This is our second year as a volunteer for the Oregon State Parks. Last year I read about an opening for a lighthouse host on a blog, Wheeling It, written by a full-time RVer. I contacted the park ranger she mentioned in the post and the lighthouse was no longer available, but he was looking for hosts for the Port Orford Lifeboat Museum....and so began our adventures as park hosts.
The Lifeboat Museum assignment required us to work four days a week from 10:30 to 3:30. Our museum wasn't very busy and we rarely had over 20 guests a day. We gave a little introduction to the museum and pointed out interesting exhibits. We also staffed the "gift shop," which was a couple of shelves in the lobby of the museum.
The museum had an old WWII era dogtag maker and we made and sold dogtags for guests. It was the spouses favorite part of the job.
We both loved the beauty of the area and having the ability to walk a trail or stroll the beach every day. It was a peaceful and inspiring break from our regular, ordinary life.
We are heading back to Port Orford next week. Now, we are camp hosting at Sunset Bay State Park. Camp hosting is a different type of volunteer experience. We have daily responsibilities and are on duty five days a week for four hours a day, but those four hours don't start and end on any regular schedule. I think our job is to help campers have the best possible experience in our state parks. We're here to help keep the park tidy, offer assistance, and sell firewood. Everyone is on vacation. People on vacation are in a good mood. It's great to help people have a good time.
Ever think about volunteering? There are a lot of opportunities available. You can check out volunteer opportunities in Oregon at the Oregon State Parks website here. There is also a link on that page to the application. We've met lots of other volunteers who do this full-time. There are openings with federal parks, Corp of Engineers, and many others. Some even pay a salary...but I'm sure you have to work a lot harder than we do to get paid! Think about it; volunteering is a way to give back to our parks systems and protect this resource for the future.