By Emily Gilbert
Special to the News-Times
Whether they’re leading wayward scouts out of the forest, retrieving a sunken crab pot, or motoring around the forest loop campground, Bob and Susan Shamblin love every day at Deception Pass State Park.
The Shamblins began volunteering as camp hosts several years ago after learning about the camp host program from a friend. They’ve been camp hosts at both the forest loop campground and at the Bowman Bay campground. They also volunteer in the early spring to clean up after winter storms.
There are a lot of memories to choose from, they both said, so it was hard to pick a favorite moment. One memory from this past summer, however, stood out. Some volunteers are allowed to use the motorized, green Gator golf carts (which look similar to normal golf carts) and the couple was driving through the campground. They saw a bunch of small camp chairs and a group of cheering kids — who were waiting for “a parade!” Ever the hosts, the Shamblins slowed down and waved to their young audience as they drove past.
The Shamblins said that volunteering at the park in the summer is something they look forward to every year.
“We’ve found that even simple things like a friendly smile and a warm greeting really set the tone for a great day all around. It’s a joy to see campers experiencing the park for the first time or the 100th time,” Bob Shamblin said.
“And let’s face it, where better than Deception Pass to experience the best of the outdoors.”
You can learn more about volunteer opportunities at Deception Pass State Park – from trail maintenance to the Beach Naturalist program – on the Deception Pass Park Foundation’s website at www.deceptionpassfoundation.org/volunteer-opportunities. Check Washington State Parks’ website for statewide volunteer opportunities.