Summary of FOC's 2016 Accomplishments
- Compiled and published the "Chippokes Pictorial Tour" Booklet for sale in gift shop.
- Updated and republished the Chippokes Plantation State Park Welcome Guide.
- Inventory of the Jones-Stewart Mansion, Brick Kitchen, and Carriage House has been completed and recorded on-line. Other park inventories are continuing.
- Sponsored/hosted the annual Easter Egg Hunt.
- Provided additional volunteer support for the annual Steam and Gas Engine Show.
- Co-sponsored the Third Annual Harvest Celebration.
- Co-sponsored the Chippokes Plantation 5K Run in coordination with Tri-Cities Road Runners.
- After researching alternative ways to provide wood for purchase by campers, FOC agreed to purchase bundled firewood as the best way to ensure an adequate supply is on hand and to save on park and volunteer labor.
- Inventoried interpretive period costumes and made necessary repairs and alterations.
- Regularly publishes a "FOC Volunteer Spotlight", and "Chippokes Chirp". The Spotlight provides a brief bio and highlights volunteer's service. The Chirp provides timely information of interest to members.
- Operation of a successful gift shop continues to be a major accomplishment.
- FOC provided funds for a variety of needs to support the park, including-- Supplies of bundled firewood; park programs and food for volunteers; plants and flowers for areas throughout the park; bike racks; seasonal decorations; and memorial gifts.
- Eight (8) new members were added in 2016.
- FOC takes credit for helping to get approval of volunteer travel time to and from the park.
NOTE: FOC mourns the loss of Dee Van Den Brink who passed away on 27 October 2016. Dee was a FOC Charter Member, past President, and faithful volunteer for over 25 years.
FOC's Goals and Objectives for 2017
- Review and update FOC By-Laws.
- If the park decides to build a Children's Natural Playground at Chippokes, FOC will provide volunteer support and assist with funding.
- Look into ways of cooling the brick kitchen in summer to provide relief for the costumed interpreters.
- Assist the park in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the donation of Chippokes Plantation to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- Re-do and restore the mansion flower beds to complement and beautify the mansion area.
- Continue to research, inventory, and archive Chippokes historical documents and artifacts.
- Continue planning for a commemorative monument to honor Chief Chippokes and William Powell for Chippokes Plantation's 400th Anniversary in 2019.
- On-going Goals include the following:
- Operate gift shop;
- Easter Egg Hunt;
- co-sponsor Chippokes Harvest Celebration and 5K Run;
- maintain Stewart's gravesite;
- maintain FOC www.chippokes.com website;
- ensure adequate supply of firewood;
- honor park funding requests;
- provide volunteer support for park events, programs, workdays, decorating, etc.;
- recruit new FOC members;
- provide farewell gift for camp, park, and maintenance hosts;
- purchase flowers and plants to enhance the historic area;
- purchase/provide food for volunteer groups and special events at the park.
Our Mission -"Here To Serve"
The mission of the Friends of Chippokes Plantation State Park is to identify and promote activities to enhance the cultural and natural resources of Chippokes Plantation State Park.
In furtherance of our mission, the Friends of Chippokes shall actively encourage donations and fund-raising to support the Park.
Our Activities and Programs
The knowledgeable and friendly volunteer staff at Chippokes love our park and are committed to giving all our guests a memorable and outstanding outdoor experience, rich in natural beauty and cultural history.
The Friends of Chippokes develop, staff, and finance a number of programs and activities for our guests all year 'round.
The Friends of Chippokes (FOC) operate the Gift Shop located in the Packard garage (c. 1837). Money raised in the Gift Shop and other activities is used to provide for park needs and to enrich the Chippokes experience for our guests. For example, the Friends provided the funds to purchase the TVs and DVD players in the guest cabins.
The Friends support the Park staff with the campfire programs, Junior Rangers, and outreach to Surry Elementary School children.
The Friends also become "residents" to interpret from Chippokes' past at certain times during the year.
The Friends raise money to fund specific park needs and programs, mainly through donations, Gift Shop, and firewood sales.
Helping The Friends
If you are willing to help, the Friends are willing to let you. Heck, they even provide any training that might be necessary!
A few of the many Volunteer opportunities that abound at Chippokes:
- Provide assistance during park events
- Help maintain grounds, garden, and trails
- Mansion docents
- Help archive and catalog historical documents and artifacts
- Work in the gift shop
- Assist with fossil walks
- Assist with canoe trips
Volunteer hours earn awards such as:
- Lifetime pass to all Virginia State Parks
- Free camping and cabin benefits
- Job experience when applying for employment
You might have special skills or talents that will allow us to expand our programs. TALK TO US!
For general information on volunteering, contact the Park Volunteer Coordinator, at 757-294-3625.
You do not have to be a member of the Friends of Chippokes in order to be a volunteer. However, by becoming a member of FOC, you will be better informed and will become an integral part of Park operations. So, if you want to join, you are quite welcome!
Annual dues are $15 individual; $25 family, and are renewed at the end of January.
To join, submit your name, address, phone, e-mail, and check payable to "Friends of Chippokes," to: Friends of Chippokes Plantation State Park, 695 Chippokes Park Road, Surry, VA 23883.
Regularly scheduled meetings are the second Saturday in the month, at 10:00AM, in the Jones-Stewart Mansion conference room. Prospective members are encouraged to come to a meeting and get acquainted.
Officers include: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and three directors. All are elected to serve two-year terms, and can be reelected.