Camp Hosting at Natural Tunnel 2012

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Camp Hosting at Natural Tunnel 2012

Post  merrykalia on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:36 pm

Butch and I (both of us this time, I hope) will be camp hosting at Natural Tunnel during the month of August this year.

Everybody needs to plan at least a couple of days there. There is great, pretty easy hiking; they have a nice, nice pool; the sites are large (but have pea gravel - sorry Richard); the bath house in the new campground is great; they have a nice laundry; and, if for no other reason........WE ARE THERE! and we WILL feed you.


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Re: Camp Hosting at Natural Tunnel 2012

Post  Darcamper on Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:59 pm

Are you the camp host for all the camp ground. So do you help campers that pull in and take them to their site. Also do you cook or do other things to help?

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Re: Camp Hosting at Natural Tunnel 2012

Post  merrykalia on Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:14 pm

I camp host for both campgrounds - they are only about 150 yds apart. I am up on the hill and overlook them. Lover's Leap is the new one, big sites, all backin but one and all pea gravel. Cove View is the older, all pull thrus and have grass in between them.

I greet when they pull in. Direct them to the right campground and help with backing in or whatever. I actually backed in a couple of popups for some women last year. It was their first time pulling them and the men were coming the next day. They tried for about 30 minutes. One of them did pretty good, but she just couldn't get close enough to the power pole.

When you reserve, the sites are non-specific, but specific to the campground you chose, so when you get there, you can pick whatever is available IN YOUR CAMPGROUND.

I sell ice and firewood and they are building a new camp store, so we aren't sure exactly how that is going to work. They will have someone hired for that, but don't know the hours, times, etc.

I cook our meals and that is usually when people start pulling in......dinnertime. I don't think I was actually able to eat an entire dinner without having to check someone in during the entire month. I did red beans 'n rice one evening and had 2-3 of the campers come by, two park rangers and 3 maintenance men and I sent a bowl to the office worker. They just HAPPENED to come by, the fact that you could smell them for about 25 yds didn't have anything to do with it. I had plenty and I really hate to have leftovers, so that was just fine with me.

I helped take up money at one of the welcome centers when it was open late for the Lighting of the Tunnel, but that is very uncommon. I normally hang out in the campground, except to pick up ice and firewood down at the maintenance shed. They give me a Gator to drive around in. I will make a trip around the campground in the am - 9 ish, then another around lunchtime, sometime in the afternoon, then a couple of trips around when people start arriving after 4 ish. At 9 pm, I turn off my light, but I have had a few stop between 9 and midnight to check in. I had interior lights on.

It's really a lot of fun and I do stop and talk to people, I'm always invited for meals, sometimes accept, sometimes not. We may plan to do another park next year, also.

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Re: Camp Hosting at Natural Tunnel 2012

Post  Darcamper on Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:46 pm

Now that is what I call a Camp Host. When you stay and do work, will that cover your camper site or do you still have to pay. I think that should cover the amount of work you do, that is why your the camp host. So everyone that pulls in know that your the collector and do they come to your camper to pay for their site? So once you get there do you find a site and then go and pay or pay first and then park? It is nice. WOW Very Happy

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Re: Camp Hosting at Natural Tunnel 2012

Post  merrykalia on Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:49 pm

Most of Virginia SP's do reservations online. If you just happen to drive into the campground, you can do ONE NIGHT ONLY!! It's $21.00 - cash, check or credit card. (I collect that or if they have put it in the deposit box, I retrieve it out of there.) If they stay another night, they must go to the main office and register and extend their stay.

About 75% of campers coming in will stop if we are outside. If we aren't outside, then they will keep going. The other 25% are usually repeat customers and they just head on to their campground and set up and know that I will be there in a while.

In exchange for our work, we get a FHU site, the only one in the park; if we work a 30 day period, we get 1 free week in a Virginia State Park campsite, but not during prime season. We also get into all the "stuff" in our park for free - swimming, chair lift, etc.

It is a lot of fun and I would recommend it.

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