I learned a new word recently – workamping.
The word was coined and trademarked by Greg and Debbie Robus of Workamper.com back in the 80′s. You can read more about their story on their website.
The concept, however, of combining camping while working to pay for the campsite is nothing new. They just broadened the scope and promoted the concept. Coincidentally, I first learned of camp hosts around the same time, when my roommate told me his parents had just sold their house and decided to purchase a fifth wheel trailer. They were going to live in it at state and national parks for free while serving as camp hosts – selling firewood and collecting camper registration fees. Sounded like a nice retirement.
Working as a camp host in the past has appealed primarily to retired or semi-retired couples and singles who have another source of income such as a pension or home (RV) based business. There is often a time commitment of a minimum of 30 days. Many camp host jobs are seasonal but there are full time jobs available. However, as more families with children are hitting the road full time, I think that will change. If the children do not interfere with the duties of the parents as camp hosts, I see no reason why a family could not be considered for the position as well. I found this related article at http://www.work-for-rvers-and-campers.com
While many camp host duties are as simple as collecting registration fees and selling firewood, some require light to moderate handyman skills, or even office / computer skills. Some double as security positions and I have even seen one which required equestrian experience as it was at a horse camp.
Obviously, working as a camp host can’t be considered as a significant or long-term income source. However, if your plan includes other income, either from a pension or a home-based business, then adding the duties of a camp host in order to stay for free might work for you.
There are many websites which provide additional resources for those interested in this line of work. Many are free