Chronicals of an Official Workamper... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-29-2008, 11:19 PM   #1
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I am now officially a workamper!

An opportunity came up at my favorite quick get away up in my mountains, At Heartbar campground in the San Gorgonio wilderness .. San Bernardino NF.

As I come here several times during the season, I know the host here well. I have mentioned my desire to fulltime and work camp, so she asked for my card and wanted to know if I would be interested in helping on weekends if the family living here in thier tent flaked.

Well, they didn't work out and she called me last Thursday. I was planning on coming up anyway, so I checked it out.. it will be a good first experience. I did the pit toilets today and it wasn't as disgusting as I thought it might be (But I am sure it will have it's moments)

I leave my trailer here in a host site, and they provide solar panels, water, dump, propane and feed you.. no cash pay. Maybe a gas allowance but it isn't that far for me.. we'll see.

Anyway, I come up on friday nites, do rounds every two hours and check the toilets twice a day. No fire pit cleaning, no big police work.. starter stuff. Then I get Sunday evenings off and drive home monday a.m. at O dark thirty.

So... as I am live in here, I won't be tugging on weekends.. and that will save lots of bucks, or allow me to camp where I wouldn't otherwise be able to afford it.

We'll see how long I last LOL!

We already had one beagle golfcart conflict.. I'll have to work on that one.

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Old 06-29-2008, 11:27 PM   #2
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Do you have to collect fees? Do you clean the Pits, fill the TP rolls, what?
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:35 PM   #3
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Another Workcamper!

You'll have to do like Gerry does and post Your Stories.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:35 PM   #4
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Congratulations, Gina! I hope this works out for you and your beagle crew! Keep us posted.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:47 PM   #5
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No, I don't collect fees.. the host does that. I get in a golfcart every two hours and patrol.. I make sure there is no utter chaos, tell folks when their fire is too high or to put their dog on a leash. If there is a big problem I radio the big ranger guy who comes and squashes them and threatens to have them arrested. I only warn and advise, I don't do enforcement.

I don't clean the pit itself, just make sure the seats are clean and sweep up trash. Yes, I keep the paper stocked. On "patrol", I rotate the bear bars on the dumpsters so one side of them doesn't get too full if needed.

After folks leave I check the fire pits to make sure the fire is out, collect the left over wood and rake the sites, report any damage etc.

It is really pretty easy. Next weekend is the worst weekend all year.. the rest should be downhill from there!

I was already given a perfectly good cabin tent. The folks that got fired left their site a mess, and what didn't fit in their car got left. It needs a good cleaning but thats easy enough.

The only thing on a strict schedule is the toilets, the rest I can do at my leisure.

A crew comes in and does the grounds and scoops the fire pits, I also don't have to do any of the toilet chemicals etc.

They also have a guy that comes around and fixes things on your trailer if need be.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:57 PM   #6
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Sounds like a sweet deal for you.
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:02 AM   #7
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thats really cool Gina!!!
I would love to do the weekend 'host' thing.. but with my work shedule I dont have the time to really get ready.. load up, with my stuff and the dogs stuff and go..!! Hopefully in time I can do that!!
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Old 06-30-2008, 08:25 AM   #8
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Whoo-hoo, Gina - what a GREAT intro to hosting/workamping. Sounds like a perfect fit for you and the McMansion. How neat you don't have "big enforcement" duties ... after Lyttle Creek, we have re-evaluated the idea of a full host position, but something like your gig would be do-able.

Have a terrific summer hangin' out at your favorite FSCG, and yes, please post your adventures! Take care, L 'n D
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Old 06-30-2008, 09:50 AM   #9
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Hi Gina,

I would have thought 6,900 feet would be difficult for you. Glad you can do that. 'Course you probably don't start off from 600 feet above sea level. Still I would think the air would be a bit thin for you.

The talk about the gathering in CO Rockies makes me want to go, but that elevation is out for me. I could do your 6,900 as long as I just sat;}

Nancy
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:51 AM   #10
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Congrads Gina! I will watch for your stories and read with interest. Your assignments sound very doable and I'm glad to hear "the enforcer" is just a radio call away. Sheila & I consider this type of gig every Fall, for the following year -- yet we have not done it YET. Enjoy, D
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:40 PM   #11
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so far, I have nothing ultra exciting to share Yesterday was my first day "on", and on Sunday, the campground has cleared and there was really nothing exciting to report.

Last nite, however, as I sat in an area I have paid for many times, but was surrounded by other campers.. I was alone. In a giant loop. It was actually very cool when the sun went down.. like I owned the whole forest.

Then.. the bear came through on his way to the snack bin. It was then very eerie to realize I had no person closer than about 1/4 mile between me and him (or her.. I didn't ask)

Bears are common in this campground, I have seen them there many times, but it was different without anyone around.

It had no interest in me and kept on going. I am not scared of bears, but still, knowing if any bad thing were to happen, I would be hard pressed for help was a little unsettling. I retreated to the Burro and hunkered down in my bed.. listening to the silence.

I had stayed in the site across from this one and the host was always in the site I am in now.. so I have never been that alone there.
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Old 06-30-2008, 11:46 PM   #12
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oh, Nancy, I do notice a slight difference, but I am pretty much totally recovered and back to as normal as I will ever be.. I think aging is more a factor than the lung. I do OK there, I go at my regulated pace and all seems fine.
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:19 AM   #13
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Gina, Have a great Summer/weekender workcamping! You will have a blast. I hope you have bear spray? You should keep it with you at all times....................... They really aren't after you, their after what food they can find. Now if they can't find food, hmmmmm . And another issue would be when you get between a Mama and a Baby........ So always make sure your not in between em and you should be fine. I have lived in area's several times that were in out of the way area's where we or I would be the only one around. I bought myself one of those Boat horn's/fog horn's, sorry I can't remember what they call them. Anyway they make a ton of noise! Only had to use it one time, when something/someone was trying to look thru my window's. It was a person! Peeping Tom! Any way, I blew it and acted like it was an animal, yelling I will get the shot gun if you get into my trash etc........ Scared him off and he never came back around. But I always felt that the noise would shock them, and hopefully draw attention to help if I blew it off enough times. Have fun! Enjoy! Robin
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:06 PM   #14
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Cool gig! Maybe later in the summer if you are still doin' your thing there we can come up for a weekend.
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Old 07-01-2008, 06:48 PM   #15
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Congratulations Gina! Good stories so far! Hope they stay that way!!! I registered with Workamper and KOA program and plan to start next year. Great experience for your resume!! Are you gonna make Lake Casitas??
Regards, Chuck
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:39 PM   #16
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The fog horn sounds (Excuse the pun) like a very good idea! I have the panic button for my car too. 99.9% of the time I will not be alone back there. This was actually unusual. I have stayed over on Sundays before and there is usually a couple folks there.

Chuck, Workamper is a good resource. Go to the job fairs. I went to the one in Mesa this year, and despite my first tellin the employers I was NOT ready to take a position yet, I was only on a fact finding mission, I was still offered two gigs. One for KOA, but I bet they put you on a list just to have a pool.

I am going to do my best to do Casitas. If for nothing else, my Barbecue misses you!

Liz, come up anytime! You gots the #.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:50 AM   #17
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I looked at the pictures of Heartbar in the link you provided, and can see why it's been a favorite place of yours!!
Is it common practice to remove leftover firewood after campers check-out???
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Old 07-02-2008, 08:25 AM   #18
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There it is due to the extreme fire danger here. Folks bring in "Junk" wood (whole pallets, Painted building materials, their yard debris etc) that looks messy in the sites, catches fire easily and it helps discourage the bon fire crowd.

The danger is very slight, but it is there. Personally, I am surprised they allow fires at all, but it's the "Jaws" syndrome. Most folks insist on one, and if they couldn't have one.. they won't come.



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Old 07-03-2008, 02:25 AM   #19
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Makes sense. I hadn't been thinking of the human penchant for large conflagrations.
Things have greened up enough around here that they've finally lifted the burn ban, but I sure hope folks behave themselves this weekend.
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Old 07-03-2008, 06:23 AM   #20
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Gina, Welcome to the world of camp-host. Sounds like a prety cushy job whwere your at with all the full hook ups and all.
I have non but then again I do get paid a fee and if I ever find the propane leak on the Boler I think I will actually turn a profit.
Funny how what use to be the best weekend for camping all of a sudden turns into the "hardest" weekends for camping, once one becomes a host.
So things will slow down where you are, after the 4th?
I got my schedual for all of July and we are almost 100% full for the month.
How many sites does your camp have?
I got 47 with 14 SST's (sweet smelling toilets) out-houses to clean and keep stocked with supplies.
Again the weather has been Rain but as long as it comes (and I find myself hopeing for it) around 10:00pm right at quiet time, so the rowdies will all go to bed) It's OK.
The enforcement of the Quiet time rule is the hardest and when and if your dealing with an boozed up gal...it's the worst.
Again welcome and looking forward to some of your adventures or MIS- adventures as host.
Gerry
PS. HMMMM do you think we will go camping on our vacations???

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