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RV Tip of the Day reader Vicki Yasment offers advice for new work campers.
I am doing the campground host/workcamper thing here at Lazy Acres Campground in Elberta, AL.
The way I started work camping was through the Florida state parks system. I used to volunteer as campground host selling ice and firewood, answering visitor questions and yup, cleaning the bath houses. Might be a good way for others to get some experience to move up to other campground positions.
I know some parks already have snowbirds in place that return year after year and, some even have waiting lists. Set your starting point low, the larger the park, the more experience they may require. Also, don’t limit yourself to office/check-in station work. Start by working out in the park and maybe you can work your way to your desired office job once they get to know you and trust your work abilities.
When I came to my present park which, is a small campground owned by a wife and husband, I had no intention on becoming the host in the campground, activities director and, check-in/office girl two days a week. I got to know the owners very well and, they liked me and, from our conversations, they knew I had done camp hosting before. I happened to mention things I had done in the past, some ideas of which I had learned from other places I had camped (my secret) and the owners recognized that I had experience.
This park had no activites or camp store when I came here. We have both now. I just kept “nudging” her to let me at least start having bingo. Once she saw me in action and, could trust me to do a good job, it opened other posibilities for me. I had no previous check in station experience but, one day she asked me if I was interested in a job so here I am now.
I believe the more you give the more you get. I am only required to work two days a week in the office from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Alot of days, I end up getting out later. If I know I have a late arrival on the way, and they are close by, I will stay late to wait for them.
It was my idea to start up the activities (we have activites year round, most campgrounds only during the season). As campground host on Sundays when the office/store is closed, campers know they can come to my door and I will open the store to sell them whatever they need. My phone number is on the answering machine for after hours help.
My latest venture was to get wifi for the park. I found a company that will do it with nothing out of our pocket and, we do nothing but sit back and collect our percentage of the monies that it generates.
All that was on my time by my choice to better the campground. The owners appreciate that and give my ideas serious consideration since I have done nothing but help the revenue.
I feel that if a small campground has the abilities and manpower to improve then, the owners should consider ideas from full time campers. We have been around and, seen things that work, things that campers desire and are full of ideas. I was lucky enough to stumble upon such a place and, we are getting busier every day as word of mouth spreads.
I am now “nudging” to become campground manager since both owners work full time. Only time will tell but, we have been here over a year now and I still love the place. — Vicki