By Bob Difley
Now that you’ve been fulltiming for awhile you’ve probably discovered that you have more free time than you can ever remember having before. Volunteering is a way to take that free time and do some good, learn new skills, meet other RVers, have fun, and feel good about yourself.
And camp hosting is not the only form of volunteer position open to RVers. Though there are volunteer positions available to students, retirees, and for seasonal needs, RVers who bring their houses with them are top tier candidates for volunteer positions where local housing may not be available and where there is room to park RVs for the volunteers.
Many parks use volunteers for jobs such as trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, wildlife census, habitat rejuvenation, leading hikes and nature walks, and many more. These are activities/chores that don’t always get funds included in budgets — especially now — that are being pared to the bone.
When a park or other entity such as a wildlife refuge, state park, national forest or wilderness area can get the job done by offering a free campsite as trade without having to pay a full-time employee or account for it in their expenses, everybody benefits.
Often you can find a volunteer position just by inquiring at the location where you would like to volunteer, making it clear why you want to volunteer at that particular place. Volunteers that are eager for certain locations will win out over those just wanting a free campsite anywhere they can get one.
You never know what might turn up if you just ask — or suggest how you might volunteer.
There are several websites that run a list of current offerings. Here are three:
At Volunteer Match you can enter the area you want to volunteer in and your interests, and the site will try to match you to a position.
At United We Serve, a government site, they ask you what interests you and where you would like to volunteer, then offer a list of matches.
At Volunteer.gov the site matches volunteers with available positions.