Service seeking campground hosts

U.S. Forest Service officials are looking for residents interested in spending some time in the woods this summer hosting visiting campers.

Jason West, forestry technician for the Yampa Ranger District, said the Forest Service is looking for outgoing, energetic people to camp in the Routt National Forest. Their role would be to monitor campgrounds and touch base with visiting campers.

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In exchange, interested residents will receive a free campsite and some reimbursement for fuel, mileage, laundry and other necessities, he said.

"You're basically the Forest Service's visitor contact," he said. "You just go around asking people how they are, if they need anything."

West said campground hosts typically are retired couples, single people or travelers, although the Forest Service is hoping to spark interest among area residents in spending a few weekends camping and talking to visitors. Typically campground hosts spend about 25 hours a week walking the campgrounds and assisting with other duties such as campground appearance, relaying information about the area and monitoring fees.

"It's a great opportunity for people who want to spend the weekend in the forest, and for people who want to share the beauty of this area with others," he said.

People interested in being campground hosts should have good people skills and enjoy talking about the area.

"They have to be enthusiastic because your personality matters the most to us," West said. "We encourage outgoing, friendly people to apply."

Campground hosts are needed from June until August or September in the Yampa Ranger District and the Hahn's Peak/ Bears Ears Ranger District.

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