Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 First Post of the New Year, Moss Park Orlando Florida


A New Year.

Campground:  Moss Park, Orlando Fl.  Camp Host position, site free, water/electric.

Well here we are in a new year, 2014.  I’ve been at Moss Park since the middle of Oct 2013 and will remain through January and February, not sure if I’ll stay into March.  I haven’t posted any of my stories about camp hosting on this Blog site as many of the stories mention the names of workers here at Moss Park.  But I may as well provide a link to the other blog site where I’ve posted those Campground Host stories if you’re interested in reading them check out: (CAMP HOSTING)

my new camper, Open Range, Rover is so perfect for me

I’ve enjoyed working with some of the staff here, but have not made that real connection that one makes so often when being a camp host.  I often get the feeling that they don’t think all that much of my services to the park.  Occasional references to the previous camp host, George, have been made.  You know, things like, George didn’t do it that way.  The front office staff assuming that my job is to work for them checking on campsite tags and exit dates for each campsite.  Though when I check in in the afternoon, they’ve cleared the board, so anything I have to report on is already considered DOA.

Though the head boss hired me specifically to do enforcement duties.  Which is what I continue to do.  Doing my diligence in patrolling the park for misdemeanors like cutting down trees and collecting dead wood and branches for firewood, bringing alcohol into the park, rowdiness/noise during quiet time, driving vehicles off of the 75ft pads provided for campers and vehicles, dumping gray water onto the campsite.  Things like that.

Overall it’s not exactly what I would call a fun job.  Though I must admit, most of the week is awesome when the campground has less campers.  It’s the heavy weekend crowds that need to be monitored constantly.  Starting early in the morning, around 8:30, I often walk around the campground numerous times throughout the day, stopping at campsites and talking to the campers, letting them know what they need to do to be in “compliance” with the parks basic rules.  If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times, “I didn’t know that.”  “I didn’t see the sign saying no drinking in the park, no pets, don’t feed the wildlife”.  And it continues quite often until 11 and 12 midnight.  Drinking being the hardest to control.

Fall colors arrive in Central Florida, Jan 2014
This is also the time of year for all those Doctor’s appointments.  General Physical, eye doctor, dermatologist, though this time I think I can bypass the dermatologist at least for a while longer.  Oh, and two more of my blinds have come apart in the new camper.  The strings becoming frayed.  I’ve ordered replacements under warranty.  The only thing that I’ve found  that has been of poor quality in the camper.  Considering everything else being of very high quality, that’s not too bad.

I have visited with family and friends somewhat and really enjoyed my trip away from the campground during the Christmas holidays as the park asked me to leave for a couple of days.  Another example of how they don’t think much of the camp host.  I’ve never been asked to leave while camp hosting.  It’s all those little things that I’ve come to expect when doing camp hosting.  Like a full hookup for my camper.  Moss Park only provides elect/water, no sewer connection for the camp host.  No golf cart.  Though this has been fine as if forces me to walk around the campground numerous times each day.  Though without a golf cart the drive up front to the office costs me diesel fuel with each trip up front and back each day…. It’s about a mile to the front office.  Not a lot of fuel, but it does add up.  And even though they have a washer and dryer in one of the buildings up front, I‘m not permitted to use it so I have to drive about 10 miles outside the park to a Laundromat to do my laundry.  Adding to yet another perk not provided by this campground.

It’s been a most unique experience overall.  I do feel I’m doing a service for the campers who come out to enjoy the camping experience, many of them for the first time and who are trying to do right.  By doing the “enforcement” thing, I hope I’m making it a more pleasant experience for those good campers.  You know it is a bit odd that the manager, Eric, has never stopped by my campsite or driven around the campground while I’ve been here.  At least not that I’ve ever seen.  You’d think he would stop by just to see how things are going.  I’ve only bumped into him a couple of times up front in the past couple of months that I’ve been here.  He has told me on those occasions that he was going on vacation a number of times, as he wasn’t able to do so until I got here.  You see, until I got here this fall, he had to monitor the campground.  With him out of the park on many weekends now, I’m literally the only one in the park to monitor the campers.  All other staff leave the park at 6pm.  Even if he’s here, I got the impression I was not to call him unless absolutely necessary.
One of the great pleasures of being in Moss Park
I must admit that during the normal working hours I do call up front and turn over any “problem campsites” to the staff on duty.  Leaving the rest of the after hours problems for me to handle on my own.  Of course I have to use my own cell phone when calling up front as they don’t provide walkie talkies to the camp host.  Fortunately I have enough minutes so it doesn’t matter.

Having lived in Orlando for 30 plus years, you’d think I’d be driving around checking out all the old places I used to frequent, but that’s not the case.  I’m on the SE side of town out in the country.  To get into town requires lots of back roads, toll roads or the more direct 436 and other main arteries that are always clogged with traffic.  Having been out in the country now for over 10 years, city traffic does not excite me in the least, so I tend to stay close to my own area just outside of town.  Orlando is so spread out it would take normally 45 minutes to an hour to get from one side to the other.

And a final note on this particular venture at Moss Park.  I think the thing I miss the most is having stimulating conversations with all of my camper friends that I’ve met throughout the years especially when wintering in one place.  The occasional visit with family and friends is not enough to fill that void.  Most of the conversations with the park staff revolve around the bad habits of our campers.  Not the most stimulating of conversations and they all seem to blend into each other after a while.

I’m looking forward to heading back out on the open road, where I can meet interesting people, explore new destinations and stimulate my mind.  Still, you never know where the road will lead until you take it.

Happy Trails, I’ll be back on the open road before you know it.


walterterry said...

We love and appreciate our Doug at DT. You have been missed.

Unknown said...

Hi Doug - you should not feel bad about turning over campground problems to the permanent staff - no way. The enforcement you are doing is a great service and is plenty. I have done some campground and other rangering and the campground stuff is a recognized PITA depending on the campground. Eric should be making his presence more felt in my opinion at least to be polite if not actually help out.

Coincidentally I just ordered a book from the library here called Ranger Confidential. Got pretty decent reviews on Amazon. I'll pm you a link.