Thursday, April 28, 2016

A to Z Challenge 2016: W is for Welcome

This month I've been writing about our experiences as camp hosts at Sunset Bay State Park in Oregon.  It's a beautiful wooded park with easy access to the beach, and just a short drive into Charleston Harbor for great fresh seafood if we get tired of cooking.  In a lot of ways being a park host is like being a Walmart Greeter, except we're not putting stickers on your bags as you enter the park.  I'd like to think that the intent of the Walmart Greeter is to help customers efficiently get to where they need to go.  But, since that doesn't happen, they're probably there to watch out for shoplifters.

In the parks, we help campers find a site they've reserved on-line, or find a site for walk-ins that is big enough for their giant, over-sized RV's.  Last night's entertainment was watching the wrecker pull a behemoth RV out of the mud after the owner tried to maneuver the beast into a tight site surrounded by a mud bog.  $250.00 dollars later the driver had learned the lesson emblazoned on the park signs, "Stay on the pavement."  This morning we took our shovels and rakes and filled in the giant ruts he had torn in the grass.

Our job is to help people enjoy the park.  After a month, we have a wealth of local knowledge and freely share our recommendations for the best place to watch the sea lions, where to buy propane, or the best local restaurant for breakfast.  We have met some fascinating people.  Al spent four days here waiting for a package he had ordered to arrive.  He was waiting for a flashlight!  Al is riding his bike to Costa Rica.  Yesterday we met a couple from Germany.  She spoke English well, and her husband just nodded his head and said, "Thank You!" a lot.  They had rented a mid-sized RV and were exploring the southern Oregon coast.  I'm still nervous about RVing in my own country; they're pretty brave to drive an RV on unfamiliar roads.

It is fun to work with people who are on vacation.  Everyone is carefree and happy.  (Well, except maybe for that guy in the mud bog.)  We're happy to welcome them to Oregon's beautiful state parks.


  1. Almost finished, dear Jann. I see you have survived another April! :-)

  2. You two are not only a greeter, but a concierge, a wood vendor, a friendly face, and an all over good neighbor to all who stop by.

  3. You make me want to be a park host. Or to come camping and let you host me. :-)


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