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Lodore Campground Hosts
Dinosaur National Monument
Address: 4545 Hwy 40 Dinosaur, CO 81610
Contact: Lee Buschkowsky 970 374-3004
Availability: 4/24/2015--10/18/2015
Created: 11/5/2014
Suitability: Adults, Seniors
Difficulty: Not Difficult
Duties: Explain rules and regulations such as the campground fee system. Provide information on recreational opportunities in the Monument and surrounding areas including attractions, activities, and current road, trail, and fishing conditions. Provide information on local services such as gas stations, stores, and medical facilities. Inform visitors of potential dangers in the Monument, with a special emphasis on fire conditions and restrictions. Perform routine maintenance of campground facilities and camp sites; report all maintenance problems to the Lodore park ranger. Gather information on visitor use and keep the supervisor informed of problems at the campground. Sign in permitted rafting groups and visually check equipment to make sure all required items are present when the Lodore park ranger is not on-site. Provide traffic control at boater launch ramp during peak hours. Notify supervisor or law enforcement ranger if illegal activity or other emergencies are observed. Able to handle stressful situations such as a medical emergency until responding units arrive. Other duties as assigned. Qualifications: Campground hosts must have the ability to work independently, be personable and neat in appearance, and enjoy working with people of all ages and backgrounds. Hosts should be moderately active and capable of walking or bicycling the equivalent of several blocks on uneven terrain. Hosts must become knowledgeable about Monument regulations and information commonly needed by visitors. Work is primarily outdoors in a variety of weather conditions (snow to blazing hot) typical of northeastern Utah/northwestern Colorado. A valid driver’s license is also essential, ability to drive a truck/trailer preferred Time Commitment: A minimum stay of one month and 32 hours per week. Preference will be given to applicants who wish to volunteer for the entire season. An average of 5 days per week is generally required. Days off may be flexible and extended when arranged in advanced. Benefits: Live in a campground of a beautiful National Monument and meet lots of great people; Electricty, water, sewage and garbage removal will be provided with camphost site. Hosts will be provided with volunteer uniforms and a park radio with charger, misc. supplies (i.e. pens, notepads, etc). Reimbursement for propane gas expenses may be available. Orientation tour of Dinosaur National Monument, and depending on time commitment, a river trip up to five days in length down the Green and/or Yampa with NPS rangers. You will need to provide a recreational living unit.
 

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Don't count on it... the campground host who had been there for last 2 or 3 years told me last June (2014) that he wouldn't be back. And had never been down the river... now for the real kicker: neither has the ranger, who'e been there for 3, maybe 4, seasons. Go figger...
 

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Don't count on it... the campground host who had been there for last 2 or 3 years told me last June (2014) that he wouldn't be back. And had never been down the river... now for the real kicker: neither has the ranger, who'e been there for 3, maybe 4, seasons. Go figger...
Seriously? River ride-alongs are considered training. Most awesome thing I ever got paid for in my life... :)
 

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Jones hole host

I pulled into Jones hole one fall trip and a guy was sitting on a rock in the river staring at the water. He walked into our camp and asked what day it was. I told him it was Tuesday, to which he replied "good, they bring me food on Thursdays" He just turned around and walked away, never saw him again. Turns out he was the camp host, must have been a long summer
 

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I pulled into Jones hole one fall trip and a guy was sitting on a rock in the river staring at the water. He walked into our camp and asked what day it was. I told him it was Tuesday, to which he replied "good, they bring me food on Thursdays" He just turned around and walked away, never saw him again. Turns out he was the camp host, must have been a long summer
Yowch. I've never even seen a camp host at Jones. I think it would be nice and relaxing for the first week or two but after that one-month minimum commitment, could get a little old. The ability to do river trips depends on the time commitment - you may have to do a full season, if not at least a few months to get down the river. And even if you do, you may be working your tail off maintaining trails, hauling out trash, or cutting down tammies during that river time, instead of lounging in camp with a cold one.

Just like being a ski instructor, this gig may not be nearly as glamorous as they make it out to be, and we want to think it is.

-AH
 

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Hi,

Back in 2000, the BLM Moab Field Office had a little link at the bottom of their web page -- "Volunteer Opportunities".

I clicked on that link, and it resulted in ten years of long term volunteer river ranger duty at Westwater. I lived on site and worked as much as 10-12 weeks a year, with Alvin, Kyler, and a lot of other real rangers. I helped open the station in the Spring, close it in the Fall, and otherwise pitched in on a regularized schedule. Overall, I averaged a patrol through Westwater every other day, and in general had all the benefits of life out there in the desert and on the river, for a $12 a day volunteer stipend.

All of which is to say that there are some prime volunteer opportunities out there if you can find them.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I pulled into Jones hole one fall trip and a guy was sitting on a rock in the river staring at the water. He walked into our camp and asked what day it was. I told him it was Tuesday, to which he replied "good, they bring me food on Thursdays" He just turned around and walked away, never saw him again. Turns out he was the camp host, must have been a long summer
Was that back when there was still a ranger cabin there? I wish they had not torn it down... it was going to be my retirement spot! :eek:

Hi,

Back in 2000, the BLM Moab Field Office had a little link at the bottom of their web page -- "Volunteer Opportunities".

I clicked on that link, and it resulted in ten years of long term volunteer river ranger duty at Westwater. I lived on site and worked as much as 10-12 weeks a year, with Alvin, Kyler, and a lot of other real rangers. I helped open the station in the Spring, close it in the Fall, and otherwise pitched in on a regularized schedule. Overall, I averaged a patrol through Westwater every other day, and in general had all the benefits of life out there in the desert and on the river, for a $12 a day volunteer stipend.

All of which is to say that there are some prime volunteer opportunities out there if you can find them.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
That's awesome, and they actually paid the stipend? Sometimes the NPS can be a bit begrudging when it comes to stipends.
 

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Hi Sagebrusher,

Yup, BLM paid regularly. That was the starting rate in 2001 for subsistence reimbursement for a volunteer. And now that I think about it, my last couple years I was upped to $15 a day.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
 

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Just like being a ski instructor, this gig may not be nearly as glamorous as they make it out to be, and we want to think it is.

-AH
I resemble that remark. These aren't glamorous: lifting five year old off the snow dozens of times a day; not having time for lunch because you are so booked 4 weeks out of the year; getting to ski on your free time like 7-10 days because your body is so wrecked from work, making an average of $50-75 a day while committing 8-10 hours to work and travel? We must live on different planets, Andy. ;)

One of my dreams when we have a kid is to spend summers camp hosting and fire lookout observing with them when they are old enough. Most of the positions only require 4-6 weeks of commitment and I would love to expose our child to the diverse types of people that explore the West, especially since we live in a rather homogenous rural town. It wouldn't be glamorous by any means but I think it would be a way to bond, explore and learn with our kid. Granted, it would mean a) we have to have a kid sometime and b) they enjoy camping and being outside.

Phillip
 

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Does anyone know if "Dave" is still a ranger at Lodore? After posting about what sticklers he and his colleagues were he PM'd me and threatened to harass a trip I was on. Every time I'm there now I worry about this dude giving me trouble.
 

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Schutzie could be interested.
I'd be a good friend for rafters, since I can be bribed (no domestic beers unless they are craft beers please) ;)
I would probably not be a good friend to Kayakers since they would try to steal the bribes the rafters gave me.:mad:

But in any case, I have a question;
What does "You will need to provide a recreational living unit" mean?
Does this mean I have to bring my own tent, or my own wife, or both, or something else?

I could probably get my wife to join me (she still finds me attractive after all), and I do have a tent (a great big damn thing, takes a day to put it up or take it down) but I just want to make sure a "recreational living unit" means what I think it does.

And another question; could my yappy 10LB. Rat dog come along? She doesn't like water or strangers but at least she has an annoying bark.:(
 

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The campground host at the Ladore put-in last June 8th walked up, no introductions, and started taking pictures of our life jackets and texting them to park headquarters. With the comment that we didn't have proper equipment. Then a ranger showed up and said we were blocking the road. My truck was sticking out of the empty parking lot 2' while we unloaded, and two cars had passed in six hours. Then while it was getting dark, he demanded to see all the jackets and told us we would be ticketed if we slept on our boats. It was the most singular case of abuse and harassment I can remember. Fortunately, we had a trip member who knew somebody up high in the park service, so we drove 10 miles to get a cell signal and vented on them. When the ranger came back in the morning, he was a changed man. We did have all the necc. equipment. Then the ranger gave a detailed description of the rapids and where to pull over to scout. At the end of the talk, a woman asked how many trips down the river he had. Well, none! The scouting advice was useless, as it turned out. Dino has been a hassle every one of my four trips. It seems to be their trademark.
 

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Does anyone know if "Dave" is still a ranger at Lodore? After posting about what sticklers he and his colleagues were he PM'd me and threatened to harass a trip I was on. Every time I'm there now I worry about this dude giving me trouble.
Why would he do that?
 

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We found it productive to offer bribes (beer) to rangers as it enhanced our interactions with them, even if they declined our offers.

Two memorable rangers accepted not only our offer of beer, but self extended the offer to include food and whiskey. The next morning they were last seen driving out, wearing company T Shirts and weaving from road edge to road edge. Never had any hassles with them and they seemed to enjoy checking us in.

Another ranger had the misfortune of being accosted by our annual Bronco football trip participants (trip for NFL players week before training camp). As it turned out he made the mistake of informing the group of very intoxicated football players that neither their intoxication or attempts to enter the ranger trailer were appropriate, and he further complicated matters by demanding to know who the trip leader was. A miscommunication between the bus driver and our guides caused us to arrive some 6 hours after the already intoxicated football players were dropped at the put in; on arrival we discovered that the ranger had been imprisoned (or perhaps had imposed his own incarceration) in the trailer. The NFL boys were in the process of building a fire under the trailer to, as they put it, "teach that ill mannered [email protected](k bite some manners".
Thankfully, their extended high level of intoxication made their coordination such that they could not even strike the match, much less apply it to the wood they had piled under the trailer.
On release the ranger jumped in his official ranger truck and fled the scene, never to be encountered again. We did receive a firmly worded letter from the head ranger suggesting that going forward we might want to better control our groups.
 

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Times have changed... the rangers who would share a beer or three now take their LE duties VERY seriously, wear Kevlar vest, mace and handgun on hip, etc. Lodore has always had a reputation, usually deserved. I don't mind showing anything required that they want to inspect, but being informed of best lines in rapids by someone has never been down the river is ridiculous. It was 8500+ at the putin that day, BTW - not a level for the faint of heart or clueless.
Some in authority try to find ways to put you on the water and have the experience/skills to know if you have your act together (Alvin at WW, for ex.). Others want you to kiss the ring... or something similarly shaped. But what's changed totally from the 70's/80's - and especially post 9/11 - is the emphasis on AUTHORITY. I suspect I'm not alone resenting it... but it's a lot easier to take from someone who knows what they're talking about and has been down the river a time or two.
 
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