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Old 03-16-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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First Volunteer Host Position

I just accepted a Host position starting April 13, 2011 at St. Andrews State Park, Panama City, FL. This was my first choice since I have family that spends a lot of time in Panama City during the summer. This should be fun. No restroom cleaning or trash hauling. This position is to man the main gate 20 hours/week for site. I have spent a lot of time in this area in the past so I know the area. Looking forward to it.
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:57 PM   #2
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Ohhhh Man! Some of my family's best memories were when we took the southern route of US back in 1994 and saw Ft Walton Beach, Destin, and Panama City. Have fun and congrats Ed

(LOL... some includes watching a lightening bolt hit the marquee of a buffet restaurant -those that know me know I don't do lightening well!-; me and my daughter bungee jumping - did I mention I'm afraid of heights... but there was this fricken girl pact going on; and enjoying a white sand beach)
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:25 PM   #3
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Congratulations on the new job. Nothing like working with Joe Public.
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:59 AM   #4
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Just curious Ed, how did you find the position? We would like to do something like that in the future, but haven't really checked into how to go about it
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:15 PM   #5
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I knew the area I wanted to go to, Florida panhandle because of my knowledge of the area and family members having a vacation property in the area. I also am familiar with St. Andrews State Park and like it as well as the area.
Then I went to Florida State Park web site and filled out a volunteer application. This application gives you the option of specifying three location choices. I put St. Andrews down as my first choice and another specific park in the area as my second choice. The third choice I marked as "any park in the NW area".
I then called my top two choice parks directly and asked who the volunteer coordinator is. I wasn't able to talk direct to either coordinator since they were out on the property, but I did get a name. This phone call was followed up with a letter (yes snail mail) to each specific coordinator indicating that I had filled out the online application and would like to talk to them at their convenience. This letter also gave my email and cell phone information.
The first call I received was from my second choice indicating they were booked up through 2012. I received another call from one of the parks in the "NW Area" indicating they were all set through 2012 also. Then a call came from my first choice. The phone "interview" if you want to call it that was just a 45 minute or so discussion that included what this host position involved. He asked a few questions and so did I which is how I found out no restrooms or trash. I followed up this call with a "thank you for your call" letter.
He then called back yesterday with the offer. I had told him a couple of weeks ago that I wouldn't be available until after the first week in April and we settled on 4-13 as the start date. He said I could expect a letter in the mail in a week or so confirming the date as well as a site assignment and gate code in case I arrive after the gate is locked.
It was a relatively simple process and much quicker than I thought it would be. He told me they usually look for couples, but singles were OK too. Maybe they are desperate for warm bodies or any kind? Who knows, I just know I'm up for the challenge.
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:49 PM   #6
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Neat. Thanks.

How does that work with the "couple". Did the interviewer happen to mention if it's a shared position like the 20 hours split between the couple?
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:46 PM   #7
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He said it was 20 hours, but didn't say what it would be per couple and since I was not wanting to volunteer more than 20 hours, I didn't push it.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:49 PM   #8
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:02 AM   #9
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Today is my last day at my winter home base. I worked inside the RV yesterday getting it ready to travel and today is the outside and basement day. First order of events, after coffee however, is unhooking my external propane tank and going back on internal. Then I attack the basement. I have some stuff that I have just put in there that doesn't need to go to Florida.
I'm leaving tomorrow morning for an appointment at 9:00am with my Jayco dealer to fix a minor warranty issue and then off to south Alabama and spend the night. That will leave a short 95 mile trip for Wednesday so I can arrive, hook up and enjoy the evening.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:24 PM   #10
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That was a good report Ed. I hope it works for you. A couple of my friends are campground hosts and they enjoy it.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:50 PM   #11
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I made it to Panama City. The warranty issue took all of about 30 minutes and I was making good time so I called the volunteer coordinator to see if I could check in a day early and here I am. All set up and relaxing. Nothing to do until Thursday at 2:00pm for a camp host meeting. Now what to do tomorrow? I think I'll do nothing.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
I think I'll do nothing.
Man - I want your plan Ed...that sounds so nice! Enjoy yourself!



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Old 04-15-2011, 06:39 PM   #13
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Yep, that sounds like a good plan!
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:23 PM   #14
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I'm looking forward to updates on your experiences!
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:45 PM   #15
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So far so good. The meeting went well and I have some training tomorrow afternoon. A little while ago I was out riding around the campground and three ladies with a tent didn't have any power. Reset a breaker and they now have lights. Easy fix, but that sort of thing is part of what are are supposed to do. PR and help out.
Kind of a good feeling even though is wasn't very difficult.
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:52 AM   #16
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Ed, sounds like you're on your way towards a great camphost experience. I'll be starting my camphost job on May 1st at a state park here in VA. Looking forward to that. Keep us informed as to how it's going. Joe
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:57 AM   #17
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Will do Joe. You have fun in Virginia. I lived in Blacksburg for 5 years back in the late 80's. Loved the area.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:56 AM   #18
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I have been here for six days so far and finally got motivated to look for free WiFi yesterday. I have an air card, but don't want to have to use it full time due to the 5gb/month limit.
I have a 15db gain directional antenna and found a decent signal from a marina "over a mile away". Granted it is across water with no obstructions, but it is still a little over a mile. Since I will be here for 3-4 months this was a good find.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:12 AM   #19
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Nice find! Curious what antenna you have and where you got it.



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Old 04-18-2011, 01:43 PM   #20
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This is the antenna I have: https://3gstore.com/product/1820_hawk...c-pepwave.html

I do have it feeding a Pepwave Surf which feeds my Cradlepoint MBR900 router. The antenna is an inside only antenna and I have it up in a rear storage area above my TV. I have mounted it on the shelf in the closet up front when the signal source was in that direction.
It has proven to work well from inside the 5er.
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