Thursday, September 04, 2008

RVers say no pay but fun job

For campers in Delaware's state parks, help can be found at several designated sites within the campground. At Cape Henlopen State Park near Lewes, that's campsites one through four, a highly visible area clearly marked with wooden signs simply stating "Campground Host."

The hosts are actually volunteers who provide labor for free camping. And their work is never done.

Just ask Mary Lou Bass, of Viola.

Bass knew about campground hosting from her brother, who works as a host in Florida. Bass always loved campers, but said, "The furthest thing from my husband's mind was camping."

About four years ago, her daughter talked her into looking at some campers that were for sale and the price was so good on one her husband changed his mind. The 31-foot motor home has been the retired couple's home-away-from-home for several months of the year ever since.

At their site in Cape Henlopen, a wooden sign featuring a dog welcomed visitors. A U.S. flag blew in the breeze and potted plants blossomed with color near a couple of padded chairs.

After volunteering at Cape Henlopen in the summer, the Basses spend four months each winter in Florida, where they also work as hosts.

"We enjoy meeting people and doing things. We meet a lot of new people," Mary Lou Bass said. "We have met some lasting friends."
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