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First Club Patch
Charlie in 1985
Charlie Volksmarching
Charlie as Ghost
Patriotic Charlie
Celebrating the club at 10
Charlie at Wolf Trap
Charlie and Friends Volksmarching
Charlie as a Union Soldier
Charlie at March for Parks
Charlie in Harpers Ferry
Charlie Picking Winchester Apples
Valentine Charlie

A History of Charging Charlie

Charging Charlie was developed early in the life of the Northern Virginia Volksmarchers. His general body shape was based on the Pentagon Pacesetters eagle, but he was given a Northern cardinal's head and coloring. Early renderings of Charlie show him to be rather coarse. It wasn't until Liz Carroll started drawing Charlie that he became the active mascot he is now.

The earliest patch depicting a Charging Charlie cardinal was the club patch:


Charlie on this patch was more birdlike and hadn't developed the personality he would have beginning in October 1992.

The first time Charlie appeared on a patch was on a sales patch for the October 1985 event in Fairfax, Virginia.

In 1989 Charlie appeared on the club patch which is shown on the index page -- Charlie walking on a representation of Virginia.

The first time Charlie appears on an award was at the September 1990 event in McLean at the McLean Community Center October Festival. He was still the original Charlie design facing left with a walking stick and hiking boots, dwarfed by the beer stein. This was the last time Charlie would take second place to anyone or anything.

For the NVV event at Burke Lake, Virginia, on October 24-25, 1992, Charlie appeared as a ghost on a sales patch.

It is obvious by the design and whimsy of the design that we had a new artist, Liz Carroll. Previous to this award, Charlie had just been stuck into a design. Now Charlie and his actions became the design.

The next event was our second inaugural event -- the first Clinton-Gore inaugural. Charlie appeared carrying a flag in front of the Capitol on a sales patch. For those of you who are new volksmarchers, clubs often offered both cast medals in gold and silver as awards and had sales patches at each event.

In May 1993, the Northern Virginia Volksmarchers celebrated their 10th anniversary and Charlie was there.

At an AVA Executive Committee meeting, the idea of having t-shirts as an award was approved. Northern Virginia Volksmarchers had the first t-shirt award in the AVA. Since the event was going to be held at the National Wildlife Federation Laurel Ridge and walk through Wolf Trap, what better idea than Charlie leading the Wolf Trap Symphony?

This marked the first appearance of Charlie's friends - Rocky Raccoon, Sammy Squirrel, and Robby Rabbit. Though they would never having starring roles, they provided depth to Charlie's life. Previous to this event, the sales patch differed greatly from the award. For this event, they dovetailed with Charlie leading Rocky and Sammy on the patch.

The next appearance of Charlie was on the sales patch for the January 1994 event at Fort Ward, Alexandria, Virginia. Since Fort Ward was a Union fort during the War Between the States, Charlie was shown as a Union soldier.

Charlie participated in a March for Parks event in Leesburg, Virginia, April 23-24, 1994. This time he was leading his friends on a volksmarch. Notice that Charlie still faces left. It isn't until 1997 that Charlie faces right. This event was a watershed in that only the event patch was offered; there was no sales item.

In October 1994, the Northern Virginia Volksmarchers and the Hillbilly Hikers sponsored a walk in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The award patch depicted Charging Charlie and the Hillbilly Hiker on that volksmarch.

Charlie was becoming a necessary part of the Northern Virginia Volksmarchers. for the 1995 YRE in Winchester, Charlie was picking apples.

In February 1995 Charlie starred in our best "selling" award --Charlie with candy and flowers for his lady love, celebrating Valentine's Day.

For the 1996 YREs, he was shown as an Alexandrian saluting the paddlewheelers that ran on the Potomac River, making pies from the apples he had picked in the previous year on the Winchester patch, and riding a bike at the Vienna bike.

1996 Patch

Facing an abundance of awards, the club sponsored walks with no commemorative awards. Charlie re-appears in October 1996 as a driver for the Washington DC area subway.

1996 Patch

For our third inaugural event in January 1997, Charlie was shown walking with the Democratic Donkey representing the winners - Clinton-Gore - in front of the White House.

1997 Patch

The club transitioned into bookmarks and Charlie again took a backseat. In March 1998, Charlie appeared celebrating St Patricks Day.

1998 Patch

If you have any of the missing patches please send an image (jpg) to the Webmaster. Thank you.

Last updated by Webmaster