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Winter for the Hunt
While spring is definitely my favorite season summer, fall, and winter each have their own unique virtues. Still in the midst of the pandemic we are winter moochdocking in the majestic redwoods of northern California. The air is clear and crisp and our days and nights are drizzly and wet. It’s the kind of weather that makes you just want to cozy up with your favorite blankie and read a good book. It’s the time of year when we rest, regroup, and prepare for the season ahead. It’s also the time we begin the hunt.
For many of us full-timers camp hosting is a way of life. Our work is always busy and challenging yet filled with the experiences of a lifetime. The relationships we forge with fellow campers is unsurpassed. This is who we are, and this is what we love.
From the end of December until mid February is prime time to secure your seasonal gig. By and large winter is the time of year when properties post their openings for the season ahead, and this is when you will find the widest variety of available opportunities. Job opportunities range from small out of the way private campgrounds to luxurious beach resorts. There is literally something for everyone.
Contract agreements come in all shapes and sizes too. You will find some gigs are strictly volunteer and may include a boondocking site or simple power and water only. The volunteer gigs are what you typically find when working for a non-profit property. While you would be simply volunteering your services I have found that these are often very peaceful scenic locations, such as an animal sanctuary.
RV resorts and campgrounds is where you will find the largest gap in the types of agreements, pay, and amenities offered to you as an employee. Asking a lot of questions and reading through your contract thoroughly prior to traveling a thousand miles for a gig is a prudent approach to insuring that the venture is a good fit for everyone involved. I cannot tell you how many camp hosts I have seen show up for work only to find that it was not going to work for their personal needs.
There are a number of resources available for finding a suitable gig. The following is a short list of my personal top three choices.
The Workampers Facebook group is my number one go-to when looking for work. I really like the open forum format allowing for full disclosure. I know that sounds rather paranoid, but after several years of doing this sort of work I have found that having the ability to hear real grassroots input from previous employees works well for me.
On the Workampers Facebook page you will find discussion pertaining to everything workamping. With it’s 45,000 members the feed moves very fast, and their are numerous new postings listed every day.
Happy Vagabonds also ranks high on my list. The Happy Vagabonds site is easy to navigate, free, and allows the user to sort based on individual needs. With the sort option you can choose by state and even narrow down your search further by property type, pay types, and more.
Yes, you read that right, and I will tell you why. Camp hosting is a hospitality job, and regardless of your position at a campground your number one responsibility is to insure that the guest is always a “happy camper.” Google reviews speak volumes about a property you are considering for future employment.
Granted you should always take reviews with a grain of salt, however if 98% of the reviews complain of how the guests were treated by the staff I would consider this a red flag. I like to sift through reviews with a fine tooth comb prior to contacting any property inquiring about work.
My method for this type of search is simple. I choose a specific area I am interested in and search “RV campgrounds in …” With that, in addition to website/contact information I can actually view properties with Google maps. Google gives me most everything I need to understand any given property.
Once I have found properties of interest I simply reach out and begin dialog by asking if they are in need of camp hosts. I have experienced positive feedback by using this strategy early in the year before tourist season begins.
What are your favorite methods for finding camp host work? Share with us your experiences in the comments below.
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