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Old 05-31-2011, 09:06 AM   #1
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Hosting for the Corp....

I had gotten a PM from another member suggesting that I make a post here about our hosting 'job' we got for the ACoE at Kelletville PA....

Ok, here goes and if anyone has questions ask.

What or where is Kelletville? It is a tiny mostly long gone town on the Tionesta river in the ANF (allegheny nat'l forest) about 10 miles upstream from Tionesta Pa.

The Corp got involved because the Tionesta drains the part of the ANF that the Allegheny does not, and both need flood controlled. If they flood, the Ohio floods and if the Ohio floods then the Mississippi floods and if that floods then your Shrimp Creole is soggy. Cant have that.

Anyways, the Corp built a semi primitive campground at Kelletville. you can read all about on this site - I did a write up of the campgrounds I had recently been to last year and K-ville is one of them. Not much has changed since then.

Cept another hundred year flood came thru last december...

We looked on the Corp website for the Pittsbught district and saw what campgrounds needed what volunteers. Not just hosting gets you a free site - some grounds need workers or guides etc and this exists for other states as well (about a month ago for example West Virginia needed volunteers at a lot of parks)

We contacted the 'chick in charge' and she told us, ok, be patient, we go over the apps in the spring. Well we were the only applicant. I guess not everyone likes isolation.

They would LIKE to get 40 hours a week from 4/15 to 10/15 - which caters to a retired person. Indeed at the 'Outflow rec area' (see: tionesta webpage) the hosts are this very old couple that move as fast as cold molasses. Given the work they would like to see....

Since my gal is a teacher about to be free next week, they agreed to let us have it weekends since 4/15 then full time after till school goes back. All the rangers are nice and accomodating. Since they have no budget, any work we give them is a plus.

Whaddya get? A site right by the guard shack with water, electric and phone (outgoing emergency calls only, incoming ok) Very level with a table and fire ring.

Whaddya have to do? Assist campers getting signed in. Policing campsites after they leave - trash, tear down fires, stack unused wood. Make note of when the sheriff and trash guy come by - the Corp contracts everything and wants to make sure it is being fullfilled. Clean any horrible messes at the bathhouse in between cleaner times, report problems, stuff like that.

This last weekend was the busiest I have ever seen it - full house and then some. The limit is one camper and 1 tent per site, but some sites had 1 camper and 2+ tents but all very quiet. The first weekend there for fishing we had one site of buttheads that left a mess, but generally everyone is cool.

The dumpstation is for campers only, but others can use it if they pay the fee. The worst are horse owners - they all have trailers that are a camper AND horse hauler and they stay in the ANF, then use the station but wont pay. Since we dont have any power...they dont pay. The good news is the sheriffs REALLY need this contract as forest county PA is the poorest. They seem to be bored and have nothing to do so they have cool cars, AR15s, ATVs and cover a lot of ground cruising looking for lawbreakers. Because of such I dont forsee any long term problems.

The duties have not been a bother - basically they want us there from the AM to before noon then say 5pm to evening, and all weekend. We have Tuesday and Wednesday as our days off, we keep the camper there 'cept right now I keep an old truck there to hold the spot - on busy weekends the host spot could get taken!

The policy on firewood is simple: if it is down it is fair game. So I have used my saw to cut up logs that the Corp knocked over when they rehabb'ed the place in March.

I dont know what else to list...any questions?
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:21 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing! When the kids are out of the house I would love to do something like this.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:20 AM   #3
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Hi QuadDriver,

Thanks for posting and sharing. Good info for wannabe work-campers / campground hosts.

Keep us posted on how things go this season and any pros & cons you learn.

Have a great season and good luck.
Hutch
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:17 PM   #4
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I think I'm ready for that type of life.......not sure DH is!
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:03 AM   #5
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Hey what does DH mean (other than designated hitter? - or are you saying your hubby plays for the American League? )

We are about done, weekend of Oct 17th the water goes off and the bathrooms lock up making this a dry campground.

What did we learn?

a) this is an old mans (womans) game, or someone living off lottery swag. We had NO free time all summer. That part sucked. We found sooooo many place to dry and wet camp in the ANF we want to try out, all only a few gallons of gas away - one of the bennies of having your house next to wooded paradise.
b) RVs aint meant to be lived in. Not long term. The units are not as durable as a house and you fix a lot more. You can use some sort of a fixture for 3 decades in a house and get the same wear as 3 months in an RV.
c) Isolation from TV is a GOOD thing. We ended up NOT using the driect tv, just the XM radio. That part I needed. I need my classic vinyl station with a little hair nation thrown in
d) Rangers are full of it. Bears are not afraid of humans. nor are mountain lions and coyotes....well they are just waiting for their chance.
e) some people are born buttheads. just because they share common interests like camping does not mean they are good folk. we met a couple sets that are convinced rules do not apply to them, and they squawk when they get busted. booze is the biggest culprit. the ACoE no longer allows booze on its property and the sheriff backs that up and patrols. HUGE signs saying no alcohol. But they feel they have the right to complain when they park the beer cooler under the sign and get a ticket, 2 6packs into the bag. When asked by campers, our philosophy is simple: we dont care too much about seeing it, but most importantly, we dont wanna HEAR it. the cops however have little to do and a booze ticket helps the budget.

We are not going to apply for it next year. But we will offer our services if they need us on isolated weekends here and there. We know all the rangers and all the sheriff dudes and wanna stay on their good side. If you want to apply for it or know someone who wants a shot - google up the volunteer clearinghouse for the ACoE and select the pittsburgh district.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:08 PM   #6
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Thanks for the update!
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Old 10-14-2011, 09:28 AM   #7
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turns out the corps changed when the campgrounds became free one week (last pay day was 9/30) but they killed the water last monday, so we are done. They said we could come down and still host, but its hard to live in a camper more than a few days with no water or power - gensets be darned.

At least the summer went out with a bang - 80 degrees both days which is interesting considering we had snow the week BEFORE last weekend. Such is magical NW Pa.

I note that no one from here came there and camped - no biggie - no did anyone else. After a great start to the year - miserable spring weather and all - by the 4th of july it was falling off to only a few campers a weekend. Last weekend we had 2/3 full due to the heat and the 3 day, but otherwise the preceeding weekends after labor day were 1 camper total.

Its going to be weird this friday, driving up home and NOT going to the campground. First weekend I have done, or not done that since the middle of april.
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