Volunteer Vittles and Vistas

Camp Sherwood Village 1

On a beautiful Spring Saturday morning, Dan and I got up, and we were out of the house by 7:30 am. In the morning.

Now given our daily mode of operation – i.e. slow to start since we are retired, one might think one of us was scheduled for surgery, or there was some other matter of a serious nature. But that was not the case.

We were scheduled to do some volunteer work at Cuivre River State Park which is about an hour away from our home.

Previously, I had received an email asking for volunteers to help get “Camp Sherwood” ready for the coming camping season. It was what I’d call a “Once and Done” volunteer opportunity, so I suggested it to Dan, saying, “How about we be good people for a day?”

He agreed, and we were rewarded with a beautiful, crisp day. At the camp, we were greeted by friendly staff and given all the supplies needed to work on the cabins. We were assigned to Village 1. Our task was to sweep out the cabins and to spray and wipe the mattresses clean. We worked for a good two hours, and though the other two working in Village 1 were faster than us, we prided ourselves on doing a very thorough job. At least that’s what we told ourselves.

Thirty-eight volunteers had shown up, and so at the end of our work in Village 1, we were done. As my mom used to say, “Many hands make light work.” It was only 10:30 a.m., and we already had that satisfying feeling of having done something good.

But you know, we got more than a good feeling out of volunteering that morning.

First, when we were done, we were rewarded with a free lunch. The menu included a deli sandwich, a chip selection, apples, bananas, and lastly, a choice of various ice cream treats. And bottled water. Good thing we had worked up an appetite!

Second, we saw a special place. Camp Sherwood is listed as a National Historic District as it was built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Camp Sherwood is a group camp with a maximum capacity of 190. All the buildings are original. And while we have camped at Cuivre River State Park, access to Camp Sherwood is limited. So, it was really great that we got to see this beautiful retreat.

Camp Sherwood Recreation Hall

Seeing the camp brought back memories of when I had served as “den mother” when my now grown twin boys were Cub Scouts. Those duties included several overnights, including camping at Beaumont Scout Camp where I slept in a platform tent for a couple of nights.

That was a fun time, and I was glad to be reminded of those happy times from long ago. And it was nice to know my volunteer work that day would – in a tiny way – contribute to someone else having good memories, too.

After eating lunch, it wasn’t even noon yet. We asked a staff member to recommend a hike – but one not too long – for us to enjoy the state park on this beautiful day. She recommended the “Frenchmans Bluff Trail” which is a loop trail and is about a mile and a half. That was perfect.

Cuivre River State Park is a huge and rugged state park. The park is 6,468 acres, so we drove to the trail. Fortunately, our state park worker had given us a map of the park which also included a map of the trail. The hike took us about an hour and a half including a rest on a rock with a expansive view of the valley below us. This hike on such a beautiful day, complete with its scenic views all along the way, was another reward we wouldn’t have received had we not volunteered.

Betty and Dan
Frenchmans Bluff Trail

I’ve always believed in serving others, and I have many times in the past. But to be frank, in recent years and since my retirement, my mom and my uncle were my priorities. However, now both have gone on to their great rewards, and I find myself looking to fill the void in me which calls me to serve others.

This volunteer day was just one day, just a couple of hours really. But it felt right in so many ways. In a nutshell, it made me happy – being outside, being in a state park, contributing to a good cause, and having the extra bonuses to boot.

I know it was just one day, but I hope it to be just the start.


    • Yes, it was a really good day. While we aren’t full timers, we do travel a lot. This was one opportunity that worked out for us, and I’m glad it did! Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good Morning, Ray! Yes, it was really cool! We didn’t know about Camp Sherwood either when we camped there. It turns out there are 3 group camps at Cuivre River SP, but only Camp Sherwood is a National Historic District. The park is so huge, it’s easy to miss something. Thanks for your comment, and I hope you have a nice day!


      • Quick question, how are you signed up to receive the requests for volunteers? Are you on a MO State Park mailing list or one specific to Cuivre River?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ray, I’m not sure. I don’t receive a lot of emails from MO state asking for volunteers. I do get emails about the MO State Park events, so maybe this one just happened to be included. I do know on the MO State Park website, there is a volunteer section. There is an area to sign up for volunteering, and there is also an email address. The day we volunteered, the staff worker said the online form is a bit confusing, so we could also just email her.


  1. Betty, those cabins remind me of summer camp (4H) when I was a kid. Great memories. Volunteer work is good for the soul. Previous to the past few years, I have always had a standing commitment to one organization or another. Maybe it’s time to come out of my hiatus and look for a one-and-done opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seeing the camp, it was easy to imagine fun times there. I’m glad my post brought back good memories for you. I plan to keep my eye out for more once and done opportunities. I especially love our state parks. Thanks for your comment, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you and Dan for volunteering to help prepare the camp. You certainly did reap many rewards from those few hours. I’ve done a wee bit of volunteering both here and in South Texas. Like you, I’ve been been helping to meet the needs of aging parents, and I also assist a second cousin’s widowed wife here in our condo building. It does feel good to serve others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Terry. As I’m sure you know, a person doesn’t have to “sign up” to make a positive impact in another’s life. And I know you have done this your whole life long – with your family, in your career, and even as you go about your daily life. Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. When we are “working” with a group of people and doing something useful, it does not feel like work. And you were rewarded with a lunch and beautiful hike. That sounds like a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My experience is that bloggers, campers, and volunteers are the nicest people! 🙂 And I agree, working with others can be quite fun. Hope you have a wonderful day today!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I do like the “once and done.” I kind of feel like the best part was seeing Camp Sherwood – since it is a National Historic District and built by the CCC. But I also liked the hike, too. 🙂 Thank you for your comment, and enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great way to spend a day. Glad you had the opportunity to “give back” through volunteering. Add a free lunch and a hike and it makes for a banner day. Barb and I get so much out of the two days we volunteer each week at the food bank. It feels so right to be able to give some time back in a meaningful way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Bill! Yes, it was a “banner day.” It did make us feel good to do something meaningful. I get so much joy from parks, it was the perfect choice! Have a great week!


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