Senior Corps RSVP volunteers Earl and Kathryn Baugher started volunteering when a friend was collecting school supplies to send overseas. Before long one thing led to another and they found themselves actively volunteering with a few different opportunities in town including the Keynotes, Caregivers, and Manhattan Chamber of Commerce mailings. The Baugher’s soon got their camping club, the Konza Campers, involved with the Keynote mailings. The project has become an opportunity for the couple to be together and socialize while accomplishing a much-needed task for the community.
Prior to their active retired life, Earl spent four years with the Air Force as an aircraft instructor which led him to Kansas State University where he got his degree in Agricultural Education. After graduation, the Baugher family moved to Beloit, Kansas where Earl taught within the school system and Kathryn supported the family at home raising their three children. The Baugher’s later returned to Manhattan where Earl worked within Agricultural Education Tech at K State and Kathryn worked at the K State bookstore before moving to the foundation. Earl retired in 1993 and Kathryn joined him in 1995 so they could enjoy retirement together.
One day after retirement, Kathryn started to suggest that they sell their house and spend retirement on the road in their RV. Earl eventually agreed and they spent the next 1.5 years on the road exploring different parts of the country. They resettled in Manhattan in 1998 but continue their love for camping through their membership with the Konza Campers, a Good Sam camping club. They are currently serving as president of their club, for the second time, and are the oldest active members. They currently camp about once a month in the summer and remain active socially during the colder months. They enjoy visiting camping rallies in other states and look forward to the Kansas rally in October.
“When you retire you have a choice- be active or sit at home and look at the same four walls. We choose to be active,” said Kathryn while reflecting on their lifestyle. The Baugher’s are no strangers to an active life as they were also square dancers for 22 years until they needed to start looking for activities less strenuous on their knees. Square dancing, in addition to their other activities, has been a great way to meet people that you may not otherwise know. Volunteering especially has been a joyful time to socialize and they feel good knowing that they are able to be helpful for other people.