Reading through our Facebook pages last week we came across a posting from one of our fellow Full-Time RVers and volunteer workampers posting about their new assignment. Alisha and her family are volunteering at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement in Blountstown, Florida. The information intrigued me enough to check out their website to see what she was talking about. After reviewing their information about volunteer workamping I thought I would ask her to send us some pictures and more information. And she agreed!
From what she says and the Village’s website it looks to be a great place to spend a couple of months and volunteer. Who doesn’t love old historical buildings, learning new crafts and watching craftmen and women doing what they love to do. It sounds like a great place and we hope we can fit it into our assignment schedule for the end of 2015 or perhaps not until 2016. Most, non-profit organizations rely heavily on volunteers and this place has gone further and included live on-site spaces. It is pretty great that they are only opened to the public a couple of days and hours per week so that the workampers can get some downtime and enjoy their surroundings. Granted, helping out with the farm animals and harvesting crops, making sugar cane syrup, etc. may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it does sound like a great experience.
We are definitely going to have to add this enterprise (and any others we come across) to our eBook maybe under Florida Non-Profit Volunteer Workamping Opportunities in our updated version next year! For this year’s version with information on hundreds of volunteer workamping assignments in Florida we hope you will click on the link below and purchase our eBook. We should have a paperback version of the book available towards the middle of the month as we are proofing the physical version right now!
Hey! You can now purchase a paperback copy of my book now directly on Createspace and in 3 to 5 days linked with the eBook versions on Amazon and CreateSpace!
Panhandle Pioneer Settlement
Telephone: (850) 674-2777
Fax: (850) 674-2778
17869 NW Pioneer Settlement Rd.
Blountstown, FL 32424
PO Box 215
Blountstown, FL 32424
Photos and Information Contributed by Alisha Pelance
We have been volunteering at the Panhandle Pioneer Settlement for a little over a week and have fallen in love with this place. The Village is a working living history park with buildings from the 1820’s to the 1940’s.
There are currently 18 historical buildings, most of them open for tours. We also have chickens and other barnyard birds, beehives, and a working sugarcane farm. The sugarcane is being harvested right now and coming up the end of the month is Sugarcane Syrup Making Day.
There are special events held throughout the year including a quilt show, an antique tool show, and an ice cream social. We got here just in time for Pioneer Day, an event which coincides with a goat festival held in the Sam Atkins Park, right outside the gates to the Settlement.
Currently they are in need of volunteers. As you can imagine, it takes a lot of manpower to care for the Settlement, both as a farm and as a museum, not to mention the special events.
First of all, let me tell you, this is a lovely place to live and work. The park is open from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and, after the gates close, is very peaceful and quiet (with the exception of the odd rooster crowing). I feel like I really am living on a farm.
No. of Residential Hosts: There are five RV sites. Also there is a house available for someone who wants to take on the position of on-site caretaker.
Campsite Amenities: Sewer, water, and electric at each site, WiFi
Electrical Types: 30/50/110 at all boxes
RV/Trailer Rig Length Limits: Two of the sites are by the cane field. They are pull-through and could take about any length of RV. The other three are located by the main settlement and are back-in sites. The far site, where we are currently, is usually offered to people who are planning to stay for at least several months. It has a wooden deck and is long enough to hold a bus. The other two, I would say, would comfortably hold a 32 to 35 foot RV.
FREE Extras: Free laundry, hot shower, use of kitchen facilities in the clubhouse when it is not being rented, fresh eggs, fruits and vegetables when in season
Other Park Amenities/Notes: This park is actually quite close to town, within easy biking distance. There is a bike path that crosses town and ends at the Apalachicola River for those who enjoy fishing or boating.
Hours Required: 10 hours per person, per week. More is greatly appreciated.
Length of Stay: If you are honest, hard-working, and friendly, you can stay as long as you like. One couple liked it so much they stayed for 8 years! On the other hand, the only position that comes with a mandatory length of stay is that of caretaker. The caretaker signs a two year contract and learns every aspect of the park.
Examples of Duties: Restoring and repairing buildings and antique engines, keeping equipment maintained, harvesting and grinding sugarcane, harvesting and bottling honey, feeding chickens and gathering eggs, planting and weeding flower and vegetable gardens, cleaning historic buildings/history displays, giving tours, running the general store and gift shop
Time of Year Volunteers Most Needed: All the time and especially summer and winter