August 2014 Volunteer eNews

From the host's perspective | Jr Ranger Admin Assistant | Highlights

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August 2014

Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites

> IN THIS ISSUE: Host Orientation, Spotlights and Highlights, Upcoming Projects

AHS at Cloudland Canyon

American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacations

We still have 2 more Volunteer Vacations coming up this year.  One at Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okefenokee Swamp in late September and the other at Kolomoki Mounds in November.  Interested? You should be!  It is fun, includes food and lodging, and the takeaway pride in what you accomplished is priceless!


Host Opportunity Highlights

Red Top Mountain State Park

Red Top Mountain Hosts needed ASAP!

Due to some last minute cancellations, Red Top Mountain State Park has host vacancy right now!  Apply Today!

The Creek Golf Course

The Creek Golf Course

The Creek Golf Course still has plenty of vacancy this fall and winter.  Sign up today!

AHS Horse Campground

A. H. Stephens Host Vacancy

Campground Host and Equestrian Host slots are still available. Click Go!



Upcoming Events

Junior Ranger Data Entry Assistance

Junior Ranger Program

Starting immediately - from your own home

Preferred if you are located in Northeast Georgia

Volunteer needed to assist the Interpretive Specialist with data entry for the State-Wide Junior Ranger program.  The database is managed in Microsoft Office Access and the project will be ongoing.  The volunteer can work independently but no computer is provided so they will need to have the Microsoft Access program. If interested email Ellen Graham.

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Keeping it Beautiful

August 10, 2014

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Join other volunteers as we clean the park near the lake on the Northern Causeway. Wear old clothes, closed toe shoes, bring work gloves and your lunch. We will work from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and then break for lunch. Beginning at 2:00 p.m. we will offer two complimentary programs for volunteers: a History Hike or a Snakes Alive Program. Please meet at Picnic Shelter #1 in the Bait Shop parking lot. Water will be provided

RSVP 770-732-5871

Sweetwater Creek Lake
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Your State Parks Day - September 27!


September 27, 2014

Every Park in Georgia has a project taking place

Your State Parks Day is sponsored by Friends of Georgia State Parks.  Each park across the state will have free entrance and a volunteer project for you to participate in.  Learn what is happening near you.

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July Hours


Our volunteers and hosts are encouraged to log their hours online. There are incentives that are mailed to you once you reach critical hours documented!  Log your hours HERE!

Congratulations and a great big THANK YOU to those volunteers that have reached the Over 500 Hour Club. You will receive your note in the mail within the next few weeks.

From The Hosts' Perspective

I asked Parks and Hosts if they would mind helping to answer questions and provide insight to newer hosts. They were excited to share their stories and first hand experience! I won't pretend to be a professional videographer nor video editor. Similarly, our Hosts shown in the upcoming videos are not actors. They are real life hosts that I recorded at their sites.  The volume is a little unbalanced as well. I hope as I continue to meet more and record more o these the quality will increase. With that disclaimer firmly in place, enjoy this new segment of the Volunteer eNews! 

A Video Guide to being an Equestrian Host- video linked here.

*Hard Labor Creek, A.H. Stephens, and Watson Mill Bridge State Park have Equestrian Hosts  **A very special thank-you to the hosts at Hard Labor Creek for being my first guinea pigs in this new trial.

To Do and To Avoid

A host approached me last month and asked if I could include some Do's and Don'ts when hosting. To continue our section "From the Hosts' Perspective" I give you the first entry that she compiled after polling 5 hosts around the state.

Things to do!

  1. Treat your volunteer position as you would a regular job - be on time, be courteous, listen.
  2. Do the jobs you are assigned.
  3. If you see something that needs addressed, ask the staff if you can tackle it after your regular duties have been checked off.

Things to avoid doing!

  1. Don't invade other campground hosts privacy.  
  2. Don't get up at 6:00 A.M. and start driving around a cart while taking loudly to your spouse  Other hosts may like to sleep in and some campers certainly do. 
  3. Avoid sharing your religious/political viewpoints with other hosts, campground staff, and campers. 
  4. Don't make racist or politically incorrect comments, our campers are diverse. We welcome all to our beautiful parks.
  5. Don't impose yourself on campers' activities or activities held at group shelters.  People typically come to the campground to be with one another or their friends/families.

 *Do you have more to offer? Send them to me with Do/Don't in the subject line.

Spotlight from a Camper

"About a couple months ago I camped at Cloudland Canyon on my bicycle touring trip to the Grand Canyon. This was only two days into my trip but 41 days later I finally made it to the Grand Canyon. I would like to thank you, Leland and Bambi Harbin, for helping me out at Cloudland Canyon by letting me borrow your drying rack. In addition, the home made peach ice cream was great as well! I would also like to thank you for being such great campground hosts as well. Out of all the campsites I stayed at (probably around 35 or so) Cloudland Canyon was my most enjoyable camping experience."

Thank you for going above and beyond, Leland and Bambi. You can see the difference in makes in this campers experience!

Volunteers Defined: We love and need them all!

Community Volunteers-Help on a day-to-day basis at a Park as they are available. Our community volunteers help with leading hikes, helping with maintenance, assisting with the visitor or retail center, guide new visitors to park activities and locations. Those volunteering more than once per month or planning to volunteer more than 20 hours per year need to update registration.

Hosts (Campground, Yurt, Maintenance, Golf, Train)-Stay in their personal RV at designated free Host Site for 2-6 months in exchange for a minimum of 24 hours of volunteer work.  Host duties include: visitor assistance and maintenance.  All hosts are required to update registration to still be considered for hosting.

Group Volunteers-This is for Churches, Corporations, Scouts and Universities who want a tailor-made project that will strengthen the group as individuals as well as a team morale while assisting Georgia State Parks. Only the group leader will need to be registered in our system.


How are we doing?

In order for Georgia State Parks to continue to thrive and grow, even in these lean budget times, we need to get feedback from those that utilize our services and Parks. As Volunteers and Hosts, you have the same rights and anonymity in park observations and feedback as our Park Staff.  Please use this quick survey form to share your experiences with us.


Thanks for reading!  Please feel free to share with others.  If you need to contact me, Georgia State Parks Volunteer Coordinator:

As always, thank you for being a steward for Georgia State Parks!

Have a great day!