Camping manners.........
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  1. #1
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    Default Camping manners.........

    I work in a state park campground in the spring, summer and fall. After posting on another forum here about what a long weekend I had someone posted that they had never really thought about how hard the employees in a campground work and vowed to be nicer to them! So I thought I'd post a list of things that would make my job so much easier. I should point out that although my title is "campground attendant" I do the following......

    Register campers
    Restock and run the camp store
    Rent picnic shelters and clean them before use
    Rent boats
    Sell ice and firewood
    Clean the bathrooms and showers
    Answer the phone
    Deal with all the tourists and answer questions
    Clean the campsites
    Shovel out the firepits
    Mow

    I am the ONLY employee in our park from 4pm to 9pm three days a week and on Sunday unless the boss happens to drop in for a few minutes(not counting the lifeguards).

    When you are camping please try to help us out by following these tips......

    1. Obey the rules! And please remember that the employees don't make most rules. We are as tied down and often as frustrated by them as you are. And please, please do NOT ask us to bend or break a rule for you! I have one camper who has for three years now tried to get me to break one of our rules. She will ask me over the phone, in person, etc. repeatedly every single summer! I can NOT and will NOT do it! Make it a habit to ask what the rules are each time you check in and if you aren't sure about something please ask us! We had a bunch of campers this past weekend who drove by three signs that said quiet time starts at 10pm and two that said alcohol is prohibited in our park. They chose to get drunk and make a bunch of noise, including playing an electric guitar at 11:30pm. Then they got mad at the boss when he had to tell them to quiet down and confiscated all their beer LOL!

    2. If an employee tells you that you are breaking a rule please act like an adult about it. Don't get mad and yell or curse at us. Don't threaten us and please don't tell me that your hard earned money pays my salary. I not only work very hard for that salary but I pay taxes out of it too just like you do! I can promise you that if I have to tell you that you or someone in your party is breaking a rule I will be very very nice about it. I will explain why we have the rule, how you are breaking it and try to help you come up with a different solution. And a rule is a rule for the ENTIRE time you are camping. If I tell you that your kids can't ride their bikes/skateboards/skates/scooters on the boardwalk around the bathroom it means they can't ride them there at all, EVER. Not just while I'm standing there!

    3. Please supervise your children in the bathrooms! At the park where I work everyone just turns their kids loose to go to the bathroom alone. This makes horrible messes for us to have to clean up. Every little boy wants to use the urinal like the men. If they aren't tall enough, they pee in the floor. Kids throw toilet paper in the floor. They make a mess at the sinks and get water everywhere. If your child has an accident in the bathroom, please come and tell us. I won't ask or expect you to clean it up, but it's so much easier for ME to clean it right then. And if you stop up the toilet please let us know. Heck, blame it on someone else! Just let us know before someone else uses it and makes it worse! And please remember that we have restrooms for a reason. Please don't let your kids just use the bathroom on the campsite! (and yes, we had that happen last year. A couple brought a little boy who was about 2 1/2 and let him poop all over the campsite!) And yes it is my job to clean it up, but until you've had to clean poop out of a urinal because someone didn't watch their kids or vomit from a sink because some drunk didn't know the sink from the toilet please have a little sympathy for us!

    4. Please teach your children a few basic safety tips. It's very easy to feel safe in a park with other campers and kids, but it's still a public place with danger. Please make them wear helmets if they are riding bikes/skateboards/scooters. Please teach them to watch for cars. Please teach them that strangers are still strangers! There is one elderly couple who camp at our place and bring their grandson every year. The little boy's mom and sister come too. But they turn him loose to do whatever he wants. He just turned 7 and they have NEVER watched him. He rides him bike everywhere, including the middle of the road and he doesn't move when a car comes. He parks his bike in the middle of the road. He goes into other people's campers and crawls under the doors of the stalls in the women's bathroom because he wants to "see". He harrasses other kids in the park constantly. He makes himself at home on other people's campsites! Last year he even got into a car with a couple he didn't even know! Luckily I knew them and was standing there. I made him get out, gave him a talking to and sent him back to his campsite. And if you won't supervise them, please don't get mad at me when I have to get onto them for something! I only do it because I love kids and I want them to be safe!

    5. Please clean up your area! Clean up your pet's waste, your kids water ballon pieces, etc. before you leave. Try to leave it as clean as it was when you got there!

    6. If you get mad at my boss or don't like him (and trust me, I know that most people HATE him) please don't take it out on me!

    7. If you notice that we are doing a good job, please let us know! We work very very hard to make your stay pleasant and it makes our day when you let us know that our hard work has paid off! And please be patient with us as we do our job. We know you hate having the bathrooms locked while we clean, but wouldn't you rather have them clean??? We know you don't want to stand in line while we wait on other customers but if I'm the only employee there on a busy weekend I can only do so much at one time. I promise that I am going as fast as I can!

    8. Please don't wait until closing time to make a rush on the camp store or ask the employees for help unless it's an emergency. I work 1 pm to 9pm on our three busiest nights each week. EVERYONE waits until 8:15 - 9 to come for their ice and firewood. I rarely ever get out of there on time. Please remember that I have a family too and want to get home to spend a little time with them!

    I know most of you probably do these things already but I thought if it helps ONE campground employee it's worth it! Have a great summer!
    Last edited by WV_mom_of2; 05-26-2009 at 12:14 PM.

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    As someone who hikes regularly at our local state park, may I add a couple?

    ** I know everyone thinks their dog is extra special, but the rules about keeping dogs on leashes even applies to extra-special dogs. It's for every hiker's comfort and safety, and even for your *dog's* safety.

    ** Please don't throw your water bottles, gum wrappers, and/or cigarette butts on the trail. Or near the trail. Or anywhere that isn't a trash can. If you don't want to deal with carrying out your waste after a hike, don't take the stuff along.

    ** Pay attention to the blaze marks on the trail. Pay attention to your map. If you ask a friendly-looking local on the trail for directions, and they're showing you *on the map* where you are and where you're trying to go, plus how to get there, please don't tell the friendly-looking local that she's wrong and you're right. You're lost. She isn't.

    ** Be nice to the park employees! They take care of everything and have a vested interested in keeping the park nice. Plus, most of them are facing cut hours, cut staff (doubling up on duties), and job insecurity (Georgia's state park budget was supposed to get cut by 17 percent...it got cut by 39 percent instead).

    I think that's all, LOL! Thanks for the work you do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisahas2cats View Post
    As someone who hikes regularly at our local state park, may I add a couple?


    ** Pay attention to the blaze marks on the trail. Pay attention to your map. If you ask a friendly-looking local on the trail for directions, and they're showing you *on the map* where you are and where you're trying to go, plus how to get there, please don't tell the friendly-looking local that she's wrong and you're right. You're lost. She isn't.

    ** Be nice to the park employees! They take care of everything and have a vested interested in keeping the park nice. Plus, most of them are facing cut hours, cut staff (doubling up on duties), and job insecurity (Georgia's state park budget was supposed to get cut by 17 percent...it got cut by 39 percent instead).

    I think that's all, LOL! Thanks for the work you do!
    I had to laugh at the this.. please don't tell the friendly-looking local that she's wrong and you're right. You're lost. She isn't.

    There is a man who lives up the road from our park. Our main park road goes through a neighborhood and back out onto the main road. This man isn't very bright to begin with and he has a motorized moped/scooter thingy. EVERY summer the superintendent has to tell him that it is illegal for him to ride it through the park, in the park, etc. even on the main road through the park! Well yesterday the super was gone and here he comes! Not only on the road but in the picnic area and through my campground (and yes, after I've cleaned the bathrooms and ran it for three years, it is MY campground LOL). I went out to flag him down and he had the nerve to smile and wave at me! OMG! Then he came walking up to my office and I told him that it was illegal for him to have it in the park and especially in my campground. His reply? "where can I get a permit to ride it here then"? Ummmmmmm you can't get a permit because it's ILLEGAL! So he argued with me for five minutes and finally I told him that I knew for a fact that the super had warned him the last two years and if he had a problem he needed to talk to him about it. A little while later the super came back so I sent him to tell him that I was right and he'd better keep it out of the park! And what's with people on golf carts? For some reason people here think they are street legal. In WV golf carts are illegal on any public road and in state parks. But try to tell that to someone on one! Last year we had to go all the way to the commissioner of the state highway dept. for a ruling that yep, they are indeed illegal before people would believe us! If you are wrong, you are WRONG! Don't argue about it!

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  5. #4
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    Default Don't know how I forgot these.....

    These are two of the biggest peeves of both of us girls........

    The sign in front of our office says STOP for a reason. The signs says Registered campers and their guests ONLY beyond this point for a reason! Do not smile at me and wave and just drive right on by to tour our campground, especially on a busy weekend. We have enough traffic, kids, bikes, dogs, etc. in the campground without you just moseying your way where you do NOT belong! IF you bother to follow the rules and stop and ask us, we will gladly let you drive through. But don't just DO it! It's hard enough for us to keep up with which vehicles belong in the campground without added traffic.

    And PUBLIC RESTROOMS mean just that. If you are in the park for a picnic, reunion, boating,etc. you use the PUBLIC RESTROOMS! Yes the ones in the campground might very well be cleaner, but people are PAYING for the right to use them and have them be clean! By using them you only add to the mess and make more work for me!

    Edited to add - This thread may have been a mistake LOL. I keep thinking of more and more things. I want to point out that I LOVE my job. If I didn't I wouldn't go back year after year and clean up the messes for minimum wage and no benefits! Here are a couple more.......

    Yes those are my kids. Yes they do come to work with me sometimes. And yes, they do WORK when they come with me. Please don't tell me and especially them that you feel sorry for them because I make them help me out. Honestly.....it won't kill them to sweep out the bath house or go out and get you a bag of ice. You see, I don't believe in just giving kids things. I believe in them not only working for what they have but also in learning about life. Don't feel sorry for them, be glad that because they worked with me they most likely will grow up to be productive citizens one day!

    Please don't assume that just because you knew me in third grade, work with my dh, go to church with my inlaws or met my grandma one time at a picnic you will get special favors. I still can not bend the rules for you. I will not be paying for your campsite to hold it until you get there. I can not get the super to allow you to stay if you get drunk, cause a problem and he makes you leave. I can not talk him into allowing you back if he bans you from the park for the rest of the year. Do something stupid and you are on your own!

    Do NOT and I repeat........NOT NOT NOT.....come in the backdoor of my office and stand in my office space like you own the place. That space is for employees only. Please use the front door and stay in the space provided for the public.

    And the above SO applies if you are a man! Do NOT stand in the back doorway and watch me work. Do NOT come into my office space. Do NOT come right on in the bathroom when I'm cleaning it and say Hi and walk up to the urinal and unzip. Honestly, I'm hoping you are too drunk to notice I'm a woman, but either way, it's gross and I don't want to see it! I am woman and I am at work by myself most of the time. I am a fiesty little redneck who can and will fight and if you refuse to act like a gentleman or you insist on scaring the crap out of me, you will be sorry! I might get fired, but I can bet you will never disrespect another woman!
    Last edited by WV_mom_of2; 05-26-2009 at 01:37 PM.

  6. #5
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    Hubby and I are long time campers and it STILL truly amazes me at the messes that ADULTS and their children can make. I was also a Girl Scout growing up.

    We always leave our campsite cleaner than we found it. When we take our dog camping (to a park that allows dogs) he stays on his leash and we clean up after him and dispose of it properly. We even take our own bags and clean up what other dogs and their owners have left! We pick up trash on the trails, road, blowing through the campsite, etc.

    Your job is never ending and unappreciated most of the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by savvy_sniper View Post
    Hubby and I are long time campers and it STILL truly amazes me at the messes that ADULTS and their children can make. I was also a Girl Scout growing up.

    We always leave our campsite cleaner than we found it. When we take our dog camping (to a park that allows dogs) he stays on his leash and we clean up after him and dispose of it properly. We even take our own bags and clean up what other dogs and their owners have left! We pick up trash on the trails, road, blowing through the campsite, etc.

    Your job is never ending and unappreciated most of the time.
    This is not just a camping thing; people do not clean up after themselves anywhere; and those of you that do I'm not meaning you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by savvy_sniper View Post
    Hubby and I are long time campers and it STILL truly amazes me at the messes that ADULTS and their children can make. I was also a Girl Scout growing up.

    We always leave our campsite cleaner than we found it. When we take our dog camping (to a park that allows dogs) he stays on his leash and we clean up after him and dispose of it properly. We even take our own bags and clean up what other dogs and their owners have left! We pick up trash on the trails, road, blowing through the campsite, etc.

    Your job is never ending and unappreciated most of the time.
    Thank you for all you to do to help the employees out! It's people like you that make me love my job and keep me going back year after year!

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    We used to camp a lot when I was a child. The attitude of people is very different than it used to be regarding courtesy of others. The last few times I camped I have to say I felt very intimidated by others campers lack of restraint. We aren't noisy,we don't get drunk,we don't allow our kids to tramp through others campsites. I hate the fact that children now staff our parks and if there is a problem there is no recource. I often feel as if I'm in a war zone. As soon as the employees leave for the night all He-l breaks loose. I get 1 weekend off per summer w/ my husband and every year it's ruined. I just don't feel safe and I feel surrounded by chimps. I certainly don't envy your job. It's a free-for- all.
    Last edited by frugalwarrior; 05-26-2009 at 02:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frugalwarrior View Post
    We used to camp a lot when I was a child. The attitude of people is very different than it used to be regarding courtesy of others. The last few times I camped I have to say I felt very intimidated by others campers lack of restraint. We aren't noisy,we don't get drunk,we don't allow our kids to tramp through others campsites. I hate the fact that children now staff our parks and if there is a problem there is no recource. I often feel as if I'm in a war zone. As soon as the employees leave for the night all He-l breaks loose. I get 1 weekend off per summer w/ my husband and every year it's ruined. I just don't feel safe and I feel surrounded by chimps. I certainly don't envy your job. It's a free-for- all.
    That's one thing I LOVE about our park. We've really gotten a reputation for being a very family friendly park. We have people who are regular campers who come several times a year and some have been camping there for nearly 40 years!

    As bad as our superintendent is and as much as people hate him, I do have to say that he tolerates no crap. He does overlook a lot of little things that bug me, like people parking in the handicapped spaces and people who aren't camping there throwing their home trash in our dumpsters. But he patrols our park every night when it's busy and he tolerates no loud noise after 10pm, no drunks, etc. We also have sheriff deputies and state troopers who patrol at night. This past weekend the sheriff camped there LOL.

    I've camped there for years and they used to always have teenage campground attendants. The bathrooms were never clean, they were always out goofing off somewhere instead of working, etc. It's so different now with only adults in the campground.

    Keep looking at different parks! Hopefully you can find one that is a good fit for your family!

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    We go camping quite a bit but don't really use parks for camping. Mostly out in the more unimproved areas. I wanted to add that it would be really great if other campers would realize that we go out in that area for the PEACE AND QUIET!! Not to listen to some drunk jerk using a chain saw at midnight or being an obnoxious jerk riding around on his ATV sometime after midnight. Also, if you take your dogs out camping please keep them under your control at all times. My baby was almost bitten by a pit bull this weekend because the owners didn't keep it on a leash and my son loves all animals and doesn't know that they can be dangerous. And please take your trash out and make sure that your fire is out completely!! Sorry, just my own little rant.

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    I love this post! I think it is great to hear first hand, what things we should and shouldn't do from a park employee! If everyone followed the rules and was a bit more courteous, you're job would be so much more pleasant!

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    Thanks for all that you do WVMomof2!




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    My parents see some stuff... They work from Memorial Day to Labor Day in the campgrounds at Yellowstone National Park. They were there when the Rangers had to tazer a father and his adult son because they were so belligerent. Not only do people do the standard "stupid" things camping in the national parks as they do anywhere, but they forget when they break the rules there, they just might be breaking federal laws and can end up in a federal prison.

    If you want to have some laughs at some stories...some stupid human ones and some animal ones get a copy of Oh Ranger!
    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Oh-Ranger-Stories-National-Parks/dp/0978710126/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243525917&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: Oh, Ranger!: True Stories from Our National Parks (9780978710125): Mark J. Saferstein: Books[/ame]
    Last edited by guest002; 05-28-2009 at 12:54 PM.

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    I can't even imagine what all you go through as I've seen some crazy campers in my life.

    I grew up going to out of way places on the Missouri Lakes and Rivers but Good Stewardship was taught by my parents throughout my childhood.

    We never left a mess, always made sure fires were out, shared what we had with strangers, obeyed saftety rules, watched out for one another. Duh, common sense things. But you're so right that so many do not follow the simple and common sense rules of LIFE.

    This weekend we were camping at an RV resort (not State owned). The employees still don't make much more than minimum wage. I got a ride to the store in the little golf cart for an ice run and I made sure I tipped the courtesy driver for taking me and bringing my back. Just little things like that I think make an employee feel better appreciated.

    We drink, we play our music and we have friends over but we always adhere to the "quiet time". After dark we use our quiet voices and tone things down as it gets later. Even when our son was young and went with us we made him obey all of the rules. It just makes for a nicer stay.

    Thank you for the job you do!

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    Great post WV.......even if we all follow these rules it still doesn't hurt to get a reminder!!!
    I think you ought to post this in numerous places in the park!! Thanks for a job well done. Wish I could visit your park.

    It amazes me the lack of discipline that children can show and the parents are oblivious to the actions. The 'trash thing' would be my rant but better not go there. Just wonder what their parents have taught them. But I see this all over.....they drop their trash where ever they are....not just in the parks.

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