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Always an Adventure

Oh, where to begin? My love for camping started about 50 years ago. It was my stress relief from working for an insurance company for years. When the time came to leave my job, I wasn't ready to retire and met with what came to be my best friend, Rochelle Skinner, who hired me as a call center rep. This was my passion, and it so easy for me, because, when talking to people, I close my eyes and pretend I am there and can help them find the best fit for them. I love helping new people who have never camped before and then having them come back to me and say what a great time they had just warms my heart. I don't work for the money; I work for the joy of being a part of the Vermont State Parks. I could give you a story in so many parks because they all have a story from camping with family, just girlfriends or friends. It is always an adventure for me. Getting injured, lost in the parks - you name it, I have done it.

I chose two parks that I hold near and dear to me. Lake Carmi State Park in Enosburg we go to faithfully twice a year. My granddaughter was proposed to right in front of my site at Lark Carmi. She loved coming camping with us and brought her boyfriend from New Jersey, a city boy, who fell in love with Lake Carmi too. There is another picture of Lake Carmi with a whole group of folks around the fire. In this group we have 4 generations that I have watched grow up, get married and have children of their own, and they are now bringing their infants. It is such a joy to watch. We have corn hole contests. It is so much fun and wonderful memories.

The crazy bride and groom is none-other-than this call center rep with her hubby where we got married just a few years ago at Seyon Lodge State Park in Groton. I reserved the whole lodge for the weekend. I had my bridal party stay over Friday night, then my husband’s family all from New York stay at the lodge while my family all stayed at Ricker Pond State Park right down the road. Everyone had such a great time. The atmosphere with the large group camp fire and the food was just unforgettable. I can't say enough good about the staff that worked there.

Has it always been just a fun wonderful time? No, there have been a few times of not so much fun but memories. We were camping at Little River State Park with my two daughters and their family. My husband’s uncle had died and he had to go to New York to the funeral. He brought me to Little River and set up our truck camper next to my daughters where I stayed alone. The night he was due to come back I was walking out of my camper with a tray of food and that is all I remembered. I had a heart attack and coded right on the site. My son in law was Assistant Chief Fireman from Springfield, Vt and saw me go down. He quickly came and started CPR while other family went to get help from the managers of Little River. They acted quickly and called in 911 and within 10 minutes the ambulance was there, and I was rushed to the hospital and later transferred to Burlington where emergency surgery was done. My poor husband got the call on his way home not knowing if I would be alive or dead when he got there. Needless to say, I guess all my family went back to the campground including him and said a little prayer of how thankful they were for the quick response from the park.

In short I can't say enough good about our Vermont State Parks and all the joys and memories that have come from them. I honestly think I could write a book as there as so many other memories from other parks. But for now I will end my story. I love you Vermont State Parks and thanks for the memories.

- Julie Richert


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