Camp Caretaker

National Park Service

Job category:
Camp Host
Other
Volunteer
Compensation: RV Site Only
Hookups: Full (FHU)
Wi-Fi: Unknown
Pets OK?: Yes

Job Description

FROM: https://www.volunteer.gov/s/volunteer-opportunity/a09t000000C9kO2AAJ/environmental-education-camp-caretaker

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ADDRESS: Everglades National Park; 40001 State Road 9336; Homestead, Florida 33034

DEPT: National Park Service

DATES: 11/1/2021 – 4/2/2022

DESCRIPTION:

 

PLEASE NOTE: There are two locations for this position. One of the camps is at Hidden Lake, 40001 State Road 9336, Homestead FL 33034, the other camp is located at Loop Road, 36000 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33194. Please indicate in the write-up section of the application if you are willing to serve at only one or both locations.

Volunteers work at the Loop Road Environmental Education Center or at Hidden Lake Education

Center. These centers offer curriculum-based programs for 5th -12th grade students. Volunteers

are required to assist rangers, teachers, and students obtain everything they need for a top-

notch residential learning experience. Volunteers carry out projects and duties that have a

direct impact on the students’ hands-on experience in the park. This is a fun, busy and very

energetic experience.

School groups from the surrounding communities visit Everglades National Park for a three

day/two night camping experience. Students hike, slog and take part in a variety of programs,

all the while learning about Everglades ecosystems and the importance of protecting and

preserving them.

Both the Hidden Lake and Loop Road Environmental Education Centers have two positions (couples are accepted at each location) open each year starting from early – mid November until the beginning of April. Weekly hours typically average 32 hours, though work is often necessary five days per week. Selection priority will only be given to those volunteers that commit to the full-term.

An RV site with full hook-ups is available for volunteers. A minimum of 32 hours per person per week is required for free housing. Free laundry facilities are available in the housing area. Loop Road volunteers live onsite and are available after hours to assist with teacher requests. Hidden Lake volunteers live in the nearby Pine Island housing area with other employees and volunteers

 

 

DUTIES

One week of interpretive park training will be provided, and on-site training will occur.

The first two weeks of work will involve strenuous preparation of the camp facilities, often in

somewhat isolated and humid conditions. Once camps have begun, the work will be less

physically strenuous (and less humid), but volunteers will have to work cooperatively with a

variety of rangers / teachers / school groups and personalities.

Volunteers’ projects and duties include assisting groups upon their arrival to and departure from

camp, performing ongoing trail maintenance, facility maintenance on center buildings and tent

structures, maintaining activity kits, lawn mowing and string trimming, pressure-washing of

tent platforms, basic tent repair, pest mitigation, water quality monitoring and organization of

camp supplies. Other duties include assisting with camp set-up and take down at the beginning

and end of the season, and daily transporting trash and recyclables. Rangers and teachers lead

all the programs and schedules, and volunteers co-lead and support as needed.

At Loop Road, volunteers assist in the field with a wet walk activity and in the office with answering phones and creating props. Loop Road volunteers also assist in maintaining the grounds, which can include trimming plants, mowing and other traditional yardwork. Loop Road volunteers live onsite and are available after hours to assist with teacher requests.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

Use of a private vehicle will be required to daily drive the 4 miles from the housing area to the Hidden Lake site and back. Loop Road volunteer(s) will live on site.

Volunteers must be able to sustain physical work outdoors in heat, cold and a humid climate. Winter temperatures can briefly drop to almost freezing.

Must pass a swim-test, and a federal background check.

Willingness to team work with students, rangers and teachers is essential. Willingness to be supervised is important.

Physical activity level is moderately strenuous for the whole season. Volunteers should be prepared to frequently lift heavy objects, trim around poisonous plants, stand for periods of time, repair tents, and work in the direct sun.

Volunteers must have their own RV. During initial training, volunteers must be able to be more than 6+ hours away from their RV, or their pets.

 

SKILLS
  • Clerical/Office Machines
  • Conservation Education
  • Drivers License
  • General Assistance
  • Working with People

 

WORK ENVIRONMENT

Everglades National Park is a unique environment and heat and humidity as well as cold can be experienced during the winter season.

Everglades National Park encompasses 1.5 million acres of sawgrass prairie, mangrove coastline, tropical hardwood forests, slash pine forests and cypress swamps that provide great camping, canoeing and fishing opportunities. Hundreds of islands in Florida Bay and the Gulf Coast provide feeding and nesting habitat for thousands of wading birds. Volunteers will gain intimate knowledge of a unique subtropical ecosystem and have an opportunity to explore and learn about the Everglades during a two-week training plus additional training throughout the season. Come join us for a rewarding experience!

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