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15 Years of Volunteering

When I moved to Vermont in 1979 with my 2 children, ages 6 and 11, I quickly found a park to camp in - Grand Isle State Park. We found a lean-to on the lake, rented a rowboat and had tremendous fun. We continued to camp there every year.

One year I met a woman there, cleaning the bathroom, who told me she was a retired volunteer receiving a free camp site and she came every summer. That sounded like a tremendous opportunity. I inquired about it and began the next summer. I first worked in the office, but in the second year, the new ranger wanted to create gardens, and I was part of that effort. Every year I stayed longer, and every year the gardens at Grand Isle became larger. I ended up working and living at the park 15 summers. Many other volunteers also became repeat volunteers.

I now realize that I was extraordinarily benefitted by the experience of living in a park so many summers. Grand Isle State Park will always be my second home, the lake, the trees, the fresh air and the happy families. Thank you, Vermont State Parks, for making this happen.

- Sophie Quest

A person stand-up paddle boarding on a lake
Grand Isle State Park, Photo by Vermont State Parks


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