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Old 04-06-2016, 06:47 PM   #1
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Joining The Camp Host Club - Any Tips For a Newbie?

I've applied and been cleared to be a WA State Parks camp host. I called a few parks yesterday and left messages to let them know I'm interested in hosting. Today I got a call letting me know a camp host position is available at Seaquest State Park, WA, for August and September. The park is very close to Mt. St. Helens, which seems pretty cool to me.

I accepted the offer, and kind of know what to expect, but since I've never hosted before I could use a few tips from some of you experienced hosts. I'm looking forward to the position, and even more, the free camping with hookups!
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:11 PM   #2
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Parents did it for a few years at the NY State parks. Make sure the bathrooms are clean after hours. Fill toilet paper. Assist campers in backing in, setting up if they need it. Not bad. The had Red hats the state gave them to wear when they were working. They were only on one loop, as the parks they were at had one host per loop.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:23 PM   #3
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It just depends on the park. Some have jobs raking sites after campers leave, others cleaning bathhouses or just being in the area to help people. I have been in parks that had hosts renting kayaks, manning a entrance gate, working in a camp store, etc. Most want you to work 20 hours a week or sometimes more and have varying perks.

Some get free use of washing machines, free firewood, etc. Some don't.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:03 PM   #4
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I've hosted WA state parks for the last six years and found it a very worthwhile pastime. MOST of the folks are in a very good mood (after all they're on vacation) and chatting up the campers is very enjoyable. As for the tasks you'll be doing, that depends on the park. I've split a lot of firewood, blown a lot of leaves, mowed a lot of lawns, run the weed eater, cleaned cabins, sold firewood, wife has worked in the ranger station running the check in window, checked the restrooms for cleanliness and TP (hosts don't have to clean heads in WA), picked up a lot of trash, reminded campers of park rules such as dogs on leash, helped park rangers and C&Ms with their tasks, cleaned a lot of fire pits, and myriad other tasks. You can choose to be as busy or as lazy as you want. Seems as some camp hosts never leave their RV. The commitment is 28 hours per week per camp site, so between you and the wife, no problem meeting the commitment.

FYI, I've worked Worden, Flagler, and Dosewallips. I've spent the last several years at Dose between hosting and working as a park aide simply because I like the staff and the park is only 60 miles from home. The wife doesn't always spend time at the park, so I go home on my two days off. I also only host the shoulder seasons (April and October) so the place isn't so crazy busy. Dose is booked solid Memorial Day to Labor Day.

I started out with the intention of hosting multiple parks but ended up at Dose because the staff is so congenial. I didn't see any reason to keep moving around if I like the staff and know what I'm expected to do.

As far as Seaquest, I've never stopped there. I wasn't too sure about parking that close to the freeway. I pass by there often on the way to Portland to visit the kids. As far as Mt. St. Helens being close by, it'll be a nice place to visit.

Soooo, have fun with your hosting duties. Feel free to PM me if you'd like more info.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:46 PM   #5
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Sounds like the work can be varied. Don, I just might PM you sometime. Thanks.
Now if I can get positions from now through August, I'll be all set. By the end of September, I'll probably be ready to head back down to Arizona.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:55 PM   #6
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Now if I can get positions from now through August, I'll be all set. By the end of September, I'll probably be ready to head back down to Arizona.
If I come to visit you'll be counting the days till the end of July!

Have a great time Bill.
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:41 AM   #7
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Congratulations on your first "Hosting Gig"!

The rangers will probably tell you this, but remember: You don't have any "legal" authority. You can mention the CG Rules to folks who are breaking them, but don't get all "up in their faces". Report the abusers to the rangers, and let them deal with them.

One other thing: If your responsibilities include hosting children's craft sessions, schedule them for specific times. When the time is up, put the craft supplies away. If you leave them out, you'll have kids coming around all day long, and you'll become a baby sitter.

Enjoy your experiences!
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Old 04-12-2016, 04:51 PM   #8
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If I come to visit you'll be counting the days till the end of July!

Have a great time Bill.
Ha Ha! Come on down!
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Old 04-12-2016, 04:53 PM   #9
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Congratulations on your first "Hosting Gig"!

The rangers will probably tell you this, but remember: You don't have any "legal" authority. You can mention the CG Rules to folks who are breaking them, but don't get all "up in their faces". Report the abusers to the rangers, and let them deal with them.

One other thing: If your responsibilities include hosting children's craft sessions, schedule them for specific times. When the time is up, put the craft supplies away. If you leave them out, you'll have kids coming around all day long, and you'll become a baby sitter.

Enjoy your experiences!
I got a printout today that's for volunteer hosts. List duties, etc., and says "Remember: You are not responsible for enforcing park rules." I can live with that.
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Old 04-12-2016, 04:56 PM   #10
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Yesterday I drove through Seaquest park to check it out. Looks pretty nice. Today I drove to Rainbow Falls SP, and then to Ike Kinswa SP. At Ike Kinswa, I spoke to a couple of people and now have hosting duties set up there for the month of July. The park is right on Mayfield Lake, and I'm camping here tonight and tomorrow.

Just need May and June filled, and I'll be good for the summer.
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Old 05-14-2016, 12:37 PM   #11
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I was able to fill May and June with a Maintenance Host position at Dash Point State Park, and started the position on May 1. After being here for two weeks, I found that I like the place enough to stay for the summer. I need to call the other parks and cancel so they can find my replacement.

I might even convert my Host position into a paid Park Aid position. It would be only 12 hours more per week, plus I'd get a few bucks in my pocket.
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Old 05-14-2016, 06:01 PM   #12
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Stayed at Seaquest 3 or 4 years ago while touring the PNW in a rented motorhome. My memory of Seaquest is that it is a nice park and the CG was incrediably wooded and everything growing is covered in a thick moss. It is a true rain forest. It is not too far off the interstate but far enough that you will never know it is near. Not much available in the nearby town so occasional runs to a larger city will be part of the plan. Its close to Mt S Helens but still a couple hour drive if I remember correctly. Close enough that we drove up to the site the afternoon we got there from a drive up from the Gorge and then doubled back again the next day. Mt St Helens is an awe inspiring place and the video in the theater at the visitors center will leave you speechless.
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:46 PM   #13
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I've hosted WA state parks for the last six years and found it a very worthwhile pastime. MOST of the folks are in a very good mood (after all they're on vacation) and chatting up the campers is very enjoyable. As for the tasks you'll be doing, that depends on the park. I've split a lot of firewood, blown a lot of leaves, mowed a lot of lawns, run the weed eater, cleaned cabins, sold firewood, wife has worked in the ranger station running the check in window, checked the restrooms for cleanliness and TP (hosts don't have to clean heads in WA), picked up a lot of trash, reminded campers of park rules such as dogs on leash, helped park rangers and C&Ms with their tasks, cleaned a lot of fire pits, and myriad other tasks. You can choose to be as busy or as lazy as you want. Seems as some camp hosts never leave their RV. The commitment is 28 hours per week per camp site, so between you and the wife, no problem meeting the commitment.

FYI, I've worked Worden, Flagler, and Dosewallips. I've spent the last several years at Dose between hosting and working as a park aide simply because I like the staff and the park is only 60 miles from home. The wife doesn't always spend time at the park, so I go home on my two days off. I also only host the shoulder seasons (April and October) so the place isn't so crazy busy. Dose is booked solid Memorial Day to Labor Day.

I started out with the intention of hosting multiple parks but ended up at Dose because the staff is so congenial. I didn't see any reason to keep moving around if I like the staff and know what I'm expected to do.

As far as Seaquest, I've never stopped there. I wasn't too sure about parking that close to the freeway. I pass by there often on the way to Portland to visit the kids. As far as Mt. St. Helens being close by, it'll be a nice place to visit.

Soooo, have fun with your hosting duties. Feel free to PM me if you'd like more info.
I know this is an older thread, but we live in Washington (on the Kitsap Peninsula). For 2 years we have thought about camp hosting. We love our state parks. Is it hard to get a camp host position. I know we have to have fingerprints and fill out paperwork, but I don't see any problems that should arise. I work 4 hours a day from 6AM-10AM Monday-Friday. My husband does not work anymore. Would they have us host even if I had to work mornings? I could still work from late morning to evening.
Thanks for any info.
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