The Flat Hat award recognizes any National Park Service (NPS) employee or volunteer that made your visit to the unit memorable. This award is open to all NPS employees (full time or seasonal) as well as NPS volunteers. If there are several individuals who merit recognition, they can be included in a group award. Because this is a highly subjective award, specific references to award criteria are most helpful. However, a general description of the reason for this award can be sufficient.
David Lassman, Park Ranger - Thomas Stone National Historic Site

From the nominator: “I visited Thomas Stone National Historic Site on a Sunday morning June 9, 2019 not expecting too much. I knew very little of the history of the man other than he was one of the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence. But after spending a couple of hours at the Site—and meeting David Lassman—I found this unit to be particular interesting. Not so much for its sights, per se, but for the passion David had for the history of our early Nation.

What was really special was learning from David about not only Stone, but the sequencing of events with the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of the Confederacy, the Continental Congresses, the Constitution, and the personalities of some of our founding fathers including Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton and others who help found our great Nation. David was a wealth of information, he expounded on the interrelationships of these various persons and talked about the physical surroundings from Washington to Philadelphia. And his anecdotal comments about little known facts about each of the various personalities was astounding. He brought the Site to life and truly made it an interesting, informative visit which made me feel as if I was there in the late 1700’s. There were no other visitors so I got a personal tour and education. Yet I felt as if his passion for the subject matter was being addressed to a much larger audience. I was impressed that he gave it his all too just one person.

David exemplifies what it means to be a Ranger. He knew “song and verse” of the subject matter. He made the visitor feel welcome and participatory in the process. He brought in subject matter that was relevant that if isolated to only the Site would have negated a valued perspective of Stone’s homestead, life and role in history. He parlayed his previous roles with the Park Service in to his interpretive narrative. He made the visit most enjoyable and when I left, I was more than pleased that my initial expectations were far exceeded due to this one Ranger.”

Nominated by NPTC Member Don Gardner

Cindy Brewer, Park Ranger - World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument

This year, our award winner is a part-time seasonal ranger who works in a location with limited informational displays, and limited resources to improve the experience for visitors. Undaunted by these restrictions, and with a passion to explore and explain to visitors the importance of the site, this ranger not only created some posters to use on the tour, but researched the lives of those affected and wove a story so compelling, it brought a dry landscape into focus and allowed the participants to experience a harsh reality. Given that this ranger speaks about the conditions inflicted on Japanese-Americans during World War II, in a landscape without buildings, her visitors still come away with a feeling of shock and urgency as if they were being removed from their homes themselves. Indeed, only one of the 9 visitors on the tour from which the nomination derives would have been exempt from the forced relocation, and she clearly made an impression on the group. For these reasons, the National Park Travelers Club is proud to award Cindy Brewer as our Flat Hat Award winner for 2018. Cindy is assigned to the Tule Lake site of World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and also works at nearby Lava Beds National Monument.

Nominated by NPTC Members Linda Mak and Tom Smith

Joe Raterman, Park Ranger - Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

"Ranger Joe" is one of the most engaging, enthusiastic Rangers I have ever encountered. Whether talking to adults or to children, he provided patience, a wealth of age appropriate information, and kept visitors interested in visiting a Gem of the Park Service. He represents the best of the Park Service and is a wonderful ambassador.

Nominated by NPTC Member Lee Salawitch

News Release:

Pamela Nolan, Park Ranger - George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

Ranger Pamela Nolan at George Rogers Clark NHP was a wealth of information. She could speak on a multitude of different topics – French Town, the Fort, George Rogers Clark, British occupation, etc. Having a journalist background she has improved/prepared documentation of the memorial. However, what impressed me the most was that she was extremely patient with my junior ranger who has attention issues and frequently goes off on tangents. She was very patient with redirecting him back to the question and emphasized that there were no wrong answers. She used the opportunity to further teach him about the site by expanding on his answers or expanding on the question. Even when his answer was way out in left field, she was able to bring it back around to the correct topic. When we arrived, Ranger Nolan was very helpful in letting us know what we would be able to see the short period of time. Making sure we got into the Memorial as there was currently a volunteer present. We were not able to complete the Junior Ranger booklet or see the movie on that day, so we decided to stop again on our way home. Again Ranger Nolan was extremely helpful with our visit. As we walked up she was locking the Visitor Center to take another couple to the Memorial. We tagged along and she started the audio tour that the volunteer on our last visit had not even offered as an option. She also was excellent at positioning the family for a photo and was very particular to get the perfect composition to include all of us and the magnificence of the building. I was very impressed with the pride Ranger Nolan took in ensuring that we got the full experience at the George Rogers Clark Memorial. It’s a very small site but without the guidance from Ranger Nolan I think we would have made it just a short stoop and not fully understood or appreciated the importance of this unit.

Nominated by NPTC Member Lee Salawitch