Have you ever wanted to be a park ranger? Or live in a Missouri State Park? If that's your thing, Missouri State Parks might just have the volunteer opportunity for you.

No, you won't be a ranger and get to wear a big ol Smokey Bear hat. But you will be able for park your RV, motorhome, or trailer on a special campsite in exchange for serving as Campground Host in a Missouri State Park. Don't get too excited until you hear what the position entails.

According to Missouri State Parks, Campground Hosts perform a variety of tasks assisting other campers, "while setting an example by being model campers, practicing good housekeeping and obeying all rules and regulations."

Campground Host duties can be a little different at every Missouri State Park. For example, at our state park in Knob Noster, the job entails being a resource of information for other visitors, monitoring the shower houses for toilet paper and other maintenance issues, cleaning and clean up of the campgrounds, collecting fees, renting kayaks, selling ice and souvenirs and more.

At Finger Lakes State Park in Columbia, the job of one person at Knob Noster State Park is more or less split between two hosts. A Campground Host and what they call a Handy Host. The Handy Host works more in the park office collecting fees, selling ice and souvenirs and managing the park office. While the Campground Host does some of the same out on the campgrounds, but it seems more focused on the camping aspect of the job.

Missouri State Parks have Campground Hosts from April - October every year.

Volunteers are expected to serve up to forty hours a week for a minimum of one month. They should like people, have good manners, and be helpful to campers of all ages. Volunteers also need to be physically capable of completing duties and willing to work varied days and hours.

If you're looking to just go camping and enjoy yourself, then this probably isn't how you should spend your vacation. That said, if you have the time. Love the outdoors. And like people. This could be a fun way to spend the summer. For more information on Missouri Parks Campground Host program you can check out the Missouri State Parks Website.

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