Tag Archives: RV living

The KOA Work Kamper Boot Camp in Branson, MO

Part of our plan when we became full timers in our RV was to spend at least the first couple seasons working at campgrounds.  We felt that this would give us a better transition from full time jobs to full retirement.  And at the same time give us a little security money-wise until we feel that we can do it on our own. work kamper loaKOA was our first choice.  We put our resumes out last August on the KOA site and were hired within just a few days.  We will be working in Bar Harbor, Maine this summer.  I will be working front desk, and Dave will be working in maintenance.

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KOA offered a Work Kamper “Boot Camp” in Branson, MO that would give us a taste of what to expect when we arrive in Maine in just a few weeks.

branson missouri travel camping

The Work Kamper program is simple enough.  You work for the campground as a couple, putting in between 25 and 40 hours a week depending on the season.  In exchange, you could be offered a campsite free of charge, utilities and other perks, along with an hourly salary.  (The benefits vary from campground to campground as most are individually owned).

We were excited to meet  KOA’s Chairman and CEO, Jim Rogers.  The show, Undercover Boss featured him a few years ago.

Boot camp was a lot of fun.  We met nearly 100 other couples who are doing the same thing we are.  Most did not have jobs lined up yet, and took advantage of the virtual job interviews offered at the end of the class.

branson missouri travel camping

The folks at the Branson KOA were wonderful and made us feel like part of the team.

branson missouri travel camping

And while we were in Missouri, we got a good taste of midwest weather.  We ate dinner the first night looking out the window as hail the size of marbles came down on our VW bug and motorhome. (No damage- unless you want to count the indigestion…) The second night, we had major thunderstorms all night.

faith dog camping

All night.  The dogs literally had their legs crossed by morning.

Really.  We made the decision pretty quickly that we didn’t want to spend too much time in tornado alley during spring and summer.

The third day was beautiful, sunny and cold.  Since classes were over, we decided to check out Branson.

barry williams greg brady

Stay tuned for part two where I don’t get to meet Barry Williams (AKA Greg from the Brady Bunch), but I do end up seeing some pretty famous folks that nearly made up for it!

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North Little Rock KOA, Arkansas- Campground Review

four starsOverall Rating: Nearly Perfect

 

We stayed for two days at the North Little Rock KOA in Arkansas – Mar 2015, on our way up to Branson for KOA Boot Camp.  Since we are new KOA Work Kampers, we try to hit as many KOA parks as we can.  You never know when might be working at one!

little rock arkansas

We drove up in pouring down rain, but lucked out and got some beautiful spring weather while here!

four starsSetting:  Beautiful wooded setting.  Lots of large hardwoods.  We were parked in a premium site which offered a concrete slab, along with a nice little patio and table and chairs.  It included a gas fire pit on a pedestal.  Nice!

little rock arkansas koa campsite review

Because of the time of year, they were in the process of lots of upgrades.  This is an older campground, but seems in good repair.

little rock arkansas koa campsite review

The pads are very even and spaces seem far enough apart all throughout the park to provide a little elbow room.  It was nice to be in a park that didn’t put folks so close that you could look out your window into someone else’s.

Amenities

four starsBathrooms were in great shape and very clean.

five starsWIFI- The park offers it for free and while it might be different during peak times, I never had an issue getting on line.

four starsLaundry- They have a nice laundry room available 24 hours a day.  The laundry room was just off of a game room that included a pool table and small ice cream parlor.  Plenty to keep you entertained while your clothes are drying!

five starsActivities- this park includes a swimming pool, fitness center (for adults only), and sauna/hot tub. They also offer bike rentals.

little rock arkansas koa campsite review

To the back of the park are some nice rental cabins along with wooded areas to picnic.

five starsStaff was friendly and available to help out if needed.  I went ahead and purchased my KOA Value Kard while I was here which gave me an automatic 10% discount plus 500 points towards discounts on future stays.

four starsDog Friendly– This campground had not one, but two dog parks.  Nice!  One park was meant for the small dogs and the other was a much larger area.  Both fenced in with trash cans and bags offered for doggie deposits.

The positives?  Great park!  We were basically just a two night-stand, but I could see staying here for a longer period of time.  There was plenty to do nearby in downtown Little Rock.

In the area and looking for something to do?  We recommend the Arkansas River Trail.  The trail runs through Little Rock and North Little Rock, connecting 38 parks, six museums and 5,000+ acres of federal, state and local parkland. The loop is an impressive 88 miles, runs largely along both sides of the Arkansas River and is nicely paved.

A great place for hikers, cyclists, skaters, joggers; and beautiful views of the Arkansas River!

For more information on North Little Rock KOA, be sure to check out their website!

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…and we are off!

We have moved into our RV full time!  But I have to tell you that it has been an incredibly stressful week.  We have been working non-stop trying to load the RV and get rid of anything personal in the house.

moving into our rv

I didn’t realize what pack rats we are until I started going through drawers.  I lost count of how many bags of trash we threw away, how many bags we had to have shredded, how much stuff was donated to the Kidney foundation, how much crap we gave away.  And we still have a house full of stuff!  Ugggghhh!!

Loading the RV turned out to be a non-issue.  We had a whole lot more room than we had thought.  Which was quite helpful as Dave originally told me that I had to keep the craft supplies down to 8 boxes – and I ended up filling up 12.

driving rv

People keep asking us if we are excited and I think we are just too tired at the moment for everything to fully register.  You take two out of shape individuals and have them do physical labor for a week and you end up with two exhausted, irritable, and over stressed crazy people who at some point would lose their heads if they weren’t attached.

jellystone campground bremen Georgia5

By the end of the week, we had parked on site at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Campground in Bremen, GA.  (The closest RV park to our house).  Our RV was a huge mess.  We were crawling over boxes to get anywhere because at some point, we just started throwing stuff onto the RV.

We woke up  the first morning and the only personal care items we could find were a tube of toothpaste and my tooth brush.

Nice.

We both hoped that deodorant lasts more than one day, and I made a mental note to buy myself a new toothbrush next week.

The dogs lucked out though.  I couldn’t find the dog food, and they ended up having ham for dinner.

They were thrilled.

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