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#1 cmac

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 10:17 AM

I'm not sure this is where I start this conversation , it is getting close for retirement and we thought it would be cool to do some camp hosting (we have seasonal jobs now) durning our off season to see if we would like this type of job, before committing to it full time. So my questions are: have you done it? The ups or downs of this, and any suggestions on website?. We have applied on Colleen on Wheels,BLM and Resources Management, any others?
Thanks
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#2 HBarlow

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 10:48 AM

Some folks wanting to work and host in campgrounds join an organization called Workampers.  http://www.workamper.com/



#3 cmac

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 05:31 PM

Thanks, already have done that. I received a call from Palmdale RV resort, has anyone stayed there? In south Texas. I think we kind of rather do a state park or BLM

Edited by cmac, 09 June 2014 - 05:35 PM.

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#4 happytrails

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 05:37 PM

We have been a camp host in a state park in Georgia three times.  We loved it!!!  We helped campers, cleaned sites, sold firewood and ice, pulled cards when the campers left and cleaned fire rings.  Now I am hearing they are asking the camp host to clean bathrooms.  Don't know how I feel about that...well, yes I do.  I don't think I would want to clean bathrooms but with all the cut backs they need the help from the volunteers.  I suppose it depends on what state or campground you are in.  '

We met some fantastic people and for us, it was a great experience.

In Georgia, you can go to the state park website and apply on line.  Also, workamper is excellent as well.  Good luck!!


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#5 f_stop

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:58 AM

don't forget national forest campgrounds.  i host in march and april at the francis marion national forest on the coast of sc.  it's a great experience and i'd recommend giving it a try someplace near you for starters.  i've talked with a lot of folks that have less than wonderful experiences hosting/working at commercial campgrounds so you might try to get "references".  and yes, i clean bathrooms...but, hey i raised 3 teenagers as a single dad and i've been cleaning bathrooms for a long time...

 

p@


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#6 flowerpot

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 01:12 PM

Wife and I workamped for 8 years right after we retired. All of our jobs were in commercial parks in and around Durango, Co and the Smoky Mtns. We had great fun, especially around Durango. We only worked 10 hours each a week. Played most of the time and what a great place to spend the summers. We just swapped work for campsite, no money changed hands and we worked with 10 to 12 other couples in the park doing the same thing. I would recommend it to anyone. It can be done anywhere in the country and workamper news is probably you best source. 

 

Flowerpot


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#7 teacher retired

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 03:09 PM

Cmac,
You asked about Palmdale RV Park. In San Benito, TX. We have been to two rallies there the last two years for the Rally in the Valley. Nice clean campground that has long term campers and winter Texans from MN and other colder climes. The long termers could not have been nicer to us rallyers. Don't know what time frame they want you. Would think in winter when they are busier. Weather is about 50- 60 in the winter. Beautiful spring flowers in late Feb and March. Padre Island nearby. It is near Harlingen. Lots of birds in winter. It is almost at the tip of Texas. But the park is well taken care of. Sandy
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#8 cmac

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 05:12 PM

Thanks, we actually took a job at Salton Sea in Calif, will be there in a Nov until March. Really excited, but a lots of work getting the Mac Shack ready.

Edited by cmac, 25 June 2014 - 05:13 PM.

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#9 Joe Z

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 08:06 PM

I was  just talking to a camp host a few days ago in Prescott AZ (Lynx Lake) and he said he found his hosting job in volunteer.gov 

 

http://volunteer.gov/index.cfm


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#10 ArizonaEileen

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 03:41 AM

Thanks, we actually took a job at Salton Sea in Calif, will be there in a Nov until March. Really excited, but a lots of work getting the Mac Shack ready.

 

Honestly, I don't mean to dampen your excitement, but have you been there?  I have and it's not pretty. You might want to watch this documentary:

http://dvd.netflix.c...83?trkid=222336

 

Eileen


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#11 Two Hams and Egg

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 10:08 AM

Look up The Corps Of Engineers.  They always use camp hosts and their parks are usually in a bucolic setting since The Corps deals with lakes and rivers.  Here is a link to their book (no picture probably because of being updated now)  If we were wanting to be camp/park hosts, we would definitely look inth The Corps. http://www.amazon.co... with the corps


Edited by Two Hams and Egg, 26 June 2014 - 10:09 AM.

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#12 cmac

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 05:24 PM

Hey 2 hams and an egg..thanks for the tip, went to website, I appreciate the lead. Joe Z thanks also, and teapot, teacher, in fact all of you, I really appreciate the leads, and all your personal input.
Heard there is great birding, nice weather, so thanks again.

Edited by cmac, 26 June 2014 - 05:25 PM.

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#13 Meadowlark

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 09:13 AM

We recently  camped at Lewis and Clark Trail campground in WA state. Talked to a couple who'd been camping there for 'years' and did the Workcamper/camp host gig there for several years. They both said that they were working ten hour days , seven days a week, keeping the campground up, with only a free campsite as compensation. Cleaning and supplying the bathrooms was part of it, but so was mowing, cutting downed trees, keeping the vandals from torching the trees, blowing up toilets, and acting as policemen when the "kids" come out with a busload of 'friends' and tons of beer. It wasn't worth it, to them.

 

So I believe that it all comes down to individual campgrounds. If you're going to be the only ones there, realize that it's a 24/7 job with minimal compensation.

We do a lot of volunteer work with other venues, for instance, we do environmental restoration work as volunteers, much of it was for The Nature Conservancy. Several years ago,  the Conservancy changed from a conservancy organization to a political one,  more interested in pulling in donation money that goes outside of the country, and having its staff sit in an office,  rather than do any real outdoor, conservancy work. It cut its projects to the politically popular ones, and  dumped all its hands on, hard working, manual labor (and the costs associated with it: repair of equipment, fuel for brush cutters, purchasing herbicides, etc)...on its volunteers. For nothing in return, not even acknowledgement anymore. So we 'divorced' the Nature Conservancy and  now we do volunteer work own our own terms.

 

So, I wouldn't dissuade you, I've seen parks with more camp hosts than campers, and it works like a Homeowners Association. But the less popular parks seem to be slave labor. Good luck.


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#14 clover

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 08:06 PM

As Meadowlark points out it depends on the campground and a whole lot of other demographics. We live near Glen Rose, Texas right at the top of the Texas Hill Country, a very sparsely populated county, yet we attract a lot of tourists and thus their disposable dollars. 5 years ago the county completed a new water reservoir called Wheeler Branch so we could capture some of the water coming through the county at a high rate of speed via the Paluxy River just before it dumps into the much larger Brazos River and becomes the property of BRA (Brazos River Authority). With the new reservoir came a wonderful day use park with nice pavilions, picnic sites, beach, fishing dock and boat ramp. The lake has been well stocked for fishing and is a favorite of locals. 4 years ago the water district hired two retired couples that have done a lot of work camping in the past. They are provided with two very nice paved camping spots on a nice overlook of the lake  and very well shaded. Full hookups and cable TV is provided. They also get a small stipend. These couples take turns on weekends off. The park is open from 8 am to the official sunset time. No overnite campers. They have now mowing responsibilities and basically keep one nice building tidy that has some rest rooms. I have talked to these folks and one of their comments is "we love day use parks, we don't get knocks at the camp door in the evenings." The gate is closed at night. They seemed to know this opportunity was coming available when they applied. I suspect like any industry or occupation, once you are on the inside the networking and knowledge of where and when to look becomes more apparent. 

 

Work Camping is something I would like to try once my son is off to college. I get automatic updates and notices from Resource Recreation Management owned by Warren Meyer who has been pretty vocal about Federal and State Government closures of parks. He was very vocal about the sequestrum that close many federal parks that had no government employees and sent money to the Government and get no federal funds.  

 

http://camprrm.com/

http://www.camphost.org/

 

Good luck and keep us informed of what you learn along the way. 

 

Clover 


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#15 cmac

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 05:25 PM

Thank you all again, so I must be on the right track, all the suggestion that have been given I've done all except the Corp of Engeerinrg. We will be going out this Nov, to Calif and I think after doing this once ( four months is long time crawling over the old man) that we will be able to pick and choose where we want to go. Moab can be really cold in the winter time and these old bones don't do well. Next year, maybe Az, Nev or who knows where ( kind of exciting).
cmac
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