A Day in the Life of a Camphost - She Said

Mike wrote about a day of his camphosting duties, so I thought I’d write about my duties in the office.

Welcome

I am one of the first faces you see when you enter the office. My role is to:

  • Greet you
  • Check you in on the computer
  • Take your payment for the balance on your reservation
  • Show you on the map where your site is and how to get there
  • Give you the wifi password (while reminding you that the park is quite full and it is campground wifi)
  • Tell you the hours of the office
  • Tell you the hours of the ice cream stand
  • Point out the laundry location and hours
  • Warn you about bears
  • Tell you the outdoor kid’s movie time and title
  • Give you pool hours
  • Tell you the check out time
  • Wish you a great stay

Answer the Phone

My voice may be the first voice you hear when making a reservation. I will ask

  • The dates you’d like to be here
  • What type of site you are looking for (i.e. on the river, 30 Amp or 50 Amp, cabin, etc.)
  • The type and size of your RV (and how many slides it has)

If we have a site available that fits your request, I will ask

  • Your name
  • Cell phone number
  • Address
  • Email address
  • How many people
  • Have you been here before
  • Will you have any dogs with you (we charge a one time fee of $5 for each dog)
  • After I quote our cancellation policy, do you want to proceed?
  • Credit card information

Once I have all of this information in the computer, I charge a first night deposit and send a confirmation letter.

Online Reservation

In addition to taking phone reservations, Campground Manager (the reservation system used here) has a module the takes online reservations.

Throughout the day I check “Book Your Site” for new reservations. If there are reservations, I manually process them. If the requested site type and dates are not available, I call each person to tell them.

Email

Several times a day I check email. Most of our email is spam. However, we do receive “real” email, too.

  • When a reservation is made via Book Your Site, an email is generated and sent to us.
  • Potential customers will by-pass the online and telephone reservation options and send us a personal email asking if we have an open site for their desired dates.
  • Business correspondence with the managers (that the camphosts probably shouldn’t see).
  • Campers who have reservations double checking their dates, wanting to change their dates, wanting to cancel their reservations, etc.

Product Sales

The office building is not just an office. It is also a convenience store and a gift shop. I sell lots of:

  • Firewood
  • Ice
  • Ice cream treats
  • Candy
  • Snacks
  • Merchandise

Opening and Closing

The office camphosts are scheduled to work either the 9:00am - 2:00pm or 2:00pm - 7:00pm shift.

If I am scheduled to work the opening shift I arrive at least half hour early so I can:

  • Run departure/arrival reports
  • Check for Book-Your-Site reservations
  • Answer any overnight voicemail
  • Check email
  • Count the cash drawer
  • Turn on the many lights
  • Turn off the outdoor lights

If I am scheduled to work the closing shift I plan on at least half hour after locking the door to

  • Turn off the many indoor lights
  • Turn on the outdoor lights
  • Empty the trash
  • Run closing reports
  • Fill out deposit slip to attach to the cash deposit
  • Recount cash drawer so it is ready for the morning shift

An Actual Shift

So far I have laid out my basic job description. This is how yesterday’s shift actually went.

I arrived a little before 2:00pm for my afternoon shift. One camphost, a trainee, and the manager were all behind the front desk, working with customers, talking on the phone and entering reservations into the computer. By 2:15pm they all left the building and I was alone.

I had a steady stream of campers buying ice and ice cream. I had people come in to get information on the campground. I had campers arrive and check in for their reservations. I answered many phone calls and took down reservations. I checked for onine reservations and processed them.

When I had a few minutes I checked voice mail. There were 19 messages waiting for me. I could only listen to one or two at a time due to the many people in an out of the office. I discovered that the morning shift didn’t pick up any voice mails. When I began returning the calls, my phone kept cutting out.

Another office camphost came in to see how I was doing. She took on the voicemail task while I continued to handle the in-person responsibilities. Eventually she had to abandon the task because our phones kept cutting out.

The manager came in to take over the voicemail task, but the phone kept cutting out on her. She declared that we would just have to quit answering the phone until the phone situation was resolved.

This Post

I had planned to make tally marks for every phone call I answered and every person I helped to demonstrate how busy the job in the office can be. Unfortunately, I was too busy to keep track.

Our Peeps:

Here are the folks we shared camphosting duties with:

Rick and Jean from Florida. Rick is friendlier than he looks.

Rick and Jean from Florida. Rick is friendlier than he looks.

Donnie and Mary (you thought Marie, didn't you) from Alabama.

Donnie and Mary (you thought Marie, didn't you) from Alabama.

Herb and Pam from California.

Herb and Pam from California.

The Boyinks with our friends Susan and Allan.

The Boyinks with our friends Susan and Allan.

The Boyink girls with the originial

The Boyink girls with the originial "she's got moxie" Inga.

The host-boys John, Rick and Alan.

The host-boys John, Rick and Alan.

Have You Camphosted?

How does this experience compare with yours?

Related

Read about the other workcamping experiences we’ve had or use our resources for finding camphosting gigs.

2 Comments A Day in the Life of a Camphost - She Said

  1. Picture of Nico Veenkamp Nico Veenkamp June 26, 2016

    Hi Mike, great pictures and a good read. My parents owned a campsite for six years. So I spend my summers working there. Sometimes pulling 15 hour days starting cleaning toilets and ending closing up and do final rounds. I stayed there in my small tent so basically I was camping for five to six weeks.
    Nico

  2. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink June 26, 2016

    You know the life then! Our hours aren’t so long though..;)

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