Join us for Fun & Fellowship!
The Florida Park Service Ranger Association will gather at O’Leno State Park near High Springs for our 35th Annual Gathering. O’Leno is a special place for the Association and always draws a crowd so you won’t want to miss it. We encourage everyone to reach out to folks who haven’t attended a gathering in a while and to reconnect with their FPS family. Our General Business meeting will discuss the status of the Association, including reaching $100,000 in assets, and offer the opportunity to meet the dedicated Board of Directors. We are excited to host the third Park Ranger of the Year award presentation and look forward to hosting the district awardees.
The Arnold Kuenzler & Family Auction, started in the 1990s, is named for Arnold, Aggie & Kim who donated countless hand-crafted objects through the years. Hand-crafted objects and collectibles are still donated each year and serve as one of the major fundraisers for the Ranger Association’s James A. Cook Humanitarian Relief Fund which directly benefits past and present FPS staff. The Auction also serves as great entertainment. Arnold served as our entertaining Auctioneer for many years and that tradition continues.
You don’t have to be a member to attend but once you see what good deeds the organization performs you will want to join.
Campsites and rustic cabins are available for the FPSRA Annual Gathering. Some campsites are available for early arrival so come early to enjoy the extra planned activities. Campsites rates are $18.00 @ night with a $7.00 a night utility fee (50% discount for qualified Florida residents). The rustic group camp cabins are included with the group camp and are available at no charge. Campsites will be held until March 28th and then will be released to the public. Sites may go quickly, so contact us ASAP for your accommodation.
A limited number of motel rooms are blocked for April 4-7 at the Blue Gem Motel located in High Springs about 10 miles from the park. The motel was recently renovated and has great reviews. For reservations call the Blue Gem Motel at 386-454-1701 and mention the Florida Park Service Ranger Association for the reduced rate of $90 a night plus tax. Additional hotels are available in Alachua a little further away.
Please contact Sandy Cook at Sandy.email@example.com (preferred) or (850) 926-5045 to reserve a campsite or cabin at O’Leno. Campsites have 30 amp electric & water and vary in size so please provide your rig length when requesting a site.
Tuesday, April 2
A workday to paint the CCC Museum building is scheduled for Friday, April 6th. Some preparation will be required to get the building ready for a new coat of paint. For those arriving early, we will do some pruning, pressure washing, and general prep work.
Wednesday, April 3
Kayaking - Last year’s kayak trip on the Silver River was popular so a paddle on the Ichetucknee River is planned. Please bring your own or we will arrange for rentals. More information will be provided based on interest.
Birding – John Middleton, former FPS employee, birder & photographer will guide us to some of his favorite birding spots. April should produce some spring migrants passing through.
Thursday, April 4
Dudley Farm – Trip to Dudley where we may get to plow the garden, pump some water, grind corn, or feed the chickens. We may enjoy lunch at the farm.
Friday, April 5
8:30 am to 2:00 pm – A workday is planned to paint the CCC Museum. Wear your best painting clothes. If we have an abundance of workers there may be some additional tasks to do.
3:00 pm - FPSRA Board Meeting at Recreation Building
6:00 pm - Potluck Dinner in the Dining Hall. Bring a dish to share. Beverages, plates, and utensils will be provided, however, feel free to bring your non-disposable plates and utensils.
Please bring your auction items to the potluck.
7:30 pm - Campfire, visiting & music. Location TBD
Saturday, April 6
9:00 am - Registration & get re-acquainted - Coffee & light breakfast. Rec Building
9:30 am - Annual Business Meeting Rec Building
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm - Lunch, visiting & Silent Auction begins. Dining Hall
2:00 pm - Park Ranger of the Year and FPSRA Awards Presentation Rec Building
2:30 pm – Silent Auction Ends
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm - Arnold Kuenzler and Family Annual Auction Dining Hall
5:00 pm - Walking tour with Clif Maxwell Learn about the history of O'Leno and how Clif's grandfather, Carlos Maxwell, implemented management practices still used today.
6:00 pm - Dinner (Please let us know if you have dietary restrictions)
7:00 pm – Catching up with old friends Dining Hall
Campfire, visiting & music
Register in advance and save! Advance registration rates end on March 28, 2024. Those planning to attend just during the day are also asked to register.
Sat Adult Lunch
Sat Child Lunch
Sat Adult Dinner
Sat Child Dinner
Additional Event Information
If you have FPS objects, photos or documents you would like to share or donate to the FPS Collections facility please bring them along.
If you need special accommodations, have dietary restrictions or preferences please let us know in advance.