Volunteers supporting Maryland Lighthouse Challenge
— More than 20 community volunteers have signed on to staff the Choptank River Lighthouse to enhance the visitor experience there for more than 500 lighthouse aficionados expected to stop at the lighthouse during the weekend of the Maryland Lighthouse Challenge.
The Choptank River Lighthouse is one of 10 Mar yland beacons on the core itinerary in this year’s edition of the Lighthouse Challenge, a project that the Chesapeake Chapter of the nonprofit U.S. Lighthouse Society organizes once every two years. Registered participants in the Challenge will try and visit all 10 lighthouses over the weekend, traveling from the banks of the Potomac River in the far reaches of Southern Maryland up through the Baltimore and over to the Eastern Shore.
“During this event two years ago, more than 500 people came to visit our lighthouse, and they were from all over the United States and quite a few
foreign countries as well,” said Valerie Goff, a member of the board of directors of the nonprofit Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation and the coordinator of volunteer activities at the Lighthouse. “Our volunteers will be trying to make sure that all those visitors go back home with great things to say about Cambridge and Dorchester County.”
In addition to telling visitors about the Lighthouse and its connections to the maritime heritage of Dorchester County, volunteers will be tasked with helping to connect Maryland Lighthouse Challenge participants with other things to see and do in the area, such as having meals at local restaurants; going shopping in area stores; and visiting other museums and attractions.
“That’s a big part of the mission of our organization,” said Cassie Burton, president of the Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation. “We try to take the big-picture view and think of different ways the lighthouse can do its part to help boost economic activity in the area.”
The Choptank River Lighthouse, which is celebrating its fifth birthday this year, is one of two Eastern Shore beacons on the itinerary, along with Hooper Strait Lighthouse at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Some Lighthouse Challenge participants will also be headed into South Dorchester County to take part in one of the three cruises being offered that weekend by a local business, Sawyer Charters. Sailing out of Hoopers Island, those cruises will take visitors past six additional lighthouses located out in the Chesapeake Bay or along its rivers, including Dorchester County’s Hooper Island Light and Holland Island Bar Light.
By registering for the Maryland Lighthouse Challenge, participants will become eligible to pick up souvenir coasters as they move from one lighthouse to another. Here in Cambridge, they will also have the opportunity during their visit to fill out and mail a free commemorative postcard and let friends or family members know about their visit to Long Wharf and Cambridge.
• Information about participating in the Mar yland Lighthouse Challenge is available at ChesLights.org/MarylandLighthouse-Challenge and Challenge@ ChesLights.org.
• Information about the Choptank River Lighthouse is available at ChoptankRiverLighthouse.org and 410.463.2653.
• Information about the Sawyer Charters cruises on Maryland Lighthouse Challenge weekend is available at SawyerCharters.com/Chesapeake-Bay-Lighthouse-Cruises and 410.397.3743.