Monday, October 22, 2012

My Day as a Park Champion at San Juan Bautista State Historical Park CA

Today's travel tip:  A working vacation?  It is fun, and everyone is able to do something. Keep it simple, like volunteering a half day somewhere - example is in state parks.

My radio alarm turned on at 6 a.m. My sleepy body is saying, "On no, this is Sunday, should I really get up and drive 60 miles so I may transition into a gardener and painter or roll over and fall back to sleep?"

I staggered out of bed and found my way through the early morning autumn darkness into the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. I knew if I found some way to overcome this initial lazy thought – today would produce:

Adventure. Exercise. Learning. New friends. Fun.

Park Champions - Gardeners - Working Together - by DW

I have been reading newsletters from California State Parks Foundation for a long time about activities and things to do.  I follow the list of state parks in need of 
Park Champions and signed up to help with San Juan Bautista State Historical Park – I knew this would be an unusual, fun way to give back to the community.  I admit when the day arrived, it was very difficult to climb out of my warm blankets on my bed and get ready.
We worked together painting this fence!
Even though I have spent time on my Grandfather's farm, I have never had a garden of my own and I have limited painting experience. I know there are people eager to show you – I found all you have to do is bring a hat, wear close toe shoes, take a re-usable water bottle, and anymore favorite sun protection (sunglasses, sunscreen) – work gloves if you have them, and a smile.  

Park Champions at San Juan Bautista Historical Park - CA by DW
Our Park Officials provide tools, training, more water, lots of energy and their own wonderful smiles. Plus, they are so appreciative to have people to join them in care-taking of resources.

I found my way into this small group of strangers of all ages coming together in the early morning with one common pledge – to help clean up this fabulous State Historical Park I have shared with you in other stories. Yes, we had our smart phones to post pictures and share – we escaped sitting behind the computer finding so many surprises during the day - which I will gradually share.

I don’t want to turn this into a political blog or debate today – I remembered two things as I worked.  One is the the movie, Karate Kid, learning about building patience and strength through everyday work. And, as the history enthusiast, I remembered all of the different Work Progress Administration projects completed during President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.  Why not hire people to work on projects like these?  True, the wages were low - this begins rebuilding our country's infrastructure while providing paid jobs to people - the same people who buy things.  (Ideas flowing... )

Working behind the scenes as State Park Champions - by DW
I am grateful I got out of bed yesterday and volunteered as a Park Champion and helped take care of one of my favorite places I go to – San Juan Bautista State Historical Park. I have gained new skills of gardening, white-washing a fence, and met a fabulous group of people at the same time. Fun! Of course, I slept well through the night afterwards! 

I will share more pictures and stories of my day as a Park Champion ~ working at San Juan Bautista Historical Park. ~ The Fun Tour Guru

 We're planning some fun group vacations. Sign up now!

 Leave your comments and I will be glad to share how you may help us.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Donna,
    Thank for for the great write up about the Park Champion Day at San Juan Bautista State Historic Park. Would you mind if I used your article and a few photos for the monthly state park volunteer newsletter? I will list your blog address and would like to add your last name (if you don't mind). And Thank You for being a Park Champion.
    Nikki Combs
    Park Interpreter
    San Juan Bautista State Historic Park


Thank you with your interest!