Tag: Working in exchange for a Camp site

Spend the Summer at Savannas Preserve State Park

SavannasPreserveSP

https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Savannas

http://www.friendsofsavannas.org/

Hello,

Savannas preserve is a 7,000 acre preserve with fire dependent habitat in the heart of Port St. Lucie; we manage several day use areas and an amazing education center which houses over 195 different programs a year to all age brackets. We have a lot going on all the time, the need for volunteers is huge, and as you mentioned summer time is hard. We DO have 4 volunteer spots for 2-4 month stays and are working on the potential of a couple more short term spots.
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Horse Lovers and Handipeople Needed

San_Felasco_Hammock_entr01In response to some emails we sent out to all of the Florida State Parks about Campground Hosts and Park/Residential Hosts positions that get a campsite with amenities in exchange for working; most were what you would expect but this one struck me as different. I mean, how many parks have horses living and being take care by the park rangers and volunteers? That is just too cool.

The initial response to our email:

Hi Jolene. Listed below are the volunteer host opportunities I have available. Firewood is available as we remove trees that are blocking trails and roads. Unfortunately, the summer months are very difficult to encourage volunteers to camp with us. I have sent out probably 50 or 60 announcements like the one below with very little response. Currently my three sites are vacant. Fall, Winter and Spring are no problem.

Randy
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Paynes Creek in Bowling Green Florida

PaynesCreekHistoricStateParkPaynes Creek Historic State Park is located outside the small town of Bowling Green, Florida. It borders on one side by the Peace River and the Paynes Creek runs through the middle. You can hike, fish, bike, picnic and visit the visitors center during the day time. At night small groups can primitive camp within the park while the Residential Hosts Volunteers will get the run of the park after everyone leaves. They are in need of summer time volunteers as are most of our Florida State Parks. We chose them to do an article because the volunteer coordinator is good about getting back to us and it sounds like a great place for us to volunteer in the future. If you are a history teacher with no plans for the summer and have a travel trailer or RV we hope you will fill out an application and get in touch with the volunteer coordinator at this park.

Hello Jolene,

Yes Ma’am, Paynes Creek Historic State Park does indeed have volunteer camp sites.
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Troy Springs State Park Branford Florida

TroySpringSignTroy Springs State Park in Branford, Florida is a small little park with a lovely spring right next to the Suwannee River. You can picnic, swim (when the water in the Suwannee River is down), scuba dive in the spring and canoe and kayak up and down the river as well as get in a spot of fishing. The park has no camping amenities not even primitive. But they do have RV Sites set up for volunteers in exchange for working with the park ranger and manager in the park. We visited this park last year and were going to volunteer there but we couldn’t get our timing worked out. It seems we may be going there next year though and we look forward to it. However, they still need help this summer. If you, a family member or a friend would like to stay in a lovely, shady state park in exchange for a little cleaning, lawn care and maintenance work we hope you will fill out the application and get in touch with the Volunteer Coordinator. Her information is listed at the bottom of this article. Below are her answers to some of the questions we would ask of any of the state parks we were considering volunteering for:
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Being a Camphost

AdamsTractRC04072013 (46)Most of us “Full-Timers” will, at one time or another, become camp host somewhere along the way. We have taken two camp host assignments so far. We scheduled one for July and August when we first started out because we wanted the experience and who wouldn’t want to camp next to the ocean for two months. Money being tight we have taken an earlier workkamping gig with Suwannee River Wilderness Trail. They have created and maintain river camps along the Suwannee River for canoers and kayakers. The river camps are available to anyone who travels down the river and needs a place to camp overnight. They are not charging for this service (yet) but do ask that reservations be made ahead of time. The SRWT is headquartered at the Visitors Center in front of Stephen Foster Memorial in White Springs, Florida. At the present time there are only 5 River Camps in operation. In between these are Florida State Parks that will allow the canoers to camp for a few dollars, public boat ramps and some private places as well. There are even a few places during the year that they can camp on a sandbar. Although, I really wouldn’t recommend it. From the pictures we have seen on the internet all the river camps are pretty much set up the same way. Each of them have screened in wooden platforms with ceiling fans, electrical outlets, picnic tables and a fire pit. There are barbecue grills intermingled among the platforms and each have bathhouses with hot/cold water. Access to the River Camps can only be gotten via the River unless you work for the park service, are a camp host or part of the Suwannee River Water Management Department. Continue reading “Being a Camphost”