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.

Because the work of NPS Rangers varies considerably from unit to unit depending on the type of unit they work at, e.g. national park, national monument, national historical site, etc., what they do (maintenance, law enforcement, interpretation or even volunteer) and the services they provide can be different. Most of the rangers we encounter are interpretation rangers – they interpret the natural, historical, archeological, or other features of the particular unit or area to enrich our experience through activities such as talks, guided walks, campfire presentations, reenactments, and demonstrations.

Award Criteria

What did the ranger or volunteer do that made your visit remarkable or memorable and deserves recognition? Please be as specific as you can and provide details that will help the committee understand why your candidate deserves this award.


Submitting Your Nomination

  1. You must be a current member of the National Park Travelers Club (NPTC) on both the date you submit the nomination, as well as the date the award is presented.
  2. You may nominate employees/volunteers from multiple NPS Units, but each nomination must be on a separate form. Be sure to include the name of the NPS Unit for your nominee(s) on the nomination form.
  3. You should include background and stories of examples of what your nominee(s) did to warrant this award.
  4. Submit your nomination(s) via e-mail to or to the mailing address on the application form.
  5. Nominations must be received by the Award Committee no later than June 1st of each year.

Nominee Selection

  1. The Awards Committee will review all nominations received for each year. The Committee will select the recipient(s) from the nominations based on the intent of the award.
  2. The Awards Committee will verify the membership status of the nominator with the Membership Director or their designated representative.
  3. After the Awards Committee makes its selection, the Executive Board will be informed of the selection.
  4. The Executive Board shall inform the recipient(s) of their selection.
  5. The Award recipient for each year will be announced to the membership at that year's annual convention. If the Award recipient(s) is/are unable to attend the convention, the Award will be mailed to the recipient(s) after the convention.
  6. If no nominations are received or submitted nominations fail to meet the award criteria, the award shall not be conferred for that year only.

For more information, please see the NPTC Execute Board Polices document.