Category: Volunteer At A Florida State Park

Myakka River So Far

Our Campsite at Myakka
Our Campsite at Myakka
Myakka River so far has been a great experience. The weather has been pretty volatile with cold days, wet days, wet and cold days as well a bright sunny days too. There are a lot of campground host volunteers here during the winter months of January to March. Most are from up north with some of those as far as Canada. This is a very social occasion for these volunteers and they have pot luck dinners, movie nights and bomb fire game nights. Most of these people have been volunteering at this park for years. Being as they have so many volunteers quite a lot can and does get done during these months for the park rangers. There is cleaning of the huge park including all the public restrooms; campground cleaning; volunteers manning the main entrance taking money from new comers and the north entrance on weekends; working in the visitors centers; bird watching teachers; as well as mowing and clear cutting of the surrounding woods to prepare for the annual controlled burn and all the special events. This year the volunteers have agreed to host a weekly morning social hour with coffee, tea, juice and assorting snacks being available for just a $1 donation per person. It is a great chance for our fellow campers to get to know each other, meet the campground hosts and some of the ranger who drop by and listen to some music from some very talented volunteers. This is such a large park with so many things going on that they really need all these volunteers to keep things moving.
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Dade Battlefield WrapUp

Dressed Up in Pioneer Costume
Dressed Up in Pioneer Costume
Dade Battlefield Historic State Park is a great place to start your career at being a campground hosts in our Florida State Parks. Since they do not have campsites for visitors then you would be called a Residential Host. This little park encourages local people to join the Dade Battlefield Society and volunteer for as many events at the park as they are able. Mostly, it is a grunt position where you help set-up for events, maybe participate in the events, help with parking or just help clean-up afterwards. We were offered the position and given “special projects” while we were there. Which started with us painting the new Park Ranger’s House before his and his family’s arrival. Let me tell you that was a learning experience for my Mom and I. In between painting we were asked to participate with the Pioneer classes that the Volunteer Coordinator has once a month. Sometimes we would demonstrate how to make corn-husk dolls or sit at the gatehouse and collect the entrance fees. When we arrived there were two other Residential Hosts as singles, one is a carpenter and regular handyman and the other is an electrician, handyman and worked cleaning bathrooms and maintain all the equipment and buildings. They also did most of the set-up and clean-up before and after each of the events. Later another two volunteers came in and helped with the lawn maintenance and the events. The last month another family arrived and they helped us with the gatehouse and events participation.
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St Joseph Peninsula State Park WrapUp

StJosephs08062013 (13)Now that I finally have help with our craft business I should be able to get some articles posted to my various blogs and will try to start posting to Our Great Adventure every week. There is so much to report to you guys that we will start with a wrap-up of St. Josephs Peninsula, then the wrap-up with Dade Battlefield and then an update on our current assignment here at Myakka River State Park. I will be trying to get the movies made for the State Park Reviews and uploaded to YouTube as soon as I can. We have very limited internet service here and will probably have to go down to the Myakka Outpost and use their wireless service to upload the videos once I get them done.
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William J Rish Recreational Park

WmRishParkCapeSanBlass (192)William J Rish Recreational Park is a great place to spend time at the beach. The park is strictly for Florida residents with disabilities. Their families and/or care-givers are allowed to come too! “It is named in memory of the state legislator who created it—Representative William Joseph Rish. It’s often called Billy Joe Rish Park, because locals referred to their longtime legislator as Billy Joe Rish.”

The west side or beach side of the park is in great shape now. There are large cabins for overnight stays. Everything within the round shaped cabins are wheelchair accessible. You can barbecue, sit in the sun, play board games, visit with your neighbors or just wander up, down and around the park. Continue reading “William J Rish Recreational Park”

One Month Down and One to Go

StJoes07062013 (9) We have been here at TH Stone Memorial St. Josephs Peninsula State Park as campground hosts for 1 month. It has been rainy, hot, stormy as well as nice breezes off of the Gulf of Mexico. The work is sometime hard but mostly due to the heat. We get up early in the morning before the sun rises to clean two bath houses. This can take us sometimes 2 to 3 hours to do depending on how bad they are and how many interruptions we get. We have been assigned to the Gulf Breezes campground area. Originally, we were assigned to the Shady Pines campground which is on the St. Joe Bay side of the peninsula underneath pine trees and in between the palmetto bushes. Due to the shortage of campground host volunteers during this time of year we were reassigned to the Gulf Breezes side and are responsible for the entire campground 5 days a week. The Volunteer Coordinator is Ron and he seems nice but the manager of the park, Mark, does have some unrealistic goals for the campground hosts.
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Adams Tract WrapUp

Rainbow after the Summer Storms here at Adams Tract River Camp
Rainbow after the Summer Storms here at Adams Tract River Camp
We are starting to wrap-up here at Adams Tract River Camp. It’s funny but we will miss this place. But we also miss being on the road. We have passed the 9 months full-time RVing mark and are looking forward to the next 18 months we have scheduled so far. The hardest part about being here is that we really don’t have the extra money to get out and explore. That was the reason we accepted all these campground hosting assignments in the first place was to be able to save a little money and go exploring more. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case. We will have to work on bringing in an income while we are traveling as well as the retirement payments we have been living on the past couple of months. It makes all the difference if you can bring in some extra income while you are traveling so that you can enjoy those trips to local parks, eat out in a local restaurant every now and then or just be able to have extra gas money to explore the areas when you are not doing your campground hosting duties.
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