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Howard Prairie Workampers and Staff

Click to see What's New at RVeCafe May 1, 2006: This is our friend Jimmy. He worked at the resort all last season and began work again this season. Last season I gave Jimmy the giant 27" television I removed from the corner cabinet. Jimmy always made sure we were well taken care of. He filled our propane tanks when needed and helped with other odd things like delivering the tall ladder I needed when I strung the Internet cable through the trees. Our satellite dish sits on a stump next to Jimmy's trailer. Jimmy's home is in Missouri where he spent the winter months with his girlfriend. He got a call from her last week to say she had been promoted and needed Jimmy to return home to manage the farm while she traveled with her new job. He seemed to have mixed feelings about leaving because he came by the trailer to say good-bye three times today. We will miss him. Jimmy heads back to Missouri
Cheryl and Steve are true workampers
June 1, 2006: Cheryl and Steve have joined the Howard Prairie Resort staff this year. They are true workampers enjoying different areas of the country while finding short term jobs using Workamper News. In this case, Jim, the resort owner, saw their resumes posted at Workamper and asked them to join our crew. They have taken on a new skill which neither have ever done before, waiter and waitress at the restaurant. They have been workamping from their 37 foot Pace Arrow for four years at various jobs and love the experience. They are both from Florida leaving their corporate jobs with Xerox. We are learning much from them about the workamper lifestyle and may post more here as we learn more.
Jack tunes up one of the resort pickups Laura getting ready for speghetti special night
June 10, 2006: Jack and Laura have been full-time RV people only since last October. This is a new experience for them. They searched out Howard Prairie Lake Resort
because they have spent time at the resort in the past vacationing. Jack's job at the resort is to police the grounds for trash and haul to the dumpster. He has also taken on the job of tuning up the resort pickups. Laura is a prep-cook most of the time but also is a line cook several mornings. Both have commented that they had not planned to work this hard after retirement. Most of the work staff at Howard Prairie work a full 40 hours each week. Their plan is to leave the resort at the end of the season and head south for time off, they don't plan to work this winter.
June 18, 2006: Gwen is on the right with the cucumber while Jeanette is on the left. Jeanette is the restaurant manager. She is a very sweet lady and would bend over backwards for you. However, as the manager, she must take on a tough shell to both hold the team together when the traffic gets heavy and to put up with all the moaning and groaning that can come from some of the well worn staff. After all, the staff is here because they want to live the season in the resort but must work because they haven't quite saved enough to retire without working at least a few months out of the year. Jeanette has a military background so she's comfortable with "barking" orders and most of the crew have learned to jump to her commands. Gwen will tell you that Jeanette is by far the best person she has ever worked for. Gwen on the right with Jeanette
Chris manages the marina June 22, 2006: Chris Johnston manages the marina. Chris is not a full-time RV person but lives in Ashland during the off season. Chris and his wife do the resort Webpage and manage several other Websites. Chris is also an author and must spend much of his time during the off season writing. Here is a nice article in the Medford Mail Tribune reviewing some of his work. This weekend and next weekend will be the two busiest weekends of the season. Virtually every boat will be rented from the resort and lots of fuel will be pumped too. Chris must have to answer the same question 30 times each day as fisherman view the photos on the walls of the marina, "Was THAT fish caught in THIS lake?"

July 7, 2006: Val and Arlene are workkampers at the resort. They have been workkamping for four years and have a variety of experiences to share. Val works at the marina maintaining and renting the resort's fleet of row boats, fishing boats, canoes and Prairie Belle cabin boats. From what I can see, Val is obsessed with radio control airplanes somewhat the way I have been obsessed with cycling in the past. He seems to spend every spare moment repairing, tuning or building airplanes. I have not had the chance to watch him fly these planes yet but will go with him some day.

Arlene is a cashier at the resort store.

Val loves radio control airplanes
Arlene works as a cashier at the resort

She must wait on store customers as well as take schooner reservations plus rent spaces to campers.

Arlene and Val worked in Alaska a couple of years ago, something Gwen and I would like to do some day. They reported that they were in Alaska working for four months at a combination RV park and deep sea fishing marina. They both report they would return if given the chance.

Both Arlene and Val stay connected to the Internet via our network. Their motor home is only a hundred yards from our trailer where they get a strong signal from our router. We charge them a small fee which helps to pay our monthly Internet connection fee.

July 14, 2006: This is David's first year to work at the resort. David does not own an RV and this is his first experience to live in one. The resort supplies a couple of 25 foot travel trailers for seasonal staff who don't have their own RV and David gets to live in one of those. David has been working in Florida the last few years installing low-voltage security alarms. He chose this year to experiment with resort maintenance. That has worked into doing just about everything at the resort including the marina, restaurant, security, and landscape. David says he likes the work and especially the location. David
Meet Terry July 17, 2006: Meet Terry. Terry has been working at the resort for seven years. He in not living in an RV but rather owns property here on the mountain about 15 miles from the resort. Terry lives across Highway 66 from the Green Springs Inn. Terry does about every job at the resort but during the heavy tourist times his main and only duty is at the marina, hence the inflatable life jacket which must be worn by all marina staff. Terry is from England so has a light English accent which, I'm sure, thrills the customers and adds mystery to their visit to the resort (where is this guy from?).
Shari and Phoebylou Rod, the ice cream man
July 22, 2006: Shari and Rod live locally near the resort but stay in their RV the entire season the way we do. Shari and Phoebylou drive around in a golf cart all day long checking camping permits and visiting with the campers giving directions and telling tall-fish-stories. If you can't read Shari's shirt, it says, "SECURITY, I have P.M.S., I have a gun. I guess if you try to slip an extra guest into your campsite, Shari will know about it and come to collect or shoot someone. Rod manages the store part time. One of his favorite jobs is making ice cream cones and milk shakes for campers and staff. Today was nearly 90 degrees at the lake so many gallons of soft ice cream were served. Rod was particularly unhappy when I won the "pool pile" raffle.
July 24, 2006: Jim and Judy are the owners of the resort. Jim's father started this business many years ago and Jim has been working at the resort since his early 20's. These are the nicest people you would ever want to work for. Their experience at the resort and in the industry has given them an easy going personality. They are very fair in the way they treat all those who work at the resort and "bend-over-backwards" to please both the resort customer and the seasonal staff who work at the resort to enjoy the climate and recreation. Because of the way they treat their staff, those that work at the resort take their responsibilities seriously and treat resort customers as if they are part owners of the resort wanting to make every visitor's stay a pleasure. Jim and Judy
Linda and Gwen Dan at the marina
July 29, 2006: Linda and Dan have been working at the resort for more than eight years. They live locally but have their fifth wheel at the resort for the season as we do. The difference is they head home two days of the week while we stay at the resort all week. Linda on the left with Gwen works mostly in the resort restaurant as a waitress but also cleans schooners when needed. Dan, on the right, works at the marina mostly in maintaining the rental boat fleet but here he is using the resort barge to ferry sailors to their moored sailboat. You can click on Dan to zoom in for a better view. Dan and Linda have done more traveling than we have been able to do. They are on their second fifth wheel.
Carmel takes my order Bob is the night security guard
August 6, 2006: Meet Carmel and Bob. Carmel works at the resort only during the busiest times. She and Bob live in Medford but keep a fifth wheel at the resort to live during their work times. Carmel loves to work at the resort part time and always makes eating at the restaurant more fun. She has a very dry sense of humor so she and I get along well and often are making fun of what's happening around us without anyone knowing. Bob is a full time night security guard. With nearly 300 spaces at the resort, a person in authority is sometimes needed to quiet down the fun, especially after 10 pm. When an RV pulls into the park after 8 pm, Bob is at the head of the parking lot to greet them, take their space rent and guide them to open spaces. Bob and Carmel are also our neighbors on the hill. It is Bob who is the DISH network expert and is helping me to resolve those problems. Finally, it was Carmel who informed me last year of a probable position opening that Gwen could take. That's what got us at the resort in the first place.
Stephanie August 15, 2006: Stephanie is the person who really keeps the restaurant buzzing. She is a recent graduate from Southern Oregon University. Her degree is in environmental biology. She has an outgoing personality, works very hard and is friendly to everyone. It is always a pleasure to have Stephanie as our waitress or as a partner when Gwen is cooking. Stephanie is one of those kinds of people who makes going to work enjoyable and fun. It always seems like less work when Stephanie is on the job. Stephanie does not own an RV, instead she commutes from Ashland (a 30 minute drive) when it's time to work.
August 23, 2006: Meet Rich and Linda. They have been selling off their property for three years and finally retired last year. They purchased a class A motor home and became workampers. Howard Prairie Lake Resort has been their first workamp experience. Linda learned of the jobs available at Howard Prairie from a post I made at the workamper forum at The job they have been doing this summer is the cleaning of all the schooners. When a camper vacates a schooner, they must be completely cleaned just as a motel room would have to be cleaned. Rich was also assigned the job of driving the "honey truck" which pumps those who have no sewer connection. You can imagine this is not a pleasant job. In spite of this, they have enjoyed their time at HP Resort and are considering returning next year. Rich and Linda
Tom and Marie August 27, 2006: Tom and Marie are enjoying a meal at the Howard Prairie Resort restaurant. Tom works at the Marina while camped in his fifth wheel at the resort. This is Tom's second year to work at the resort. When not at the resort Tom and Marie live in Medford, only 45 minutes away. Marie does not work at the resort, she must stay in Medford to baby sit their Grandchildren. Tom is another of those HP staff people that makes living at the resort fun. He recently purchased a new GMC pickup so I'm often kidding him about how the hitch on my Dodge pickup is specially made to tow GMC's.
August 29, 2006: Greg has been at the resort since May. He lives locally but is staying in one of the resort trailers while working this season. He does many of the many odd jobs that must be done each day. Examples of the daily jobs are late night security to allow campers access after hours and make sure late arrivals know where to camp and pay the proper fee. While on late night security, Greg cleans the fish cleaning trough and laundry room. Occasionally, he must do the night clean-up of the restaurant. When Greg happens to get daytime duties, he is making repairs to equipment and schooners as well as assisting campers with their problems. During off hours, Greg is often using one of the resort boats to fish. Greg
September 1, 2006: Larry is also a local resident but lives in his motor home during the resort season. His job is to manage the store during the day. Rod is the evening manager. Larry has been doing this for several years and enjoys the area as much as we do. Larry is also one of my Internet access customers. Yes, there are three staff members who park close enough to me to receive my wireless signal. I've given them the password to access that wireless signal, and they give me $15 per month for that privalege. Of course, my fee to HughesNet is $70 per month so it doen't pay my whole fee but it helps.
Lee Lucy
September 3, 2006: Lee has been working for the resort for several years. His wife Lucy, quit her banking job about the middle of the season this year and joined Lee as an employee of the resort. I caught Lee driving the resort van, it is full from floor to ceiling with bags of ice which Lee picked up in Medford for transport to the resort. Lucy has been enjoying serving ice cream in the store since she joined the staff. Lee and Lucy have a home in Medford but live in their trailer during the resort season. Lee keeps his trailer covered with mini-Christmas lights. His corner of the resort is always glowing with red, green, yellow and blue sparkling accents.
September 11, 2006: This is Ron's first year to work at the resort. He works at the marina. This is Ron's third time to "retire" then go back to work. His home is in Medford and his wife still has a full time job in Medford somewhat like I still maintain my "day" job in Medford while Gwen works at the resort. In this case, Ron's wife stays in Medford on Ron's work days. Ron purchased a new Allegro motor home this year so he is thinking he may get more serious about retirement.
Claudia's Art
September 21, 2006: The final Howard Prairie Staff person for 2006 is Claudia. Claudia is a cook at the restaurant and this season was her third at the lake. She is a single woman with her own motorhome, kayak, and Georgia the dog. Claudia does not want her photo on the Internet so I put Claudia's art work here. She creates art from found objects at the resort. Much of her work is very creative and much appreciated when she gives it away as gifts. Claudia is a fulltime RV person.
October 8, 2006: Tonight was special. The resort still has another week before closing but tonight was the last meal for staff to eat together. Much of the staff has already left for the season.

Jen and Dale, our cooks worked hard with all donated food. Some from Stephanie's garden while some of the fisherman provided the fish.

This was a great time with good people and very good food.

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