It’s a thankless job: campground manager (CM). S/he’s often the person who helps you reserve the perfect RV spot. When you arrive, the CM shows you to your site and may even help you park your rig. S/he is also the one who makes sure the restrooms, laundry facilities, and shower stalls are clean and sanitized. The CM mows the grass, sprays for bugs, and cleans firepits. S/he recommends good RV repair shops, area attractions, and places to get propane. So. Many. Jobs. It’s important to recognize all of that work. There’s a simple way to do that: Be nice to the campground manager.
The campground manager may be the owner of the camp. As such, s/he worries about paying the mortgage, keeping all of the various systems operating properly and staying competitive with other camps in the area. The job of a CM is not easy and while it’s simply a good thing to be appreciative, it often can benefit you to be nice to your campground manager.
Here’s what I mean
When planning a recent trip, we called a private campground where we’ve stayed in the past. At first, we were told that there appeared to be no room for our 38-foot fifth-wheel. We asked to speak to the campground manager. She immediately recognized our names and because she remembered us (and our rig), she happily assigned us a spot.
Another time, a campground manager we knew graciously allowed us to boondock overnight in the camp parking lot—at no cost. “Happy to help,” he told us.
Genuine gratitude means so much
Here are ways to show genuine gratitude to your campground managers. I hope you’ll add to my list in the comments that follow.
- Make a point of mentioning good customer service. Say, “Thank you for (specific action)!”
- Take a handwritten thank-you note to the office or directly to the CM. In the note, state specific actions you especially appreciated.
- Send an email or text of thanks to the camp owner or corporation (if different from the CM). Mention the CM by name, along with the name of the campground and how the CM helped make your stay exceptional.
- Take home-baked goodies to the campground manager’s office.
- Write a complimentary review of the campground and mention the campground manager in the comments.
- Tell other campers about your positive experience and encourage them to stay there.
- Leave a gift card for a local restaurant or fast-food place that delivers food. An easy meal means a lot, especially during the busy camping season.
- Listen. Take a minute to listen to the CM, especially if they are having a difficult day. No need to give suggestions. Just empathetically listen.
- Verbally support the campground manager when you’re around other campers.
- Take a coffee, tea, cocoa, or other drink of choice to the campground manager as a means of thanks.
- Post a complimentary note about the CM on the campground bulletin board (if allowed).
- Put a self-stick note with a thank you message on the CM’s golf cart or car.
- Find out about their hobby and support it. (For example: Give a fisherman a new lure. Gift an avid reader with a new book. Deliver a small potted plant to a gardener.)
- Invite them to join your family for a meal.
- Acknowledge the challenges they face on the job and offer encouragement.
Just be nice!
Do not expect special treatment simply because you are kind to your camp manager. Many, many folks pass through campgrounds each day. Only a select few are remembered. Would you prefer the campground manager remember you because of your demanding, selfish, and brutish nature or because of your kindness? The answer is up to you.
In what ways have you been nice to your campground managers? Please share ideas with us!
I have to add that many of the duties you mention are performed by us hosts and not by the manager. After 6 years I have yet to see a manager clean a campsite.
I carry a few bottles of extra wine, it need not be expensive. Leave one at the office with a note. If it’s not their preferred type, they may “pay it forward” to one of their guests or whatever….show up for dinner, bottle in hand.
I’ve mentioned it before, I take a pack of Klondike Bars with me and share with the hosts…When they are nice and this is 99% of the time.
At a Wa. State park on the Columbia River I would share triple chocolate cupcakes with the hosts..Heck I can’t or shouldn’t eat them all myself. We shared lots of talks and one time there was no room for me for one night. They put me in a spot next to the pump-house that was for another host, that was empty.
It is nice to be nice!
As a campground host, I thank you. Hope someday I work where you camp.
“Just be nice!” That says it all.
I always bring a pack of thank you cards and take notes on what they drink. We always clean our site of all garbage even if it wasn’t ours. And clean up after our dogs. Hopefully when we open ours this year people do the same.
Great suggestions- I like the gift card idea along with a note of gratitude.
When we were camp hosts in a popular FL state park, we always worked hard and long, and often fed the rangers. They were some of our best friends, and even though we haven’t worked there in years, we always have a place to stay. It might be off in volunteer village, but we have a site and all it took was one short phone call.
My wife is our “public relations” expert. She does many of the things mentioned above. Her acts of kindness and overall friendliness have paid dividends so many times.
Catch more fly’s with honey than vinegar- op’s I meant CM’s.