Category: Volunteer at National Parks and Forest

Rain Rain and More Rain

ONF08042016 (1)Rain, rain and more rain! Over the last couple of weeks we have been getting hit with rain almost every single days. Some days we get at least a couple of inches at a time. Thus for the last week we have had large puddles of water all over our campsite and in the picnic area. One good thing is that we cannot mow. The bad thing is the grass grows faster when its wet. The temperatures in the evening and early mornings have been kind of nice too. But we still have temperatures in the 90s. Well, duh, it is August in Florida.
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Beating The Summer Heat

ONF07172016 (1)Beating the summer heat seems to be the main occupation of almost everyone here in North Florida including us. We try to get most of our jobs done first thing in the morning or just after sunset or we will bake to a crisp even here is the shadiest park we have been to so far. There are numerous large pine and oak trees here but there really isn’t anything you can do about the over 100 degrees heat index on most days. And we are just getting started on the summer months. The lake temperature is rising and we have only had a few days of rain here and there so far. My granddaughter is again spending the summer with us and has finally learned to ride her bike! We are so proud of her and hope she will keep on practicing when she gets home again.
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Getting Ready for Local Author Expo

ONF05052016 (18)We have been at our current assignment for 3 months now and have been really busy during our stay here. With no other volunteer we have been working 7 days a week since we got here. We have been updating our online stores with new items and I am working on a new book. In the mean time we have decided to offer our eBook version of our current book for 1/2 price for retail customers and $0.99 for Libraries. Below is a cute little widget from Smashwords to help promote our new pricing. We will be changing the Amazon Kindle price as well but not the paperback version. We only get a couple of dollars on these anyway.
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Osceola National Forest Workamping

FrontDoorViewONF041816Osceola National Forest Workamping is a new experience for us. Not only are we in a forest but a national one at that. So the workamping rules and perks are slightly different than with our Florida State Parks. Originally we were slated to be campground hosts at Ocean Pond Campground but when we arrived the volunteer coordinator wanted us to go to the Olustee Beach Day Park and Boating area. Since, they currently do not have any park hosts in this area and have one at the campground we said, “Okay with us!”. And, for now, it is turning out to be similar to our Troy Springs State Park experience. We clean the bathrooms, mow the grass and open and close the gates each day.

Now for the differences. First, we are allowed to stay for 6 months here instead of the maximum 4 months with the Florida State Parks. National parks and, especially, forest and wildlife refuges have different guidelines for their live on-site volunteers. Mostly, because it is very difficult to get volunteers to stay from the late spring to early fall months. And, once you have proven yourself they are allowed to let you stay longer if you wish and it is needed. Just like the state parks, each of the national parks, forests and wildlife refuges do not have many problems getting volunteers to stay from October to the end of March. So, there is great opportunities here for those of us willing to stay in Florida during the “Non-Peak” seasons!
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Working Holidays as Park Hosts

ASP12292015 (6)Working holidays as parks hosts or campground hosts in our Florida State Parks will take up quite a few of your required hours for the month. Not only do you have to get your regular duties done but you will more than likely get called in to set-up the park for any special events planned during the holiday, replace park staff that will be taking off for said holidays and there will probably be more people in the park during those holidays to deal with. It seems that almost every single Florida State Park that offers camping will be full during every single holiday that falls on a weekend. Of course, this generally corresponds to the kids getting out of school for the holidays. Mostly, you get local residents every weekend with a few out-of-state visitors as well. This includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Independence Day and Memorial Day. As hot as it gets in Florida during May and July there will be lots of people camping in the state parks.

This will make your duties a little harder to get done but the mission of the parks is to encourage attendance as much as possible. It can be nice to talk to the different kinds of visitors, find out where they are from, ask the locals for recommendations of restaurants, stores and the like. You are one of the park’s ambassadors and as such you want to project a friendly and knowledgeable face so that they will keep coming back. We also try to talk to each of them about the benefits of volunteering. You can never have too many of those!
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Our First Press Release

Our first press release has been created and posted on the PRLOG.org website. They offer free press release services for writers, small businesses and anyone else who needs to make an announcement of a new book, service, and even non-profit stuff. They create embed codes to add to your website, tweet it, post to Linkedin and other social media accounts.




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Insider’s Guide to Campground Hosting in Florida Parks!


Get the paperback of Insiders Guide directly from CreateSpace

Get Our eBook version of Insiders Guide directly from Smashwords

Kindle and Paperback versions on Amazon

Paperback and eBook Versions On Barnes and Noble

Get eBook Version on iTunes iBook Store

eBook Version on Kobo Bookstore

Oyster Books is a Monthly eBook Subscription Service

Scribd is a Monthly eBook Subscription Service

Buy Jolene’s eBooks and More Acrobat Reader PDF version with pictures and an Appendix Section with samples of Volunteer Workamping Applications Samples from a county, Florida State Parks and Federal; Volunteer Handbook sections From the Florida State Parks and Florida Fish and Wildlife


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