Pictured: The current group of NTCC WorKampers are pictured above. Front row (from left) is Rainee Walker, Lynette Forney, Joan Ritten and Pam Nichols. Back row (from left) is Tom Ramler, NTCC Director of Plant Services, Bill Walker, Darold Brumbaugh, Steve Crowe and Dale Nichols.
The Northeast Texas Community College Foundation recently hosted a luncheon to honor the NTCC WorKampers. The unique WorKamping Program allows full-time RVers an opportunity to exchange work for rent at a small RV park located on the NTCC campus. Retirees and disabled workers can share their considerable experience and talents to help with projects like landscaping, painting, farming, electrical, plumbing, and computer support. While WorKampers are only expected to volunteer 15 hours per week, many end up working much more as they become invested in projects.
During the luncheon, the current WorKampers shared a bit about themselves and their experiences at NTCC. Originating from all across the United States and coming from a variety of professional backgrounds, the group agreed that they enjoy the chance to have new experiences on campus. Joan Ritten, who is a return WorKamper, shared an anecdote about finding a cow that was in distress trying to deliver a calf.
“We were out checking cows on the farm and noticed something wasn’t right. We called the farm manager to let him know what was going on and before we knew it there was a full effort going on to get the calf safely delivered,” Ritten said. “Both the cow and calf are doing fine and it is really satisfying to know we played a part in that.”
Most WorKampers rotate their time in areas of the country where the weather is mild, so fall and winter are popular months at NTCC. Most of the WorKampers also volunteer at other locations like state parks, national parks and even a bison preserve. The program was implemented several years ago by Tom Ramler, NTCC Director of Plant Services. He says that the quality and enthusiasm of the WorKampers has far exceeded his expectations.
“I can’t express how grateful we are for the work these folks do for the college. They bring with them such a range of expertise, enthusiasm and a heart for service. There are many major projects around campus that would not be completed today if not for WorKampers,” Ramler said.
To learn more about the WorKamper program, contact Ramler at 903-434-8175 or email@example.com.