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The Neal Taylor Nature Center located at Cachuma Lake in the hills above Santa Barbara, CA is looking for a single volunteer or a volunteer couple. We need someone preferably starting in September 2016 and staying through to early/mid April, 2017. This is a lovely time of year to be in this area.

The volunteer(s) will be working with a fun group of other volunteers in the Nature Center and duties will include assisting with greeting visitors and children's groups to the Nature Center, attending to a small gift shop, light duty helping to keep the Nature Center dusted and vacuumed, and some light computer work. Some computer skills are a big plus for someone who wants to help.

In exchange for volunteering an average of 20 hours a week, a full hookup RV site (electric, water, sewer)is provided in a nice RV park just steps away from the Nature Center. Hours are somewhat flexible, but revolve around the Center's 10AM- 4PM Tuesday-Saturday, 10 AM- 2PM Sunday schedule.

The Cachuma Lake Recreation Area is a short 20 minute drive to Santa Barbara, 10 minutes to Santa Ynez and the start of the valley wine country. There are so many fun things (something for everyone) to do in the area.

This is an excellent rewarding host opportunity for people who are responsible, self-directed, organized, and friendly! Visit our website at www.clnaturecenter.org and click "Camp Host Positions" to learn more as well as get contact information to inquire/apply.

We look forward to having you join us!


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Their main page link is not active and the old host info page is outdated, but HERE is the application with additional contact info and HERE, a link to the outdated page.. although.. the info is probably still accurate and just the dates haven't been updated.

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As an FYI type of thing, it is important that the word get out that hosting at the nature center is not a pleasant experience. The atmosphere at that facility is one that is not fun or rewarding to be there. Although there is one couple who come back every winter (only because they have family in the area), almost all other folks that have hosted there strongly proclaim that they do not want to return and gutted out their commitment they made and got out ASAP. Some just left and I can't blame them. It's that bad.

 

Other facts that are important to know is that Cachuma Lake is almost to the point of being dry. The last time I heard it was at 14.7% full. The campground is a dust bowl and the only vegetation that you might see are foxtails and goat head plants. During the summer, the RV park and campground are a zoo becoming a tent city with droning generators and loud music coming from each campsite. It is not a quiet experience at all. It's all about partying. The park has purposely selected the worst RV pads to allocate to the hosts and your pickings among those worst sites will be slim.

 

The Santa Barbara area and Santa Ynez Valley area are beautiful and there is lots to see. Unfortunately, the price you have to pay in unnecessary stress and sadness that is created hosting at the nature center is not worth it at all. I honestly have no axe to grind here and I don't want to even close to running into a defamation accusation by any particular person so I am being intentionally general here.. It's just that I have witnessed a parade of hosts come and go and it is truly sad to see what they have had to go through. It's a real shame as hosting at the nature center could be lots of fun but it just isn't. Your mileage may vary if you try it but just be aware that there very likely could be a bad experience in store for you.

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Yes, I hate to be the bearer of such bad news as it pains me that things are the way they are. The work environment there is just toxic. Several of the last long time docents and a board member (some of who have been there for over 20 years) are leaving because it has long past become to the point of ridiculous. Most of the other dedicated docents had slipped away intentionally years ago. Such sweet people they are. We have asked over and over and over again why does it have to be this way.

 

The hosts that are currently at the nature center appear to be of one of two categories; 1. Trapped by life circumstances so that they feel the HAVE to put up with the situation, sadly some for an extended period of time. 2. They are newly arrived and will soon be counting the days until their contract commitment is up and make the best of it until they can get away never to return. I have seen this happen over and over.

 

Please don't shoot the messenger here. My reasons for writing this is not about spite but just trying to protect people from getting themselves into a stressful host position that has no real joy because it is overshadowed by an extremely toxic work environment. If I see that things have changed, then I will be the first to come back here and let everyone know.

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We have had one less than positive experience hosting and have since found several other folks with the same experience. We try to gently tell host they might want to research the facility in more detail. Then I will follow up with a PM to the poster with a bit more information to see if they want more information.

 

I greatly appreciate any response that might put the facility in a negative light. Most places realize that host pass information among other host and people will avoid places with a bad response.

 

But other places do not really care and figure they can get a a newbie each time.

 

If I was interested in the CA assignment, I would definitely send a PM to the responder for more details. Sometimes you can simply run across people that you have a personality conflict and the next fellow may do fine.

 

I know that I do not do well with people that want to micromanage.

 

Ken

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I find this entire thread a little bit confusing since AFT was not part of the forums until the post advertising the position was put up. This is not the first time that the party posted looking for volunteers as there is one from a year ago, with a following post saying position filled. The nature center seems to be a part of the Santa Barbara Co. Park system. Investigating farther I found that Neal Taylor Nature Center does have a website of their own that is working. They also have a Facebook presence but that has not seen any new posts in nearly two years.

 

 

I sent an email to the contact on the website suggesting that she might want to look at this thread, but her reply to my email left me wondering if she grasped what I was telling her. I just made a private message to the person who started this thread, but who knows if that will get any reply??

 

If it were me considering going there, I'd certainly bring up the things mentioned by AFT, as the lack of response does lend a degree of credibility to the posts, but I am also wondering at one joining our forums soon after the post to reply to it. If AFT is still reading this, I'd be very interested to know what prompted it? Did he just do a search for the Nature Center recruitment posts, or.......... ?? At this point I would have to take what has been stated seriously. Like Ken, we have had one really bad experience while volunteering, so we do realize that such situations do arise.

 

There is a means of contacting the people there if you wish and while I have no knowledge of the nature center, I do know that area and it has a lot to offer when spending time there. Every story has two sides to it so I'd like to hear the other.

 

Neal Taylor Nature Center ~ 2265 Highway 154 ~ Santa Barbara, CA 93105

~ 805-693-0691 ~ julie@clnaturecenter.org

Edited by Travis Carr

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I lived in So Calif for many years and my parents lived in Santa Barbara. I have never visited this location but do know that the lake water level is very low as the poster said. I have seen many postings for this location looking for hosts for the past several years. I would think that if they are always advertising for host positions that there must be a problem in keeping staff. With this in mind if I were to consider hosting for them I investigate the facts further.

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Hello Kirk,

 

It is not that confusing if you really look at it in a positive way. A fellow host is just posting helpful information about a particular hosting position that they know of. With that in mind, because the information contains negative material does not necessarily make it any less credible or confusing than if it were positive. Obviously, the issue seems to be that this forum account was created just prior to replying to the original post of this thread. That is understandable. As I said before, it is just an attempt to make others aware. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

I hope that I may have helped some folks in my efforts here. Cheers everybody! : )

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I appreciate the info from posters who list there handle and I can see their names.

It is the ones who remain anonymous, that I wonder about. Being a messenger or not, your name is important as the level of trust that is given.

To all of those who give thier names, I salute you and thank you

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I do hope many see this and reflect on life, trust, respect and friendship.That people who introduce themselves on the forums as I stated have earned mt trust, respect and friendship until they do something to loose.

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I appreciate the info from posters who list there handle and I can see their names.

It is the ones who remain anonymous, that I wonder about. Being a messenger or not, your name is important as the level of trust that is given.

To all of those who give thier names, I salute you and thank you

 

In this particular case, you having a "name" for credibility purposes is not really that important. What IS important is that the message has been sent out to everybody. Now it is up to people to decide for themselves on how they want to use this information. You, for example, might not want to heed the advice because you do not have a "name" and so you take the host position. That is your choice and god bless. But there are the other people who read the message that is being sent out and who are taking the advice to beware and I am satisfied that I have done at least something to try to help those folks (however many there are, even if just one) avoid a particularly dreadful experience. It's just plain old people helping people, name or no name it's all good.

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Now it is up to people to decide for themselves on how they want to use this information.

Untrue. It is an assertion, not "information".

It remains an assertion without collaborative third party confirmation.

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Call it what you want Rich and/or Sylvia; assertion or information, doesn't matter in the end. What matters is that the message is still there (and it will stay there) as a warning for others to be aware of possible problems when taking this host position. Regards.

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Neal Taylor Nature Center web site. Looks like they do a lot of things for kids.And weekly programs.

 

Why NO post from any other past host? If they have had a big turn over as claimed. Where are they?

So far only one unhappy host that has posted many times. :rolleyes:

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Neal Taylor Nature Center web site. Looks like they do a lot of things for kids.And weekly programs.

 

Why NO post from any other past host? If they have had a big turn over as claimed. Where are they?

So far only one unhappy host that has posted many times. :rolleyes:

 

Because the other hosts, past and present are not aware of this discussion going on right here. How would they know unless they stumbled upon it? The only reason I have posted multiple times is because there is a question of credibility and I tried to address that as a way to assure folks that the message being relayed is a reliable source.

 

I imagine this discussion of credibility will go on and on as certain people try to pick apart the message and the intent of the message and the person who is sending the message.

 

Regards Biker56

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AFT, it may be helpful if you revealed how you came upon this thread. You have 7 posts on this forum and all are in this thread. Is there any wonder why people are skeptical?

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Is there any wonder why people are skeptical?

 

It is a wonder that people are skeptical but that seems to be the way our society is these days and it is a sad state for us to be in. It seems to be a bad habit where people assume the worse and do not consider the positive aspects. That is what is happening here in this thread.

 

I came here to be helpful to others and I believe I have attained that goal. However, I have chosen to reply to a few who jump to negative conclusions rather than just reading the message and moving on. Now I know my original message was about a negative subject but that is the situation at that host position. There is no other way to get the message out without describing it as it is.

 

Hey, if you want to be skeptical and pick things apart, then go right ahead. If you want to listen and consider the message as being from someone who is trying to help others, then good on you. My only motivation in staying with this discussion as long as I have is because I wanted to attempt to keep the inevitable negatively oriented people from ruining the message with their conspiracy theories. I feel I have successfully done everything I could to prevent that from happening. It's time for me to let the chips fall where they may concerning this subject so I bid happy RV'ing and a good day to everyone. : )

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It could be that like me, the user was a lurker who, when seeing that post, felt that he or she needed to register to post. When I see an anonymous internet review like that it doesn't stop me from a product or service but it causes me to open my eyes a little bit more and ask better questions.

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