With multiple garage sales, we sold most of everything we had in the house and sold our house in August 2022. We joined SOWERS https://sowerministry.org/ and served our first project in November at Camp Westminster in Conyers Georgia https://www.campwestminster.org.
SOWERS serve non-profit Christian organizations that have RV hook ups available and can use volunteer help. The organizations sign up through the SOWER office. (The link is listed above.) Once the organization becomes a SOWER project site, a brief description of the organization, the location, the number of SOWERS requested and the host needs are posted in the SOWER project list. SOWERS then choose a project that they think they can assist with the needs of that organization and sign up for that project. Each location agrees to provide full RV hook-ups and laundry facilities to the SOWER volunteers. Most provide WIFI and many provide meals as well. The last week of the month, SOWERS are free to stay at the site and many usually use that time to tour and enjoy the area.
SOWER volunteers commit to work at the site for 3 weeks but can stay for a month. Men work Monday through Thursday from 8am to 3:30pm and the women work Monday through Thursday from 8am to 11:30am. Devotions are each morning at 7:30. There’s a morning break and an hour for lunch.
At Camp Westminster in November, the men worked on tiling several showers in the dorm building and the women cleaned multiple cabins and dorm rooms preparing for the seasonal campers.
In December, our SOWER assignment was at Camp Anderson in Vero Beach, FLorida https://campanderson.org/. At that location, the men retrofitted many bunk beds ( making them larger and more comfortable ) and the women oil painted them.
Following Camp Anderson, in January, we were at Camp Whispering Pines in Citronelle, Alabama https://www.campwhisperingpines.com/ There were several different projects at that location, ranging from cleaning and painting to pressure washing, moving heavy kitchen appliances and yard cleanup.
In February, we were at the Florida Sheriff’s Boys Ranch in Live Oak, Fl where we used to be house parents. https://www.youthranches.org/index.php/our-story/locations/boys-ranch-live-oak-florida February is when they have their open house rodeo and homecoming. We all helped them to prepare for that. It was great to see some of the people we used to work with and some returning ranchers.
We spent March, at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, North Carolina https://thecove.org/. At this location, the men worked on multiple maintenance projects while the women welcomed guests to the Chapel and helped in the laundry.
In April, we were at The Center for Inter-cultural Training in Union Mills, NC https://cit-online.org/, The staff at this location help Missionaries as the prepare to go to their different countries. They also provide a retreat for those coming off the field. The men worked in maintenance there while the women helped in the kitchen and preparing the apartments and dorms for the participants.
In May, we went to Hillsdale Michigan at Michindoh, a camp and retreat center for youth and adults https://www.michindoh.com/. Men spent their time building bunk beds and finished the tongue and groove ceiling in the Chapel while the ladies cleaned the chapel table and chairs, worked in the kitchen, planted flowers and caulked and painted bunk beds.
Most of June we’re spending in Ohio visiting family and some life long friends before we head off to our next assignment in Colorado Springs.
So, what did we do in our off time at all these locations? Many things…here’s some highlights.
In Georgia, we got to visit Stone Mountain Park and climb Stone Mountain
December, when we were in Vero Beach, FL, we got up very early one morning to see a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean
Right before Christmas on our way to St. Augustine, FL, we made a stop in Crescent City to visit with some friends we made while we were house parents at the Boys Ranch. In St. Augustine we stayed at an R V resort with our son, Adam, and his family so we could tour St. Augustine and enjoy their Night of Lights.
In Alabama, at Camp Whispering Pines, we were just a little over an hour from where we used to live, from our church home and from where our son, Adam and his family live, so we spent most of our free time there.
At the Florida Sheriff’s Boys Ranch we got to enjoy the Rodeo and meeting up with some old friends and co-workers.
Since our oldest son and his family live in North Carolina, close to both of the North Carolina projects, we spent our free time with them and made a trip to Savanah for our Christmas together time. We had the most fun at the Savannah Banana ballgame!
We also got to do a food tour in Asheville and try our skill/luck at an Escape Room.
The month of May, we were in HIllsdale, Michigan, about an hour from my sister and brother-in-law’s lake house near there. We spent our weekends with them.
This month, June, we’re staying a few days at a KOA in Wapakoneta, Ohio, before we move over to the State Park on Lake Loramie, Ohio. We’re in Ohio to spend some time with family and old friends. On our way to the next project in Colorado Springs, we’re going to spend a few days in Kentucky and visit The Ark and The Creation Museum.
Living full-time in an RV is different than just camping. We don’t consider ourselves “homeless”, we consider us “houseless”. The RV is our home. We keep all the necessities and have room for the extras and some decorations. We sleep in a comfortable king size bed. We have a nice size kitchen area, a bath and a half, a washer and dryer, not quite enough closet space ( but who does have enough?) and there’s plenty of storage space below in the “basement”.
The difference from full-time RV living and recreational camping, besides not having to load and unload the RV for each trip, seems to be primarily in the activities Although, we enjoy the activities, our time seems to be more like daily living. We don’t have campfires every night or take advantage of everything the different campgrounds may offer. Sometimes we may just stay inside and watch TV, or read a book, do household chores, or go grocery shopping.
Since we don’t have a mailbox on the motorhome, we have a mail service forward our mail. We just tell them when and where to send it and we collect it at the project where we’re working. We also get to rely on recomendations for beauty, barber shops, groceries and service providers. We usually attend the church associated with the project and watch our home church services online when we can. Most, basically all, of our family celebrations are done on days other than the actual days. For example, our March trip to the Savannah Banana ballgame in March was Christmas with our North Carolina family.
We love traveling and meeting new friends. We enjoy keeping busy with the SOWER projects and appreciate the RV sites and amenities the hosts of those projects provide.
How long we’ll continue to do this? Where and when we’ll settle down. We don’t know yet. We have the rest of 2022 scheduled and plans for the first half of 2023 so we’ll see after that.
Until next time….