When Tom and I changed sites at the end of June, we did it to make way for Volunteer Robin Smith who was coming in as a campground host. We had heard the name but weren’t sure what kind of person or campground host he would turn out to be. I am happy to report that Robin is not only a great person, he is also a very hard-working campground host.
Robin Smith startied volunteering at Florida State Parks a few years ago. Although he has experience at different state parks, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is his first National Park gig. When Elaine and Buddy Overby got here at the beginning of June, they had to write their own Campground Host job description. Robin, with his experience at other campgrounds, has expanded on their job description and made it his own.
Volunteer Robin Smith is from the rural area around Corning, New York. He worked in Corning for years and retired from a company there. He was in computers, specifically training others in how to use specific software. Robin is a solo camper. His wife died a couple of years ago, but Robin and his wife loved to travel and he has continued traveling on his own.
We liked Robin from the first moment we met him. He set up two lounge chairs outside and acts like he expects people to sit and talk to him. When he isn’t working, he is usually sitting outside. Tom and I join him frequently outside his rig. Tom and I feel like we have traveled a lot, but Robin has us beat on all counts. If we want to know more about a place, he is the person to ask and has a great memory for details.
Volunteer Robin is also a very hard worker. Elaine and Buddy pretty much limited themselves to cleaning the restrooms and interacting with campers. Robin does that but is always finding additional ways to make things look better. He power-washed the amphitheater and all the concrete around the bathhouses. Before someone new arrives, Robin uses the leaf blower to clean their site. Every night he “makes his rounds,” confirming that the people with reservations have come in and that no one is camping who hasn’t paid.
I asked Robin what he liked about volunteering, and he said he likes to feel like he is making things better. Tom and I know exactly what he means. We all want to feel like the park is a better place because we have worked here. As a short-term volunteer, our influence may not be lasting, but we have done our best while we are here.
In addition to being a hard worker, Robin is just a lot of fun to be around. He has great stories, especially about his travel adventures. When Covid hit in 2020, Robin and his wife were on an extended cruise in the South Pacific. The cruise ship sailed all over until they could convince Hawaii to let them dock. Tom and I have enjoyed doing some adventure days with Robin and we have gone to several concerts together. We all enjoy the company.
Volunteer Robin Smith, Campground Host Extraordinaire, will be heading back to New York after Labor Day. Tom and I have really enjoyed having him here and will miss him when he leaves. He doesn’t have any future volunteer assignments picked out yet, but we hope he will continue. Robin is an asset wherever he decides to land.