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Workamping … wait what?

Yeah, we know … You read the intro, and it clearly said we quit our jobs and we’re going to live the dream of traveling through the US, skipping through the flowers, and eating ice cream. Well, that’s still true to a point. 

But in the summer of 2017, we decided to try what they call “workamping”. Essentially it’s being camp hosts of a campground. It could be a national forest, run by a concessionaire, or a privately owned campground. Not hard, right? Check a few people in. Answer some questions, and make sure toilet paper is full. Well … yes and no. They are not all the same. People are not all the same. We learned so much that summer, and though there were some frustrating, tiring times, with some very long days, we really did enjoy our time at Holland Lake in Montana.

Camp Host

I’m pretty sure the next time we agree to be camp hosts, I will be buying Justin a t-shirt that says “Don’t feed the camp host”. But thank you to all our new friends who felt Justin was possibly losing weight and sent him home with salad, prime rib, and oh yeah … the beer! Most days our conversation went much like this:

Stacy to Justin: “Can you run to the other campground loop and check fee tubes?”

(Two hours later Stacy uses the walkie-talkie provided by the campground owners)

Stacy: “Justin? Did you fall in the lake?”

Justin: “Sorry, talking, be right there” (THIS . MAN . CAN . TALK)

Sometimes I’d wait another …. many minutes and he’d walk in carrying food! 

We got so many smiles, hugs, and we met some incredible people, including our new very good friends Bob and Kellie. A summer job turning into lifelong friends is such a blessing! We met so many amazing people. Too many to mention. Brian and Annie who finally got married at the lodge. “The Susan’s” who gave us great conversations, laughs, and yes … food and beer! Most of these people don’t even realize how they truly impacted us! Thank you!!!!

If you all are ever in the area, you will find the cleanest pit toilets and bathrooms ever at this campground. Ha Ha Well … at least when we were hosting. We must have gotten 100+ people that told us it was the cleanest bathrooms they’ve ever seen at a campground. BOOYA!! We rocked!!

So if you’re thinking about hosting at a campground, do it! You’ll meet some amazing people! Possibly eat some amazing food!?!? Maybe we’ll come back to Holland Lake in the future! But either way, if you all are ever there, or planning to be there, check it out. Make sure you jump online 6 months in advance and reserve your spots! Did I mention it’s a very busy campground? Our two favorite walk-in sites (no reservations needed) are 18 & 30 in the Bay loop, or 1, 2, and 3 in the Larch loop. Sweet spots! But good luck. Please don’t bribe the current occupants. LOL (Yes, we saw some crazy things).

Our Advice: Ask lots of questions about what your job at the campground entails. Take time off! Smile! If you’re having a bad day or things are stressful, it’s not the camper’s fault! They are there to have a few days of vacation they very rarely get. We constantly got comments about how happy we were and there were a few times we were sleep-deprived and exhausted. Explore and see what you can around the area. Each workamping job will be so different. Different places, different amenities, different job expectations.  And last but certainly not least  —  keep those bathrooms clean! People like that! 

What are Workamping?

It’s pretty simple. Workamping is accomplished by individuals that travel the country and work. Some people try to limit the definition by saying, “Well, I’m only a Workamper if I’m working in a campground or if I live in an RV.”  That’s not technically the definition.  If you are living and traveling, (which usually means in an RV) and you are doing any kind of part-time or full-time work – you are a Workamper!

What kind of work does a workamper do?

The possibilities are endless! While the majority of the operations that utilize Workampers are in fact campgrounds, there’s really a vast assortment of opportunities available for someone who is able to think outside the box. For instance, seasonal work at amusement parks or fulfillment centers – such as Amazon. Think about holiday help such as Christmas Tree farms or in-season fruit stands that might need help for just a few months of the year.

How much money can I earn?

This is a really broad question, but we get this question more than any other. It can be anywhere from a set hourly amount to a trade agreement. As an example, we were paid for our workamping job a very small stipend per month (each). And we were given a full hookup site including a landline telephone. There was no office, and we did everything from our RV. Some places will offer other amenities (laundry, wifi, cable, etc). There are so many options for workamping, and we encourage you all to make sure you ask and are clear on what the benefits are that you are getting. And most important, how many hours you are expected to work. After we arrived at our facility, the couple we were supposed to work with left, and we essentially spent the rest of the summer alone off and on. Resulting in very long days and no extra compensation. It was our first time, and we didn’t ask. There are some great resources out there as well. Our favorite is here.

Here are a few more blogs we think you’ll love!

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11 thoughts on “Workamping … wait what?”

  1. This sounds interesting. We haven’t camped in a long time but always enjoyed our experiences out in nature so I can see how being camp hosts can be a fun thing to do too!

  2. Being a camp host sounds like something my hubby and I would love! Why haven’t we done that before? =) I really appreciate you sharing your authentic experiences with us. I enjoy following your adventures.

  3. Thanks for the article, my hubby and I are headed to our first Camp Host position this summer in BC. Can hardly wait!

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