Mount Pleasant couple has a passion for hosting at state parks
Not many people have a stronger passion for Laurel Hill State Park than Skip and Becky Stants.
The couple from Mount Pleasant had been campground hosts since 2011, and became hosts at Laurel Hill in 2014.
After Becky retired in 2010, Lisa Bainey, former park manager at Sinnemahoning State Park, asked her to host at her small campground of 35 sites.
“She looked at me and said, ‘Why are you not hosting for me?’” Becky said.
Becky and Skip also hosted at Kooser State Park before becoming the hosts of 130 campsites at Laurel Hill.
“You can’t beat this park,” Becky said. “We really love it and love the outdoors.”
With their dog and cat, Becky and Skip stay at the campground in their camper from April to October. They take care of the campsites, cleaning out the fire pits, cleaning up any trash and posting tags for incoming campers.
Skip also mows some of the grass near his campsite, and Becky works a paid position as the gift shop manager.
“It’s been a really good experience,” she said. “It makes our lives nice.”
Even when the weather isn’t great, such as this spring when the campground was wet and muddy, Becky said she saw many beautiful rainbows.
“And when the trees change, it’s gorgeous up here,” she said.
And when they’re not at the campground on their days off, they ride three-wheeled Can-Am Spyders throughout the area.
“We have a good time,” Skip said.
They also help the the park’s many events, such as the Bluegrass Festival and 5K, bake sales and Thanksgiving dinner.
“We wouldn’t give it up for anything,” Becky said.
Skip said that living in the outdoors is a great change from the average hurried lifestyle.
“I’d say campers are 99 to 100 percent good people,” he said. “They come out here to be without the rush rush rush rush.”
He encouraged anyone who is interested in becoming a campground host to pursue it.
Becky agreed, saying she also enjoys meeting all of the new campers and the park staff.
“They’re the nicest people. I’d take them all home,” she said.