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Verb: The act of relaxing in a cozy cabin in the woods.

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Wet!!

I have an idea: volunteer vacation in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia!

There really is a thing called volunteer vacations/ voluntourism. You can sign up for trips to third-world countries online, and pay big bucks to do so. Lots of people do it every year.

Here is the great part: you don’t have to go to a third-world country to help. And West Virginia needs your help.

So here is the deal: you can stay in our really nice cabins, and we will give you 1 night free for every day you volunteer to help with flood cleanup. (There is some fine print to go with this offer— namely weeknights only, unless you stay for a full week, and it’s 1 free day per paid day.)

It will make you feel really good.

Volunteer part: We will help you get signed up with the local agency, so you have meaningful work to do each day.

Vacation Part: Then come back to your cabin in the woods to rest and relax. Take a river trip or some other adventure, and go out to dinner in Fayetteville.

New River

The New River Gorge

Volunteer Part: Back out the next day to volunteer, because it made you feel great!

Vacation Part: Spend another night thanking your lucky stars and enjoying your cabin. Maybe head home after a morning zipline or Bridge Walk. Or just maybe do another day of helping out.

Warning! Some people get addicted to the volunteer work. (I have)

Most of the New River Gorge Area is up and running back to normal, minus a couple of trails and a backroad or 2. Summersville Lake is open again. We understand how the news would scare some people away. But it is not the whole state that got flooded, just some parts of 44 out of the 55 counties that make up Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.

Opossum Creek Retreat was unharmed by the floods. The latest numbers only tell part of the story, and many places will never be the same, never fully recover. The volunteer coordinators tell me they will need help throughout the summer, and in some places, much longer.

Come help. It will feel really good.

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