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SWharton

Volunteering as a Single

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On 4/15/2018 at 1:20 PM, Twotoes said:

When any employer provides housing it is for the convince of the employer not the employee. The employer want its employee to be close by. When you volunteer it is not about how much the hours are worth. The free RV site is given as a convince to the employer so that you will remain close ro the volunteer site and show up, and show up on time. It is an additional benefit to the employee who is not getting paid to have a camp site at no cost. The value of the camp site or hours worked is irrelevant. 

Anything an employer provides is for the "convenience of the employer".  Even as a volunteer, you are an  "employee".

I oversaw the volunteer program for a Federal agency, but two levels removed from the initial supervision.

Volunteers are great. I made it a point to see that volunteers got the best assignments and living conditions possible. The advantage to the agency was that we had members of the public that understood our mission and could communicate that to the rest of the public. That was a huge benefit of volunteers.

Lots of people in government think volunteers are "free".  Their not, they do cost the agency lots of money. The ADVANTAGE to volunteers is that in almost in all cases you get REALLY GOOD EMPLOYEES!!  One of my points was always  was that it is a good pool to find future temporary employees!!!

The best Ranger Districts for volunteers knew this. The worst....well, they treated the volunteers as someone that was there. The best Ranger Districts paid their volunteers the per diem rate. It wasn't much, but it helped the volunteers and definitely sent a message that they were valued, and got per diem just like an employee.  

One thing about volunteering. Do what you love. We had "volunteers" doing trail maintenace, butterfly surveys, photographing of historic sites, etc.  Volunteering is more than campground hosts.

BTW...IF you have handy man skills and can fix things like water systems, doors, tables, etc. note that on your application. Those are the folks that are really difficult to find.

And thanks.....to everybody that has volunteered.  


 

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If you feel you need to put a $ amount on your volunteerism you should get a job!!! I look at volunteering as giving of oneself for the benefit of others.

Edited by SWharton

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1 hour ago, SWharton said:

If you feel you need to put a $ amount on your volunteerism you should get a job!!! I look at volunteering as giving of oneself for the benefit of others.

True, but the park or what ever should make you feel wanted and appreciated.  We are seeing to many up the hours to 24 to 30 hours per person for a simple campsite.  When you look at the value for a site and utilities you find a couple putting in 48 to 60 hours per week and they are appreciating you to the tune of $3.00 per hour or less.  If they had to hire an employee, it would be for a heck of  lot more plus benefits.  Then they expect you to clean up filthy bathrooms as well.

No thanks, we go to where we are appreciated.

Ken

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You should have the hours and duties defined prior to accepting a volunteer position. I wouldn't volunteer for a position with excessive hours or duties.

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26 minutes ago, TXiceman said:

True, but the park or what ever should make you feel wanted and appreciated.  We are seeing to many up the hours to 24 to 30 hours per person for a simple campsite.  When you look at the value for a site and utilities you find a couple putting in 48 to 60 hours per week and they are appreciating you to the tune of $3.00 per hour or less.  If they had to hire an employee, it would be for a heck of  lot more plus benefits.  Then they expect you to clean up filthy bathrooms as well.

No thanks, we go to where we are appreciated.

Ken

In all our volunteer gigs we were ALWAYS made to feel appreciated.  Dedicated volunteers don't compare the value of the position.  They are there because they want to be there.  They want to help out our parks.  They just enjoy being in the surroundings.   We've met some that put in a lot more hours on their own than was expected.  If there weren't volunteers for those positions things wouldn't get done.  The agencies don't have enough money to hire people.  I think you have the incorrect idea of volunteering.

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I have been volunteering for over 6 years now. It seems like the requirements for the volunteer are going up. It used to be only 24 hours a week. Now most want 30/32 hours. With the personnel shortage most agencies are experiencing the paid employees (park staff) are making volunteer workers do the work they don’t want to do. It’s difficult to even find a camp host job that doesn’t require a volunteer to clean toilets. I didn’t retire to volunteer to clean toilets. I had one State Park want me to pay them for the background check to volunteer for a non paying job. One State Park wanted me to volunteer to work 7 days a week, saying it’s only 4 hours a day. No time off to explore the area. It’s getting to the point that I would much rather pay for my site and not volunteer. 

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10 hours ago, Twotoes said:

I have been volunteering for over 6 years now. It seems like the requirements for the volunteer are going up. It used to be only 24 hours a week. Now most want 30/32 hours.

I have seen that also, especially for federal agencies. But we also learned that at least some of the managers with the USFWS will pay lipservice to those rules coming out from above while only asking for those hours if critically needed and then only for a short time. The national parks are asking for 4 days a week for just an RV site in the more popular parks such as Yellowstone and Everglades. We did the same job in Everglades as do the seasonal rangers but they were paid $15/hour and had to pay about $200/month for shared housing while we worked one day less for only an RV site. That is the reason that we have not gone back to any national parks in several years. 

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As many have already said, it depends on the needs of the facility.  My wife and I have work kamped/volunteered as a couple and as a single.  One campground only need her so I had lots of free time.  Another one only needed me for security so she had lots of free time.  We were at another that only needed one person yet they allowed us to do the job together.  That was a lot of fun too.  Flexibility is great.  It can take a bit of extra digging to find some of the opportunities for singles.

Best regards,

Richard

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as for my life "now". i can not volunteer. as the dot rules say i must give my employer a log page for every hr ageist my 60 hrs a week allowed by law.

and the the company "rules" about rest, and driver fatigue. yes even out in my yard gardening on my days off, are labeled as NOT resting.

now when i retire from a life of driving a rig for pay, sure i can give some of my time for the "odd" job for a site.. and?  for a couple months.

heck sounds good walking around a camp ground as the dicktatter forcing people to do what i say.  (said tongue in cheek).

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