Friday, May 31, 2013

Zen and the Art of Campground Maintenance

When we interviewed for our job here at Warm River, we were told that this campground was the showplace of the Ashton/Island Park Ranger District’s campgrounds.  Our new management has exacting standards on how our campground should appear and how we need to maintain it.
ATVs are not allowed in this campground.  Period.  So this year we are driving around in a green and beige golf cart which we've dubbed “The Maserati.”  This year we do our daily work in two “shifts.” We clean the restrooms first, and then we do our site preparation.

We have 10 vault toilets in the campground – twice as many as last year.  The cleaning procedure hasn't changed.  I’ll spare you the details.  We expect the cleaning frequency to increase on the weekends when the campground is full.

All our sites are very well manicured.  Our maintenance couple mows the lawn and trims the edges – including around the large rocks that frame the RV sites.  It’s our job to ensure that the picnic tables, grills and fire pits are kept clean. 

We have 22 of our own personal, life-size Zen gardens, aka tent pads. 
We regularly rake the tent pads and sweep the borders.  No weeds are allowed in the tent pads.  The weeds, unfortunately, have not been given this information.  That or they've chosen to ignore it.  They continue to ignore the “no weed” rule at the house as well.  It’s a conspiracy!  That said, I have become quite proficient with a hoe.

We get a regular afternoon wind in our little “bowl.”  Trees plus wind equals leaves, branches, and those obnoxious little seed pods in the campsites.  This is not allowed.  We have a gas-powered leaf-blower to help us keep the campsites free of debris – even if it’s natural.

After spending last summer in the wilderness, it almost feels like we’re working in a city park rather than a campground.

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