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Old 02-17-2019, 06:42 PM   #1
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Campground Host

Anybody have any experience as campground host or advise on how to become one? I'm thinking of the type where full hookups and possibly a small stipend are provided in exchange for services.
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Old 02-17-2019, 06:52 PM   #2
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I had a friend who was a host for both KOA and state parks. The KOA worked him on projects around the camp, painting, repairs for 3-4 hours per day in exchange for his campsite, called themselves workcampers. At the state parks, they were required to clean the bathroom facilities once a day in addition to after-hours checkin and keeping the peace and were given firewood to sell from which they could keep the proceeds. They preferred the KOA situation better than the state parks.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:10 PM   #3
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Depends on the state park. In Oregon the park service (rangers) clean the bathrooms, handle all the 'money' at check-in and keep the peace. Basically the 'Hosts' clean the campsites, run the Junior Ranger programs, act as Greeters throughout the park, sell firewood and also give tours of the light houses, etc. They work 20 hrs a week in exchange for a full-service site. We love our camp hosts!


I met a woman who has camp host at Silver Falls State Park for a number of years. She ONLY does it during the winter months. Oct 1st through March 31st. She won't host anywhere during the summer, too hectic she said. But is often the only one in the campground during the winter. Peaceful and quiet she said.
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:18 PM   #4
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Camp hosts

Although I’m not interested in being a camp host, I talk to them all the time when I’m out. Especially in smaller campgrounds. There aren’t many camp hosts in the northern states that are monetarily compensated. I’ve not found any. A couple I talked to in the south had jobs lined up for the winter in Georgia where they were going to get a little money and some mileage money for checking on a nearby state owned area a couple times a week. If you search the Michigan State Parks camping section you will find a large matrix of open camp host jobs. You can sign up in some cases for as little as two weeks. Some camp hosts just keep order, answer questions, and contact authorities if there’s a problem. Others have cleaning duties, mowing duties, painting and staining projects etc. You’ll never know if you don’t try it. If the websites aren’t helpful, get on the phone and talk to an area manager, especially about this time of year, because they live every day knowing spring is coming and they like to get all their mallards lined up ahead of time and not have to scramble.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:11 PM   #5
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Might want to check out these sites
https://workamper.com/
https://www.coolworks.com/
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:19 PM   #6
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We spent several summers hosting at Glacier National Park. No compensation, but had a full hookup site in the park where there are normally no hookups in any campgrounds. In the national parks duties are usually more limited - just advising campers and reminding them of the rules for the most part, no cleaning restrooms or other janitorial work like that.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:38 PM   #7
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We spent several summers hosting at Glacier National Park. No compensation, but had a full hookup site in the park where there are normally no hookups in any campgrounds. In the national parks duties are usually more limited - just advising campers and reminding them of the rules for the most part, no cleaning restrooms or other janitorial work like that.
Sounds interesting.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:49 PM   #8
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Old 02-17-2019, 11:56 PM   #9
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Have you, would you do it again?
This summer will be our third year hosting in Big Bend.

Duties included - in addition to the above - posting daily weather reports and notices, daily updates to site reservations & paperwork (tedious), keeping visitors as safe - if they agree, traffic control in the holiday weeks, reporting unusual wildlife sightings, radio reports of campground status, automobile assistance - flats, jump starts, etc., helping visitors locate supplies and the best spots for cell reception, reporting violations to Law Enforcement rangers.

But the primary job is trying to help everyone have a good experience. Mostly low stress but occasionally there will be a visitor rescue, automobile accident, medical emergency, lost hiker, wildfire, etc. You aren't required to help if you don't feel comfortable in doing so, but you are encouraged to always know how to obtain help in an emergency.

No pay, frequently an above average site with full hookups, 3 days on, 3 off, access to laundry facilities, deep freezer, employee discount at the ice cream store (very important in south Texas). The occasional abandoned gems - campstoves and fuel are frequently abandoned, interesting food is occasionally left behind (2-8 packs of sardines was my favorite last year), loose change (I average about $8 per season), rarely tents and sleeping bags, about 100 tent stakes per season, etc. Once in a while you come across things you can't keep - drugs, large denomination bills (Found a loaded wallet and the owner was overly generous. That $$ went into the park donation box - with my boss watching.) You may not have any of these happen to you but you will most likely experience the unexpected!

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Old 02-18-2019, 06:30 AM   #10
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We are planning to do the same thing so I've been researching this, what I have learned is everyone does it a little different.
Many of the private campgrounds across the country advertise in the workamper news website someone else mentioned in thread, this is a really could source and free to get the info. There is an upgrade to pay for some perks but don't need to do that I don't think. I also want to work the sugar beet harvest one year, pay is good for a short amount of time and hey you need to experience as much as you can in life I say .
You can find a lot of info on youtube as well, especially what others thought of their experience.

Enjoy the journey.

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Old 02-18-2019, 09:07 AM   #11
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When traveling we have also met docents who provide tours of historic attractions during peak season. For instance, near the Cape Blanco lighthouse in Oregon there is a nearby historic home, Hughes House. It was constructed in 1898 for a pioneer dairy farmer and visitors have a chance to see what life was like at the turn of the last century.

This isn't what you are looking for, but it peaked my interest when we spoke to our docents who were from Arizona, escaping the summer heat. If I remember correctly, they have been doing this for 3 years.

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Old 02-18-2019, 09:54 AM   #12
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Anybody have any experience as campground host or advise on how to become one? I'm thinking of the type where full hookups and possibly a small stipend are provided in exchange for services.



I have not been a host myself....still working....but I have spoken to many in both National and State Parks across the country. There seems to be some common threads. Work 20 hrs per person. The work could be cleaning campsites and bathrooms, giving evening talks at an educational offering, give tours, run the contact station, run the info booth, run the store, etc. No one spoke of pay but most if not all said free site, electric and water(even in parks that don't have it), free propane, etc. It seems like a great opportunity and I would love to do it some day. Most seemed really happy and only a few grumbled about the "stupid kids running things". You are also often the one that keeps things under control at night, sells firewood etc. So if you are not the social type ASK FIRST! Good Luck.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:21 AM   #13
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The KOA in Williams AZ (each one is different) was giving the site, plus 20 hrs @ $11 weekly. If you start in May and stay through Labor Day they total up all the hours worked and give you a bonus check @ around $4-5 per hour as a Thank You. While there you can go on any of their vendor tours space available for no charge.
Take ur pay n bonus and head out to the LTVA in Quartzsite and for $180 you can use it as a winter base till April plus be Jon’s neighbor.
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Old 02-18-2019, 04:32 PM   #14
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Might want to check out these sites
https://workamper.com/
https://www.coolworks.com/
If anyone is interested in being a summer host in southern Colorado, US National Forest campgrounds near Pagosa Springs, send me a PM.

I know the area campground manager. The work requirements do include cleaning bathrooms and more grunt work than National Parks, but there is a bit of actual pay included.

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Old 02-18-2019, 04:54 PM   #15
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This summer will be our third year hosting in Big Bend.

Duties included - in addition to the above - posting daily weather reports and notices, daily updates to site reservations & paperwork (tedious), keeping visitors as safe - if they agree, traffic control in the holiday weeks, reporting unusual wildlife sightings, radio reports of campground status, automobile assistance - flats, jump starts, etc., helping visitors locate supplies and the best spots for cell reception, reporting violations to Law Enforcement rangers.

But the primary job is trying to help everyone have a good experience. Mostly low stress but occasionally there will be a visitor rescue, automobile accident, medical emergency, lost hiker, wildfire, etc. You aren't required to help if you don't feel comfortable in doing so, but you are encouraged to always know how to obtain help in an emergency.

No pay, frequently an above average site with full hookups, 3 days on, 3 off, access to laundry facilities, deep freezer, employee discount at the ice cream store (very important in south Texas). The occasional abandoned gems - campstoves and fuel are frequently abandoned, interesting food is occasionally left behind (2-8 packs of sardines was my favorite last year), loose change (I average about $8 per season), rarely tents and sleeping bags, about 100 tent stakes per season, etc. Once in a while you come across things you can't keep - drugs, large denomination bills (Found a loaded wallet and the owner was overly generous. That $$ went into the park donation box - with my boss watching.) You may not have any of these happen to you but you will most likely experience the unexpected!

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Alan,
We are going to be in Rio Grande Village (Big Bend) from April 8th till the 11th.
Do you have any suggestions on what we should try to see there?

Richard
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:45 AM   #16
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Alan,
We are going to be in Rio Grande Village (Big Bend) from April 8th till the 11th.
Do you have any suggestions on what we should try to see there?

Richard

The Fossil Discover Exhibit about 8 miles north of the Panther Junction Visitor Center. I talked once to a professor who had been involved in some of the digs there. (He was interested in the Escape trailers, but he ended up buying an Airstream). The Santa Elena Canyon. There probably won't be enough water for a raft trip through the canyon. Boquillas, just across the river in Mexico (need passport). Have lunch there and ride a donkey from the river to the town and back. Please tip generously because the only income the people in the town receive is from tourist dollars. Terlingua: dinner at the Starlight Theatre.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:54 PM   #17
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Alan,
We are going to be in Rio Grande Village (Big Bend) from April 8th till the 11th.
Do you have any suggestions on what we should try to see there?

Richard
If you have a reasonable vehicle for easy 4X4 driving you could consider the Old Ore Road for an all-day adventure. Lots of geology and historic sites to see along the way. But be smart about it and read some Big Bend NP guide books to get a good feel about staying alive in the desert.

If you just want a sample of the desert then try the nature loop that starts in the RGV campground. From that trail you can see well into the mountains of Mexico, visit springs, visit the Rio (stick your fingers in but I would not suggest swimming), find some Indian artifacts, see interesting plant life. Its a very worthwhile 2 hour walk.

Drive on a paved road to Daniel's Ranch picnic area (2 miles?) and hike some or all of the trail to the Hot Springs. (Again, plan for true desert hiking even though it is an easy trail.)

Drive to the Hot Springs and soak!

Drive the paved road (8 mi?) past the Boqullas crossing check point to the Boquillas Canyon trail. Easy 3/4 mile hike to the canyon mouth. Work up an appetite for your lunch in Mexico.

Skip the near-by Marufo Vega trail unless you are a true desert rat, know how to navigate by map and GPS, and are willing to carry 6 liters of water.

But the best advice I can give is purchase a Trails Illustrated Big Bend Map (#225), a guide book, and talk to the RGV Campground host when you arrive!

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Old 02-19-2019, 02:36 PM   #18
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Alan,
Thanks for the info.
Can'r wait to see it in person!

Richard
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:45 PM   #19
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I see this thread has wondered some. Any additional information on being a camp host is appreciated?
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:04 PM   #20
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Every time you go camping talk to the host. Each area has its own requirements and rewards. The host knows who to contact and the best approach to becoming a host.
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