This is going to be a mini-quickie post. I’m typing and preparing the whole thing on my phone (a first for me), so please excuse any typos.
Each park, whether it’s privately ran, state or national park have different ways they utilize host/volunteers. These are the questions we think are pretty important to know before you agree to start.
- What’s the schedule? Sometimes they’ll put you on the same days and hours for your entire run, others have a rotating schedule with the other hosts and some management leaves the schedule making up to you and any other hosts that maybe there, to figure out amongst yourselves. Either way, it’s good to know what to expect.
- What are the weekly hour requirements? They will either be set by person or site. Hour requirements by site are better in the end if you’re a couple, because the two of you can break up the hours and tag team. Some parks want 20 hours per person for a site. You just have to decide what’s best for you.
- How many other hosts will be there? It’s nice to know if there will be others there to help manage the work. This may not be as important in all hosts positions (such as maintenance or office positions), but when campground hosting it’s nice to know there will be at least one other host there to help out.
- What tasks and duties are expected to be performed? Some parks are very organized and send out a list of the usual tasks for each host position. But if you don’t get it in writing be sure to ask what a typical day is like for your host position.
- What hookups do the host sites have? This usually want make a break a decision, but it’s nice to know a head of time especially if you’re wavering between multiple parks. Some have full hookups with cable and WiFi and others, like here at Curry Hammock, only have water and electric. And be sure to check your wireless phone providers coverage of the area too.
Also, keep in mind some other perks of hosting. Usually you have access to tools and equipment for your use if you need to do any repairs or projects. Free use of washer and dryer, a limitless supply of ice and sometimes discounted propane. And my favorite part, free access to the parks amenities. We get to use the paddle boards and kayaks at our leisure which also helps us save money.
The more you know the better the experience will be if you decide to try it out. I’d say anyone thinking of full-timing should at least try it once.