Volunteering for Animals while RVing

Ok, prepare yourself....I am going to say something politically incorrect in the RV world...I am not a big fan of workamping at private campgrounds. This is probably due to the fact that I create financials and business plans for start-up businesses for a living --- the numbers for hosting just do not add up ($3 or less an hour in general).

However, I think there is one exception, volunteer workamping, where you are doing a public service at the same time as getting a free site. If you provide some help to help families learn about history, make sure people have clean trails, and keep up historic structures...then volunteer workamping is a perfect fit.

So, my husband and I were thinking about doing some volunteering with our 4 year old daughter, Rose, in order to get her to learn the benefits of giving. I spent a lot of time looking at historic opportunities, but then inspiration hit me. I should see if there are any opportunities to volunteer at animal sanctuaries.

And, since you read my columns, you must have more than a passing interest in animals. Thus, I thought I would share some of my research. If you have the opportunity, please look into these!

  1. Desert Haven Animal Refuge


    Animal loving singles and couples can make a difference at Desert Haven Animal Refuge. If you are an adventuresome individual or couple who has chosen a lifestyle that combines any kind of part-time work with RV camping, you are considered a " Work Camper".

    Requirements: A Work Camping single / couple must accept to stay no less than 2 months at Desert Haven Animal Refuge in Summer and no less than 3 months during the Winter season, unless a specific length of stay has been discussed and agreed on in advance by the parties involved.

    Work Campers must have good work ethics, be motivated, honest, dependable, flexible and self-starters. We require an average of 20 hours per single person, 32 hours per couple per week, in exchange for full hook-up in country setting. Help is needed with all phases of operation, including basic care of small domestic animals, small thrift shop, and general upkeep of property.

    Points of Contact: E-mail President Eliana Aubin at [email protected] or call Work Camper coordinator team member Reba Wagner at 575-740-4100.

  2. Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary


    Just across the street from Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary lies a beautiful primitive campground for you to spend the night, weekend, or longer if you wish! The campground is fully-wooded and close enough to the Sanctuary for you to hear the wolves singing all night long. RVs are welcome to stay in our RV loop, but at the current time, we have no electrical or water hook-ups and no dumping. Boondockers only. Each campsite includes the following:

    • Picnic table
    • Fire pit
    • Fire wood

    In addition, all of the following are available for guests in the campground:

    • Outhouses
    • Fully equipped shower houses
    • Propane grills - can be rented on a nightly basis for $15

    Campsites or stays in our RV Loop costs $15 per night.

    Feeding Tours
    For anyone spending the night during the weekend in our campground, we offer the unique opportunity to help us feed our animals. On a Feeding Tour, you will join our volunteers as they give the wolves their breakfast. Depending on the enclosures you visit, you might be able to help throw food over the fence into the jaws of a hungry wolf! Regardless, you are guaranteed to snap wonderful photographs if you bring your camera.

  3. Keepers of the Wild


    Volunteering at Keepers of the Wild provides a unique, rewarding and challenging experience... with daily activities varying from food preparation for our animals - to working in our gift shop or park - to working in the compound caring for our 150+ animals that reside here! Days are busy and full of camaraderie with like-minded individuals.

    After some experience, volunteers may also have the opportunity to lead tours and presentations, participate in fundraisers, help with rescuing animals and animal feeding. Persons with building and repair/maintenance skills are also considered very valuable!

  4. Work with the llamas at Windy Valley Llama Farm


    Every year we offer a special workamper program for people who love animals, to experience living and working with our special loving and caring llamas. We raise miniature and standard llamas.

    This is an exchange opportunity for couples or single to join our farm family located in the North Georgia Mountains. We treat our workampers with the utmost respect, just like a family member.

    We are currently looking for workamper couple or single that loves animals and being around them. This is an adventure not a job. All of our workampers have come away from here with a new appreciation of life with llamas and what they have to offer. We will warn you now that you’ll fall in love with the area we live in and the people who make up our small community. Our llamas will find their way into your heart and your life will find a sense of peace that you may have never experienced before.

Also, there are a few publications which can help you find workamper volunteer and also paid animal caretaking positions:

Workers On Wheels (http://www.work-for-rvers-and-campers.com)
Work for RVers and Campers is the Workers On Wheels website for RV workers and campground workers, with job and RV home business info, including paid employment and volunteer workamper positions.

Caretaker Gazette (http://www.caretaker.org/)
THE CARETAKER GAZETTE is a unique newsletter containing property caretaking and house sitting jobs, advice, and information for property caretakers, house sitters, and landowners. Published since 1983, it's the only publication in the world dedicated to the property caretaking field.

Please email me at : [email protected] with any animal volunteer positions that you know of for RVers. Also, email me if any of you actually go to any of these places to volunteer!

Best of Luck!