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Old 06-07-2013, 05:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by KyDan View Post
I hear you!! We may try our hand at hosting one day but our "problem"
is we don't want to stay in one spot more than a month. Well.... there are
a couple places I'd like to stay longer than that but those are the cherries
and I'm sure they have lines of folks wanting to host them.

The national parks want you to stay an entire season. I'm with you. 30 days is enough in one place.

Colorado wants you to commit for a minimum of 2 months. I talked them down to 6 weeks. (You have to clean bathrooms in Colorado)

Georgia wants a minimum of 2 months. I got to host for only a month at Stephen Foster State Park in Georgia due to a "scheduling fluke." Worked out for me! (You also clean bathrooms in Georgia. YUCK!)

Idaho is a 30 day place Calendar month.

Washington State is 30 days Calendar month.

North Dakota is 30 days, but "sessions" that go mid month to mid month, they work it out so that hosts are swapping out on Tuesdays near mid month. I loved this schedule, as you could come off a 30 day calendar month stint, and have two weeks to get to North Dakota. North Dakota is a GREAT state to host in. I didn't meet a single host that was actually FROM North Dakota. All the hosts I met were from other states, even Canada! If you host in North Dakota, I would recommend Cross Ranch as your first experience. That park was a piece of cake to host!
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:10 PM   #22
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An entire season? I swear these state govts have absolutely no clue what they are doing. They're lucky to get volunteers... Make the requirements too oppressive and nobody is going to want to pitch in and "help out the govt" (ie. do the the job they should be doing)

It's so stupid.....
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:58 PM   #23
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The hosts I've met in Oregon are very nice.
One drew up a nice map of what the layout of the CG really is, not what you see on the website.
Another pair drove their cart around at least 4 times a day to keep tabs on dogs, parking, noise, fires. etc.
Most wave and or say Hi every time you see them.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:31 PM   #24
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Someone on this thread said something about "people don't want to be pestered."

This is my experience: Camping guests want to know that you are watching OUT for them, but not "watching" them. I've had a lot of fun camp hosting, and even I didn't think I would ever want to do it. If you want to camp host for a state park, don't just hide in your RV and act like this is a 30 day free vacation. Get out, get in the little cart and drive around and let people SEE you.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:48 PM   #25
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Just completed a 6000 mile trip. About 20% of the hosts were helpful. For the most part they were generally useless. One site in particular had a broken water pipe to it. The neighbours said it had been broken for days before our arrival and that they had reported it several times to the host. We showed up and it was broken. Asked the ranger to get it working. Nothing on day one. Day two ask ranger again. They say (reluctantly) they will fix it in the afternoon. I see the host and mention to him the water is broken (fyi it's the site BESIDE the host - he's known about this for days if not weeks) ...

That afternoon the ranger I spoke with came and fixed the water.

That night the host walks up to me and says out of the blue "you're welcome ". The neighbors were going to kill him lol.

To the 20% who were good - thanks!!

"You're welcome" ?? Sheesh !

Try "get a different job"!
What are your expectations of a campground host?

The experience you just described isn't all that bad. Was the broken water pipe on your site or just near you? Since you mention it was the site next to the host I'm guessing the broken water pipe wasn't on your site. If it was your site were you able to hook up to water? In every park I've been to rangers are the police not the fix-it guys. Did this happen on a weekend or was it on a weekday?

So let's break down your bad experience. You arrive at the campground and report a broken pipe and it isn't fixed until the next day by a ranger no less. Sound OK to me.

My wife and I have been to many states and do a lot of traveling and our experience is quite the opposite of yours. 95% of the hosts we have dealt with have been wonderful people. FYI, no I'm not a host and never have been.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:48 PM   #26
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I already stated it was the water pipe for my site which happened to be next to the host. My expectation? Do your job and don't be lazy . Don't expect a reward or a high five when you finally get forced into taking responsibility.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:15 AM   #27
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When I saw this thread title, I had to read it since my DH and I just put in our 2nd weekend of hosting at an Ohio state park. To Jim Scofield, I'm sorry for the bad experience you had over your water pipe. In our camping travels, we've hardly noticed the camp hosts. We've never needed one for anything or had any interaction with them. I would notice them out and about in the Gators or cleaning fire pits. I didn't really have a clue what their jobs included. After only doing this for a couple weeks, I will have to say it is much harder than we expected it to be. We are volunteering 20 hours/week for a free campsite. There was a nearby festival this past weekend, which filled the campground. This campground has only pit toilets and no showers. There are only 10 electric sites, so most of the campers are tent campers. We were told that our duties are to keep toilet paper stocked in the toilets, clean up sites when campers leave, report problems to park staff, and just be visible and helpful to the campground visitors. We are not allowed to do repairs, clean the toilets, handle money transactions, or do anything that the state employees are paid to do. This area is known for its beautiful scenery and hiking trails. Part of our job is to get to know all we can about the area and the trails, so that we can answer all the questions that we are asked. Sounds simple enough, however we quickly found out that our work days begin very early and continue into the night. Tent campers use a lot of toilet paper! People sneak in and pitch tents in the middle of the night. One group wanted to play the bongos until the wee hours of the morning and had to be thrown out eventually. I had about 4 hours sleep Saturday night. We're in constant contact with the office staff, reporting in when sites are vacated, and they let us know when new people are on their way back. We both work during the week at our regular jobs, then do this on the weekends. We're hoping to volunteer as hosts full-time when we retire. I can't speak for other campgrounds, but here we work hard for our free campsite. We have much to learn, but we know already that we love it. You really do need to be a "people person," expect to be on duty 24 hours/day, and love what you do.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:36 AM   #28
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We had amazing hosts over a Memorial Day at Peninsula State Park in Wisconsin. About 50% of the campground was closed due to an electrification project. DH goofed and didn't charge the three batteries we had along. So at 3 a.m on the first night it was about 40 degrees and we had three dead batteries. DH went over to the host the next morning and the battery was plugged in and charged. We had our own charger but they had a charger set up for this purpose. Many of the campground roads were roped off. What the superintendent didn't realize was that the bigger rigs (we are in a full size crew cab towing a Roo 233S) couldn't make the turns to get out with the roads blocked. The Host recognized it and by the time we were ready to leave the barriers were down. They stopped by our site as we were getting ready to leave to let us know that the dump station had been closed due to a crack. They then provided an alternative park for us to go to. We were really glad they were there.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:21 AM   #29
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Though we've had good experiences in the past - on this particular trip those are our observations, like them or not . We are simply sharing so people know that the hosts aren't always good.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:49 AM   #30
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When I saw this thread title, I had to read it since my DH and I just put in our 2nd weekend of hosting at an Ohio state park. To Jim Scofield, I'm sorry for the bad experience you had over your water pipe. In our camping travels, we've hardly noticed the camp hosts. We've never needed one for anything or had any interaction with them. I would notice them out and about in the Gators or cleaning fire pits. I didn't really have a clue what their jobs included. After only doing this for a couple weeks, I will have to say it is much harder than we expected it to be. We are volunteering 20 hours/week for a free campsite. There was a nearby festival this past weekend, which filled the campground. This campground has only pit toilets and no showers. There are only 10 electric sites, so most of the campers are tent campers. We were told that our duties are to keep toilet paper stocked in the toilets, clean up sites when campers leave, report problems to park staff, and just be visible and helpful to the campground visitors. We are not allowed to do repairs, clean the toilets, handle money transactions, or do anything that the state employees are paid to do. This area is known for its beautiful scenery and hiking trails. Part of our job is to get to know all we can about the area and the trails, so that we can answer all the questions that we are asked. Sounds simple enough, however we quickly found out that our work days begin very early and continue into the night. Tent campers use a lot of toilet paper! People sneak in and pitch tents in the middle of the night. One group wanted to play the bongos until the wee hours of the morning and had to be thrown out eventually. I had about 4 hours sleep Saturday night. We're in constant contact with the office staff, reporting in when sites are vacated, and they let us know when new people are on their way back. We both work during the week at our regular jobs, then do this on the weekends. We're hoping to volunteer as hosts full-time when we retire. I can't speak for other campgrounds, but here we work hard for our free campsite. We have much to learn, but we know already that we love it. You really do need to be a "people person," expect to be on duty 24 hours/day, and love what you do.
You were at (John Bryan State Park)? If you had your (FRF Decal) displayed we would have stopped. Youroo!!
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:57 AM   #31
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Locust Lake State Park here in PA is looking for hosts. Here are some of the basics:

Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 3 host positions
Campground host sites have amenities that include 20 or 40-amp electric service. Hosts are required to assist park personnel for 40 hours per week with a four-week minimum stay. The hosts are also required to perform light maintenance, litter picking, and promote good public relations with park visitors. Contact the park office for additional information and availability.
PA*DCNR*-*Locust Lake State Park

I would have a hard time with the "good public relations" part after the "litter picking"!
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:59 AM   #32
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I am surprised to hear that hosts are out and about. We camp every weekend from the start of the season till close. We have stayed in many state parks from PA to AZ this past year. I can hardly remember seeing one and never met one till this past weekend. And it's not like we hide. We chat with lots of folks as they come by walking their dogs or just taking a stroll around the park.
A host stopped by in his car to say hello, tell us where his site was and to let us know he is here to help with anything he can. The surprising thing is he is disabled. We had noticed the walker by the host's camper door when we pulled in. My wife and I thought it was ironic that the person who can't get around did while the others don't.
Up till now, we thought the hosts hid in their campers and only came out to clean bathrooms and other jobs the park folks don't want to do.
A bit cynical, but that's the impression we get.

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Old 06-11-2013, 03:05 PM   #33
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You were at (John Bryan State Park)? If you had your (FRF Decal) displayed we would have stopped. Youroo!!
Youroo, it's funny that you knew where we were without my mentioning the park by name! Must have been the bongo playing that gave that away!! What site were you on? I guess we'll have to get that decal. We'll be there most weekends all season long, so stop by #10 next time and say hello!
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:44 PM   #34
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20 and 40 amp? Huh?

Also, 40 hours a week?

None of the states I have hosted in required 40 hours.

Colorado - 20 hours per week
North Dakota - 24 hours per week
Idaho - 24 hours per week
Washington - 28 hours per week
Georgia - didn't have a requirement at the time but now they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arefbee View Post
Locust Lake State Park here in PA is looking for hosts. Here are some of the basics:

Free Camping for Campground Hosts: 3 host positions
Campground host sites have amenities that include 20 or 40-amp electric service. Hosts are required to assist park personnel for 40 hours per week with a four-week minimum stay. The hosts are also required to perform light maintenance, litter picking, and promote good public relations with park visitors. Contact the park office for additional information and availability.
PA*DCNR*-*Locust Lake State Park

I would have a hard time with the "good public relations" part after the "litter picking"!
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:46 PM   #35
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Wow some of the expectations and attitudes towards those working for a free camp site are in my opinion the exact reason some of you are not approached. If I had someone whining in my ear about things beyond my control I would also be standoffish. These people are hired to do basic chores not kiss the butts of those that expect first class accommodations while paying peanuts for a campsite. I have found every host I have met very friendly. I don't expect them to approach me. They have a schedule to meet and their free time is as precious to them as ours is to us. I make it a point to approach them with a greeting and a hand shake. Not a honey do list of my personal expectations. There is a big difference between working in the service industry and being perceived to be your personal servant.
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:13 AM   #36
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Wow some of the expectations and attitudes towards those working for a free camp site are in my opinion the exact reason some of you are not approached. If I had someone whining in my ear about things beyond my control I would also be standoffish. These people are hired to do basic chores not kiss the butts of those that expect first class accommodations while paying peanuts for a campsite. I have found every host I have met very friendly. I don't expect them to approach me. They have a schedule to meet and their free time is as precious to them as ours is to us. I make it a point to approach them with a greeting and a hand shake. Not a honey do list of my personal expectations. There is a big difference between working in the service industry and being perceived to be your personal servant.
Are you reading the same topic I am? What are the outlandish expectations and demands being made by people?
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:32 AM   #37
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Youroo, it's funny that you knew where we were without my mentioning the park by name! Must have been the bongo playing that gave that away!! What site were you on? I guess we'll have to get that decal. We'll be there most weekends all season long, so stop by #10 next time and say hello!
We were just doing a (Slow-Touch and Go) checking out the C/G for a Friend. When I was a Kid we would go too (Yellow Springs-Antioch) to watch the (Beatniks) now their grandkids are there,caring on the Family Tradition! Youroo!!
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:39 PM   #38
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Are you reading the same topic I am? What are the outlandish expectations and demands being made by people?

I am reading the same topic and my comments were directed right at your wheel house. It appears others share my opinion. I found your all inclusive comments (less the 20% that lived up to your standards of course) degrading to an industry of people of whom most you know nothing about.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:53 PM   #39
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host /hōst/
Noun A person who receives or entertains other people as guests.

care∑tak∑er
/ˈke(ə)rˌtākər/
Noun
A person employed to look after a public building or a house or area in the owner's absence.

Please note Campground Host not Campground Caretaker
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:01 PM   #40
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If you're expecting a campground host to entertain you I can guarantee that you will never be satisfied.

The main duties of a MO campground host include welcoming guests and collecting their camping fee and pass out campground literature, sell firewood, check the restrooms for cleanliness and maintenance, and depending on the park they might have to clean out the fire rings. If there is an emergency they can contact police or ambulance for you.
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