Posts Tagged ‘Hillsborough River State Park’

About a mile into the woods at Hillsborough River State Park, Florida, the smell of fudge cookies baking wafts from a toaster oven outside Jack and Mary Lou Smith’s air-conditioned motor home.

A plastic windmill rendered motionless by the Florida heat decorates the campsite. There are a few tables, popup chairs and a radio.

For the summer, this is home.

“You can do anything here,” Mary Lou, 73, says, passing a plate of cookies to visitors. “You just better like doing it in the outdoors.”

The Smiths are campground hosts, volunteers who serve the park 32 hours a week in exchange for free utility hookups and a place to park their home on wheels, a 34-foot Fleetwood Bounder purchased in 1987.

Camp hosts keep the grounds clean, act as guides and help novice campers settle in. They scrub the restrooms, shoo off wild raccoons and round up visitors for campfire parties.

Full Story….
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