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Experienced Camper? Share your Love of Camping in the Great Oregon Outdoors…

March 20, 2012

If you’re someone who loves to camp and can’t understand why others don’t, Oregon State Parks wants YOU! 

Returning LGC Volunteer Erin Chapman - Dutch oven master at Cascadia State Park, July 2011

New campers may need a little hand-holding to help them feel comfortable as they head out for their first overnight adventure.  Enthusiastic volunteers are needed to assist registrants enrolled in the Let’s Go Camping program this summer.  Volunteers who are willing to share their love of camping, outdoor skills and stories with those new to camping are valuable and crucial to the success of this popular program.

Let’s Go Camping shows new campers how to select a site, set up a tent, build a safe campfire and cook outdoors.  We use state park group sites where volunteers camp alongside our participants and lead them through a series of introductory lessons on camping basics, what to pack for a safe and enjoyable experience, and camping etiquette.  Other volunteer-led programs include Dutch oven cooking demos, the 10 Hiking Essentials (smart items to bring along for safety and survival) and Leave No Trace camping.

For the 2012 summer season, seventeen separate camping weekends to 17 different state parks are scheduled from mid-June through the end of August. Dates and locations can be found here.  As a volunteer, you may choose to help out with one or more weekend events, lending your expertise to others who are just learning the ropes.

General expectations of volunteers include: 1) Arrive at event location Friday between 6-7 pm and stay until Sunday around noon, 2) Provide own food and gear (some gear is available, but is first reserved for program participants), 3) Offer support in the form of camping, recreational knowledge and program presentations.  Volunteers not  only deliver basic lessons, they can also lead a nature hike, arts and crafts activity, or outdoor games.  Or perhaps you’re someone who’d like to show others how to identify native birds, animals, flowers, and trees – or teach disc golfing, fly tying, or fishing. There are so many ways to get involved and make a positive impact on new campers.

In return for your volunteer contribution, you get free camping, orientation and training, valuable leadership experience, and that good feeling that comes with helping others, plus lots and lots of thanks and smiles!  Gas reimbursement is available.

We’d love to camp with you!  If you’d like to learn more about this dynamic volunteer opportunity, please contact Jill Nishball, Let’s Go Camping Co-Coordinator and Volunteer Services Specialist at 503-986-0752 or e-mail jill.nishball@state.or.us

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