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A Lebanon County Institution that salutes its history - abc27 WHTM

A Lebanon County Institution that salutes its history

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  • Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Teenagers Earn Their Wings in Lebanon County

    Monday, July 21 2014 9:20 AM EDT2014-07-21 13:20:20 GMT
    At Farmer's Pride Airport in Fredericksburg, it was a summer school like none other. Nine days of learning about and flying glider planes. A unique chance for 16 Civil Air Patrol cadets to expand their abilities in aeronautics and in life.James Linker, Director, Civil Air Patrol Northeast Region,said the participants learn critical thinking skills that carry over into any walk of life."Primarily, it's an aviation exercise," said Linker, "but it's a great skill-building exercise too."Before, d...More >>
    At Farmer's Pride Airport in Fredericksburg, it was a summer school like none other. Nine days of learning about and flying glider planes. A unique chance for 16 Civil Air Patrol cadets to expand their abilities in aeronautics and in life.James Linker, Director, Civil Air Patrol Northeast Region,said the participants learn critical thinking skills that carry over into any walk of life."Primarily, it's an aviation exercise," said Linker, "but it's a great skill-building exercise too."Before, d...More >>
  • Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Autoharp Gathering in Perry County Draws Worldwide Participants

    Friday, July 11 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-07-11 15:08:08 GMT
    For five days at the end of June, it was all things Autoharp at Little Buffalo State Park near Newport."We have people from Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Canada and from almost every state," said Neal Walters, Director of the 24th Annual Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering.Throughout the festival, workshops focused on playing techniques geared for all talent levels for the multi-stringed instrument from the zither family. There was even a seminar on how to play in front of an audience.Worksho...More >>
    For five days at the end of June, it was all things Autoharp at Little Buffalo State Park near Newport."We have people from Germany, Italy, Japan, France, Canada and from almost every state," said Neal Walters, Director of the 24th Annual Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering.Throughout the festival, workshops focused on playing techniques geared for all talent levels for the multi-stringed instrument from the zither family. There was even a seminar on how to play in front of an audience.Worksho...More >>
  • Dickinson College Experience Includes Cows and Plows

    Dickinson College Experience Includes Cows and Plows

    Dickinson College Experience Includes Cows and Plows

    Monday, July 7 2014 9:54 AM EDT2014-07-07 13:54:09 GMT
    At first glance, it just looks like another beautiful farm in Cumberland county. But this 50 acre spread near Boiling Springs has roots in academia.It's Dickinson College Farm. 12 acres of organic vegetables and 18 acres of animal pasture with supervised student employees and volunteers tackling the daily chores.Farm Manager Jenn Halpin says working on the farm has many benefits for the students involved."I think, through the work in the hot sun and in all the elements, whether it's a beautif...More >>
    At first glance, it just looks like another beautiful farm in Cumberland county. But this 50 acre spread near Boiling Springs has roots in academia.It's Dickinson College Farm. 12 acres of organic vegetables and 18 acres of animal pasture with supervised student employees and volunteers tackling the daily chores.Farm Manager Jenn Halpin says working on the farm has many benefits for the students involved."I think, through the work in the hot sun and in all the elements, whether it's a beautif...More >>

The setting is humble, but proud at the Pa. National Guard Military Museum at Fort Indiantown Gap. It's two floors of military memorabilia, housed in World War Two wooden barracks. It's a close up look at how soldiers lived, what they wore and the weapons they used, dating from the Civil War to the Gulf War.

Museum director and curator, Charlie Oellig, was there when the museum opened twenty seven years ago. He delights in sharing the Guard's long and honored story with visitors.

"We date back to 1747," he explained. "The Guard was founded by Ben Franklin as a 'Battalion of Associators.' The 28th Division, our Guard Division, is the oldest continuous serving Guard Division in the whole U.S. Army."

Visitors to the museum are able to trace the evolution of the Guard's guns and uniforms throughout the years, and those of the enemy. Living quarters in the barracks are maintained just as they were in the early 1940s. In addition, the equipment and uniforms used in medical care are displayed in a separate room. There is also a special tribute to Guardsmen who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, including an actual Medal of Honor. And the first female enlisted member of the Pa. National Guard is honored. Perhaps, the Guard's most famous alumnus, Anthony Biddle Jr., is honored for his many years as an American diplomat, a World War One soldier, General Eisenhower's right hand man and Adjutant General of the Pa National Guard.

Many of museum items are from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, while others were collected from aging buildings at the Gap, that were slated to be demolished. But, a surprising amount of material comes from private donations.

"People pass away and their grown children don't know what to do with dad's uniform," explained Oellig. " Sometimes they'll give us everything. They won't even keep dad's medals."

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