Butch Roggenkamp from Ballinger, Texas hit 8,000 volunteer hours this summer, half of which he accumulated at Pipe Spring. Butch will be receiving the President’s Call to Service Award.
In 2004, after 23 years with the Post Office, Ronald “Butch” Roggenkamp decided he was ready to “give back to America”. His first volunteer experience was at Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico. Butch already had an interest in ancient southwest cultures and
he dove right in to learn everything he could about the Mogollon people who lived in the Gila region. It was at Gila that Butch’s love for sharing with visitors and demonstrating ancient techniques took hold. He learned how to use yucca fibers to make cordage and was one of only three people allowed to lead guided tours to a remote backcountry site at Gila. Butch and his wife Gene volunteered several months each year for 4 years at Gila Cliff Dwellings.
Volunteer positions at other parks fed Butch’s love for southwestern cultures and helped develop his
skills. At Hovenweep National Monument in Colorado he began learning to flintknapp and gave
evening programs. At El Morro National Monument in New Mexico he worked at the Visitor
Center desk, cleared snow, and helped run the book store.
Butch’s first stint at Pipe Spring National Monument was in 2005 – after that there was no keeping
him away. He returned in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012! It was at Pipe Spring that Butch really
honed his skills as a flintknapper (the art of shaping certain kinds of rock into tools). While his
demonstrations are a big hit, Butch does more than just demonstrations for Pipe Spring. He carries
the mantle of Volunteer Guide with ease and so far there is nothing he won’t do for the monument.
He works the front desk at the Visitor Center where he collects entrance fees, reports weather,
answers questions about the site and surrounding area, and issues Grand Canyon Back Country
Pipe Spring National Monument News Release
Butch will be providing flintknapping demonstrations from 7 – 10 a.m. AZ (8 – 11 a.m. UT),
Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12. Come visit Pipe Spring National Monument and learn
about making tools such as knives, drills, scrapers, spear and arrow points from a slab of rock.