Camping: A Traditional American Pastime
By Marcelle Benedicta, Employer Relations Manager, Work and Travel
Camping is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the United States. Many families plan their annual summer vacation by researching campgrounds (RV parks or campground cabins or the good ‘ol tents?) and fun activities to do during the camping trip, whether it is hiking at a nearby trail, enjoying water tubing, or just spending some quality time with each other. As more and more Americans are technologically wired and are moving at such a fast pace, camping becomes a welcome opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle, and return to nature.
Because of the seasonality nature of campgrounds, J-1 Work & Travel participants have been a welcome addition to their seasonal staffing mix. Most of them work as food & beverage attendants, lifeguards, activities staff members, housekeepers, and retail store clerks. They typically stay in the campgrounds and subsequently enjoy the lower cost of living. The employer usually takes them out weekly for grocery shopping and work-campers or other staff members invite them to their family dinners. Some even arrange out of town trips for these international students!
Below is feedback from campgrounds and why they enjoy working with the CCI Greenheart‘s J-1 participants:
Our campground employed 5 students this summer were very pleased with the work ethic and dependability of the J-1 Visa students. They offered a unique aspect to our customer service with their different ethnic backgrounds, skills & experiences. Our customers enjoyed getting to know them and sharing stories about the differences in our countries. It was a pleasure working with the J-1 students and having them as part of our staff.
~ Christiane Palladino: Caboose Lake Campground, IN
The hiring of international students was one of the best decisions we made for North Texas Jellystone Park™. The international students not only brought a good work ethic, but they also enriched our park with their culture. Our guests were surprised and amazed to see a diverse employee representation that stretched across continents.
~ Steve Stafford: Yogi Campground, TX