Category: Volunteer At A Florida State Park

First Three State Parks

Our First Three State Parks have been great to visit and it would be nice to be able to stay more than 3 days at each one. So far, in our 10 Florida State Parks Vacation, we have visited Oscar Scherer State Park, Lake Manatee State Park and Little Manatee River State Park. We are currently in Alafia River State Park but will hold that review until next time. Not only are we enjoying our stay at each one we are checking out possible future campground hosting assignments. You never know we could get lucky and get our 2015 year all planned out before summer!

We are taking pictures, working on our next festival and just enjoying not being responsible for our fellow campers and cleaning. Don’t get me wrong we do enjoy being campground hosts but after a year of almost straight volunteer work we are ready for a little downtime.

For Campers:

Oscar Scherer State Park
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Myakka River State Park WrapUp

MyakkaTrailsAndDeepHole (8)Our last week as campground hosts at Myakka River State Park went about like you would expect. We got a wide variety of unexpected problems that week such as a tornado warning, loud camper complaint after 11:00pm, and a water warning. Of course, about three-fourths of the campground checked out that weekend and over half of them had fires the night before. We got all that taken care of and turned in our keys and hosting manual but before we could leave the temperature light on the RV decided to go to red and stay there. Our fellow campground hosts, a former GM worker, said that it was probably broken because it stayed that way even when the RV was turned off. And we had another bird’s nest in between our RV batteries. Luckily, there were no eggs in the nest yet. We hope to be able to come back to this lovely park sometime in 2015. The bad part of being there was the cellphone/internet service was pretty spotty. They have three camping areas and all three have their charms. Palmetto Ridge is all gravel, large sites with sewers and large new bathhouses. Big Flats camping area is all smaller sites near the Myakka Outpost and lots of shade but little privacy but no sewers on sites except for the campground hosts. Old Prairie has a small older bathhouse, mostly shady sites and no sewers on site except for the campground hosts and the two overflow campsites.
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Its Heating Up Here

watching the river go by
watching the river go by
It’s Heating Up Here folks! Not only is the weather staying warmer longer and getting a little warmer everyday we are seeing more birds, more people and doing more work. The campgrounds here at Myakka River State Park are full everyday since we got here but with the warmer weather and festivals, bike rides for charity, and local kids going on spring break means we will be working more and seeing more people our last three weeks here. It’s nice to see that the state parks are getting plenty of visitors, and not just from the “Snowbirds” but with local visitors as well. It is nearly impossible to get a camping site still in the southern regions of Florida but with Spring changing into Summer everyone should be able to visit and camp at just about all of the Florida State Parks. I say, just about all, because any state park next to the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico will be just as busy during the summer months too. We cannot stress how important it is to make reservations ahead of time for any of the Florida State Parks. The National Parks, recreational areas and forests usually don’t have an online reservation systems, there are a few exceptions, so those are generally, “Catch As You Can”, camping. We will say that if you get there on a Tuesday or Wednesday and pay for the week, generally, you will be able to find great camping spots.
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Working While RV Camping

SarasotaFolkFestival2014Working while RV camping is a growing trend these days. Most of us just cannot afford to jump into our RV and travel around the country without having some kind of supplemental income as well as our retirement benefits. And more and more people are selling everything, buying an RV and traveling the road at younger ages. If you don’t have a great retirement plan but would still like to travel you may want to consider starting some kind of business before you go. And for those not old enough to retire you will need to have a steady income to keep traveling.

Establishing a mobile business is a great way to help you pay for your travel expenses, have money to visit parks and other recreational opportunities while paying for your camping, food, phone and internet. Yes, you will need to have a reliable internet connection such as Verizon’s MIFI service in order to keep in touch with customers, checking your bank for payments,etc. It is great to be out in the middle of the woods enjoying nature but to help pay for your adventures you will need a way to communicate.
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Ten Parks in 30 Days

Myakka02182014 (4)When we leave here at Myakka River State Park we will be doing a whirlwind tour of 10 Florida State Parks in 30 days on our way to Suwannee River Wilderness River Camps. As you can see from our Calendar page we have already posted where we will be and when. The reservations have been made and paid for we only hope that old “Big Bertha”, our 1984 Class A Pace Arrow RV, is up to the trips. We scheduled them this way so that we can go to as many parks as we could before our next campground hosting assignment. Needless to say, for the month of April, we may not be able to post many blog articles. Who knows? I will try to post as we go. I am still working on creating movies of our pictures from St. Joseph’s and Dade Battlefield as well as taking more pictures for our Myakka River review. Since the internet service here is sporadic at best and weak most of the time I cannot justify spending time to create the movies when I cannot upload them while we are here.

Instead, we have been working on creating as many crafts as we can to participate in the Sarasota Folk Festival at Oscar Scherer State Park next month. Continue reading “Ten Parks in 30 Days”

Large Parks versus Small Parks

RossPrairieCampground (53)When you think about your camping experiences in Florida State Parks do you recall what you liked about the park?

Was it a smaller, out-of-the-way State Park or was it just outside of a large town and a fairly large State Park?

Do you prefer to stay at a place with lots of activities or do you just want to lay back and enjoy the quiet?

These questions and more you really should ask yourself before you make reservations at any State or National Park. (Please always make reservations as far in advance as you can). The reason being is you will want to get the most bang for your hard-earned, or even retired, bucks. If you haven’t visited your intended park before go online and read the material on their website, check out some videos about the park on YouTube and ask friends, relatives and your Facebook buddies what they thought about the park if they visited it in the before. You want to look at pictures and videos and go online to see what people have said about the park recently. Remember things could have changed if the information is more than a couple of years old. And please make note of some of the rules about camping in your intended parks as well. They are there for the comfort, safety and enjoyment of all the visitors not just to pick on you.
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