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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Its Cold Then Its Hot

Campsite at Stephen Foster
Campsite at Stephen Foster
March is such a strange month in Florida. Yes, I know our poor neighbors to the north and out west are almost frozen in and we really are not complaining but, man!, will mother nature please make up her mind. First we’re cold and then it warms up and then it rains and gets cold again. Then we start all over. These past three days were so nice, breezy, temps in the high 70s and a day or two in the low 80s but then the rain came and now it is back to being cloudy and gloomy all day long. Of course, right now it’s sprinkling again and supposed to go down to the 30s. Again, I know the rest of the country is frozen over. Hey! We’re in freaking Florida for goodness sake. Anyway, our little space heater fell in the water yesterday when we went to dump our waste tanks. Why, you ask, was the heater in the shower where the water overflows when the gray water tanks are full? Well, there wasn’t anywhere else to keep it out of the way and I really thought we would get the tanks dumped before it overflowed again.

Mom has put a moratorium on all new Volunteer Workamping assignments in the future. NO MORE SITES WITHOUT SEWERS! Even though we really love being here at Stephen Foster Folk Cultural Center State Park. The sites are all nice and big, under large oak and pine trees. The shower rooms always have lots of nice hot water. We even like being campground hosts here. We do work more during our three or four days on than we have at just about any other assignment. We do have to fight each morning to get a working golf cart to clean all the fire pits, barbecue grills and rake the sites on those who have left and before they let others in. Granted, the bathhouses are pretty large and we have to clean both of them every day we are on. It would really make it more convenient for us to have a sewer on-site.
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Happy Day It Is Done

InsidersGuideBookCoverHappy Day, it is done and available online at Amazon. We have been working on our eBook for full-time RVers who would like to volunteer in one of our many Florida parks including the State Parks, State Forests, Florida Wildlife and Water Management Areas as well as our Florida National Parks, Forests and Seashores. We hope you will try our eBook and give it a review on our Amazon page. We even went ahead and created an author page. We hope to use the proceeds from the sales of this eBook to allow us to keep going to various Florida public parks and volunteer.

If our eBook really starts to sell we will be able to donate a portion of the proceeds to various Florida public lands to keep them going, update equipment, maintain facilities and possibly fund more places to be set up for volunteers all year round. So far, we have only been able to volunteer at Florida State Parks but are working on assignments at some of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Management areas, county camping parks and even a couple of the Florida State Forests. They offer a different volunteer experience than the Florida State Parks we have visited and volunteer for so far. These experiences will be great to experience as well as to report to our readers.
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