Monday, September 19, 2011

About Panhandle Pioneer Settlement



Panhandle Pioneer Settlement, Blountstown, FL

Panhandle Pioneer Settlement (PPS) brings together the material history of life between 1840 and the beginning of World War II. The mission is to acquire, document, research, and restore buildings and tools that were used in daily life. The settlement is arranged to simulate an agricultural community and serve the public as a rural living history museum.

PPS relies heavily on volunteers. Local volunteers turn out in large numbers to help with community events held at the settlement. There are five FHU campsites for full-time workampers. In addition, workampers have use of a laundry facility and access to the internet through the settlement's wi-fi network. While not officially acknowledged, there is a lot of cooking and free eating that includes the workampers.

Workamper duties vary. PPS asks for ten hours per week per person and workampers are expected to participate in setup, conduct, and cleanup involved with the community events held at the settlement. Beyond that they operate a "job jar" system -- "if you see something that needs to be done and it interests you, do it".

Some tasks are regular, routine, and continuing such as storekeeper, tour guide, and grounds maintenance. Other tasks come from an ever changing list of one time repairs and improvements.

Here is a cross section of the current workamper population while we were there. One couple has been workamping for over 15 years. They came here frequently in years past and now have pretty much settled down to permanent full-time. A second couple is here for the winter (September to May). This is their third workamping experience. We are here for two months (September and October) between other commitments. Another couple is scheduled to arrive in December and stay the winter. People with varied backgrounds and from all walks of life make this a very interesting experience.
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