National Park Service Host Policy Research
The Death Valley National Park and Saline Valley Warm Spring Camp enrolls campground volunteers every winter. The selected applicants are expected to meet certain policies, possess certain skills and carry out the assigned roles for a minimum of three months.
- Amanda Landon serves as an Archeologist in the Death Valley National Park and has over 10 years of experience in cultural resource management in the private and public sectors. Ms. Landon holds Masters and Bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology, with specialties in GIS, NEPA, Section 6, Field Archeology, and Archaeology Illustrations. An overview through her LinkedIn profile shows that Ms. Landon specializes in Paleoethnobotany and early agriculture.
Saline Valley Warm Springs Camp Host Selection
- The Saline Valley Warm Springs current host was selected in accordance with the California State Park system. Hosts are picked based on their ability to provide visitor information, staffing visitor centers, and museums. More so, the host was selected based on the ability to maintain projects and general housekeeping. Most camp hosts are required to work 20 hours a week, in exchange for campsite abodes during their stay.
- The National Park Service camp hosts are selected through a volunteer program called “Volunteers-In-Parks." The program database provides a wide array of opportunities, from all over the US, the Pacific, and Caribbean locations.
- Death Valley encourages applications during winter, October through April. The park has openings for long-term volunteers during these months. An overview through the park’s official website shows that volunteer positions are usually open for campground hosts, maintenance workers across all disciplines, and scientific research assistants working in the field. Volunteers are required to show commitment as the program runs for at least three months. Housing at Death Valley National Park is often limited, so volunteers are often encouraged to bring housing such as RVs with them.
- Applicants may send their applications by providing personal information. In some instances, Death Valley National Park forwards applications to other relevant authorities.
The Local Camp Host Policies
- Saline Valley Warm Springs is an integral part of Death Valley National Park. The local camp host must be able to engage with visitors from across the world and the public. Camp hosts are required to be conversant with the current and future implementations at the park, such as the new artwork, the restoration of the upper spring to its natural condition, and address concerns such as water quality on behalf of NPS.
- An overview through Death Valley National Park’s official Facebook page indicates that the park recruits camp host volunteers for various campgrounds such as Sunset, Stovepipe Wells, and Mesquite Springs between October to mid-January or mid-January to mid-April. Camp hosts are mandated to orient guests through the national park and explain the ground rules. The hosts are required to bring their RV, although the park provides a free campsite in exchange for service.
Copy of the Volunteer Service Agreement
- The Volunteer Service Agreement copies are usually filed by the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) Parks and Recreation. This agreement is available here.
Specialist Skills for the Job
- Just like other national parks, a camp host at Death Valley National Park must live on-site and be available for guests whenever they need assistance. A camp host must be of 18 years and above and must understand the Camp Host Manual. More so, a camp host is required to possess and maintain a valid and current driver’s license, issued by the state, current vehicle registration with the ideal Department of Motor Vehicle, and current vehicle insurance that meets the bare minimum State of California insurance requirements. Besides, the camp host must be eligible for issuance of a Country Driver Permit, during the term of his or her Service Agreement. The camp host must meet the County training and demonstrate proficiency in First Aid/CPR/AED Certification and Radio Training within 4 months of placement or signing.
While carrying out this research, we realized that information on Death Valley National Park and Saline Valley Warm Springs is limited. We perused through the park’s official website, social media pages for information but could not come up with much. As such, we broadened our scope to look at national parks within California and the US in general. For instance, we applied the basic metrics used by all national parks to determine the selection, specialist skills for the job, and camp host post policies of Death Valley National Park. We are convinced that as a government reserve, Death Valley National Park and Saline Valley Warm Springs observe the standard bureaucracies and procedures set for all national parks across the U.S., thus, we applied the available information we could find on various national park sites in this research. However, we still could not manage to find information such as who makes the decisions to enroll host applicants, how many applicants there have been for the last several cycles, and any reinstatement period limits. We browsed across various official national park websites, with no success.