Kathy and Marty Wise, Maintenance Volunteers

Over the last two months, it has been our privilege to get to know Kathy and Marty Wise, who are new maintenance volunteers here at Fort Frederica National Monument.  Although Kathy and Marty came toward the end of January, they are both people who are good at jumping in and helping out.

Marty and Kathy Wise

This is the first year that Tom and I are not the youngest RV volunteers at Fort Frederica.  Both the Wunderlichs and Wises are younger than we are.  We have now been volunteering in the National Parks for nine years, so I guess it was bound to happen.

Although Kathy is retired, Marty is still working.  It is interesting to watch him try to balance work and volunteering.  Marty is a computer programmer for USPS and works remotely.  He works for USPS Monday through Thursday and then volunteers on Friday and Saturday.  Kathy trained as an electrical engineer, but ended up as a math teacher.  She retired after 20 years of teaching.

Trail Manor home

Kathy and Marty have a home in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  They travel in a Trail Manor Travel Trailer and pull it with an SUV.  The advantage is that it is small and lightweight and easy to tow.  The disadvantage is the size, especially with Marty working all day.  Kathy spends extra time volunteering just to stay out of the way.  The Wises’ have two children.  Their daughter is recently married and living in Orlando and their son lives in Pittsburgh.

Kathy painting

This is Kathy and Marty’s second stint as volunteers in the National Parks.  They were campground hosts at Zion last summer.  The Wises are avid hikers and Zion National Park was a great place for them to explore.  They are enjoying the warmer temperatures here on St. Simons this winter.  They are looking for a short-term volunteer gig in the fall because they have season tickets to Penn State football games.

Game night

Another thing that the Wises enjoy about St. Simons is the other RV volunteers.  At Zion they didn’t have much interaction with other volunteers, but here we get together several times a week.  Friday nights are game nights, which all of us enjoy very much.  We have also gotten into the habit of having dinner together on Thursday nights.  We started with Scott’s BBQ, then Iguanas, and last week we went to Tortuga Jack’s.  Tom and I have only hit every other Thursday night out because we have had so many visitors.

Dinner at Iguanas

Last week was Marty’s 60th birthday, and Kathy brought some cake to game night to celebrate.  She got two half cakes from Harris-Teeter.  One was carrot cake and one was a yellow cake with chocolate icing.  She asked what kind everyone wanted.  When we all agreed we wanted a slice of each, Kathy laughed and said she had found her people.  We all feel the same way.

Being a volunteer is more fun when there are other people doing the same thing.  We enjoy our volunteer village at Fort Frederica and the interesting people we get to meet.  Kathy and Marty are two volunteers we would love to work with again.