Volunteering for RVers is not just camp hosting. Though there are volunteer positions available to students, retirees, and for seasonal needs, RVers who bring their houses with them are top tier candidates for volunteer positions where affordable local housing may not be available and where there is room for RVers to park their rigs.
Why do businesses and others use volunteers?
Many parks use volunteers for jobs such as trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, wildlife census, habitat rejuvenation, leading hikes and nature walks, collecting camping fees, and many more. These are activities/chores that don’t always get funds included in budgets that have, unfortunately, been pared to the bone.
When a park or other agency or business, such as a wildlife refuge, state park, national forest, or wilderness area can get the job done by offering a free campsite as trade without having to pay a fulltime employee or account for it in their expenses, everybody benefits.
Some seasonal positions may even pay a wage, though you won’t get rich on it. The famous Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota, uses seasonal RVers to work in their store and even provides an RV park where all the seasonal RVers stay. They have found that RVers are reliable, trustworthy, happy to work short hours or in temporary jobs, and will often come back year after year.
Amazon, the online retailer, also hires paid seasonal workers in their warehouses for shipping support, though if you aren’t used to working long hours on your feet, you might want to try an easier job.
Where do you find volunteer positions?
Often you can find a volunteer position just by enquiring at the location where you would like to volunteer, making it clear why you want to volunteer at that particular place.
Volunteers that are eager for certain locations will win out over those just wanting a free campsite anywhere they can get one. You never know what might turn up if you just ask—or suggest how you might volunteer. Park managers are often eager to trade out an empty campsite (works best in the off seasons) for work that needs to be done or to help rangers.
Following are some links to websites that offer a wide range of volunteering positions:
http://www.volunteermatch.org/ Here you can enter the area you want to volunteer in, your interests, and the site will try to match you to a position.
http://www.serve.gov/ The government asks you what interests you and where you would like to volunteer then offers a list of matches.
http://www.volunteer.gov/gov/ Another government site that matches volunteers with positions.
http://www.disneyparks.com Volunteer a day of service and get one day admission to Disney parks.
http://www.fs.fed.us/fsjobs/volunteers.htm Forest Service volunteer positions.
http://www.passportintime.com Forest Service program matches volunteers with professional Forest Service archaeologists and historians on national forests throughout the country.
http://www.jobmonkey.com/parks/html/national_program.html Find summer jobs, seasonal jobs or year-round employment in national and state parks, forest service, concessionaires, and other outdoor jobs.
http://www.fws.gov/volunteers/volOpps.html Lists opportunities at more than 500 wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries, along with how to go about finding positions.