a 99-year lease between TAC and AAMI, which transfers the care of the standing structures, within the Ebbert Spring Heritage Park & Archaeological Preserve, to Allison-Antrim Museum.  The original house (on the left), with three-feet thick walls, was built in 1750 by William Allison, father of John Allison, founder of Greencastle. 

It was the wish of the late Al Bonnell, owner of the property for 50 years, that the grounds, structures, and archaeological artifacts, and its archaeological history be preserved not only for the Greencastle-Antrim Community-at-large but also for Pennsylvania and American History.

Al passed away in April 2016 and since then his son Terrance “Terry” Bonnell has been diligently working to bring his father’s wishes to fruition.  On Tuesday, August 29, the ownership of the property was conveyed to The Archaeological Conservatory, which was made possible through a grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Antrim Township.  Other partners in the overall project include the Greencastle-Antrim School District, Shippensburg University, and Greencastle Area Franklin County Water Authority.

The archaeological sites have been dubbed a “super site” by the state.  The artifacts range from prehistoric to early contact with white men.  The archaeological artifacts are housed in Allison-Antrim Museum’s climate-controlled storage area. 

Over the next two years, TAC will create trails with archaeological, historical, geological, ecological, and environmental history kiosks throughout the property. The trails will be completed by Old Home Week 2019.

The Allison-Ebbert House will be on the 2017 Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas house tour.

September is National Milkshake Month

September is National Milkshake Month

Let your taste buds celebrate in Franklin County.

The delicious and creamy milkshake is a sweet treat that all can enjoy and in September, as National Milkshake Month begins, the Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites all to try this sweet treat made from the delicious local milk.

Happy cows make delicious milk and at Trickling Springs Creamery, enjoy milk as fresh as it can get. This organic creamery only uses milk from grass-fed cows with no synthetic hormones and are all free range so their products, ice cream, yogurt, cream, butter and cheese are the most delicious and fresh you can get, including a delicious milkshake from their shop in Chambersburg.

Enjoy delicious homemade ice cream from Antietam Dairy in Waynesboro in your milkshake like strawberry, chocolate, vanilla and a wide range of different flavors.

A must stop for a milkshake with fresh ice cream in Chambersburg is Windy Knoll Farm Market & Creamery. This market serves up the sweet treat as well as their fresh lunch meats and bulk items in store.

With over 50 different flavors to choose from, The Waynesburger in Waynesboro makes delicious milkshakes to go with any of their specialty burgers, chili and gyros. Try a new spin on a classic with flavors such as root beer, strawberry banana, chocolate amaretto, peach mango and many more.

Step back into the days of drive-ins and old-fashioned diners at the Milky Way Drive-In Restaurant in Fort Loudoun. Try their specialty, the famous Galaxy Burger with a homemade milkshake for dessert.

Take a break from the everyday business at Twin Kiss Drive-In in Waynesboro. Sample one of their famous milkshakes, ice cream or a delicious meal in the large outside seating area. Make it a family affair and spend some time at the play area in the back and feed the local deer.

With 440 operating dairy farms in Franklin County with 850 million pounds of milk being produced a year, there are many creameries and local places with delicious milkshakes and other milk products to enjoy.

Franklin County Visitors Bureau Plans Visitor Center

The Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB) purchased of a former bank property at 15 South Main Street on the southwest quadrant of Chambersburg’s Memorial Square. The nearly 10,000-sq. ft. building will be a launching point for visitors to Franklin County, providing a variety of rotating exhibits, displays of local art, originating tours to destinations throughout the county, and providing expanded awareness to Franklin County’s events and destinations. (more…)


Local officials have been on a three-year search to find a location for Leg Up Farm (LUF) to locate in Franklin County. The search is now over as Penn National will become the home for Leg Up Farm’s 2nd therapy center.

LUF is a non-profit therapy center for children with special needs from birth to age 21.  It is the only facility in the nation to offer physical, occupational, aquatic and speech therapy, therapeutic horseback riding, counseling, nutritional services and educational programing under one roof.  The original LUF is located in Mt. Wolf, PA in York County. (more…)


The Capitol Theatre’s $5.00 Summer Movies are back!  This Summer brings another slate of great movies, but this Summer each movie has been chosen by community leaders who will introduce the film they’ve chosen.  They will tell you why they chose the film and why it’s so special to them, maybe offer some trivia or other insight into their chosen film.  (more…)