When we arrived at the park on Labor Day, we had wanted to stay as much as we could in order to do more on-site coordination of the Cabin Work Week preparations. We also offered to help out as we could on anything the park needed. Our first day, we went to help the pool concession staff deep clean the kitchen now that the pool was closed. Discovering we had a unique skill to offer, we spent half the day de-scaling the ice machine. But before we could get into another project, we were surprised to hear a proposal that solved a few of our logistical problems, taking us in a slightly different direction.
One of the current camp hosts was also a Red Cross volunteer being called up to respond to Dorian. Could we take over their hosting for the rest of the month of September? After discussing one scheduling conflict with the other host, we decided it was easy to say yes. That would allow us to spend time in the park getting ready for Cabin Work Week and within range of Frederick for Cathy’s treatments and the kids living nearby.
However, we have a good time teasing our fellow camp host and getting it back in spades. One time we came back from our day off to find a list of sites showing everybody leaving that day. What? A Sunday on a Friday? We found the correct sheet tucked away, with only a handful of sites to clean. It goes back and forth and makes the “job” more fun. We’ve also hand lots of opportunity to talk to campers and have started building the ranks of the volunteers for Cabin Work Week in October / November. The recruiting had stalled over the summer, so it is encouraging to see it start to pick up.
We have 2 more weeks before we shift into our Park Host role for October. At least when we’re asked to help out a Camp Host in the future, we won’t need any training.
We had not even been here a day when we started recruiting for Cabin Work Week. A conversation with a fellow camper who recognized us from last year, a volunteer arriving at the contact station, another camper here to get out of Dorian’s path, and so on. Not all of the connections resulted in sign-ups, but enough did that the slots in both weeks are starting to fill.
To generate more conversations, Dave created a flyer to post around the park and hand out to those interested. He also worked with the office to pin down which sites are reserved and ensured they had enough space on either end of the 2 weeks so that folks could stay into the weekend after work ends. With this information, he started getting campsites assigned to the volunteers based on their arrival and departure information. He met with Rich about the work to be done and started positioning supplies for the upcoming Public Lands Day, which will focus on the cabins as well.
So, we are enjoying our time in the park, making progress on Cabin Work Week, and enjoying time with family. The run up to Frederick for Cathy’s treatments is manageable and we are looking forward to more time here.