Ever dream of camping out in Alaska for the summer? Work camping, (or workamping), is a way to make it more affordable. Workamping positions can include working at campgrounds and RV parks, where compensation might come in the form of a free campsite and free utilities. Discover what options are out there and how you can become a workamper in Alaska!
Be a state park campground host
If you have an RV or travel trailer – and are a people person – becoming a campground host can be an ideal way to spend the summer in Alaska. Campground hosts who volunteer with Alaska State Parks are responsible for greeting other campers, answering questions about area attractions and helping ensure everyone knows the park rules. These volunteers might help park rangers with regular maintenance, repairs and some janitorial responsibilities as well. Hosts usually receive a free stay and free amenities, and some longer-term volunteers receive a modest stipend. Check the Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation, which lists open positions in dozens of parks and recreation areas around the state. Alaska’s camping season is mid-May through mid-September, with a few open year-round.
Municipal park host
City parks and recreation areas in Alaska want RV campers to help them with various tasks throughout the summer season. In Anchorage, municipal officials want help at places like Campbell Creek Estuary Natural Area, where you would help by opening and closing the parkland gates each day, and keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity. In exchange, workampers might receive free parking, an electric hookup and access to water. Cities like Wasilla and Homer also seek RV hosts for various sites.
Help the schools
If you’re planning to stay in the Anchorage area, the Anchorage School District has a camper host program that seeks RVers to help establish a presence at area schools. The district asks that campers stay a month, with free water and power hookups in exchange. Campers can be present from the end of May until mid-August. You’d be helping to deter theft and vandalism at schools while staying in Alaska’s largest city.
Private camp hosts
Some private campsites and summer rentals hire camp hosts to both help check in guests and provide housekeeping, minor repairs and maintenance. Alaska Wildland Adventures offers its RV hosts a free canyon raft or fishing trip. Or you might find a listing seeking help on a private property in exchange for a place to stay. Try resources like Workers On Wheels and Workamping Jobs to check listings.
Want to work with Alaska wildlife and camp for free? The nonprofit Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward seeks volunteers year-round to help with a variety of tasks. The organization has several RV sites for volunteers willing to donate 20 hours of time per week for six weeks. The SeaLife Center houses a variety of marine life at its facility, including puffins, oystercatchers, harbor seals, urchin, octopi and sea lions.
Work for us
We offer some hookups for RV campers who want to work at our lodges and guest services sites. There are also plenty of other private and public facilities for campers in and around the areas we operate. Drive a tour bus, work in one of our excellent restaurants, provide housekeeping or check in guests. We welcome retirees who are looking for a seasonal job and a way to experience Alaska in the summer.
Whatever work camping experience you choose, you can plan fun activities on your days off. And at the end of the season in September, drive your RV around Alaska and have the adventure of a lifetime!