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Thread: AMC campsite caretakers in their 50's+...

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    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    AMC campsite caretakers in their 50's+...

    Does anyone know if there been a backcountry campsite caretaker for the AMC that has been older, like in their 50's or 60's? I've only seen college aged folks doing it. It's something I think I would like to do for a Summer when I retire, unless they only hire kids.

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    I don't think they have any age restrictions but physical limitations may limit some older folks from applying. It also takes special folks who don't mind composting waste on a daily basis. A possible option is that in the fall, the AMC is desperate to support their huts and campsites after the college crowd leaves. I expect that they are willing to take all comers. You should get a WFR certification and they may also require other certifications. One nice position is a rover that fills in on the caretaker days off, that way you get to see multiple sites. I believe their goal is to keep the huts running through leaf season and staff the campsites if they have the staff. Looks like the have plenty of openings https://apply.coolworks.com/amc/job-list.asp

    AMC is always advertising for various support functions in the whites in the local papers. They have a tough time staffing the Pinkham facility during the summer tourism season. I expect they welcome older adults as they are potentially more stable. Despite offering benefits, the pay isn't high enough for someone to survive full time so younger workers tend to swap jobs chasing pay while retires don't have to depend on the pay. I have a friend that tried working for them part time but came to the conclusion that she should be out hiking rather then working weekends. A fairly common complaint I have heard from seasonal workers is that the management can be pretty poor as the managers tend to be entry level professionals fresh out of college without any real world experience. The other item that irks some folks is that no matter how hard they work, there is really no chance of moving up unless they have the right resume and background. If you are retired and don't care about advancement, and self motivated it may be a fit. If you are reliable one season, you pretty much are welcome from then on.


    Guy Waterman was one of the winter caretakers at Gray Knob one winter in his sixties. He was atypical.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 04-07-2015 at 07:26 AM.

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    Senior Member The Sikes's Avatar
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    Saw an older caretaker in VT on Stratton.
    We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking! Finis Mitchell

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    Senior Member SherpaWill's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I'll have to keep myself in good shape then. My priorities may change when I retire, but it's something I always wanted to do when I was a kid, but couldn't because I started my career as a firefighter. Maybe I'll just spend a Summer camping at them.

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    Senior Member Puck's Avatar
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    My son was a caretaker for a season. That year there was an older person employed as a cartaker. and to underscore what peakbagger said. There is a huge drop in numbers when the college students must return to campus in August. So the AMC does need caretakers and Croo at that time.

    My son had a great time. The composting runs are done only a few times a week. Alot of thier time is spent doing trail work.
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    Member Heather&Kali's Avatar
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    It may have been RMC but isn't that what Guy Waterman did?
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    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heather&Kali View Post
    It may have been RMC but isn't that what Guy Waterman did?
    Yup, mentioned by Peakbagger in post #2.
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    Senior Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SherpaWill View Post
    Does anyone know if there been a backcountry campsite caretaker for the AMC that has been older, like in their 50's or 60's? I've only seen college aged folks doing it. It's something I think I would like to do for a Summer when I retire, unless they only hire kids.
    I don't doubt you'd be able to find something, especially if you look beyond AMC. Sometimes, doing volunteer work puts you into a good position to land a paying gig.

    Traveling through national and state parks I've seen a lot of older workers, many seasonal. In New Mexico I met a retired couple who managed a ghost town seasonally. He had a full white beard and during Christmas season would play Santa Claus at whatever mall their travels took them near. Led a fun life living in a nice camper and wandering about the country taking such jobs.

    Here's a link to an AARP article: http://www.aarp.org/work/job-hunting...r-workers.html

    My suggestion is to research the possibilities and, before you retire, get a foot in one or more doors with some volunteer work.

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Sikes View Post
    Saw an older caretaker in VT on Stratton.
    Is that AMC? Probably GMC, right?

    The story related to me about Stratton is that the couple who spend the summer there are retired, and serve as volunteers. He (maybe she too?) was a paid observer there back in the day. In any case, not a hut that you can stay at.
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    Senior Member Guthook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin View Post
    Is that AMC? Probably GMC, right?

    The story related to me about Stratton is that the couple who spend the summer there are retired, and serve as volunteers. He (maybe she too?) was a paid observer there back in the day. In any case, not a hut that you can stay at.
    That is GMC, and that's Hugh and Jeanne-- they've been the caretakers there for decades, and they're amazing. Those two are my second favorite part of Stratton Mountain-- right after the mountain itself :-)
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    Senior Member RollingRock's Avatar
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    Just offering options...besides being a caretaker. A friend of mine in his 50s was hired to work at Lakes once the college kids returned back to school so it can be done. I also once met a retired couple who managed a National Forest campground for the summer...they had been doing it for years and with tenure were able to choose better campgrounds to work each year.
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    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollingRock View Post
    I also once met a retired couple who managed a National Forest campground for the summer...they had been doing it for years and with tenure were able to choose better campgrounds to work each year.
    NPS seasonals are also frequently retirees, although it's not the most glamorous job. Read your Thunderbear so you know what you're getting into. It may (or may not) help to do some volunteering with one of the auxiliary organizations; the one I'm most familiar with is WNPA. If you don't need the pocket money, I think many of the CDTC-organized work crews are sticking with CDTA tradition and arranging volunteer cooks. We really appreciated our cookies (a retired couple from Santa Fe who spent a good chunk of the summer cooking for trail crews.)

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    Senior Member ctsparrow's Avatar
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    Don't have much to add about the specific question, but I am proud to announce that my son, Nate- formerly known as 'Short Stride', NH48-age 12, NE67-age 14, now a college sophomore will be the west rotator for the AMC this year, so if you are in the Kinsman/Liberty/Garfield platform areas this summer, please give him a warm hello, and any chocolate chip cookies you don't want!! He will have an amazing 'commute' from site to site. Best Wishes to 'my-boy' and congrats!

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