Heber Springs 4/5/2011 3:00:00 PM
News / Nature

State and National Parks, Wildlife Refuges and Others Seek Volunteers

Workampers Help Fill the Need

The idea of giving back to communities, the nation, or particular humanitarian organizations motivates many retired RVers to volunteer for Workamping jobs. Volunteering is an American tradition that provides immeasurable contributions to society on both a national and community level. One poll reported that over one-third of the American public has been or is currently a volunteer.

Workamper News promotes volunteering to its’ members on its website, magazine and through forums and other means of communication. (Go here to view articles such as “Volunteerism Enriches a Wisconsin Couple’s Rving Life.) “  In this article, Cliff and Ruth Ann Anderson talk about their volunteering experiences around the country.  Most of the time, they “fix and repair” utilizing their talents. Ruth Ann, an upholsterer by trade, carries with her a portable industrial sewing machine, which she uses in her volunteer assignments at Florida State Parks. She often recovers truck and boat seats for park personnel. One season, she made cushions for Cedar Key Museum State Park. At Kissimmee Prairie State Park, a 54,000-acre preserve staffed by only three rangers, Cliff built new kiosks for informational displays and brochure boxes.   The Andersons and other Workampers like them, throw themselves wholeheartedly into their Rving lifestyle, combining volunteerism with travel.

There is an enormous need as well as choices of places to go to volunteer.  For example, volunteers have important and diverse roles at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lakes across the country.  Some serve as park hosts greeting and facilitating the stay of camping families, others staff visitor centers and run interpretive programming; some maintain park facilities, and much more. 

Whether Workampers are working for pay, or for free, as the Andersons say, “Workampers’ lives revolve around the wonderful sights they see and the incredible people they meet.” (To learn more about Workamping, click here.)

For Nancy and Jerry Langer, volunteering is second nature. The Langers have enjoyed volunteer positions with the Bureau of Land Management in California, Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota, Camas National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho, Passport in Time at Coronado National Forest in Arizona, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona, Alaska State Parks, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, and more.  'We work for hats and tee-shirts," Jerry Langer said. He explained that, although they are not adverse to receiving wages, they basically are not Workamping to earn money. "We are lifelong learners and we seek positions that utilize the skills and talents we honed in traditional jobs. We look for a reason to be in places we want to explore. And we like the idea of giving back to federal lands such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services." 

Jaimie Hall Bruzenak, author of Support Your RV Lifestyle (now in its’ Third Edition, 2011) says that volunteering can have many rewards for those who choose to give of their time and efforts to any charitable organization.  While working in Skagway Alaska, she marveled that “instead of looking in our neighbors’ windows, we looked out at the Lyn Canal.”  

Additionally, many agencies treat their volunteers like VIPs.  The parks, for example, could not possibly operate without the help of their volunteers to provide visitor services and help run their operation. In fact, the National Park Service actually calls their volunteers in parks “VIPs.” 

Workamper News posts Volunteer Opportunities on their website (click here ) and also posts from a public RSS feed  which lists the most recent volunteer opportunities posted on the Volunteer.gov/gov website for the past week. 

Non-governmental charitable organizations are offered  free advertising for volunteer positions on the Workamper News website.  Charitable organizations can post up to 50 words and include a photo or other graphic to draw attention to their need.   Free Volunteers Wanted ads are just one way that Workamper News helps non-profits. 

President of Workamper News, Steve Anderson says “I am grieving for the charities that are hurting due to the Recession.”   Funding is limited and staffing is typically inadequate to fill all the jobs.  He estimates that in Florida, volunteers fill one-third to one-half the person hours.  “Offering free Volunteers Wanted ads to organizations that fit Workamper News’s objective to ‘Help Great People Find Great Jobs in Great Places’ is a small way,”  Steve ads, “that we can do our part to help society.” 

Volunteering is beneficial in so many ways for both the non-profit organization and the volunteer, whether one donates time and effort close to home, or steps out of a recreational vehicle anywhere in the world.  It is a great learning experience and a great way to meet people while doing something meaningful that will have long-lasting consequences.  Workamper News hopes to continually inspire people to give of their time and talents in the community and the nation. 


For more information or an interview, contact:

Steve Anderson, Editor

Phone: (501)362-2637

Fax:  (501) 362-6769

About Workamper News

Workamper News began in 1987 as an eight-page newsletter distributed to a niche market.  The term Workamper, a registered trademark, was coined by then-owners Greg and Debbie Robus, to describe anyone who combines any kind of work with the RV camping lifestyle. Designed to put mostly retired or semi-retired RVers and employers together, the publication initially focused on campground jobs.  Today, the four-color magazines contain at least 62 pages of information about job vacancies from coast to coast in the United States and some in Canada, as well as features on great Workamping destinations, Workamper and Employer profiles, and general information pertaining to Workamping and Rving.  The introduction of the internet enabled Workamper News to expand its services through the years; besides the print and online magazine, Workamper members participate in a variety of forums, webinars,

Situations Wanted and resume posting, blogs and communities. They are educated through the Workamper University program.  Employer clients post job opportunities, review resumes, showcase their campground, state or national park, or business opportunities. An online store sells books and DVDs for the RVer and Workamper.   Since 2005, owners Steve and Kathy Jo Anderson diligently manage the operations.  Daughter, Jody Anderson Duquette joined the Company in 2006 after earning a graphic design degree.  Techie-husband Luke Duquette, came on board in 2010.  Nine employees work in-house at 709 W. Searcy Street in Heber Springs, AR.   Workamper News continues to expand their horizon, providing marketing tools for both Workampers and Employers to be successful.