Podcast Episodes

Matt Robbins & Angela Stone describe Workamping at USACE Table Rock Lake in Episode 276

Today I will be interviewing two rangers who work for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project near Branson, Mo. It is located in a very beautiful waterway that offers lots of natural recreation opportunities.

Matt Robbins and Angela Stone are rangers who work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The agency is tasked with overseeing waterways created by dams and other big projects. Matt and Angela work at Table Rock Lake, which is situated along the White River just outside the Branson, Mo., city limits.

The corps has established campgrounds, visitors centers, bike trails, picnic areas and other fun things to do that promotes being outdoors. The agency hires Workampers to work in the visitor’s center, which they have done for several years. But, this year, Workampers will also be hired to serve as camp hosts.

Camp hosts interact with visitors while relaying important water safety information. They also staff a check-in booth, provide some janitorial services and basically serve as the eyes and ears of the ranger staff to report problems.

In the visitors center itself, Workamper volunteers staff the front desk to answer questions visitors may have and to orient them to features and services available at the project. They also work with school groups visiting the park on field trips.

Some lucky volunteers can wear a costume to entertain kids as Bobber, the water safety dog, while others can help maintain garden beds.

The rangers are super-appreciative of Workampers for all the work they do to assist visitors, which reduces the workload for the ranger staff. However, Workampers are not involved in any enforcement activities. They simply alert rangers to problems at the project.

Volunteers work about 24 hours a week in exchange for a full-hookup RV site. The project employs couples, singles and families who work anywhere from four to eight hours a day. Camp hosts typically work four days on and have four days off. Angela is more flexible in scheduling people to work in the visitors center.

The project asks for a commitment of at least three months in spring, summer and fall. The visitors center is closed during winter. People who want to stay longer are allowed to do so.

Table Rock Lake is home to one of the largest visitors centers in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Because it has a rather large classroom and bigger outdoor spaces, the project is a favorite place for teachers to bring students. In fact, the Dewey Short Visitor Center hosted 110,000 people in 2023.

Workampers might lead tours, conduct programs or demonstrate how to put on a life preserver. They may also guide students in engaging in conservation or clean-up activities.

The project typically seeks 12 to 13 Workampers every 90 days. There are openings yet this summer as camp hosts and in the visitor center.

More information about the Table Rock Lake project is available at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website. Information about Workamper jobs can be found at www.volunteer.gov and searching for Table Rock Lake.

Today’s episode is sponsored by Workamper News. With its Diamond and Platinum membership tools, Workamper News is much more than just a job-listing website. When you put the tools of this professional service into action, you’ll find out just how easy it can be to turn your Workamping dreams into reality.

The one-year memberships open the door to a one-stop-shop for all-things Workamping. Being the original resource for Workamping, you’ll find the largest number of job listings, be able to connect with a community of Workampers, and view resources compiled by experts who have been enjoying the RV lifestyle for many years.

If you’re serious about leading a successful and enjoyable Workamping lifestyle, then a Diamond or Platinum membership is for you.  You can even get started with a free 30-day trial by visiting workamper.com/trial. Embark on new adventures today with the support of Workamper News behind you!

That’s all for this week’s show. Thanks for listening! If you like these interviews please consider leaving a review wherever you download the episodes.

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a former journalist who covered the recreation vehicle industry since 2009. He started podcasting in 2014 and enjoys interviewing people about ways to live, work and play in their RVs.

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