I would like to introduce myself. My name is Kathy Batchelder and I am the new Heritage Tour Director for Takodah YMCA. My husband and I moved from Massachusetts to Jaffrey in 1981 and we have raised our family here in New Hampshire. All of my four adult children and my granddaughter, just last year as an 8th-grader at Jaffrey Rindge, participated in Heritage Travel.
I came on board on August 1 and I am so excited to be part of the Takodah Family. After having volunteered for many years on both American Heritage and New England Heritage tours, I was delighted when the opportunity presented itself to apply for the position of director after Peter Simmonds and Katy Svec left to pursue new adventures. My background is non-profit management and afterschool programming while also being involved over the years with different school districts in different roles.
My first tour went out on September 16 to Philadelphia, Washington DC, Gettysburg and Amish Country over 6 days. The students and volunteers that traveled together enjoyed their time getting to know each other, making new friends and seeing the adults on tour, have as much fun as the students did. There were so many highlights for AHT-Central tour but one of our proudest and finest moments came during the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery. We were honored to be part of the wreath-laying ceremony with two amazing students and two wonderful staff participating. Both students wrote inspiring essays about why they would like to be part of this solemn occasion. The rest of our students stood and watched as an ornamental wreath was placed at the foot of the Tomb. They were silent, respectful and proud. We, the chaperones, could not have been prouder of them all.