The hosting lifestyle
Our park hosts are quite literally some of the most visible faces of our agency, helping visitors feel welcome, answering their questions and orienting them to the park and surrounding area. Many like to volunteer at their favorite parks over the busy summer season, then go home. But for many, full-time hosting has become a lifestyle choice.
Full-time RVers arrive at one park, then travel around Oregon, volunteering at other parks over a longer period of time. Whether this is for you or not, we value whatever commitment you can make. In return for your service, parks provide hosts with a free campsite, usually with full hook-ups, for those who host for a minimum of one month.
Types of hosts
As we've added new programs and services, opportunities for hosting have evolved! When you apply, you choose the types of duties that most appeal to you. Overlapping duties are typical and hosts often assist one another. Get a good idea of the most common host duties by reading the descriptions below. Keep in mind you'll have the most success if you are flexible and open to trying something new.
Campground host: The most "traditional" type of host, campground hosts sell wood and ice, clean sites and campfire pits, pick up litter, stock restrooms and offer general information about the park and surrounding area.
Day-use host: Some parks don’t have campgrounds, but they need a presence during daytime activities. Duties can vary quite a bit and are designed to carry out the purpose of the specific park property. You will likely open and close gates and provide a security presence, but you may also assist staff with light maintenance duties.
Visitor Services host: A public information "job", you might work in an entrance station, kiosk, visitor center, museum, store or similar operation. Typical tasks are to provide hospitality, distribute brochures, collect fees, sell retail items, and generally be a helpful, welcoming face to our visitors.
Maintenance host: This type of host may mow and water lawns, trim trees and bushes, perform landscaping, gardening or painting projects, or whatever is needed to keep our parks in tip-top shape. Those with specialized skills may do “shop tasks,” such as repairing small engines, welding, or working on minor construction, electrical or plumbing tasks.
Interpretive host: Folks who love to be right where the action is in education and interpretive programming will enjoy these positions. These front-line hosts lead or assist with evening campfire programs, Junior Ranger programs for children, conduct lighthouse or historic tours, or do research to develop new presentations, brochures or exhibits.
Yurt or Cabin host: Hosts in this role provide friendly service to those with yurt or cabin reservations. You will welcome campers, answer questions, make light repairs, clean the facilities in between bookings, and help “sell” unreserved yurts or cabins to walk-in customers.
Extended stay or special project host: On occasion, parks need hosts with specific, professional skills to help them complete a longer-term project. Examples of past and current projects include helping to construct new cabins, installing playgrounds, designing new recreation programs, conducting natural or cultural resource inventories, taking photographs or administering visitor surveys.
Benefits of hosting
Submit an application
If you’re new to Oregon State Parks, please complete the application for New Park Hosts.
Please fully complete each section. This is how we are able to match your skills, interests, and preferences to the positions we have open.
The number and types of hosting opportunities vary from place to place and from season to season. We always try to make the best fit for both you and to meet park needs, but the more flexible you are, the more likely we can find a placement for you. If you'd like a list of parks that use hosts, click here.
If you are a returning OPRD host, please complete a Renewal Application. Continuing park hosts are expected to submit a renewal application each year.
Once we've received your application, you'll receive a confirmation e-mail from us. Then, you can contact parks directly to learn more about their host vacancies or to request an interview. It's a good idea to check out the Volunteer Openings page first to see what's available and being advertised.
Click here for more information on host recruitment and quick tips on how to land a host job:
We'll need to know how to reach you with both home and cell phone numbers, e-mails while you're traveling, or any message phone when you can't be reached. If you have updates on your contact information, please be sure to leave a message with our Parks Info Center at: 800-551-6949. Thanks!