Sunday, September 27, 2009

Want to be a campground host?

On a recent trip to a Vermont state park, we happened to meet the couple who are the “hosts” for the summer. And in doing so, stumbled on a nationwide opportunity for Airstreamers (and other RV types) who want to trade free camping for service.

The retired Vermont couple we met had tired of Vermont winters and transitioned a few years ago to full-time RV’ers. They initially went to Florida for the winter months but got tired of the crowds and hubbub and now winter in Georgia and love it. The started being hosts about four years ago and show up about Memorial Day and leave after Labor Day. They are on duty about four days a week and love it.

I was intrigued by the program and doing some searching, soon came to find that their are countless programs and positions out there -- and that many people come back year after year. Hosts, often retired couples, help manage a campground for the summer camping season in exchange for a free site for their RV or travel trailer. Most public campgrounds have special host sites which often (but not always!) have full hookups, even when the campground they are managing is primitive.

Camp host jobs vary greatly from campground to campground, but almost all require taking fees from campers, cleaning bathrooms, and light grounds maintenance (such as raking fire puts, blowing leaves, etc.) Hosts with maintenance skills are always in demand.

Here’s a job description from one public campground:
Campground hosts will serve as a "live-in" host during April through October for a four (4) week period.
The host will be responsible for (but not limited to) the following tasks:
• Explaining (not enforcing) Campground Rules
• Campground Foot Patrols
• Litter Clean-up
• Bath House Clean-up Three (3) Days a Week to Include: hose down floors, sweep, toilet and sink cleaning, wash mirrors
• Various Light Maintenance Repairs
• Stocking Supplies in Bath Houses as Needed
• Prepping Campsites After Campers Check-out
• Removing Debris From Fire Rings
• Restoring Power to Electrical Sites (switching the breaker back on)
• Night Watchperson During Busy Nights
You can find out much more about hosting at (America’s Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal), Workamper News (Helping RVers Explore America - 1 Job at a Time), state agencies such as these in California or Alaska, or the book Camp Hosting USA.

Mary and I are not ready to leave our Vermont home to volunteer at a campground but see it as an interesting option for retired people who enjoy camping and helping others enjoy it. Check it out -- and thank hosts that you meet for their service.

top photo from camphostcouple website lower photo from Fairfax County website

If you enjoyed this article, then please subscribe to our RSS feed or via email to receive all new posts

No comments: