The Pagosa Springs June RV Care-A-Vanners Team

Here’s a group shot we took last Saturday at the start of the work day.

Smiling Faces

The RV Care-A-Vanners Team (Habitat for Humanity)

It’s a good thing for us that we had Becky with us last week (young smiling face in the middle of the front row.)  She managed to pull our team average age down in to the mid-60s!

The house in the background is one part of the team stained over three days.  The homeowner is in the front row.  I managed to escape that by helping tear out some warped bamboo flooring (water leak), put down cement board, and tile an eat-in-kitchen in another home.  We’re also working on leveling a mobile home, having made and poured 20 cement footers for piers as the original ones had sunk pretty badly and many are leaning precariously.  More about that in another post.

The projects are part of “A Brush with Kindness” program under the umbrella of  Habitat for Humanity International.  This is my first “Brush” as my other experiences have all been with building “decent, affordable housing” for folks.

The RV Care-A-Vanners (CAV) is a sub-set of HFHI and consists of folks with various RVs who work around the country for a couple of weeks at a time on “Builds” and are all volunteers.  To find out more about the CAVs, go to, hover your mouse over the Get Involved tab, then click on Volunteer Programs.  Then, under “Short-term volunteer trips” click on RV Care-A-Vanners.  On the left sidebar, you can click on “Scheduled Builds and Descriptions” to see a listing of the various Builds around the country and even some in Canada.  The Builds with “DR” in the town / city name are Disaster Recovery teams and the “CC” are Collegiate Challenge projects.

I’m currently scheduled for two more Builds this year – one in Sheridan WY and one in Las Cruces NM.

It is a boatload of fun, we get price breaks on campgrounds (almost always full hook-ups), local organizations feed us lunch most every workday, and the community support is terrific.  And, we get cool T-shirts, too!  I’ve meet many wonderful folks and made several fast friends in my doing this a little now and then over the years.  The work is none too hard, nobody has to do anything that makes them uncomfortable and it is phenomenally rewarding to work side-by-side with the homeowners (“Brush”) or the future homeowners in the case of new-builds.

No, the home isn’t free.  The homeowners get a mortgage, just like you or I do, and they have to put in “Sweat Equity Hours” ranging from 300 to 500, depending on how many adults are in the family and on the local HFH Affiliate’s rules.

Check it out!  You might like it!  If you can’t take off a couple of weeks at a pop, check with your local HFH Affiliate – they are always looking for “locals” to volunteer.  Construction experience is NOT required!  There are umpteen jobs to be done and the opportunities to learn how to do various phases of construction are never-ending.

At the base of “Wolf Creek Pass, way up on the Great Divide”,

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