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Old 01-31-2016, 07:38 PM   #1
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Young family, would you be a camp host?

My wife and I are 43 and 40 and have a 9yr old daughter. We have a beautiful state park (Scott Lake in Kansas) that's about 60 miles away from home. We are self-employed and own/operate a trucking company, that hauls grain daily from our home area to Scott City feedyards. While enjoying time at the lake last summer, my wife and I joked that this year we should just stay there during the summer as we are there with the trucks daily anyways. We could stay at the lake and come back home for an afternoon during the week to do paperwork, cut the grass etc. The more we talked about it, the more we wanted to pursue it. We stopped by the camp office last week to enquire about renting a site for a month. After explaining to the folks what we wanted to do, they asked if we might be interested in being a camp host. Again, my wife and I thought it would be fun when we are retired, but never considered it until now. We have afew obligations during the summer with our kids, and couldn't start until our daughter gets out of school, and we would need to be home when she starts in the fall but they said they would be more than willing to work with us. We feel we have a very fortunate situation with our business, that we can even consider this. My wife and daughter could take care of helping at the park during the day, and I could help when I get back in the afternoon. Are there any young-middle age families that do this? We think it'd be a fun way to spend the summer. Thoughts or comments from anyone whose done it?


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Old 01-31-2016, 07:43 PM   #2
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I think it's a wonderful idea especially since the park sought you out for this arrangement. It would be a great experience for your daughter as long as she doesn't have to do manual labor. It would develop her social skills.
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Old 01-31-2016, 08:21 PM   #3
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They really don't require much from us. Help campers to their site, take reservations, sell permits, pick up trash if we see it, keep our site looking nice, etc. We just look at it as an opportunity to meet new people, do something we enjoy, plus still operate our business and generate revenue. It's a beautiful little park with a lake, swimming beach and beach house right by the campsites. We figure the only way we will know if we like it is to try it.
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Old 01-31-2016, 09:09 PM   #4
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Young family, would you be a camp host?

I am set up to start my first camp host job this year as well. We are much older than you folks, but we will only be working three days on, and six days off... Leave plenty of time to go do other things as well. They provide a full service site free, in a beautiful area... It beats many other volunteer opportunities.
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Old 02-05-2016, 06:43 PM   #5
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I'm a little late to the party, but I'd say go for it. We are rather much older than you as we have been retired now for some time but we have hosted several times and once we were in a position with a young family in the park with us and we and they both had a great time. These folks had a son & daughter and they thought that we were surrogate grandparents. I suspect that if you are in a location with other hosts, you will probably have an experience of the same sort. The work isn't difficult, and your wife and daughter could easily handle most of it and have a lot of fun at the same time. And who can beat living at the lake?
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:19 PM   #6
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I'd go for it. It sounds like a wonderful way to spend time together and meet new people. Who knows, your daughter will probably love doing it.
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:32 PM   #7
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Only you can answer your question. Only you know if you can free up the time you'll be committing too ... given your family's situation and your primary responsibility to be a parent first and a camp host second. Just don't short change the park (and the campers that you're there to serve). I hate pulling into a park and discovering that the only thing the camp host does is occupy a prime site.
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:11 PM   #8
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Sounds like a great opportunity Trent! Good luck & God bless!
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Old 02-06-2016, 02:06 PM   #9
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It sounds like a great arrangement. One thing to consider is that your daughter may not be allowed to do any work because of child labor laws. I own a private campground in NH and we used to have work weekend where we gave a free site for a weekend in exchange for 3 hours of raking sites. Lots of campgrounds were doing this. We never asked the kids to work but most of them helped their parents. The state told us that if any child worked, we would be in violation of state labor laws and could be fined. Just check with out with them in advance and you should be all set. It may be that your daughter can accompany you but not do any work. Maybe your state isn't as strict and it won't be a problem. At least you'll know. Have fun. It should be a great experience for your family.
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Old 02-06-2016, 03:42 PM   #10
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I think a good experience for your daughter. As commented previously it would help her in development of social skills and situational awareness. Soft skills that she would carry through out her lifetime.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:27 PM   #11
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We are 50 and 47, with two 15 and 13 teen boys, and I work-camped for a month during last fall in N Georgia at the N Ga Mtn Fairgrounds campground. I worked in the garden/trails next to the campground most every day for 4 to 6 hours, mainly general limb pickup and the like.
For that, we received a nice spot up on the hill and away from all the other regular 'campers', which we liked.
Since I didn't work with the public, tho, mine was not a camp host as you would be doing. I will say, though, that of all of the state and local park campgrounds that we've stayed in, I can't remember but maybe one which I had anything to do with the camp 'host'. From what I've seen in our travels, the camp host is more of a 'watch dog' type position where they keep an eye and ear out for anyone who might need help, or those who might be a 'breakin the rules', etc. Of course, a camp host position could entail many jobs, it just depends on the type of facility and what they might expect you to do. I've also seen many times when a sign says 'camp host' at the front of a site, but the rv looks vacant, with no sign of anyone there to 'assist' you.

but, in your situation, I would definitely think that it's worth the effort, and probably a good learning experience to boot! and, you might decide to turn into full timers like us!

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Old 02-10-2016, 05:57 AM   #12
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If you can swing it now I'd say go for it. There's no time like the present and you never now what your situation will be down the road.
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:42 AM   #13
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Regarding child labor...since you already have a business with employees you already are aware of most codes for your business.

Many states have a simple work permit program that basically is a parental consent form.

For the post before where someone just shows up it is not usually suitable but for your application it should be fine.

Check with your her person if you have one or simply call your employment office or wherever that type of thing is handled.

Having that in hand would benefit the park greatly.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:48 AM   #14
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I have been trying how to say this in a supporting manner since this thread started. So I'll start with saying, there can be a lot of great things that it could bring you and your family.

However, (and as SpaceNorman touched on above) there is a time to work, and a time to be mommy and daddy. While working at a campground host can provide some latitude in this, you can not expect to be working as the camp host and full time mommy / daddy at the same time. It is not fair to the customers, it is not fair to those that hire you to do the job, nor will it end up being fun for you as you wil stress out trying to balance it all.

Again, there can be some leeway on this, but you are going to have to set some boundaries between family and work to some degree or another. Having a child under foot while working, with an expectation of constant attention and a lot of "mommy I need you now" is not going to work.....

I wish you all the best.
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