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Old 02-06-2008, 09:18 AM   #1
w7wv
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Default Camp Ground Hosting

We are going to hit the road we hope for several years with the MH.
My wife retired from the Forest Service and I from DoD.
We thought that hosting camp grounds and doing other volunteer work for the National Forests and National Parks system would be fun and keep us involved and busy from time to time.
Just curious however, how far in advance do you have to volunteer to get into one of these positions?
I must assume that popular places will have something to do with it.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:22 AM   #2
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My guess would be to start off by calling the parks themselves. I know here in Texas each State Park handles their own park hosts. Not sure about the National Parks though.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:30 AM   #3
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How far in advance depends on the park, Some have a waiting list of folks wanting the job, Others. ,,, 30 minutes will do it (Ok, Ok, they are going to want to train you first but you get the idea) All depends on the park.
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Old 02-06-2008, 09:55 AM   #4
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Ken,
Here is a link to the Texas State Park System for Camp Host information. We go to several Texas State Parks and always go visit with the hosts. We have never been hosts ourselves because we dont full-time RV yet (not retired yet). Many hosts travel from park to park being a host at each park for a few weeks. One way to get your foot in the door is have a current host that you have become friends with, recommend you to the park supervisor. Texas parks do like couples to be hosts. In many Texas state parks the "host site" is the only RV site with full hookups and some have telephone.

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/park_host/
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:08 PM   #5
K3NOQ/Mobile
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Default Camp Ground Hosting

Suggest you check out www.workamper.com. They have a magazine and a online service called subscription plus that has various job opportunities, including a volunteer site for non-profit organizations which is available at their online site. Workamper used to be very objective in their listings and relationship with worker and employers. The original owner has sold the Workamper operation and the site is no longer the wonderful objective site it used to be. The current owner seems to be wimping out in his dealings where there are employer problems. However it is all there is right now and should be helpful for your needs. If you are Escapee members, you can also find listings at their website.

Wife Bonnie and I are workampers now for 10+ years now, happy to assist you if you have any questions, contact us at johns-email at earthink dot net
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:28 PM   #6
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I always try to get to know the camp hosts because most can give you a lot of great info about other campgrounds and what to avoid. Some of our Federal campgrounds are hosted by a company that assigns people to different campgrounds and manages the supplies and pays the hosts. This has not been the best deal for the public, at a popular campground here the Host was doing favors for his friends. The host was in a first come first serve campground and he was reserving sites for his friends and allowing some to almost live there. One guy who was living next to the host was dumping his gray water into a gopher hole.

I had gotten a lake side site and a friend was moving into the site next to us when the host told him that site was reserved, well my friend told him that this is a first come first serve federal campground and he was the first there so tell your friend to find his own site when he gets there, have a nice day. The host also tried to reserve the site next to my friend also by putting a blank ticket on the site post so my friend took it down and told the first camper who came by that the site was open and he took it. Complaints about this guy to the Company who assigned him did no good but complaints to the US forest service must have because he and all his friends were gone and a really nice Man and wife were hosting it after that.
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:09 AM   #7
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I agree with you about the contract companies running our US Forest Service camp grounds in that it's not a good idea.
We had our family up camping in the Payson area a few years back. The couple that was in the one camp ground had been there for 5 years with the company that had the contract. He was retired Forest Service and a really nice guy.
She was still working and only came up on weekends and she was something else.
Too make a long story short, she really got out of line with many people over the few days that we were there. And although the grounds were nearly full there were only a couple of bathrooms open, the same for the showers. The reason for this is that they did not have to clean what was not open of course.
I reported her to the local ranger district. They had no idea my wife was an admin officer for the US Forest Service at the time. They did nothing and this was not surprising. I followed up that report to the district offices and the woman and her husband were told to get out.
Believe me, we are both retire federal employees and if we had done anything close to what she did that weekend we would have been suspended or fired for those actions.
Any contractor to the government should follow the same rules of conduct.
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:35 AM   #8
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Ken,
I have been work camping/volunteering now for about eight years. I usually know in a year in advance where I will be going. I will have checked it out pretty well before applying. There are a lot of jobs out there. I have kind of gone from camp hosting to volunteering a Natonal Wildlife Refuges across the nation. The refuges are more to my liking now. My next scheduled events are Ririe, ID, private came ground. Fall in Monroe, LA at the Black Bayou Lake NWR. Summer 2009 in Erie, PA at the NWR there.
Lots of info on the web. Lots of experienced folks out there to glean it from. Good luck.
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