Like good neighbors, park hosts are there (2010)
No matter where you go to camp in a state park, you can depend on seeing friendly faces
They are the faces of park hosts. More than just greeters, hosts are always available to answer questions and help park staff make you feel comfortable and safe. They are resources for park information, things to do and see in the area, emergency services and much more.
As another summer camping season opens, most parks will have volunteer hosts on duty in assigned sites. These sites are identified on campground maps, either in brochures, flyers handed out at registration booths, or on the state parks website.
The park hosts you’re most likely to see welcome campers, hand out brochures, sell firewood and help people with questions or problems. Interpretive hosts lead museum and lighthouse tours, give campfire presentations and help with junior ranger activities. Hosts also help in visitor centers and park interpretive stores.
You may enjoy the handiwork of some park hosts without knowing it. Maintenance hosts work behind the scenes repairing equipment, working on building projects and landscaping. Some park staff depend on them to clean yurts and cabins, and sometimes to help with major cleanup after storms.
No matter their roles, many hosts go beyond the line of duty. Oregon State Parks honors several of these volunteers as “Gen” Angdahl Memorial Host Award nominees. Among this year’s finalists were an Arizona couple, Duane and Dorothy Springer, who have retired from hosting after traveling to Oregon to volunteer for nine straight summers. “We loved working with the rangers and other park staff ,” said Duane, when asked why they kept coming back. “It became like visiting family.”
If you are interested in becoming a state park host or joining other state park volunteer groups, visit the Volunteer Services website, or call either 1-800-551-6949 or 1-877-225-9803.