Wednesday, January 3, 2018

That’s A Wrap!

Our short two-month stay here at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park has come to an end.  This was only our second time to be volunteer “hosts.”  Normally we don’t seek out host positions but, due to hurricane Harvey, we were not able to go to Goose Island State Park. 

There wasn't a lot of variety here but, for the most part, we stayed busy.  This park requires 24 hours a week for the site.  Mark and I always worked together so each of us worked at least 12 hours a week.  We usually worked more than that because we like to keep busy.  Our work days were Friday - Tuesday.

Our duties included:

Site checks a few days a week.  This is where you drive around the park early in the morning to make sure every car has a permit.  If they didn’t we would write a “temporary permit” for them to take to the office when they paid for their site.

Our second month we started doing night time car counts.  Every 5 years the state parks are required to have random night car counts.  This will be on-going for 12 months and consists of 2-3 random nights a week and one or two hour shifts between 5 and 9 p.m.  We count how many cars come in.  If they do not have a park pass we have to count the number of people in the car.  If they do have a park pass we just count the car.  These counts were very boring and we’re happy to not have to do this anymore! 
Waiting to count cars.

We enjoyed blowing the roads.  There are numerous trees in the campgrounds and the fallen leaves are so thick it can be hard to see the road or the campsite parking areas.  Mark would use the pull-behind blower for the roads and I would use the hand-held blower for the site driveways.  The areas looked great afterwards but it didn’t last long.  The leaves just keep coming down!

We replaced numbers on all the bathrooms:

We put up the few Christmas decorations the park had:

We updated the birdlist:

I tried to help with a Jr. Ranger program but we didn’t have any participants so I made a fish mobile for myself! 

Stump grinding took up the most of our time:

Our recurring jobs were to clean campsites (pick up trash, clean fire rings, etc.), empty trash cans around the park, empty aluminum can bins.  We didn’t have to clean bathrooms but we did check them to make sure they had soap, tp, etc.

This is a very nice park to volunteer at.  The staff is friendly and personable.  There isn’t a lot of work to do and certainly none of the jobs are hard.  There is plenty of opportunity to fish, boat (if you have one), kayak (free rental from the park), hike (several trails) and bike. 

We don’t plan on volunteering here again but we did have a nice time while we were here.



  1. Looks like a decent stay and a decent place to be for volunteering.

  2. Nice summary Teri. It is ok to do a one and done at some parks. It doesn't mean anything was wrong, just too many other places to visit. Safe travels to your next place.