Thursday, May 27, 2010

Some Workamping Thoughts...

I want to share a few thoughts regarding this workamping stuff as well as some recent thoughts about full timing in an RV.

These are my thoughts from a very foundational level not just the day-to-day things about workamping.

There have been a number of transitions in my life over the years. 

With each one it seemed there was the initial confusion with the new experiences -- then the gaining of a general grasp of what was going on -- then a settling in to the new routine.

With each of these transitions there were new things to learn as well as the realization that as some things, while appearing to be different, were in reality the same -- just repackaged.

Workamping -- while a different form of work for us -- holds the same elements in many ways of the kinds of work we have done in the past.

The activities are different -- working in a campground with all of the activities associated with it -- and the geography is different -- especially the view. 

What is the same is the interaction and dynamics associated with working with and dealing with -- people.

The differences that I mentioned are the interesting part -- the refreshing part of the adventure.  To see new places and to explore both the area and the culture of our new temporary home location.

The second thing I mentioned -- the personal interaction -- is not so much interesting -- it is more like finding out what you already knew -- just in a different place.

I think these two realizations are important to understand. 

We have read many posts on discussion boards about various experiences workamping.  Some were very good and some were nightmares.

What I would tell someone looking to do this is to be prepared to get out of your experience what you put into it. 

The key is to remember that your reaction to the things that happen are your choice.  You can choose to react in a negative fashion or choose to remember why you are doing what you are doing and keep things in perspective.

We have had a great time here -- we enjoy what we are doing as well as experiencing the sights and sounds of the area.  We also enjoy the people we are working with and look forward to the upcoming weekend and various aspects of the campground operations as they unfold.

What we have also realized is that within all of our enjoyment there were presented to us opportunities to have a negative experience as well. 

If we would have chosen to focus on these issues and allow them to build and become much bigger we could have built ourselves the exact opposite experience that we have had so far.

It is our belief that we have the capability to "build the track" that our lives will run on. 

We can decide by our thoughts and actions if an experience holds anything good to take away from it or if it goes down in the history book as the worst experience in our life -- with absolutely no redeeming quality.

I tell you these things to share the entire picture of what we are doing and experiencing.

This assignment is very exciting and holds the potential to be a great learning experience.

It is also simply a part of a much larger journey -- it is not a destination of any kind -- it had proven to be an experience that needs to be lived one day at a time -- an no more.  

I wrote in earlier posts about going on a daily scavenger hunt to find the moments of truth and moments of happiness and then seizing them. 

This experience is no different -- if we don't do this -- then it will be -- well -- a job and nothing more.  A job -- like all jobs eventually -- you realize that you "have" to do -- not "choose" to do.  We don't want that to ever happen.

Within our days -- some have been very long -- there have been opportunities presented to us to find these moments.  There have also been opportunities to find the awful in this experience.  That is life.  We have worked hard to focus on the good things and we have been rewarded accordingly.

I think it is important for you to know  that workamping for us is simply a means to support a lifestyle. It is not a lifestyle in and of itself.

It would be easy to forget this.  To do that would then put us right back where we just came from.

This keeping the right perspective I think is very important -- if not essential.

What I have seen is that to really pull out of being full time in order to find the things we were looking for it must be a dedication to remembering why we did this and to always look for the fulfillment of our goals.

I don't know if all of this makes sense as you read it but it is my exploration of the most fundamental part of this entire experience.

We will leave here in a couple of months -- we will have lived our lives over that couple of months -- the question is -- as we pull out of here...

What have we gained that enriched our lives?

The answer to that question will be decided in how we approach things now -- not the day we pull up the jacks and hit the road again.

I will post more later today but these things were on my mind this morning so I thought I would share them.

Ken and Nanette

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Calm Before The Storm -- Except There Is No Calm!

Well -- we are a little busier than I expected we would be here.

But -- I want to tell you that it is more enjoyable than I could have imagined.

I apologize for getting behind on writing -- if you all could be here you would see why that is.

We are on a steep learning curve!

Some of you may remember way back when we talked with the owners here about learning all aspects of running a campground.

Well there are two things going on.

1.  This is a full service campground -- to say the least -- with a lot of aspects to its operation.
2.  They have remained true to their word in making sure we are exposed to and taught as much as possible about the full operation of the campground.

If you add those 2 things together it makes for Ken and Nanette being very busy!

What a great experience though.  Both of us have our heads full of stuff.  We are trying to get our hands around all of the things we have been shown.

The wedding was a big success.  It was also a great learning experience for all of us.  The owners included.  I will share some interesting insights on that later.

I want to say one thing about Mike and Gina who own this campground.  They have a lot of experience in a lot of things.  When I watched them handle the wedding events -- which was everything -- it was apparent they have been around the block a few times.  Even though this was the first time for something like this they were very good at taking the unexpected events and navigating through them.

Yogi and Boo Boo were in their tuxedos -- very cool!  I am trying to get my hands on some pictures that were taken.  I also will share what it took to get these characters into costume -- which unexpectedly I ended up helping with.

Remember I told you we are not allowed -- as employees -- to post any pictures we took of them.  There are others though that did take pictures that I can get.

We are gearing up for the coming holiday weekend -- we are almost completely sold out.  I think there are a couple of campsites still available but they won't be for long.

The activity level here is very high before the guests start rolling in this weekend.

From a guest standpoint we have very few here -- but from an activity level -- we are running full out getting ready for what is coming.

Yesterday we took in a very large truck load of wood.  Hundreds of bundles.  Last night I was told that it will most likely all be gone by Sunday.

If this is an indicator of what we are in for -- well -- I may need some serious therapy when this is over.

I was also told to expect over 120 rigs to show up from early Friday afternoon to late Friday night.  That they will be lined up two lanes wide and will stretch out for a while.

We escort and help park all RVs here -- I have been learning the traffic patterns and site parking location so that the guests get the best each site has to offer -- such as level area and most space for the site.

Yesterday Nanette and I were here alone.  It was a VERY strange feeling.  It was like someone handing you their baby and saying "Here -- take care of this for us."

There were deliveries coming in -- things to be paid for -- work to do -- and so on.  Nanette and I felt very responsible for the place.

We told Mike and Gina how we felt with them being gone and the responsibility of taking care of their "baby" and that we were somewhat nervous knowing we were "it" and were very careful in everything we did.

They said -- "That is exactly why -- we left -- to give you the experience of what if feels like."

Okay -- that was pretty cool for them to do!  And...we got the feeling alright!

They also told us they were showing their trust level in us.  Well -- that made us feel very good. 

We think we will get a day off maybe tomorrow -- if we do -- I have so much to tell you all.  I am so eager to share all that we have experienced so far and our thoughts on it. 

At this point we are really starting to get "IT".  "IT" being -- knowing how much we don't know!

I will tell you this though -- if we wanted a crash course in learning how a campground runs and being exposed to all the things that can be a challenge...we found it.

And you know what?

We also think we are being taught by the best in the business! 

When I have time to share with you the behind the scenes teaching that has been going on and how they have been teaching us -- I think you will agree.

I am sorry to do this to you again but I must cut this short as I need to get up to the pools and check the water.

I can't wait to fill you all in more -- and there are a couple of experiences I have had that I think you may find very amusing!

As some of you know I seem to have a way of getting myself into some -- well -- memorable moments.  This place is no exception!

Until tomorrow!

Ken and Nanette

Monday, May 24, 2010

We Will Catch Up...

The last couple of days have been very long ones.

The wedding was quite the event.

I will catch you all up later today.

Right now - we just found out we will be here working alone today.

Okay - now this should be interesting!

Things continue to ramp up for this coming holiday weekend.

I will post a large update this evening - we must get going this morning and get our last minute instructions for the day.

Stay tuned!

Ken and Nanette