Article Posted: February 18, 2000

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LANSING--Free camping is available this summer for outdoor
lovers who volunteer as campground hosts at Michigan State
Parks or state forest campgrounds. The Campground Host
Program, established by the Department of Natural Resources,
allows individuals to camp in a state park or state forest
campground at no charge in return for providing assistance
in the campground.
"Being a campground host combines the fun of camping with
the satisfaction of helping fellow campers," said Rodney
Stokes, Parks and Recreation Bureau Chief. "Hosts stay as
our guests and, in return, help welcome other campers to
these beautiful settings."
Hosts direct visitors to their campsites, answer questions
about the park or state forest, arrange campground
activities and perform light maintenance and other services
depending on the host's talents and interests. Retired
couples, teachers and students, as well as families, are
just some of the people who enjoy volunteering as campground
Campground hosts can be individuals or teams. Hosts must be
at least 18 years old, provide services five days/30 hours
per week (including weekends and holidays), serve a minimum
of four weeks and furnish their own camping equipment and
personal items. Hosts also must attend a training session
May 3-4 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in
Campground hosts are chosen by park and forest managers, who
may require an interview or request additional information.
Selection is based on the individual's familiarity with the
state park or state
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forest system, camping experience, special skills,
availability, knowledge of the area and the needs of the
specific park or forest campground.
Hosts especially are needed during the busy camping season,
which can begin as early as April in state parks located in
southern Michigan. Although many of last year's campground
hosts will be returning this year, there currently are
vacancies at several parks in southeast Michigan.
The 150 rustic campgrounds found throughout Michigan's six
state forests located in the Upper Peninsula and the
northern Lower Peninsula also are in need of hosts.
Persons interested in being a campground host at a state
park should apply directly to the park of their choice, or
contact Monica Terrell at 517-373-8232 to be referred to a
park with a host vacancy. Individuals interested in serving
as a host at a state forest campground, should call Duane
Hoffman at
517-732-3541 ext. 5045.

Source: MDNR

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