–By Anya Shaunessy

Although we are currently enjoying the beautiful fall foliage here in the Delaware River valley, winter is fast approaching.  With the water temperatures quickly dropping, the National Park Service would like to increase awareness of both the wonderful cold-weather recreational opportunities this area has to offer, as well as the steps you can take to stay safe while on rivers, lakes, and streams this winter.

We are surrounded by rivers, streams, and lakes that are excellent for fishing in the fall, winter, and spring.  Ice fishing, eagle watching, and cold-weather kayaking are some of the best recreational activities in the area.  However, there are some extra steps  you should take to make sure you stay safe this winter!

Being on the water in winter months is fun, but it can be dangerous.  Being submerged in cold water poses serious and life-threatening risks due to hypothermia.  Hypothermia is your body’s response to your core temperature falling below its normal range of 95° F to 98.6° F. Falling into cold water, even in water that is as mild as 70° F, can lead to hypothermia.  This is because the human body is cooled 25% faster in water than in air.  Water temperature, air temperature, currents, and wind, as well as gender, body size, and body fat percentage all play a role in how fast one’s body temperature drops once in the water.  Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to hypothermia, as well as people who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The risk of fatality from hypothermia and drowning greatly increases as the winter months approach.  According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, cold water incidents represent only 8% of the boating-related accidents; however, they result in 24% of the fatalities. The good news is that wearing a properly fitted life jacket can help save your life if you fall into cold water.  In fact, wearing your life jacket is mandatory from November 1 to April 30.  This means that everyone in a canoe or kayak, or in a boat measuring 16 feet or less, must wear a Coastguard certified life jacket.  This law was adopted in November of 2012 because of how effective life jackets are in keeping people safe while recreating on bodies of water in cold weather.  If you fall into cold water, wearing a life jacket will allow you to float without expending unnecessary energy, in addition to partially insulating your body.

Before you go out on the water, you should always make sure your life jacket is properly fitted and is in serviceable condition.  There is a simple way to ensure that your life jacket is properly fitted:  when you have put your life jacket on, stand with your arms straight up in the air, and have a friend tug upward on the shoulders.  If your life jacket is properly fitted, it should be snug and should not slide up past your chin.  Checking to make sure your life jacket is properly fitted ensures you will not slip out of it once in the water.  A snuggly fitted life jacket has the added benefit of acting as a layer of insulation between your body and the cold water.  Additionally, the life jacket should be in good, working condition.  This means that all buckles and zippers should be functional, and the life jacket should be free from rips, tears, or excessive wear.

Even if you are experienced on the river, accidents can still happen, and the best protection against hypothermia and drowning is knowing the conditions in which hypothermia is likely to occur, being able to identify and treat the symptoms of hypothermia, and making sure to observe the mandatory life jacket wear between November 1 and April 30.

Anya Shaunessy is the Centennial Volunteer Ambassador for Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.  She is one of 70 young people chosen to work in National Parks around the country to help the National Park Service celebrate its 100th anniversary.  The National Park Service is committed to the safety of all visitors and to the preservation of natural and cultural resources for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.  Contact the author at: or at 570-685-4871 ext. 6610. Don’t forget to visit our website,, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram!


Falling into cold water, even in water that is as mild as 70° F, can lead to hypothermia. 

This is because the human body is cooled 25% faster in water than in air.



Smoke Detector




1.Choose smoke detectors evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory.


2.Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home.


3.Smoke alarms installed in the basement should be installed on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs leading to the next level.


4.If you have ceilings that are pitched, install detectors at least 4 but not more than 36 inches below the peak.


5.Don’t install detectors near doors, windows, or duct outlets where the air flow could interfere with their operation.


6.For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms.  When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.


7.Consider installation of sealed battery 10-year detectors.


8.Don’t paint, decorate, or place stickers on smoke detectors.  These alterations can prevent proper operation.


9.Test all smoke alarms in your house monthly!

Can’t afford a detector?

Many fire departments have teamed up with WNEP, Kidde, and Home Depot to distribute detectors across northeastern and central

Pennsylvania.  You can contact your local fire department to see if they are participating or see


Stanton Pratt

The Settlers Hospitality Group is pleased to present a night of complimentary lodging on November 12th at The Settlers Inn, Silver Birches or Ledges Hotel. Reservations are required. There will also be a fireside chat with wine and cheese at The Settlers Inn from 4-6pm featuring speaker Earl Granville starting at 4:15pm.

Earl Granville is a nine-year veteran under the Pennsylvania Army National Guard as an infantryman. During his time in the service, Granville served in support of Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. In the summer of 2008 while on a patrol in Zormat, Afghanistan, his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb which resulted in the amputation of his left leg through the knee. His comrades, Specialist Derek Holland of Wind Gap, Pennsylvania and Major Scott Hagerty of Stillwater, Oklahoma were killed in action.

After his injury, Earl found himself competing in many sports adapting to his injury such as snowboarding, ice sled hockey, GoRuck endurance Challenges and Spartan Races. Earl also speaks publicly about the importance of finding help in battling mental adversity after the passing of his twin brother, Staff Sergeant Joseph Granville, who took his own life December of 2010 while still on active duty. Earl is enrolled at the University of Scranton for Counseling & Human Services.

Earl medically retired from the army holding the rank of Staff Sergeant, earning some military awards such as the Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

During the veterans appreciation event, guests are invited to check out a photographic exhibit in the Undercroft at The Settlers Inn featuring over 80 images from 1965 and 1966 by: Stanton Pratt, former US Army combat photographer. The public is invited to view this self-guided exhibit November 9th through November 13th, 10am to 8pm.

Stanton R. Pratt, son of the late Gerald S. Pratt, Jr. and Ruth Stanton Pratt of Honesdale, enlisted in the US Army in September of 1964 planning to become an army photographer.  He completed basic training at Fort Knox, KY followed by photographic school at Fort Monmouth, NJ where he graduated first in his class. Following school, he was assigned to the 593rd. Signal Company, Photo Platoon based at Tan Son Nhut Airbase outside of Saigon.  The next twelve months would see him serving with the 173rd. Airborne Brigade, 1St. Brigade of the 101st. Airborne Division, 1st. Air Calvary Division, as well as Australian, Korean, New Zealand and Vietnamese units.  It wasn’t all combat, however, as he also provided coverage for Bob Hope, Roy Acuff, Jo Collins, Vice President Hubert Humphry and other visiting VIPs. Near the close of his tour, he had the privilege of becoming the official photographer for general officers and, as such, worked with many of the commanders at that time.

Upon completion of his tour in Vietnam he returned to the photographic school at Fort Monmouth, where for the next fourteen months, he taught photography to Army, Marine Corps, and NJ state police personnel.

“We are thrilled to host this event for our veterans as well as the free lodging on Nov. 12th. We hope it is a token of our appreciation for everything our veterans do for this country to keep us free.” Stated Justin Genzlinger, CEO/Owner of Settlers Hospitality.

To learn more about the event, check out or call 570.226.2993.

About Settlers Hospitality Settlers Hospitality is a family run hospitality group in Hawley, PA consisting of The Settlers Inn, Ledges Hotel, Silver Birches Resort, Hotel Anthracite, Sayre Mansion, The Dock on Wallenpaupack,, Kol Steakhouse, Cocoon Coffeehouse, Lake Region Fitness, The Mill Market Bakery, & Art on the