Shipboard Workparties

Page last updated: 15 March, 2020

What you need to know before you come.....

•  What is the purpose of the Workparty ?

USS Little Rock Association Spring workparties are intended to provide significant help to the staff of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park in getting the ship cleaned up, painted up and polished up before the tour season begins. Whereas the Fall workparties are intended to help the Naval & Military Park staff prepare the ship for the winter.

In both cases YOUR help is needed and sincerely appreciated by the Park staff. In addition, workparties provide you with a chance to get back to wielding a chipping hammer, a paintbrush or a Brasso soaked rag, and how could you pass that up?

•  Who can attend ?

USS Little Rock workparties are sponsored by the USS Little Rock Association and are open to all Association members, their family members and their friends. In addition the workparties are open to individuals, on a case-by-case basis, who have a bonafide interest in the USS Little Rock and in the preservation of things pertaining to the US Navy.

Physical ability to safely move about the ship is essential. Steep ladders (stairways), low ceilings and narrow passageways may make it difficult or dangerous for some individuals to get about the ship. If you have any condition that may create a problem for you in contributing to the workparty's overall goal, please notify us in advance of registering.

•  What if I can't be there for the entire week ?

Some of the projects are large and require several day's work, others are small and can be accomplished in a few hours. This allows us to accommodate whatever schedule you might have. If you can only help for a couple of days, we can still use you! Let us know what your arrival and departure dates will be when you sign up. (See below.)

•  When can I arrive ?

You should arrive no earlier than Sunday afternoon. If you plan to arrive on Sunday it is essential that you let us know when you will arrive at the ship, as the ship is secured at 6:00PM. Someone can come topside and let you on board only if we know when you'll arrive! (Cell phone reception on the ship is poor.)

•  What if I can't get there Sunday?

We appreciate your help no matter when you arrive!!

The key thing is to make sure to let us know when you plan on arriving if it is going to be either:

1.   after 6:00PM on Sunday,        or       2. on some day other than Sunday.

The important thing is to let us know what day and what time you'll arrive.
We'll make sure there is someone to let you on board.
(The gates to the ship are locked at 6:00PM)

Art Tilley

Art Tilley's Cell Phone:  717-816-4936

•  At what time do we commence ("Turn-to") on ship's work ?

Workparties commence work each morning at about 9:00AM.

•  When do we knock-off ("Secure") from ship's work ?

Workparties "secure" each day at about 5:00 PM. On Friday we wrap-up after lunch.

•  What about "accommodations"?

The ship is still pretty much the way she was when you last left her. However, the workparty crew generally is able to get berthing in what were previously the Officers' staterooms. These rooms provide us with bunks (with real mattresses!) for 2 up to 10 individuals, hanging lockers and "dresser" drawers to stow your gear. The Park staff tries to accommodate married couples by assigning couples to their own individual staterooms.

As you may (or may not) remember, the "head", a.k.a. "toilet" facilities are sometimes a little way from the berthing facilities. On some occasions they may be on a different deck. Keep this in mind if you "need" to get up at night.

Showering facilities with somewhat limited privacy are available with a good source of hot water. There are generally no lines, and water-rationing is not an issue. The showers, like the heads, are often a little ways from the staterooms / berthing areas.

There are separate "Male" and "Female" toilet and shower facilities.

•  What do I need to bring ?

You will need to provide your own:

       •  Sleeping bag

       •  Pillow

       •  Towel and personal items

       •  A change or two of clothes

       •  Also, if you plan to do "specialized" work, please consider bringing your
              own tools.  It will save you a lot of walking back and forth to the tool rooms.

•  How about meals ?

The ship's galley has hot coffee and tea available 24/7. There is also a soda machine on the mess decks for those who prefer that type beverage. The galley also has provisions for heating and keeping cold anything you might bring along that requires that convenience.

For breakfast we generally do one of two things. Either we walk (about 10-15 minutes) to "The Hatch" which is a near-by public restaurant where a full breakfast menu is available, or we hang out on the mess decks and munch on breakfast items that we have brought along. (On occasion doughnuts have mysteriously appeared in the galley in the morning!)

Lunch is usually on board, on the mess decks. Depending on funding availability, the Park and / or the Association has been known to spring for pizza, subs, or the like. On occasion we make a trip to the "Hatch" or to a small local deli.  These meals are paid out-of-pocket by each individual.

Dinner is somewhat of a more "formal affair" with the crew deciding on which of their favorite restaurants to go to. These meals are also out-of-pocket. There is a restaurant in the same building that houses the Naval Park Museum, Ship's Store, etc. It is named the "Liberty Hound" and it is open for lunch and dinner. The menu and the beverage list is quite adequate, and the prices are more-or-less reasonable.

The Hatch Liberty Hound

Workparty volunteers at
"The Hatch"
for breakfast.

The "Liberty Hound" is
as close as you can get
to the ship.

So, how do I sign up ?

First of all, please don't sign up until you are reasonably sure you will attend.

Then, pre-register no later than Thursday prior to the Workparty by contacting

Art Tilley (preferred)
717-352-7537  ( home - leave a message )
or  717-816-4936  ( cell - leave a message )

Here's a great opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to your ship without spending a bundle, or eating up your vacation time. We'll be looking forward to having you join us on the ship in Buffalo!

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