Camping Trip to George Washington National Forest

by David McMyne

On Friday, March 3rd, I took a group of students all the way down to the George Washington National forest right across from Shenandoah National park for a weekend camping trip. After a long drive south, we hiked three miles up a mountain on a trail that was at times extremely steep. Once we got to the top, we set up camp. The stars were breathtaking and several of us did not pitch a tent so that we could gaze upon them as we fell asleep. We woke up after a cold first night and ate breakfast and soon after discovered that the Northeast side of the mountain was much warmer and blocked the wind, so we moved camp. Then the guys explored the mountainside and the river, played cards by the fire or worked on their sleeping arrangements for the coming night. After a glorious sunset, the boys sang songs and cooked dinner around the campfire. After dinner, they told stories, sang more songs to the valley below, and went to bed early. The next morning everyone was up before sunrise. James Smith started a fire and we warmed up while watching the sun slowly paint the mountains and valleys around. After cooking breakfast and packing up, we hiked out and attended Mass in Front Royal, VA. After Mass, Peter Gaetano, an alumnus from 2012, and his wife Elizabeth hosted us for a fantastic brunch before the long ride home later that day. The trip was an unforgettable adventure. The Shenandoah mountains and valleys already harken us b

ack and the words of the folk song “O Shenandoah” echo in our minds as we dream of those special places in our hearts. 

River Valley Festival Bands Announced

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We are excited to announce the main bands at the 2nd Annual River Valley Festival: The Plate Scrapers and The Plank Stompers.

The Plate Scrapers are a four-stringed instrument band from Fredrick, Maryland. They draw their musical inspiration from folk, jam, jazz, blues, americana, and bluegrass. To get a taste of the music they will play for us at the River Valley Festival, you may visit the Plate Scraper’s Facebook page and listen to them on their website.

Our second band, the Plank Stompers, hail from Bluemont, Virginia. The Plank Stompers do not like to think of themselves as a group, but rather as a movement. Their musical style is made up of old time soul, bluegrass, and funk. You may wish to learn more about the Plank Stompers on Facebook and listen to them on their website.

Don’t forget to share with your friends and family about this year’s River Valley Festival and invite them to sign up on our website and like our Facebook page. We look forward to enjoy these bands with you and celebrate the culture of the Shenandoah Valley.

Sign Up: River Valley Festival Website

See you October 3!

Daniel Schiller
Event Coordinator
River Valley Festival
518-560-9658