Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Would we do it again?

Now that our campground manager job is coming to an end for the season, we've had quite a few readers asking if we would do it again.

But first, we have to clarify once again that we are NOT camp hosts.

Camp host (or "workcamper") jobs are much more common than campground manager jobs. Campground hosts typically work for zero pay and only work enough hours in the campground (at a minimum wage rate) to pay for their campsite. Most campground host jobs are at government run parks, although some private parks offer these types of positions as well. Essentially, you are a volunteer. Which is fine if that's what you're looking for.

Here is a perfect example of a campground host opportunity...

http://albertaparks.ca/albertaparksca/about-us/get-involved/volunteering/campground-hosts.aspx

Some private campgrounds offer extra hours (again, usually paid at minimum wage) once you have worked enough to pay for your site.

So for anybody thinking of doing this, you need to decide if you are doing it for the money or if you are doing it because you want to volunteer your time and service. If you are doing it for money, but you like living in your RV, you are probably better off paying the monthly or seasonal rental for your site, and getting a job outside of the campground.

Sunset last night.

In comparison, we are full time paid employees. These types of campground jobs are available, but you may have to be flexible about location.

Back in July, we wrote a piece about what it's like being campground manager and what duties we have taken on. You can read that here...

http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2013/07/whats-it-like-being-campground-manager.html

So when we started looking at these types of jobs, we were looking anywhere in Canada. Ideally, we wanted to be located in the mountains of British Columbia, or close to our daughter in Nova Scotia. So we did a LOT of research into the different pay structures and obligations that you take on with one of these commitments. We're the type of people who are serious about commitment...if we sign on to something, we will see it through to the end. So we wanted to make sure we knew what we were getting in to.

Same sunset, different view. Only 10 minutes later!

What we found is that there is a wide variance in pay for these types of jobs. Anything from a monthly stipend, to minimum wage, to over $24 an hour with bonuses and benefits working as a unionized employee of the government in one of the provincial parks. And of course a wide variance in your time commitment. Some start May long weekend and end at Labour day. Some start May 1st and end October 15th.

A lot of variance in pay by province as well. Saskatchewan currently has very low unemployment, coupled with higher wages. This is the reason we chose Saskatchewan. That, and the regional park system in this province offers a lot of opportunity for the type of job that we were looking for. On the other hand, we found that British Columbia offers a lot of campground jobs, but at much lower pay.

You'll also want to be aware of different employment regulations that vary by province (or state, for our American friends). Another reason Saskatchewan stood out is that we receive 6% vacation pay on top of our salary while many other provinces are 4%.

Plus of course, we wanted to find a place where both of us would be employed earning a full time salary. Many of these opportunities are not advertised as "couple" jobs, so that's one of the things you may need to ask about.

So, are we coming back?

Odds are good that we will. We have some negotiation that will have to take place with the campground board (issues other than money), but if we can come to terms then we will be back next year. Even then, we probably won't make the commitment until the beginning of the new year.

Plus, we get really beautiful sunsets here!


19 comments:

  1. Nice! Enjoy your last few Sturgeon-sets!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We will Nancy and Doug! We are hoping to take the canoe out for a sunset paddle before we leave.

      Delete
  2. Did you ever see the Northern lights again??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, not since that one time in May. Now that September is here we keep our eyes to the sky. Last night we even took a drive up the hill and down the road a bit to see if we could see any but no luck. We only have a few more nights here so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

      Delete
  3. Does that mean you will not be looking for a similar thing in Nova Scotia or BC for next summer now that you have such great specific experience to recommend you?? You have definitely had some great sunsets and fabulous header pictures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are always keeping our eyes open for work in Nova Scotia but unfortunately they don't seem to have anything that comes close to our pay here and the fact that we are also given free accommodation here. We won't be giving them a definite answer until January or so, so you never know, something as good or better might turn up.

      Delete
  4. I think you did pretty well there in that job and if you can work out the detail it will be worth your while. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it has worked out well for us and we will see what the new year will bring.

      Delete
  5. I know what I would negotiate for...a workcamper. Duties: clean all restrooms for Ruth...patrol campground from 10pm to midnight for Kevin. You might have some more ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somehow I don't think that would fly, plus cleaning those bathrooms is no easy chore, during July and August it is pretty much a full time job in itself!

      Delete
  6. Given those options, I would be inclined to take two of the $24 per hour plus benefits union jobs. Solidarity Forever! But then I know you hate those rotten unions and their living wage paying jobs. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right, I could never work in a unionized environment Croft. Besides, we seem to be able to live a pretty good lifestyle on lower paying jobs. Kinda makes you wonder why everyone can't...

      Delete
  7. Just be careful of all those man-eaters over in Africa so you can return for next year! :cD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess only Kevin will have to worry because they are "Man" eaters, lol!

      Delete
  8. I think if you took the benefit job, you could get your teeth cleaned, doctor check ups, that sort of stuff.
    I know you don't like unions, but I belong to one, and they aren't that bad. And I wasn't a union lover before either.

    Good that you are thinking of coming back. Your photos there are fascinating! remind me of Alberta.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We don't need the benefits as we get our teeth looked after in Mexico for next to nothing, neither one of us are on prescriptions and you don't need benefits to go to the doctor's for a check-up.

      Also that would only be a job for one of us not the two of us, plus here, Kevin is the "boss" and for the most part we are able to things here our way. Also things are a little more laid back regarding the rules in this regional park compared to a provincial park.

      Delete
  9. Hi Kevin and Ruth:
    What I'd like to say about your decision to go back or not is that you two definitely "do the footwork" when making plans and decisions. Whatever you come up with regarding the return to these particular assignments, I feel very confident that you will have thoroughly gone over the positives and negatives so that your decision will be the correct one for you.
    Of course we can NEVER be completely sure about anything in the future but you two are champs at "doing diligence" and have the highest chance for success. I so admire you both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for your encouraging words Mary-Pat, and you are correct in saying that we "do the footwork". When it comes to decisions like this we definitely look at all the angles and find the one that is best suited to our wants and needs. Nothing is ever perfect so we always try to make the best of everything.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...