Following the National Board of Management meeting on Saturday, 78 DAR members and I boarded two buses and hit the road for the DAR Schools Bus Tour. On Saturday we traveled to Abington, Virginia where we stopped for dinner at the Martha Washington Hotel, built in 1832. Imagine our surprise to see a DAR marker on this historic building! In the dining room, we were greeted by a large map of the country and all placed stars for our hometown. I’ve had the opportunity to travel on several of the school tours but I don’t believe we’ve ever had Daughters from so many different places, including England, Alaska, Mexico and Hawaii as well as many other states.
Sandra Pollack, our Development Director, made a presentation on the social media we are using for the tour and Sally Bueno, DAR School Chair, made a presentation on the Friends of DAR Schools Fund. October birthdays and member anniversaries were celebrated before reboarding our buses for the short drive to our hotel in Bristol, Virginia.
Sunday morning we started out bright and early for the drive to Hindman Settlement School in Kentucky. Hindman was established in 1902 to provide an educational opportunity for the youth of this mountainous area with a special emphasis on working with students with dyslexic characteristics. They also have a strong cultural heritage program and offer writer’s workshops in the summer.
When we arrived at Hindman, we were greeted by many of the Kentucky Daughters before worshiping together. Randy Wilson, Folk Arts Education Direction at Hindman, led the bluegrass music including one of my favorite gospel hymns, “I’ll Fly Away.” Brent Hutchinson, Executive Director, gave a meaningful devotion and I was honored to share a message related to our scripture of 1 Timothy 6:20. After remarks by Sally Bueno, we displayed a check with the amount given to Hindman since the last school tour visited in 2010 - $361,405.55.
We were treated to a delicious luncheon of beef stew and spaetzle, prepared by Brent and his mother.We then toured the campus of Hindman Settlement School and learned about this special school, and the difference they are making in the lives of those with dyslexia/learning differences. The gift shop in historic Uncle Sol’s cabin was a popular stop as well as the classrooms. Following a wonderful afternoon at Hindman Settlement School, we loaded up the buses and headed to Knoxville, Tennessee.
Greeted by the Tennessee Daughters in period attire, Linda Moss Mines of Chief John Ross Chapter gave a compelling living history presentation on Ann Robertson Johnston Cockrell, one of passengers on John Donelson’s 1779-1780 journey of a thousand miles as the earliest settlers in Tennessee. You will enjoy reading the November/December issue of the American Spirit magazine and the cover story on living history interpreters.
With a great deal of interest in the announcement that DAR would accept Y-DNA as one of the forms of supporting documentation, Registrar General Sharon Withers gave us an introductory lesson on DNA and answered many questions before we settled in for the night.
I hope you are keeping up with the tour on the Today’s DAR Facebook page and taking the quizzes to learn more about what DAR does for education!