“The same people come here year after year, and I get to know them. I call them friends. I’ve made quite a few friends here, actually.” Schilling admitted that she didn’t want to retire, but she decided it’s time at 84.

After 12 years as a volunteer host at the Castle Crags Park campground, Beverly Schilling is retiring from her post at age 84. Typically, Schilling said, she would spend the winter months of December through March at a campground in Redding, then return to Castle Crags Park for the balance of the camping season. But when the campground reopens next spring, Schilling won’t be coming back as camp host.

Before becoming a full-time host alongside the Sacramento River, Schilling said she had been a nurse for 43 years. She spoke fondly about the excitement and the rewarding feeling of saving lives, working as a critical care nurse in New York for 36 years before deciding she wanted to travel and became a travel nurse, which she did for seven years.

During that time, Schilling traveled to and worked in Colorado, Montana, Kentucky, then finally, California. When she ended up in Redding, Schilling said, “I liked it here. I was able to retire, and so I did.”

Schilling was still working at a hospital in Redding when a friend suggested the camp host opportunity at Castle Crags Park. The job was a perfect fit for Schilling, who said she had been camping and fishing her whole life. Although, she said, the life of a camp host is “radically different” from nursing, “other than (that) you meet new people all the time.”

Schilling said most of the people she’s met at the campground have been nice.

Her favorite thing about her 12 years as a camp host has been “getting to know people.”

“The same people come here year after year, and I get to know them. I call them friends. I’ve made quite a few friends here, actually.”

Schilling admitted that she didn’t want to retire, but she decided it’s time at 84.

The petite campground host said she’s happy, though, because she and her 3 year old boxer, Trixie, are moving into a new, permanent camp site near Ammirati’s Market in Castella.

Schilling doesn’t anticipate being bored in retirement, because, she said, “I have my computer, and I love to read.”

Schilling said she likes to play cards on the computer, and she enjoys reading paperback western romance novels and police stories. With her newfound free time, Schilling said she looks forward to going to the Dunsmuir Library to borrow books, checking out the “new” Dollar General store in Dunsmuir, and visiting with friends in the Castle Crags Park neighborhood.