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Old 03-06-2016, 02:46 PM   #29
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Applying for a position. I would have put together a list of:

Local Hospitals.
Local Veterinarian
Closest grocery store
Local mechanic
Closest dump site
... and things like that. It shows you have put out some effort, as most do not.
Such a list also makes a good handout to new arrivals after you're hired, if you have the wherewithal to print up enough copies (the campground office might allow you use of their printer…)

I camped at Eastbank Campground, a Corps of Engineers campground at the south end of Lake Seminole. There was a handout provided to every new arrival by the camp host with information like: "The campground is currently undergoing an Argentine Ant infestation. Here is what you can do to keep ants out of your motorhome or trailer…"

It really was most appreciated.
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:56 PM   #30
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Last year, we applied for and nearly accepted a volunteer camp host position at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The ranger in charge was very nice indeed, and we really wanted to do it. Unfortunately reality intruded at the worst possible moment and we had to decline.

We absolutely want to camp host in the future, but for us it will strictly be a volunteer position, as most volunteer slots don't require (1) cleaning the bathrooms, (2) handling money and (3) being an enforcer. For enforcement, the only thing our experienced NP camp host volunteer friends do as a courtesy is say something like, "Gee, it sure would be a shame if an enforcement ranger were to come by and see you doing that. It would probably result in a bigger fine than you really want to pay, and they might also make you leave."
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Old 03-06-2016, 03:47 PM   #31
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What ever position you take do the math. That free camping spot might turn out to not be such a good deal after figuring in all the hours worked converted to an hourly wage vs the cost of a monthly spot rental.
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Old 03-06-2016, 05:23 PM   #32
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I guess it comes down to whether its more important to save $400-$500 a month. I suppose someone who feels they get bored easily wouldn't mind having something structured to do and at the same time save the monthly rent. For me I'd rather have summer job in a National Park doing some of those volunteer jobs but they don't seem to offer any free campground sites for that type of work. Many of the concessionaires offer jobs in their stores, restaurants, hotels for a subsidized rate on an employee campsite. Too bad I've never been a bar tender then I wouldn't mind working at Many Glacier Hotel. I was a bus boy and dish washer working through college. I suppose I could do that.

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Old 03-06-2016, 05:38 PM   #33
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Too bad I've never been a bar tender then I wouldn't mind working at Many Glacier Hotel.
I moonlighted as a bartender at a bar in the French Quarter in my younger years. The pay wasn't great, less than minimum wage. They're allowed to do that when your pay is "plus tips." But when I was off the clock I could drink for employee prices, which at that bar was a dollar for anything— including top-shelf liquors! Considering how much I drank in those days, that saved me way more money than the job paid.

Everybody should work in a service industry at least once in their lives, just to have the character-building experience of having to be polite to people who are treating you like dirt. But having done it once, I'm happy enough to not do it again. You meet some interesting people, but you also meet a lot of drunken a-holes.

Camp hosting seems like it would be vastly preferable to tending bar.
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Old 03-07-2016, 07:20 AM   #34
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I have some friends that for several years have been doing the Amazon work camping thing at different facilities. The money is good, they work lots of overtime and get paid accordingly and a 100% free campsite is supplied usually at a nice private campground. They are both retired Military and are use to long work days and some times less than ideal work conditions. They were in Kentucky this season and really enjoyed the location and other folks they worked with. They are now slowly making their way west where they are set to work North Rim at the Grand Canon. By the way, not Airstreamers. They have a 5th wheel that has been their full time home for almost 10 years.
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Old 03-07-2016, 07:30 AM   #35
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********
....You must be able to step up and "read the riot act" and mean it.
....
Drugs, too. You have to be able to recognize when they are cooking drugs and/or consuming drugs and call the authorities. I've been told that was one of the reasons why the host programs developed in the first place. They can get into the restrooms of unstaffed sites with their small-batch drug-making kits and really destroy the place. Chemical contamination if not outright burn it down by accident. Governments were losing too much value to this kind of "vandalism". Host programs were the response.
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:53 PM   #36
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Oh, and that's another requirement we have: We're not about to start trying to figure out whether someone is cooking meth over a campfire. If it looks weird and dangerous, we'd just call the Law Enforcement Ranger so they could stop by to take a look.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:26 PM   #37
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Forest Service Host site

http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/host/host.htm

This is a decent website that lists Arizona to Wyoming Camp Host sites. Each site also lists the duties and camp site information. There must be many more to discover, but you have to start somewhere...
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:18 PM   #38
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We were campground hosts-in-training at Babler State Park during December. There were two other host couples there, and we worked with both. Since most days the hosts outnumbered the guests it was easy to get to learn things. Babler normally has two campground host couples plus a "maintenance" host. That job does involve collecting trash and cleaning two pairs of restrooms. They asked us if we wanted to be a second maintenance host for the summer. We've decided not to do that, since we have other things happening (like a daughter's wedding).
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:12 PM   #39
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Everybody should work in a service industry at least once in their lives, just to have the character-building experience of having to be polite to people who are treating you like dirt. But having done it once, I'm happy enough to not do it again.
Near us, a couple of college professors owned and lived on a small winery. They would have a group of friends and friends friends come over and harvest the grapes. We were paid in cases of wine.

It was an interesting experience and made me grateful that I didn't have to that for a living.

It also gave me a greater appreciation for the wine I drink, and the fruits and vegetables I eat- and the hard working folks who got them to me.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:08 AM   #40
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Go to volunteer.gov. They list all federal and most states entities that are looking for RV volunteers. They explain the job, hours required, etc. we have been using them for 14 years
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:25 AM   #41
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There are many volunteer positions available in addition to Camp Hosts. I worked as a California State Park Interpretive Ranger in a previous life and there is demand for those with interpretive skills and/or training. The essence of the job is to inform visitors about the resource, make it relevant, and encourage them to care about it. The National Park System has great online training and certification available.

My wife and I volunteered as a Lighthouse Hosts at Cape Blanco on the Oregon Coast last October and we really enjoyed it. I learned a lot about the local history and lighthouses in general, and I met folks from all over the world. We were provided with a fhu site and shared duties with two other couples, working four four hour shifts a week. We were provided with jackets, hats and a nice sign for our site.

We will definitely seek out other interpretive opportunities.

Cheers,
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:47 AM   #42
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Camp Hosts that are not... always dependable

I would like to believe that National Recreational Areas and Parks are experienced in maintaining simple things... like anything related to water facilities, camp water pumps, physical upkeep of the premises, mechanical upkeep and just plain old pride of stewardship. If you volunteered or are paid and do not care... do something else.

Lake Meade National Recreation Area has irrigation systems to their trees and bushes. Unless the water is gushing ten feet into the air... the rest is puddling. Tree branches have overgrown campsites, palm fronds falling into the street or camping areas waiting from some kind of attention. Faucets dripping in the restroom facilities. Water valves, dripping.

Yet elderly couples driving around in an electric cart making sure everyone is paid up is 100% as camp hosts.

I have seen more armed Park Patrol near Hoover Dam than on a Military Base. They collect at the air conditioned building near the 'beach' which is a quarter of mile to find Lake Meade.

This is just a casual observation of resources being misdirected. Upkeep must not be in the program. This should be a daily chore. I would guess many Camp Host as they want to do something rather than staying home... so why not take some pride in your volunteering?

Off season, the Camp Host is still parked. Gates block the sites under the trees and the debris litter from branches and plant material builds up.

The local trash pickup IS... on time, regular if the dumpsters are full or empty.

The pit restrooms are well maintained well by outside companies from National Forest Service campsites I have... had the pleasure to look within. (Those sites which are not flushers... in NFS sites.)

The local RV Park in Boulder City for pay is... kept up. Clean. Maintained when required. One project for an upgrade is completed... others begin. The difference... incentive. A dumpy RV Park will have no business. A dumpy publicly owned Recreation Area... has a who cares unless absolutely necessary attitude.

These are recent observations. You sure do not gain friends bearing critical reviews. Some camp hosts lack those skills at their previous home, and practice the same who cares at their current position. Where is the oversight? Not from the armed Park Rangers driving around looking for things that go bump at night?

Had I the responsibility for upkeep... no body would want to work for or with me. I would expect things to improve or at least maintain a minimum level of expectation. That is why I could not volunteer. I would be the only one who really cared about what I was doing. It would be a pleasure to be among others that think as I do, but they all must be institutionalized.

At least then, someone else is begin paid to do what I could not.
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