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PIERRE – Anyone who enjoys the outdoors and meeting new people may want to consider joining several others in the Volunteer In Parks (V.I.P.) program.

Volunteer opportunities exist throughout the state in many of South Dakota’s state parks and recreation areas, including along the Missouri River.

"We are recruiting volunteers for parks in every part of the state," said Lynn Spomer, state parks volunteer coordinator. "And now, with the transfer of several recreation areas formerly managed by the Corps of Engineers, there are many new volunteer positions available in parks along the Missouri River."

Spomer added that 107 different volunteer positions are open for the 2004 season. Volunteers are being recruited for campground hosts, as well as for maintenance, programming, visitor center staff, office staff and special projects. Most of these positions are open April through October, although year-round positions are available.

Volunteers may work full-time or just a few hours, all spent in the heart of state parks and recreation areas. Campground hosts who work at least 24 hours a week for a minimum of 30 days receive a free campsite during their service at the park. At some parks, where space is available, other volunteers may also camp for free during the duration of their service. Volunteers who wish to commute from their home to the park may work the number of hours they wish.

Park volunteers have a great experience and park visitors enjoy and benefit from the improved and expanded services provided through the V.I.P. program.

For more information on South Dakota state park volunteer opportunities, contact Lynn Spomer at the Division of Parks and Recreation, 523 E. Capitol, Pierre, S.D. 57501-3182, call (605) 773-3930 or e-mail






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