by Sara Haxby, ATC Senior Conservation Coordinator

Presidential Lifetime Volunteer Service Award

This award is an opportunity to honor your most outstanding volunteers and recognize the impact they make. Volunteers who have given 4,000 hours (and fulfill a few other criteria) receive a gold medallion, certificate, and a letter from the President of the United States.

Three years prior to reaching 4,000 hours, one volunteer’s nomination described him as “generous with his time.” Four others who served as Trail Supervisor or a similar role volunteered more on-Trail hours than any other volunteer in the same period. The joy of giving to the Trail is another hallmark. “He is happiest when he is out on the Trail.”

Joy was oft-mentioned, and in conjunction with service and camaraderie. The call to serve, and give back to community, gives many a sense of purpose, belonging, and satisfaction.

Moreover, these volunteers often inspire others to serve with enthusiasm and dedication. A common phrase in the spotlights describe an “enthusiasm for sharing their knowledge.” A passion for stewardship often spills into other responsibilities. One couple earned the award simultaneously, after eagerly giving more than 4,000 hours each to maintenance and management in support of the A.T. Every story about discovering stewardship is different, but many follow a similar path from the lightbulb moment of finding a precious new hobby to exemplifying the cooperative spirit of the A.T. community. So many of these incredible folks apply and offer their skills outside of the A.T. network, or footpath, as well.

Although not every volunteer who endeavors to give back to the Appalachian Trail will accrue enough time on this public resource to earn a Presidential Lifetime Service Award, we can all be grateful for those who have, and those who are on their way.

If you know of someone who has reached this great achievement, please reach out to

And thanks for all that you do!

Here are the people who have received this award with their service to the Appalachian Trail:

James Goddard 2004
Steve Crowe 2005
Weiland Ross 2005
Howard McDonald 2006
Lawson Herron 2008
Darleen Jarman 2008
Gary Monk 2008
Jerry Seabolt 2008
Frank Wright 2008
Jerry Carnes 2008
Herb Daniel 2008
Joe Chavez 2008
Leonard Johnson 2008
Sam Ripley 2008
Sharon Ripley 2008
Norman Sykora 2008
Beverly Batchelor 2010
Olin Batchelor 2010
Eric Anderson 2012
Mike Benyo 2015
Ginny Musser 2015
Barbara Wiemann 2015
San Ho Choi 2016
Don O’Neal 2016
Bill Van Horn 2016
Bob Adkisson 2017
Bob Giffin 2017
Phyllis Neumann 2017
Bill Rogers 2017
Jim Sexton 2017
George Kilgore 2017
Bill Rodgers 2017
Doug DeJarnette 2019