Grayling – For those seeking uncommon travel experiences, Hartwick Pines State Park offers the opportunity to camp for free and promote the history and preservation of the Hartwick Pines Memorial Building.
The Memorial Building is an iconic structure within Michigan state parks. Built in 1929, it served as the park’s first visitor center until it closed in 1995. The building is listed on the national register of historic structures and currently undergoing renovations.
The Hartwick Pines Memorial Building Host Program offers a combined vacation and service opportunity for adults from May 19 to October 31. Those selected receive free camping in the Hartwick Pines State Park campground in Grayling, MI. In exchange, participants provide roughly 30 hours of service each week in and around the historic Memorial Building.
Host duties include greeting visitors, giving tours, providing information about the building and park, selling Friends of Hartwick Pines State Park merchandise and basic cleaning. Hosts can also utilize their unique skills to offer programs at the building, such as painting, photography or sketching. Hosts will receive historical information and on-site training to help prepare them for their experience.
The program looks for singles or teams of adults – especially those with knowledge of Hartwick Pines – but that there is no requirement for such a background. Prospective hosts should be physically able to climb up and down a flight of stairs to the building’s second story and have excellent customer service and public speaking skills. Hosts must commit to a minimum of a one-week and can serve a maximum of one month.
The Hartwick Pines Memorial Building Host Program application, as well as information on additional host opportunities within the Department of Natural Resources, is available at Michigan.gov/DNRhosts.
For more information about the program contact Hillary Pine at PineH@Michigan.gov. The application period is open through February 29, 2020.