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Work camping.


Abigail Roberts
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There are many different ways to find volunteer positions, depending upon what you are looking for. Probably the best known and easiest would be Volunteer.Gov which is the federal government site and also has some state agencies. We have especially enjoyed our many experiences as RV volunteers with the US Fish & Wildlife Service as there are hundreds of wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries that provide RV sites and often other amenities for resident volunteers. We have spent time at 9 different federal wildlife refuges. Almost all state park systems have RV sites for volunteers and there are many different opportunities with them such as campground hosting, volunteer tour guides, and maintenance All that you need do is to plug the state name, parks into a search engine and the state park site should be found and most have a volunteer tab on their menu. Some examples would be Washington State Parks, Oregon State Parks, Oregon Game & Fish, Florida State Parks, and many, many others.  The National Park Service has their own volunteer pages and we have spent time in 5 different national parks helping with interpretive programs. 

Another excellent source of places to volunteer that one might not think of is a subscription to the Workamper News, where we found some of our most memorable experiences. This is probably one of the best sources for paid positions, along with the RVer Job Exchange on the Escapee website.

We began doing RV volunteer positions back in 2000 and for 12 years we would do 2 or more each year. We had such a great time that we have now completed 39 different tours as resident RV volunteers in 35 different places, and we continue to do so even though we are no longer fulltimers. 

Edited by Kirk W
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  • 2 months later...

There is a Facebook groucalled, Workcampers. There is also one that is RV Volunteering. Escapees and RVillage both have groups dedicated to Workamping. There is a site www.workampers.com and also an app CamperGigs.com (app is new so not much on it yet.) 

Good luck

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  • 7 months later...

Ethan, that is a difficult thing to answer because there is such a wide range in positions. Jobs working the sugarbeet harvest typically pay $15 to $25 per hour, working as much as 12 hours per day for anywhere from 10 days to as much as 3 weeks. Working a pumpkin patch job typically pays abour $15/hour and lasts for the month of October. Amazon hires seasonal workiers for their fultillment centers and those pay well for long hours as well. On the other hand working as a campground host in a commercial park supplies an RV site and about $300-$500 per month and has far fewere hours and less difficult work. State, federal and some other public campgrounds often have hosts that are not paid but work only 2-4 days a week for site only. I suggest that you check out Workamping Jobs for more information.

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You have to keep calling the parks in the area where you want to volunteer.  Check www.volunteer.gov for all of the federal parks.  Each state has a website for their state park lands.  Fill out the online applications and the application goes to an electronic never-never land.  This is where you have to start calling the volunteer coordinators at each site.

Many of the parks have seasonal folks that come back year after year to volunteer for a free campsite.  They already have the season booked a year or two in advance.    If you call, you may find a park looking to fill a position due to a sudden cancellation.

Each park is run differently and has different positions to fill.  Be sure and have them spell out the areas that you will be working.  We have found that over the recent years, the parks are receiving less funding and are short staffed and look for the volunteers to pick up more of the slack.  Some parks require that the volunteers clean the restrooms and showers daily, some have staff to do the major cleaning.

We have a list of a few parks that we will not work in due to the management and/or the workload.  There are Face Books groups on volunteering which you can ask questions about certain parks.  You can also ask here about working in specific parks and get feedback.

Good luck with your hunting.

Ken

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