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Old 04-25-2016, 01:43 PM   #43
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Ah, perhaps we must now begin the discussion of budgets for maintenance and support at these types of areas. If you don't like what you see, contact the relevant authorities to ask them for improvements.
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:19 PM   #44
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Camp Host need to have a strong personality!

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Ah, perhaps we must now begin the discussion of budgets for maintenance and support at these types of areas. If you don't like what you see, contact the relevant authorities to ask them for improvements.
******
I know I am applying 'some' eye witness examples to a huge organization. Budget limitations has been the fall back for ever.

I watched those who had complaints and the camp host 'atmosphere' changed for them. The atypical unhappy camper. I also found that people like myself took some effort to police the restrooms and grounds. No Camp Host to be seen. The restrooms hired out private parties for that.

The commercial 'for pay' RV Park to the east was clean, well maintained and full.

It is the duty of those being paid at these areas to supervise and instruct. Not for me to become involved and be pointed out in the crowd. Even making comments on the internet can get you on the special list with the modern computer. Few Park employees want to deal with... people at some places. Many of those found at Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, Custer Battlefield are volunteers or seasonal. They seem to be the best. These sites I found very well taken care of and the personnel very connected to the area.

I cannot defend those camp hosts who really are not motivated. I am more motivated as I notice these deficiencies and disappointed. The 'office help' is packed with paid personnel shuffling paperwork.

By rotating Camp Hosts every year or two there is no status quo over a long period of time.

Is something going to change in the near future? Only if motivated people who can be a Camp Host and not just living there, doing the minimum, and sponging off the System.
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:40 PM   #45
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Oregon is fortunate to have one of the best state park systems in the country. But they are constantly dealing with decreasing budgets. Volunteers are vital to keep things operating at a high level and fortunately there are a lot of great hard working ones.

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Old 04-25-2016, 03:20 PM   #46
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Being part of ďThe SystemĒ, I will attest that the insufficient budget argument is often a myth, at least on the Federal side. However, with the modern budgeting processes, getting the money where it needs to go can be challenging, but money can be gotten if it is pursued through the appropriate channels. The biggest part of the problem is the ďitís not my jobĒ mentality. People like Ray, with an old fashioned work ethic are becoming rare. In the old days, if you saw a problem, you owned the problem. Thatís not so much the case anymore. I think a lot of the volunteers would do a lot more if their supervisors would simply ask them. Supervisors may be scared to ask volunteers to do too much; for fear that they may leave. However, Iím sure there are also supervisors who simply donít care, or are never on-site, and donít know the conditions.

Many of the Federal facilities are run by concessionaires. These are the ones that Iíve seen the biggest problems with, because costs reduce profitability. Fortunately we, as users, donít have to complain to the concessionaires. Theyíre accountable to the land management agency that oversees the area. So, the best course of action is to complain to the Forest Service, BLM, BOR, Corps of Engineers, etc. They have to respond to the public. So they will contact the concessionaire. They all hate complaints. Squeaky wheels do get attention.
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Old 04-25-2016, 03:36 PM   #47
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Ray, I don't believe volunteer Camp Host's performing their duties as assigned is the equivalent of sponging off the system.

I do agree that funding is frequently cut in areas of importance and we should all leave our camp areas as well or better than we found them.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:58 PM   #48
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I agree with Ray. We are becoming a nation of "no doers" and free loaders. I have considered volunteering as a camp host. But like Ray, I would be hard to work for. I spent most of my career "working" and I still have that attitude.
I get real tired of hearing about "budget problems". It's a lame excuse for POOR MANAGEMENT.
Kind of like the TSA in airports. TSA= Thousands Standing Around". They don't give me a better sense of security.
When you travel around this great land of ours. You will see areas that are neat as a pin. ie. Amish country. There are other areas that are totally trashed out with abandon vehicles, old appliances, furniture lying all over the place. You don't see this in Europe. Maybe they have a better way of hiding their junk. I don't know.
It saddens me to think that we are slowly losing our sense of "pride". Whether it be our public lands or even our own homes.
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:31 PM   #49
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Pro Quo... the US Volunteering of the Future?

We all have to agree that it is an individual by individual case. There are those who have 'sponged off the system' for their entire lives. I know some. They are experts at being victims and do rather well in the process.

Volunteers like a baseball / softball coach get satisfaction from coaching young players from their own experiences. There is no financial reward or Pro Quo. It is a labor of loving the sport and each may have one or more children involved with the sport. I know. I did it for two years. It cost me thousands of dollars and more time in the Summer than one can imagine. No two week summer camping trips for two years. My youngest daughter progressed into competitive softball and earned a four year scholarship to the University of Missouri. It was totally unexpected, but she put in eight years of hard work and improved better than the teacher. She is now a Physicians Assistant of Cardiology in Missouri.

For the majority... I was an unpaid baby sitter with no parental help. My wife found it totally overwhelming and could not put in the time from her business. I did it for one daughter and the younger daughter needed to be included in the experience. I will not do it again. The first time had a lot of parents involved. The second time... an entirely opposite experience.

My wife and fellow employees volunteered to clean up and paint the housing for an elderly widow in Kansas City, Missouri for Habitat for Humanity. While painting and repairing her adult middle age son arrived, sat on the porch and had a beer. He watched.

I pickup at campsites the trash left by previous campers. Why... because that is the cost I must pay to enjoy the back country and prevent it from being closed from future camping due to those who get FREE and treat it as such.

I never ignore common sense activity because it was on or not on a list. I do it because it is how I do things. A bag of dirty diapers behind a bush now becomes mine to dispose.

Volunteers are self funded. Otherwise they are being paid. Considerations as propane, water and maybe electricity is a payment of services. They are not paying out of pocket to live where they are volunteering. This is a 'pro quo' relationship. Often not equally honored.

Some find these 'perks' as requirements to do the short list of what they are willing to do and what they will not do.

Some will not 'clean restrooms'. Some will not pick up 'dog feces'. Some will not enforce the 'noise or music ban after a designated time'. Some will not pick up 'litter', broken branches, clean fire pits, keep toilet paper in the pit toilet, and nothing else that insults their self imposed dignity of higher purpose.

Yosemite Park. No one takes responsibility for its facilities. Lack of funding...for upkeep and cleaning and keeping out mammals living within the cabins? Rodent infestations, feces...

I find some State and County for pay campsites empty and trashed. They are vacant. Who has the oversight? You? Me? A Volunteer? Each must be judged individually.

I am not a bleeding heart. You must earn your wages. If you volunteer... it is to be taken seriously and done beyond what is considered of most. It may not even be cost effective. People are more interested in the... perks, than the duty taken by volunteering.

Some archaeological site volunteers get to go into restricted areas. You earned it. They also have a passion to speak to those tourists who arrive at the site. You can spot them out in an instant.

I am a geologist. The mountains and rock outcrops speak to me and I translate for those who do not recognize what they represent.

You can also spot the 'spongers'. It is by mere observation. I clean the feces left in a stool because it is my payment for decades of camping on and off the grid. It is not pleasant. Life is not always peaches and cream.

Do not judge all by the limitations of others. Although preferring to be ignorant is not an option. It is a case by case observation.
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:43 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG Twinkie View Post
I agree with Ray. We are becoming a nation of "no doers" and free loaders. I have considered volunteering as a camp host. But like Ray, I would be hard to work for. I spent most of my career "working" and I still have that attitude.
I get real tired of hearing about "budget problems". It's a lame excuse for POOR MANAGEMENT.
Kind of like the TSA in airports. TSA= Thousands Standing Around". They don't give me a better sense of security.
When you travel around this great land of ours. You will see areas that are neat as a pin. ie. Amish country. There are other areas that are totally trashed out with abandon vehicles, old appliances, furniture lying all over the place. You don't see this in Europe. Maybe they have a better way of hiding their junk. I don't know.
It saddens me to think that we are slowly losing our sense of "pride". Whether it be our public lands or even our own homes.
******

I finished my post and found yours and Thalweg's earlier post.

There are those who talk about serving and those who actually do. Both of you are welcome to travel with me anytime, anyplace... but I still have to say to Thalweg... AlCan to Alaska and back... more glaciers than I can handle.

I enjoy the places where you do not need to dress up for show. I could appear to be homeless to some. I find pleasure in the simple things of life. My reward is to find others finding satisfaction in the little things I can offer on the Airforums and while camped away from the reach of cell phones and WiFi.

I do it because I like to. That is more payment than I ask or deserve.
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:24 PM   #51
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My wife and I are just finishing up our month at an Oregon State Park. We gave walking tours of one of the Lighthouses on the Coast. Be well aware of what the full hook up site has to offer. Not all are the same. A free hookup is not always worth the hours required. The campsite has no cell, no TV, no internet service. To get any type of phone service was 5 miles away and nearest town 20 miles. I'm glad we worked at the Lighthouse and not a Camp Ground host. We worked 3 days on and 3 days off regardless of weather, only if weather was to dangerous to be at lighthouse. Camp ground host 5 on 2 off. Only way to have 2 off was to leave campground. People did not know how to read--who was on duty and who was off. For some, saying the same tour multiple times a day,.. love it or hate it. Very few creature comforts, bring your own water...honey bucket join...not well maintained. The views were great, most of people great. It is amazing what people will do...climb on fences with 150' drop, walk on closed trails...

Was interesting, but I would rather pay for a campground and get to come and go than host again. Each Park is different. Very little contact with Paid staff. Parks are requiring more and more of volunteers due to the constant reduction in personnel to staff the parks because NO One wants to pay for them. Either through user fees or taxes. People vote down the taxes to support the parks and then refuse to pay the fee to use the park.

Hosting is great for some and not for everyone. The other couple we worked with have been doing it for years. They spend the winters on the Coast and normally summers in their Mountain cabin.

When you look at the cost to host, it is not cheap. Do it because you like people and like to pay to volunteer. (Propane, gas to and from work location, food, upkeep etc.)
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:50 PM   #52
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Curmudgeonly comments aside, we'd only do volunteer camp hosting, most likely at a national park.

Oh and no, for the price of a daily campsite we would not be cleaning toilets. Jeez, it's not like a volunteer post is a paying job.

On the other hand, we're compulsive about picking up trash, etc. as we go walkabout. There's a middle trail, ya know?
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Old 04-26-2016, 02:44 AM   #53
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I have been to parks where to begin picking up trash could take literally hours before going twenty feet. The lazy, don't give a damn folks can not be bothered to open the lid on the dumpster they just passed and put the trash inside.

At some point, most volunteers are faced with burn out because the entitlement and no responsibility for their actions folks just drain the energy of those who are trying to keep a place presentable.

Perhaps back in the day, a few lashes with the cat-o-nine tails in the public square did wonders on attitude adjustments for both the recipient as well as the viewers who'd elected to modify their behavior to avoid the experience themselves.
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Old 04-26-2016, 09:21 AM   #54
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My wife and I began our volunteering "career" in 2004 after military retirement we both served 23 years. We have worked with almost all the federal entities, some state, no city yet. We volunteer between 3 and 8 months each year and try to pick a new location/area/state, dependant on season, local attractions and positions open. We are not so big on the camphost positions due to many of the items listed in other posts. We prefer maintenance, field work, that type position. We have fluffed crocodile nesting areas, painted fire lookout towers in the rental program, repaired and replaced fencing, and the list goes on. If we did not enjoy this life style, we would sit at home. But since all the forests and parks and grasslands belong to me (read all citizens) then I'm just out cleaning up my yard.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:36 AM   #55
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Drill Sergeants picked 'Volunteers' at random

My two years between 1969 to 1970 in the military gave me plenty of opportunity to 'volunteer'. It was a great system. Something needed to be done... you were a 'volunteer'. My supervisor had stripes running down both arms and up the other side. He had been there, done that. The 'Volunteer' had incentives to maintain order, otherwise 'volunteering' for other character building ventures were in the near future to build 'more' character and responsibility.

There are 'social volunteers', 'site volunteers' and the 'lecturing volunteers', among others. There is a place for all, but most are social volunteers. They like to socialize with visitors.

The site volunteers want to improve the infrastructure. The social volunteers gather the information and pass it on to the site volunteers.

The lecturing volunteers are experts in the Park or Campsite area they reside. Their backgrounds and knowledge draw more visitors to a site.

Somewhere the individuals with the stripes running down one arm and up the backside of the other... are missing. No body wants to be the 'bad guy'. Mr. negative. These are the individuals who make things happen. Even on this Forum there is a lighter tone on sensitive subjects of... self responsibility and do it yourself improvement.

I did like the Military 'Stuff flows downhill' system. This is lacking in the Volunteer system. They are like corks floating in the Stuff, at times.

The volunteer system will not work without the entire spectrum of personalities working together. Not everyone is comfortable wearing all hats and stripes at the same time. But it sometimes is necessary for all to cooperate and be involved.

Yes... some of this Thread is just trying to turn over some rocks and see what I can find underneath some. It is an exercise of thinking and consideration of what positives are there and the negatives that volunteers bring. Everyone likes to find themselves in a pristine environment with everything vacuumed and washed down. It begins at the... top. No oversight, nothing happens.

I have traveled the World as a juvenile and as an adult. There are places where the sides of any road are a trash dump and a public restroom. Other places are pristine, clean and examples of people who care. Then... comes the compromise. This is where I find myself. Where do you compromise before giving up?
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:41 AM   #56
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There is currently an opening for a campground host in Chris Flat, on Highway 395 between Walker and Bridgeport. PM me if you might have any interest.

Some pretty good fishing hereabouts.
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