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Old 05-25-2011, 09:27 PM   #15
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Great replies Ray and njs42!

Ain't it the truth about that Golden Rule thing?

Thank You

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Old 05-25-2011, 09:43 PM   #16
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I recall 2 negative camp host incidents. The first was in a state park in Nebraska, seems you need something (involving a fee) more than just going on the reservation website and paying the campsite fee. He wanted cash, I thought he was shaking me down and told him no. Later a ranger came by with the same request, him I gave a check made out to the park service.

Other one was in Maryville state park in Washington. My buddy and I got spoken to for having our mats out on the grass, and me for parking my MH backwards so we could be awning to awning. We compromised, picked up our mats but didn't move my bus.

While I've had many dozens of friendly interactions with camp hosts, none sticks in my mind. Odd.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:10 PM   #17
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Most are pleasant, but some are fustrated by life and let the power go to their head. I just try to be polite and reason with them.

We were backing into our campsite in Quartzsite, a campground in town, when a volunteer in a campsite across from me, decided he was going to direct me while I backed up. I always get out and do a walk around and don't use anyone to back me in. I'm been doing it long a long time and doing it myself prevents issues. He became agitated that I wasn't following his directions. I finally had to tell him that I appreciated his thoughtfulness, but would rather back the coach in where and how I wanted it. He was a little pissy for awhile, but brightened up when I helped him remove a branch from his roof that fell during a wind storm.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:49 PM   #18
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I have camped and been a camphost so I have seen both sides and personally I have encountered more crappy campers than crappy camphosts
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:37 AM   #19
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I am currently a host at a state park and yesterday morning I saw two boys playing chase on bicycles with their large dog that was not on a leash. The dog almost ran into my truck when I was driving into the park. I almost called the ranger to ask them to leash the dog, but since I didn't see the dog loose again, I didn't thinking it was a one time thing.
I heard from one of the rangers that they were asked by a ranger later in the day to leash the dog and they got a bit snotty. They ended up with a ticket for $85.00. The leash "rule" here is primarily a county ordinance.
They are still here, but the dog is on a leash and they are $85.00 poorer.
It all comes around.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:39 AM   #20
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Most volunteer camp hosts are pretty nice people. I have seen one or two go out of their way to be nasty, but in over 40 years camping in state and federal parks, I have met a lot of real nice people.
Ditto. My wife and I are hosting for the first time in a COE campground.

We tell ('read') the rules to the people we check-in. If we have a problem with them, we are to remind them of the rules. If they don't comply we are to call the on duty ranger. If that does not work, we have both the local and state police numbers listed on our contact sheet. But most RV'ers are great people and follow them, as they make things better for everyone.

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Old 05-26-2011, 10:35 AM   #21
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We have hosted many times, in Florida State Parks. We were always told that we could approach a camper about a rules violation BUT if we felt uncomfortable at any time, just call a ranger.

Normally, we would let the camper know that the ranger would notice this (violation) on the next swing through the campground, and then suggest fixing the problem. I know "blame it on the rangers", but it works and the rangers liked it.

On the other hand, we have experienced rangers that were real "sticklers" on rules, and if he noticed any violations at all, he would come to us and ask if we noticed the violation and what we did about it! Like it was our fault!

In five years of full timing, mostly in state parks, we have been lucky enough to always have nice hosts and great rangers.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:33 PM   #22
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On the other hand, we have experienced rangers that were real "sticklers" on rules, and if he noticed any violations at all, he would come to us and ask if we noticed the violation and what we did about it! Like it was our fault!
I would ask the ranger (kindly) to read the rules pretaining to volunteer hosts; if that caused a problem I'm afraid I'd be ready to hookup and move down the highway; What can they do? fire you
I believe in that the old proverb---do unto others that do unto you.
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:53 PM   #23
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I would ask the ranger (kindly) to read the rules pretaining to volunteer hosts; if that caused a problem I'm afraid I'd be ready to hookup and move down the highway; What can they do? fire you
I believe in that the old proverb---do unto others that do unto you.
Melyonnar: Normally, I agree with you, but otherwise the ranger was such a nice guy, we overlooked his rule phobia.
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:25 PM   #24
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Because of tight budget constraints you might be surprised someday by the authority a volunteer might have. Volunteer only means they are not paid. A campfire to close to grass is not a little thing, it is a major issue that needs to be dealt with immediately. Usually a volunteer tries to gain compliance by making the camper use their own water to put out a camp fire that is illegal. If they won't you call in the troops and they handle the problem. I volunteer for law enforcement and I have the authority to write any parking violation anywhere in the county. We keep the blue spots open for those who need them for example and during fire seasons we take care of illegal camp fires.

If we run into an attitude then we call someone who has a real attitude and a gun. We have no arrest powers or the power to detain but we can serve as an expert witness for the officer who makes the arrest. Our group is highly trained and we are very proud of it. When a problem occurs within our ranks we deal with it.

On trafic duty we do have authority, for example at the scene of a fatal accident and we receive the backup of those who are sworn oifficers.

Some FS volunteers and I believe also BLM do have similar authorities. They could write that ticket for the campfire. And some volunteers are sworn officers, oops.
Our department has 3,000 volunteers, without them they could not operate.

Mutual respect goes a long way.
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:11 AM   #25
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I did wish for some authority the other day. I drove up to the dump site and saw a large Class A dumping (gray water fortunately), but without taking the time to hook up his hose. He pulled up to the dump site and pressed a button because when he saw me the flow suddenly stopped and he drove off quickly. I would have passed him on the way to the ranger station and stopped him for the ranger, but I was towing a blue boy. I just hosed down his mess and went on with my day.
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:00 AM   #26
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We just got back from a week at Mill Bridge campgrounds in SE Pa. And not only was it a great place to stay-- when I was hooking up and pluged in my surge protector, I was standing there waiting for the built in 2 1/2 minute delay, the work camper came over because he thought I was having a problem and wanted to help me. During the coarse of our stay he checked in a couple of times to make sure everything was OK. I do think that some of the checks he did was because he has the same problem I have---CAN'T STOP TALKING.
You are right about almost all the hosts and campworkers are a great bunch of people.
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:36 AM   #27
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When helping out at a local county park if I see a violation I just diplimaticly point it out and tell them that if the Ranger see's it that he might give a ticket. That way they are warned and if they don't heed my advice they face the wrath later. I always am friendly and use tactfullness.
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:53 AM   #28
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Having served as a camp host/worker for several years in various places across the country, I can say that my "authority" was whatever the campground management said it was. In some we were told to advise the offender of the problem and report it to the management/ranger if it continued. In others, we were given authority to act if necessary, i.e. ask violators to leave and call law enforcement for help. In one private park we were told that we were the management when the owner was away and to do whatever was needed. We took our cues from our employers - it didn't take long to see which rules violations they tend to overlook, and which ones they were sticklers for.

I think that unpaid volunteers generally fall into the "report it to the ranger" authority category, but most will advise the offender before the report is made. When they do so, they are doing you a favor, trying to avoid an official confrontation.

Making up rules? It probably happens once in awhile. Some people do tend to let a little power go to their heads, but that's just human nature. When confronted with a butthead, acting like a butthead yourself doesn't help any - it just ruins your day.
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