Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rules for successful camp hosting

For those of you considering a camp hosting position, there are good and bad points you should be aware of:

You're a volunteer so unless you break the law, you can't be fired.
You're not on at the location forever so if it's a bad place, you don't suffer too long. If it's a good place, you can return.
Your main activity is to be nice to campers and visitors: you're the nice one who answers questions.
You don't have to enforce the law (that's why there are rangers) but you can create some rules to make your job easier.

Last weekend, I created these rules:

*No dogs in the restrooms
*No bicycles in the restrooms
*No scooters in the restrooms
*No skateboards in the restrooms
*Girls only in the girls restrooms
*Boys only in the boys restrooms
*No washing your little brother's dirty feet in the toilet in either restroom (see previous two rules)
*No pooping in the shower (someone did)
*No swinging from the tree branches
*No riding bicycles, scooters or skateboards without a helmet: if you do not have a helmet, you do not ride your bike, scooter or skateboard
*Hold your hand flat with the palm up and the carrot in it if you want to feed the horse. One horse may eat politely; the other will take your entire hand in his mouth and you'll know what his tongue and teeth feel like from the inside. Ewww!
*If you leave your bicycle, helmet and backpack outside on the ground all day, it will be locked up at the camp host's site until you (accompanied by your parents) pick it up in the morning. Then you can explain the Lord's Prayer approach to theft prevention: "Lead us not into temptation." Your stuff was locked up so no one else would steal it.
*Finally, if you make enough noise after quiet hours and keep the camp host awake, she will be sure you are out of your tent or RV to join her for birdwatching at 5 am.

Believe me, the parents will support you, the staff will support you and the ranger will laugh at you. You'll have fun and isn't that what camp hosting is all about?


  1. I'll bet that some of the parents would *not* support your attempts to "guide" their errant offspring, no matter how justified you were in correcting the kids' behaviors. Some parents just don't get it; which, of course, is why their spawn don't, either! Dealing up close and personal with the public can be such fun! ;-)

  2. I so totally agree with the previous post.

  3. love your "rules"..park hosting is all about being able to laugh and enjoy people...especially when the guests ask you to flush for them because "they already had their shower" or they can find the entrance sign but can't get out of the park because there is no exit sign, or they want you to move their fire ring closer to their camp chairs or when you ask them to put their dog on a leash they just attach it to the collar and let it trail on the ground :-)we have been enjoying the camp hosting experience for 3 years and it never gets old..thanks for your rules..sounds like you enjoy your "job" also!!!

  4. I'd prefer not to be told to wear a helmet when I'm simply riding my bike thankyouverymuch. I'm an adult & should retain the freedom to make that choice for myself.

  5. Perhaps I wasn't clear. I was talking to the gangs of roaming, unsupervised children when I made these rules. Most parents tell their children to ride their bikes, skateboards or scooters anywhere they want and most parents don't care. Children under 18 are required to wear a helmet and I was just reminding them of the rules before the ranger would.

  6. As far as adults and kids wearing a helmet when cycling, take it from a retired semi-pro cycle racer, do it. I've broken more than one helmet in falls from a bicycle (they are supposed to break, it absorbs the impact instead of your head). It is virtually impossible to keep your head from striking the ground during a fall from a bike at speed.

  7. As an adult, you should provide a good example to children who don't want to wear a helmet. Adults are not immune to brain damage when they fall. My mother had a friend that died when her stepson's tire hit hers and knocked her to the ground.

  8. We are "Camphosting" at Ft. DeSoto Campground outside of St. Petersburg, Fla.
    We see kids breaking every rule there is with no supervision from the parents.
    Showers have had dumps taken in them, people driving the wrong way on one way roads,50 million cig. butts to pick up, the list goes on and on.
    This is our second gig in this capacity and it will be our last.

  9. We have been hosting for 3 years now and love your list almost as much as we love hosting. I'm sure if I had the time I could add just as many.

  10. Cleaning up after people - what a joy. Few days ago, DW pulled a wet diaper out of a fire pit. Aaaaah!!!