For many years, work camping was dominated by volunteer host programs in the National Parks and National Forests. Hosts, often retired couples, would manage a campground for the summer camping season in exchange for a free site for their RV or travel trailer.Today, while volunteer host jobs are still available, many public campgrounds are run by private companies under special concession contracts. Unlike the government, private for-profit companies cannot legally accept volunteer labor. Most of these private companies now pay their work campers by the hour. Typically, camp hosts will work a certain number of hours (10-20) a week for their site, after which they are paid an hourly wage. The net result is that work campers will typically get their site plus $500-$800 a month in wages.
Camp host jobs vary greatly from campground to campground, but almost all require taking fees from campers, cleaning bathrooms, and light grounds maintenance (such as raking fire pits, blowing leaves, etc.) Hosts with maintenance skills are always in demand.Several companies offer employment as camp hosts, including Aramark, Recreation Resource Management, and American Land and Leisure. Aramark manages the seasonal employees at Lake Powell, which is one of the destinations we hope to work in the near future. Recreation Resource Management manages a number of parks, but none in our home state. For our first summer we plan to stay somewhat close to home, so we’ll first investigate American Land and Leisure. Not only do they manage several mountain and lake campgrounds, their headquarters is about 40 minutes south of us.