The Metropolitan Cathedral in Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 5, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What's it like being a campground manager?

Boy, we're half way through already. Approximately.

Here we are at July 9th. Our contract here runs from May 1 to September 30, so while that's a full five months, they said that it's entirely possible that we'll be out of here sometime between September 15th and the 30th depending on what the weather is doing at the time.

So, what's it been like? Well, it's not a glamorous job, that's for sure! But there are some high points.

When it's been really busy, we go pretty much non-stop from 8:30am until 11:00pm or later. Fortunately, it has only been really busy a few times. In all honesty, it's only been like that on the two long weekend holidays we've been through, and there are two more long weekend holidays to go.

Welcome to the park!

We had been told that it's usually sold out much of the summer, but other than those two long weekends, we haven't seen that yet. Right now, we have ten campsites occupied so it's far from sold out. The weather hasn't been great though, so I'm sure that has had some negative effect on the occupancy rates here.

So, what's our average day like?

Well, it's changed a little for Ruth since she inherited the cleaning of the bathrooms. She can pretty much organize her own schedule as to when they get done, however one of the reasons Ruth ended up with the job was that we wanted the bathrooms sparkling clean to start the day when many people come in to have their morning shower. The main building is locked up from 10pm until 8am, so that means either cleaning just after 10pm, or just before 8am. Ruth chooses to break it up a little and does some of it when she goes to lock up, and some again just before she opens up in the morning.

Our main washroom building.

Oh, there's Ruth caught in the act! We have two of these smaller toilet buildings in the park as well as the main washroom building.

Other than the bathrooms, I get out around 8:30am and set up our part time helper guy with what he's going to do that morning. Usually we get him to do some weed trimming or grass cutting. Then I take a walk around the park picking up any litter and just getting an idea of anything imperative that needs to be done that day. Talking to campers along the way and just seeing how everybody is doing and making sure everybody is happy. Then Ruth usually joins me and we do some wood delivery. We have to go to the upper compound and get some wood to refill the lower storage area, as well as drop some off to anybody who needs it along the way.

Then, Ruth usually does some gardening and looks after the flower beds while I putter on something around the park that needs fixing.

Some kind of an oddball problem comes up pretty much every day. Yesterday, we had two of them. First, we had a bit of a sinkhole occur, and a lady backed her car right into it. Things have been muddy with all of the rain we've had, but seriously folks, if you don't have a four wheel drive, stay away from the mud!

I put a couple of warning posts in the sink hole.

Fortunately, we've got zero rain in the five day forecast so things should dry up a little. Plus, the level in the lake is finally starting to go down. We figure it's dropped about 6 inches now from it's peak.

In the afternoons, we just carry on looking after things as they come up. Grass gets cut, things need to be repaired. That sort of thing. 

We do trash pickup in the evening between 8pm and 9pm. This is definitely one of the non glamorous parts of the job! People are not very courteous to us when putting trash in the cans. They don't care if the trash bag slides down to the bottom and they make a mess. Oh, speaking of trash, we also do trash pickup every Monday and every Friday for about 50 cottages that are on our side of the park. Unbelievable how much garbage some people throw out over a weekend! And of course some of it isn't secured properly, and we've taken to making notices for some cabin owners that they are responsible for making sure their trash is in proper bags and secured from animals. Too many instances where we have to clean up after them! Definitely the nastiest part of the job. Oh, besides people's bathroom messes. Let's not even go there.

But, as I said, there are good points too. We're working mostly outdoors and in a really nice environment. We get to talk to the campers as our day goes by, and really, most of the time we're not rushed by anything. And, we think we're pretty fairly compensated for what we do.

We get some pretty skies up here!


22 comments:

  1. Nice view of what you're doing, and we're glad the at you are having a good experience. We've often wondered what it would be like to own a campground, you've given some valuable insights.

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    1. To be honest, I don't think either of us would like the responsiblity of owning a campground but we certainly don't mind managing the campground.

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  2. Working the campground would be a lot of fun about 15 years ago for us. Just really don't want to put in those hours anymore, especially after 10 years of 90 hour weeks in my restaurant.
    So we just enjoy camping and volunteering the odd time. Great experience for you guys thou making a few bucks too.

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    1. You are right there are a lot of hours invovled but it is worth it to have the 7 months off in the winter.

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  3. It looks to be interesting work with some occasional excitement. Glad you are finding it interesting.

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  4. Good post today. Major kudos to Ruth for running with the ball on the bathroom thing, especially when it wasn't part of your original contract. That aspect of camp hosting is a big turn off to a lot of people, myself included.

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    1. Yep, doing the bathrooms in not really on my "I love this job" list, that is for sure!

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  5. Great post especially for those of us thinking of doing that in a few years.
    Thanks for sharing.. :)

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    1. Glad it has given some insight into what is involved in the job and will let people know what they can expect if they choose to do something similar.

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  6. You sure have a full day! Suppose that helps the time go by faster! Wish Ruth didn't have to clean the bathrooms...that's the worst part of the day as I can tell. I sure did enough of that with 4 children and Joe and I at home all those years ago!

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    1. Yes, the time is sure flying by! I wish I didn't have to do the bathrooms too but at least this way I know they are getting done right.

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  7. That doesn't sound like a bad gig at all. Making your own schedule is a plus, as well as the compensation.

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    1. Knowing that it is only for 5 months and that we are getting a decent wage, makes all worth it.

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  8. Ruth deserves hazard pay for bathroom clean up. Its a yucky enough job for your own family but a troop of strangers, no thank you. Funny how people will act if its not their home. I know at the restaurant, the mess some people leave is astounding, I often wonder do they let their kids throw food on the floor at home, do they sweep food that has fallen off their plate strait to their floors ? So I can only imagine public bathrooms

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    1. I am totally with you there Donna. One of my least favorite jobs, if not the worst job. I also agree with you about how people treat public washrooms (in your case the restaurant table), if they are like that at home, I don't want to go to their house.

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  9. One of my first jobs after college was running a camp-- filling woodboxes, making food, doing laundry, fixing and trimming, whatever needed doing. It was such wholesome work, long hard physical days but rewarding and paced in a way that life hasn't been since.

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    1. We agree with you, it is nice to be outside and for the majority of our day we enjoy what we are doing and we love the simple way of life here.

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  10. Great blog. We are trying to decide whether to go full time or not so I am exploring blogs that might help with the decision. Your blog is super. I look forward to having some time to spend reading all your posts. You guys are quite the adventurers! Love it...Margie

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    1. So glad to hear that you are enjoying our blog. We hope that we will have given you some insight into what life is like as a fulltime motorhomer (traveler), even if we aren't in the motorhome right at this time. Should you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us, we are more than happy to help.

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  11. Ummmm...sounded good until I got to the part about the bathroom messes. My imagination went wild. Decided that might not be the job for me!

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    1. All in all, it really isn't a bad job, and as in all jobs there is always something to not like about it. We certainly get lots of physical exercise and we enjoy meeting all the different campers here. The majority of the time the bathrooms aren't too bad either.

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