A good question was posed today on the Workcamping Forum….” Good skills to have for workamping” …Is it helpful to acquire some additional skills before hitting the road?
We have found, over the years, that the skills we developed in our former lives were all that were needed when starting to workcamp and volunteer. Most everyone who decides to leave the world of stix and bricks to hit the road and volunteer/wc has these skills. Have you been a homeowner or lived in a s/b that required you to mow the lawns, fix a faucet, paint a wall? Can you clean a kitchen or bathroom, wash windows, make a bed? Can you wield a hammer and change a lightbulb? Do you know how to budget money, make change, keep records? Can you interact with people in a non-confrontational manner? Can you rake a path, plant a flower bed, build a stone wall? Clean a firepit, count vehicles and hand out literature?
Certainly, if you can do any or most of the above, you can find a place in the v/wc world. Most of the skills you already have will apply. One of the best skills, tho, is a willingness to follow directions. Many of us who have owned our own businesses, been in a position of authority or a professional in some field may find it difficult , at first, to do this.
One of the first positions we accepted was at a State Beach campground. Fortunately, the supervisors had put together a handbook for the volunteers which spelled out most everything that we would need to know. It was not difficult to follow their instructions and learn the job. Another position was a bit different. It was at a county campground where we were to tend the pools and maintain and improve the trails. We were pretty much on our own. We were able to do it any way we liked as long as the job was done. We had years of experience doing those things so it was not hard to get into a routine.
We have always been willing to do things the way our supervisors have wanted. After a while, if we see a better way, and the timing is right, we may make suggestions. One thing we will never do is push our way into a situation and try to change it. That is the quickest way to make folks upset. Sure, you make think your way is better, but they do it for a reason.
Be willing to listen and learn new things. The life beyond the stix and bricks can be exciting and satisfaction will know no bounds. Get out there and give it a try!