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-   -   First Volunteer Host Position (https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f13/first-volunteer-host-position-2007.html)

edatlanta 03-16-2011 02:59 PM

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.

Denise 03-16-2011 06:57 PM

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) :)

clutch 03-16-2011 11:25 PM

Congratulations on the new job. Nothing like working with Joe Public. :D

Denise 03-17-2011 11:59 AM

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 :)

edatlanta 03-17-2011 12:15 PM

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.

Denise 03-17-2011 12:49 PM

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? :)

edatlanta 03-17-2011 01:46 PM

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.

Denise 03-17-2011 01:49 PM


edatlanta 04-11-2011 06:02 AM

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.

clutch 04-11-2011 10:24 PM

That was a good report Ed. I hope it works for you. A couple of my friends are campground hosts and they enjoy it.

edatlanta 04-12-2011 07:50 PM

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.

Terry 04-12-2011 08:24 PM


I think I'll do nothing.
Man - I want your plan Ed...that sounds so nice! Enjoy yourself!

Crabman 04-15-2011 06:39 PM

Yep, that sounds like a good plan!

KathyDiane 04-15-2011 07:23 PM

I'm looking forward to updates on your experiences!

edatlanta 04-15-2011 07:45 PM

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.

Tanker42 04-16-2011 07:52 AM

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

edatlanta 04-16-2011 10:57 AM

Will do Joe. You have fun in Virginia. I lived in Blacksburg for 5 years back in the late 80's. Loved the area.

edatlanta 04-18-2011 08:56 AM

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.

Terry 04-18-2011 10:12 AM

Nice find! Curious what antenna you have and where you got it.

edatlanta 04-18-2011 01:43 PM

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.

Terry 04-18-2011 02:13 PM

That is a nice setup - I might have to look into one of those, although it would be more for fun since I dont camp enough to blow my 5 GB.

I love those Cradlepoints. I have a MBR1000 and also a PHS300. Really versatile units.

Shin Pond Hunter 04-18-2011 02:49 PM

Sounds like a nice spot Ed... Have fun and stay safe...

clutch 04-18-2011 11:01 PM

Ed, I am glad to hear you are having fun in your new location.

villain2000 04-28-2011 08:56 PM

So whats going on down there in FLA, Ed? Anymore campground adventures?

edatlanta 04-29-2011 06:37 AM

All is going well. The park has a new manager that is making some changes, but little impact on the volunteers. Some changes, but still 20 hours/week. The hours are being compacted into more/day, but less days so that is fine with me.
The weather has warmed up a bit since I arrived two weeks ago although this morning is in the low 50's, but back up to low 80's later today.

edatlanta 05-24-2011 08:09 PM

We were notified this morning that the main water pump that supplies the entire park is being replaced tonight starting at 10:00pm. Tomorrow we will have water, but it won't be drinkable until they flush the entire system and I'm sure quality testing. I just filled up my fresh water tank and unplugged the city water connection. I'll be good for a couple of weeks if I have to.
No problem here, but I'm glad I'm not tent camping.

Rustic Eagle 05-24-2011 08:44 PM

....and the adventure continues :D

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