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Fulltime Families Canada Rally Limited Spots Available

Kimberly No Comments

The FtF Canada Rally has a very limited number of spots available.

The event sold out in 20 days, our fastest selling event to date, but a few cancellations have opened up spots.  If you missed your chance to get a spot for this event, now is the time to book.  Visit our Fulltime Families Canada Rally Info Page for reservation instructions and FAQs.

 

No RV Yet?  There are options, send an email to the above address for more info.

Keep an eye on our Upcoming Events Page for more FtF Events coming soon!

Boondocking in the Winter

Kimberly 8 comments

Post 1 of 7  (I hope)

Here’s we go a boondockin’ among the rocks and leaves

Here we go a drycampin’ without utilities….

It’s our first night of dry camping on US Forest Land in Arizona.  The temps tonight are supposed to go down to the teens!  Oh joy!

We spent the morning filling and emptying in preparation for our self contained adventure.

Filling water tanks, refrigerators, batteries, charging electronics and  fueling propane tanks.

We emptied tanks, garbage cans, laundry baskets and a sink full of dishes.

When we pulled in I felt liberated!  Stunning views, hundreds of acres to explore and no neighbors for our rowdy kids to annoy!

We hiked around and saw a deer and four cows (I’m sure they are wild cows)!

There are only 5 other rv’s here right now – die hards who need their space – no matter the temps.

I hope we make it the whole seven days.. but only time will tell.

Tune in tomorrow for our next installment…

Day 1 – Here we go a Boondocking

Day 2 – Boondocking Challenges

Day 3 – Dry Camping – Is it supposed to be this dry?

Day 4 – What’s the meaning of Christmas?

 Day &*#$% – It’s all a blur now

 

Kimberly Travaglino is the author of “How to Hit the Road”, a comprehensive step-by-step guide for making your family’s full time RV dreams a reality.  She also serves as the Editor of Fulltime Families Magazine, a company that supports risk takers, pioneers, and enlightened families blazing their own path across the country.

Fulltime Families Rally Instructions and FAQs

Kimberly No Comments

How can I reserve my spot?

Go to the link for the event you are interested in registering for on Our Upcoming Events Page  to reserve your spot.

Does the price include camping?

Your rally fee DOES NOT include camping.  Please make your camping arrangements directly with the campground hosting the event.  This information and their phone number will be listed on your Event Registration Page.

What Utilities are Included on my site?

Please consult the campground directly regarding available utilities.

Are Cabins, RV Rentals and Tent sites available?

Most of our Fulltime Families Rally host campgrounds offer alternative accommodations.  Consult the campground regarding these options.

What Other Services will be Offered at the Rally?

Past rallies have included the following services.  When possible, FTF contracts with providers to secure services at a discounted “Rally Rate”  (additional fees may apply):

  • RV Wash / Wax Services
  • Mobile RV Repair Services
  • Pet Grooming
  • Hair Cuts
  • other services coming soon

What happens after I reserve my spot?

24 – 48 hours after we receive a notification from Paypal, you will get an email from Fulltime Families with additional registration instructions and a Google form to complete. This will be sent to your Paypal Email Address. Upon completion of the form, you will be added to the dedicated Facebook account for this event.

What days should I plan to arrive and leave?

Please plan to arrive on or before the Wednesday before the event. FtF Events span Thursday – Sunday.

Early Birds and Pre-Rally: Many attendees plan to stay a full week. If you’d like to do this, it’s customary to stay Monday – Monday.

I’m a Charter Member and I only pay $25 per rally. How do I do that?

Charter Members, We will issue you a custom invoice for your $25 rally  rate.  Please send an email to kimberly@fulltimefamilies.com to register.

I’m a Pioneer Lifetime Member and I always save 20% off my rally rate. How do I do that?

Pioneer Lifetime Members (Red Lifetime Stickers) please email Chris for your 20% off promo code prior to registering for this event. Please allow 24 hour response time for this request.

I’m a Trailblazer Lifetime Member, how to do use my one time $50 Rally Credit for this event?

Trailblazer Lifetime Members, please email Chris for your $50 off promo code prior to registering for this event. Please allow 24 hour response time for this request.

I’m a current Annual Member and I’d like to upgrade to Trailblazer Lifetime Member. How do I do that?

Current Annual Members who are interested in upgrading to the Trailblazer Lifetime Membership option and receiving a one time $50 rally credit can email Kimberly directly.

What will we be doing at this “rally”?

Fulltime Families Rallies are 4 day family friendly events full of fun and fellowship (that’s a lot of f’s;). Schedules include a variety of family game times, arts and crafts, educational opportunities, seminars, campfires, socials, and big time fun! For an example, check out what we did at our last rally.

What’s Included in my Rally Fee?

Your rally fee pays for all the supplies, staff, rental fees, event insurance and administrative costs required to host the event. FtF ascribes to a “leave your wallet at home” policy when hosting events, so all efforts are made to allow attendees to pay once and just enjoy the event.

Who can attend a Fulltime Families Rally?

Fulltime RVing Families, Part-Time RVing Families, Weekend Warrior Families and Dreamers are all encouraged to attend Fulltime Families Rallies!  We offer both FtF Member and Non-Member Rates as well as a limited number of day passes.  Not a member yet? Join Now!

Do you offer scholarships for this event?

Yes, we have a limited number of scholarships. To apply for an FtF Event Scholarship, complete the Application Form.

Are there opportunities to Volunteer at this event?

Absolutely, Volunteers are the life blood of Rally events. To be connected to the organizers group and find opportunities, you send an email to Jennie@FulltimeFamilies.com. We also have a Volunteer Board posted during the event.

What should I bring with me?

Your family, your fun and engaging attitude, your smile. Any other necessary items (pot luck meals, special supplies) will be published on a “Rally Packing Guide” published on the Fulltime Families Website and the dedicated Facebook Group for your event.

What are we eating?

Some activities will include corporate meals (pot luck), other times you will be eating on your own. It’s best to go food shopping and plan quick and easy meals while you are attending the rally, as you won’t want to miss a minute of the fun!

Do families Roadschool during the rally?

While there are many educational elements on the rally schedule, with so many kids and so many fun things to do, doing school during your time at the rally may be challenging. Many families suspend their studies during rally time.

How can I prepare my children for this event?

Rally is a fun time, but it can also be overwhelming for new attendees. It’s a good idea to review the schedule with your family so you can mark off activities you don’t want to miss.

What are the cancellation policies for this event?

Please refer to the Registration Page for your event for cancellation dates and policies.

 

Fulltime Families 7th Annual Family Reunion Open Registration Instructions and FAQs

Kimberly No Comments

Registration is now open for the upcoming Fulltime Families 7th Annual Family Reunion, hosted in Tallahasee, FL, Feb. 2 – 5th, 2017 and spots are going fast!

Here are some FAQs about the event:

How can I reserve my spot?

Go to the Rally Shop at: https://www.fulltimefamilies.com/2017-fulltime-families-7th-annual-family-reunion/ to reserve your spot.

Does the price include camping?

Yes, when completing steps 1 and 2, you will be paying for both your rally registration ($21.95 per person ages 3 and up) and the site rate of $28 per night for your water and electric site at the North Florida Fair Grounds.  Dumps are available, free of charge, at various locations on the fair grounds. Dump service will be provided for an additional fee on Wednesday (2/1) and / or Friday (2/3) for $20 per dump.

What Utilities are Included on my site?

All sites provide water and electric.  There are dump stations at the fairgrounds that you can use free of charge.  There are also bath houses available for rally attendees.

What Other Services will be Offered at the Rally?

Rally attendees will be able to (additional fees may apply):

Do I have to reserve with the Fair Grounds?

No, reserving with Fulltime Families and completing steps 1 and 2 on the Rally Shop page is all you need to do.

What happens after I reserve my spot?

24 – 48 hours after we receive a notification from Paypal, you will get an email from Fulltime Families with additional registration instructions and a Google form to complete. Upon completion of the form, you will be added to the dedicated Facebook account for this event.

What days should I plan to arrive and leave?

Please plan to arrive by 3pm Wednesday, Feb. 1st to be parked appropriately.  Scheduled events will kick off 11am on Thursday morning (Feb. 2).  The event wraps up on the morning of  Feb. 5th.  Attendees interested in staying after the rally ends, should consult the Fairgrounds for site rental.

Many attendees plan to stay a full week.  You can stay at fairgrounds for the rally rate of $28 from 1/30/2017 – 2/5/2017.

I’m a Charter Member and I only pay $25 per rally.  How do I do that?

Charter Members, please skip Step 1 and simply reserve your campground spot.  We will issue you a custom invoice after we get that payment and generate a custom invoice for your $25 rally fee.

I’m a Pioneer Lifetime Member and I always save 20% off my rally rate.  How do I do that?

Pioneer Lifetime Members (Red Lifetime Stickers) please email Chris for your 20% off promo code prior to registering for this event.  Please allow 24 hour response time for this request.

I’m a Trailblazer Lifetime Member, how to do use my one time $50 Rally Credit for this event?

Trailblazer Lifetime Members, please email Chris for your $50 off promo code prior to registering for this event.  Please allow 24 hour response time for this request.

I’m a current Annual Member and I’d like to upgrade to Trailblazer Lifetime Member.  How do I do that?

Current Annual Members who are interested in upgrading to the Trailblazer Lifetime Membership option and receiving a one time $50 rally credit can email Kimberly directly.

What will we be doing at this “rally”?

Fulltime Families Rallies are 4 day family friendly events full of fun and fellowship (that’s a lot of f’s;).  Schedules include a variety of family game times, arts and crafts, educational opportunities, seminars, campfires, socials, and big time fun!  For an example, check out what we did at our last rally.

What’s Included in my Rally Fee?

Your rally fee pays for all the supplies, staff, rental fees, event insurance and administrative costs required to host the event.  FtF ascribes to a “leave your wallet at home” policy when hosting events, so all efforts are made to allow attendees to pay once and just enjoy the event.

Who can attend the Fulltime Families Family Reunion?

This event is limited to 100 families who are members of Fulltime Families (annual, Charter, Pioneer Lifetime, Trailblazer Lifetime, Annual).  Not a member yet?  Join Now!

Do you offer scholarships for this event?

Yes, we have a limited number of scholarships.  To apply for an Fulltime Families Event Scholarship, complete the Application Form.

Are there opportunities to Volunteer at this event?

Absolutely, Volunteers are the life blood of Rally events.  To be connected to the organizers group and find opportunities, you can join the Planners FB Group.  We also have a Volunteer Board posted during the event.

What should I bring with me?

Your family, your fun and engaging attitude, your smile.  Any other necessary items (pot luck meals, special supplies) will be published on a “Rally Packing Guide” published on the Fulltime Families Website and the dedicated Facebook Group for this event.

What are we eating?

Some activities will include corporate meals (pot luck), other times you will be eating on your own.  It’s best to good food shopping and plan quick and easy meals while you are attending the rally, as you won’t want to miss a minute of the fun!

Do families Roadschool during the rally?

While there are many educational elements on the rally schedule, with so many kids and so many fun things to do, doing school during your time at the rally may be challenging.  Many families suspend their studies during rally time.

How can I prepare my children for this event?

Rally is a fun time, but it can also be overwhelming for new attendees.  It’s a good idea to review the schedule with your family so you can mark off activities you don’t want to miss.

 

 

What are the cancellation policies for this event?

Rally Fee Refunds:

  • Cancel before December 11th, 2016 for a full refund of rally fees with $10 cancellation fee.
  • Cancel between December 12th, 2016 – January 8th, 2017 for a 50% refund.
  • Cancellations after Jan. 9th, 2017 will not be refunded.

Camping Refunds:

  • Cancel via email up to 72 hours (4pm on 1/27/2017) prior to event for a refund less 1 nights fee ($28).  After 4pm 1/27/2017, we will not be able to provide refunds.

Tee Shirt Refunds:

  • Full refund prior to t-shirt order being placed.  After the order has been placed, no refunds are available.  Must pay additional shipping fee of $6 per shirt if you’d like your shirt shipped to you.

 

 

 

Guest Post: WWooFing with Kids

Kimberly No Comments

First things first, let’s clarify exactly what “WWOOFing” is. WWOOF stands for Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms. As described on their website,

Visitors, or ‘WWOOFers’, spend about half a day helping out on a host farm, learn about the organic movement and sustainable agriculture, and receive room and board during their visit – with no money exchanged between hosts and WWOOFers.

When Trent and I first sat down to creatively carve out an itinerary for our trip, WWOOFing was a strong contender that we wanted to consider. We were intrigued by the potential possibilities that this kind of arrangement could offer us, particularly for our children. We liked the idea of exposing them to lifestyles that we have not had and opportunities for work that have not previously been an option. Free food and a place to park our rig would also be a helpful bonus.

First WWOOFing impressions

Last week Sunday we arrived at our first WWOOFing location nestled in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains entirely unsure what we were in for and hopeful that we would have a positive experience. Right out of the gate, we realized that our first error was assuming that because this ranch had RV hookups, they would also be in a location that was easy to access with our 40’ 5th wheel. I slowly followed behind my husband as he turned off the main road and inched along a narrow drive. Lined with beautiful deciduous trees bursting with color and threatening to baptize our home with branches, the one-lane road wound slowly toward our destination. With each turn I winced inwardly hoping he would not come to a low overpass or narrow bridge that would end our progress forward. Thankfully, we had been advised to arrive in daylight and the road finally opened up to our destination. Upon our arrival, our WWOOFing hosts exclaimed, “You just pulled that RV down that road? I am so sorry; we had no idea your RV was that big. We would have advised a different route had we known that!” Lesson learned: give more details about the size of our RV before assuming that it will be a perfect fit.

Our little home tucked into the foothills of the Smokey Mountains

Our little home tucked into the foothills of the Smokey Mountains

The upside to having a rough entry road for a remote ranch is fewer neighbors. For the first 6 days of our stay, only one little Class C motor home (another WWOOFing couple) shared our view. One additional pull behind RV arrived at the very end of our stay. Being in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains with this fall backdrop right outside our front door was an intense treat. Having so much breathing room around us was an extra bonus.

unfettered room to roam

unfettered room to roam

Our second erroneous assumption was that we would be the only WWOOFers during the duration of our stay. In reality we shared the week with five other WWOOFers. Three of them were young single men and the other two were the before mentioned motor home couple. We were the only WWOOFers with kids, but we enjoyed the mix of consistent workers throughout the week. After a month of consistent traveling, getting to interact with the same group of people each day as we worked was nice. Everyone treated our kids with kindness with some even going so far as to let our kids borrow personal art supplies, play their guitar, share a saddle on a their horse and letting the kids help with cooking projects in the kitchen. We appreciated the willingness to let our kids participate whenever there was interest or opportunity.

The upsides of our family WWOOFing experience

The community feel created by the mix of WWOOFers seemed like a strange college déjà vu. We would all sleep in our own rooms at night but then see the same non-family faces for breakfast, lunch and dinner while also intermingling for work and downtime. Cooking, washing dishes and working next to others day after day creates a unique environment to visit and learn from each other and certainly makes what could be a menial task more interesting.

Learning to make wontons

Ashlyn learning to make wontons

Aside from the other WWOOFers, our hosts displayed an incredible aptitude for encouraging learning throughout the week. Want to learn to drive a tractor? No problem! Want your son to learn to drive a zero-turn mower? Sure! Would you like to use our horses to go trail riding with your kids? Absolutely! It was obvious that their intent was to share the experience of their ranch to anyone who was interested in receiving it.

This particular location offered cabin or lodge room rentals, RV hookups, and room for horse trailers throughout the week, as well as a café that operated on the weekends. Having a professional, well-stocked kitchen was ideal for feeding our WWOOFing group. I’ve enjoyed our little RV kitchen much more than I thought I would, but having free rein to cook in a large space again was a real treat. In addition to having space to cook, having no food costs for the duration of our stay was a huge benefit.

trail riding

Getting ready to go trail riding

It is my understanding that while many “RV friendly” WWOOFing locations may be able to provide electricity and water, having sewer hookups is not common. In light of that, having full hookups with sewer was also wonderful.

impromptu concert

Quinten and Tanner enjoying an impromptu concert

Despite the fact that we were the only WWOOFing family with kids, our hosts did have children. Each weekday after their kids returned from school, our kids had the chance to interact, play cards, chess, soccer and tag with new friends.

First time driving a zero turn lawnmower

First time driving a zero turn lawnmower

We appreciated that our kids could participate in several jobs around the ranch. This was after all, the primary reason that we opted to do this and something we discussed specifically on the phone with one of our hosts before coming.

The downsides

Obviously it is understood that the intent of the WWOOFing arrangement is to trade labor for learning, room and board and (depending on the location) food. Exactly what you may be asked to do may or may not be something that appeals to you. In addition, the schedule of your day may vary from one day to the next. Because we only stayed for a week, we decided to let the experience take precedence whenever we had a conflict with school. This meant that we did school in the morning on some days and in the afternoons on others. Some mornings we got up earlier than typical and some days we worked late into the evening pushing the kid’s bedtime out farther than typical. Flexibility is important and something we worked to maintain. However, almost every night of our stay Trent and I went to sleep very tired and I believe that juggling our family needs with work needs with an ever-changing schedule played into that. We could have set school aside for the week of our stay but because we have had so many travel days packed into our last month (and we opt not to do school on travel days), we chose to work school into our routine this week despite the extra business it would create.

Internet service for us in our RV was dependent on what we could get through our phones. However, in the café area we were able to connect to the local Wi-Fi. It would have been nice to have access to this Wi-Fi in our RV because we had almost used up our monthly data when we had arrived. I imagine that this would vary at each WWOOFing location so if internet is important for your work or school, be sure to clarify this before arrival. Thankfully for us it wasn’t essential.

The work we did

Some of the jobs that the kids helped out with included:

  • Watering plants
  • Washing dishes
  • Food prep
  • Breaking down boxes for recycling
  • Cooking
  • Lawn mowing
  • Assisting with building projects
  • Cleaning a hot tub

Jobs that I did included:

  • Meal prep, planning and cooking
  • Washing dishes
  • Kitchen cleanup
  • Organizing the laundry room with labels

Jobs that Trent did included:

  • Fixing leaking toilets
  • Helping with the initial construction of an outdoor pavilion
  • Weed whacking
  • Hot tub cleaning
  • Dish washing

Other WWOOFing details

  • Food: you may or may not have food included in your arrangement as that varies from location to location. Exactly what benefits are included are typically defined in the profile of each host on the WWOOF.org website. If you have special diet needs (vegan, vegetarian, etc) this may limit how may “matches” show up as options for you when you search for potential farms but there are filters for those diet requests. Some locations may cook meals for you, while others simply provide ingredients and expect you to cook for yourself.
  • Hours: While the WWOOFing website says you can expect to spend “about a half a day” working, this varies from location to location as well. As I read though different farm profiles, I noticed some expecting as many as 6-8 hours of work while others were much more laid back. Some expect work on certain days of the week with specific days off, while others may have lots of work on one day and little to none the next day.

Final thoughts

As a family traveling in an RV, I do not believe that we fit the typical demographic in the WWOOFing community. In talking with our host we are the first WWOOFing family they have had in the three years they have been a part of the WWOOFing program. However, the WWOOF.org website does have filters allowing you to specify that you only want to be shown farms that allow RVs and farms that allow families with kids. (There is also a filter for those that have pets as well as filters for how long you wish to stay at a location).

WWOOF.org website

As a WWOOFing couple with kids, we tried to clarify through our initial phone call “interview” that my husband would be doing most of the regular work and that the kids and I would be available to help out once school work was completed. I think it is important to decide ahead of time what your family is comfortable offering in terms of work and hours and discuss this ahead of time with your potential host to make sure that everyone has similar expectations. Because we like having flexibility in our schedule and freedom in our days, I don’t see us WWOOFing frequently or for long durations of time. However, we did have a very positive first experience and would be open to doing this again especially if the location or farm was unique and offered something we wanted to learn. Just like traveling, it is the people and the experiences that create the unique memories that make this lifestyle rich and rewarding. Our first experience WWOOFing was a success because of the people as well as the experiences gained. If you are considering WWOOFing in an RV with kids I hope hearing about our experience will help you decide if this might be a good fit for you.

Author info: Heather Ledeboer is a traveling mom of 4 living full-time in her 5th wheel RV. She loves to write and share her experiences vividly and transparently on her blog Faith Takes Flight. You can also find her on Instagram and YouTube.

Confessions of a Workamping Family

Kimberly 3 comments

ok, I’ll admit it…

Our Family of Workampers

Our Family of Workampers after a hard day of work

IT WAS ALL MY IDEA

I wish I could put my finger on exactly what drew me to the opportunity.

I know for certain it wasn’t my first impression that we should pack up and drag our family and our stuff from the bottom of the lower 48 to the absolute top.

When I first saw the post on Fulltime Families FB Group, I remember skimming past it with not so much as a second glance.

We were parked in Lazydays KOA in Tucson and we had just wrapped up the 2014 Roadschool Convention, literally 24 hours prior.  After a whirlwind of 4 days of sharing curriculum choices, seminars, discussion panels, and square dancing like a cowgirl with 300 full time rving (present and future) friends, making other people’s beds and cleaning public toilets was the absolute last thing on my radar.

Then 5 minutes later I was standing in the middle of Rally Alley with Tammy Allen, our Murder Mystery Coordinator, and she said, “I see Christine posted a wanted post for Workamping up by Glacier.  We were their workamping family last year and we loved it!  I just made a couple of beds and we loved spending two months in that beautiful area”.

“I just made a couple of beds”
Those words would ring in my ears while I pleaded with and strong armed sheets into submission, hovering over 6 foot in the air, while simultaneously ducking and weaving before I inevitably smashed my head on the cabin’s rafters.  But more on that later…

IMG_9164

Here I am “Just Making Beds”

Something about Tammy’s testimony, how she painted a picture of calling “The Crown of the Continent” your backyard for the summer, resonated deeply in my soul and before I knew it, I was talking an unsuspecting Chris into the opportunity and on the phone with Christine, the owner of Timber Wolf Resort in Hungary Horse, Montana.

It was so thrilling to APPLY for the position.  Friends wished us luck! Tammy and another FtF Family made themselves available as references.  After years of being ‘just’ self employed, we were on pins and needles waiting to see if we’d made the cut.  Were we qualified enough to clean toilets, make beds and do some general maintenance and upkeep.  I say this tongue in cheek, but we really were sweating it.

IMG_8500

Pre Season Picnic Table Painting

Would someone else with more (really any – since we had none) workamper experience be the obvious choice?

It was an exhilarating week as we waited to see if we’d get the job and have to start mapping out a route to what I would soon start referring to as the “Top of the World”.

IMG_8730

Who Doesn’t Love a Ride On Mower?

WHAT I HOPED TO ACCOMPLISH BY BEING A WORKAMPING FAMILY

First and foremost, it had been nagging at me that my kids had no concrete activities other than the rallies, to attribute our financial support to.  As they asked for expensive items and experiences, I began to suspect that they thought we ‘printed money’ straight out of our computers at night while they slept.

Traveling for four years and working on the internet had robbed our children of exposure to manual labor.  Sure they have chores in the camper, but unlike sustaining a home, there is no lawn to mow, no multiple bathrooms to clean and no large remodeling projects going on in their world.

They never saw us leave for work.  There was no commute time eating away at our day.  We didn’t have to apply for vacation time and we no longer lived in fear of the words “downsizing”.

When we first headed out, I anticipated giving back by going to storm torn areas and helping with rebuilding efforts but I quickly learned that as a family with young children, opportunities for us to work together as I had imagined it, were not available to us.

IMG_8734

Taming some of the Natural Ambiance

Workamping would be a great way to teach our kids to serve others.  To work together with others towards a common goal.

I also anticipated using this experience as a motivator. The reality of our world is, if you are unskilled and uneducated, your options shrink and you could find yourself with no other opportunities except cleaning toilets… so do your homework!

GETTING TO THE “TOP OF THE WORLD”

Within a week, Christine had alerted us that the position was ours if we wanted it.  For that week, I had learned everything one could learn about Hungry Horse and the West Entrance of Glacier National Park, so it seemed inevitable that we would accept and commit to 28 hours per week (shared between Chris and myself) for two months, specifically June 1st through August 1st.

We mapped a route north out of Tucson that included Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona, some Vegas Strip, a visit to the Golden Spike in Promontory, Utah and digging for opals in Spencer, ID.

We arrived in Hungry Horse a day early and set up in an empty campground, save the other workamping couple.  Those first two weeks were actual ‘pre season’ so our early jobs consisted of painting picnic tables, landscaping, replacing and moving mattresses around in cabins, cleaning clean bathrooms and learning the ropes.

IMG_9235

Cleaning out Fire Rings

OUR WORKAMPING RESPONSIBILITIES

Ultimately we were responsible for the cleanliness and light maintenance of 15 cabins (half of which had linens and electricity, the other half only had covered mattresses and no electric), 8 tent sites, 24 RV Sites, 2 Bed and Breakfast Bedrooms, 1 Comfort Station  containing 3 toilets, 1 urinal, 4 showers and 4 sinks and 1 public restroom containing 4 toilets, 1 urinal, 4 showers and 4 sinks.

IMG_9341

Here’s one of the daily chore lists.

Each day we received a check out list marked with the number of sheets and towels we’d need to pack up to change the linens in the newly vacated cabins / B&B rooms, and which public restroom facilities we were charged with.
Also marked were the campsites and tent sites that required cleaning.

We loaded our golf cart with a huge tub of fresh linens, an empty laundry sack, a broom,  a caddy full of cleaning supplies, a shop vac, and a mop.

On days that there were two workamping teams (us and Cheryl & Terry) the lists were split evenly and each team was responsible for 1 of the bathrooms.

IMG_9347

Timber Wolf Clean Up Crew

Each workamper team had two days per week off. The seven day breakdown looked like this:

Day 1 – both teams; list split
Day 2 – both teams; list split
Day 3 – A Team  on (B team off); Responsible for all checkouts and both bathrooms
Day 4 – A Team  on (B team off); Responsible for all checkouts and both bathrooms
Day 5 – both teams; list split
Day 6 – B Team  on (A team off); Responsible for all checkouts and both bathrooms
Day 7 – B Team  on (A team off); Responsible for all checkouts and both bathrooms

So essentially two days per week, we were responsible for the entire list, three days a week we split the work with the other workamper team, and the last two days were our days off.

IMG_9273

Stripping the beds, note the gloves.

After having been beholden to no one for over 4 years and working our own very flexible self employed schedules, we had gotten ‘soft’ and reporting for duty was a struggle, even at 10am!  I know, you’re reading this and saying… 10am!!!!  Welcome to the real world +  3 extra hours of  sleep you baby! But in our defense, in order to spend our days with our kids, Chris and I often work at night.  Some nights, we work until 2 or 3 am.  We’re usually up by 10am the following morning, but we’re definitely not dressed and ready to head out the door! and if by some small miracle we can accomplish that, there’s no way we can do it two consecutive days in a row, let alone FIVE!!!

But for five consecutive days, we smashed snooze on our alarm until 9:55, brushed our teeth and headed to take make beds and scrub toilets.

Are you wondering if I did this in my pajamas?  Yes, I can imagine that would be the logical conclusion since we only allotted ourselves 5 minutes of get ready time, but as it turns out, a mop, or a broom, or even a roll of paper towels and a bottle of Windex has the mystical effect of turning someone invisible so it doesn’t matter if I was naked, no one would see me anyway!

IMG_9345

Hey Look… I’m invisible

Who knew!  Being ‘the help’ means your more often than not overlooked and discounted. What a lesson in humility.  I know now how guilty I am of overlooking cleaning and maintenance workers or rather, looking through these support personnel.

But back to what we did every day.

After we received the list, I packed my workamper cart and Chris headed out to clean out all the tent and rv sites.  He’d meet me when he was done with that to help out with the rest of the list.

My responsibilities started with the cabins.  The majority of these 10 x 10 adorable gnome like structures housed three beds (two firmly planted on the wood plank floors, and one precariously perched (that’s a total exaggeration but that’s how it felt) over 6 feet in the air (that is not an exaggeration, I measured it).

Sheets required stripping, quilts were aired out, the mini fridge was emptied of any left over food stuffs and wiped down.  All surfaces were sanitized with a blue solution that promised to kill every living amoeba within the three surrounding counties (which is something you definitely want to be working with when all the sudden the word “Staph” comes up – its either the blue stuff or you might be tempted to burn the cabin down and rebuild daily).

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Kiddie Workampers

The floors were swept, vacuumed, and later on in the season, mopped. The outside porches were swept and de-cobwebbed, all burnt remnants were removed from the fire pits, garbage was removed and waste baskets were re-lined with fresh bags.

Some days were light with only 2 or 3 cabins requiring our attention.  Other days were crazy with 6 or 7 cabins recently vacated.  On average, 4 cabins would be on our sheet.

After the cabins, the Bed and Breakfast rooms were turned over in a similar fashion, fresh sheets, fresh towels, fresh surfaces.

Then it was bathroom time.  Whether the Comfort Station of the B&B Public Restroom was on your list (and remember two days a week you were responsible for both) the restrooms lent themselves to the greatest adventure of your day.

We never knew what we would discover within the stalls.  Most days, Tonia would announce, “I think today’s the day we’ll find the dead body – I just feel it, Mom”.

Here was another rude awakening… Had I really been that person?  The person who thinks its someone else’s job to clean up behind me, when my paper towel drops off the top of the waste paper basket on to the floor.  Or the person who thinks its ok to leave the shower a sopping wet mess, despite the fact that the proprietors have provided the tools (in this case a little mop) and the suggestion to leave the shower nice for the next person.  And the unfortunate answer was “Yes”.  I had been that person.
And now that I was cleaning up after people like me, I felt it was really only karma.  Karma and a lesson in redemption.  Knowing what I know now about cleaning public restrooms, I can say I will forever be a model bathroom customer.

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DJ was in charge of replacing all the top bunk pillows

Right about here in my day is when Tammy’s “I just made a couple of beds” would replay in my mind and I wondered if much like the pains of childbirth, memories of hard labor are blurred in one’s mind as the months go by, leaving only brief glimpses of some less exhaustive tasks and the good times one had spent adventuring in one of God’s most stupendous of landscapes.

I believe there is some merit to the above theory, so I’ve chosen to document my experience here.  If that’s the case and my memory will in fact wane, then I can refer back to this blog post.

In addition to these daily duties, the kids wanted to be responsible for the owners horses, so we took over the pm feedings.  I was impressed that they had asked for additional responsibilities and how dedicated they were to the task.  Every night, the feeding ritual was one of the highlights of their day.

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Dominick and Mystery

 

WILL WE DO IT AGAIN

The short answer is, Yes.

We all took great pride in being a part of a beautiful resort and helping the resort’s guest have an enjoyable stay and make priceless memories with their own family’s.

As I had hoped, my children did not relish scrubbing toilets and have committed themselves to their studies in a way I could not have achieved without this experience.

Chris and I worked together as a team on a daily basis and strengthened our communication skills by doing so.

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Tearing down the old playground. I’m almost positive they had no idea this was ‘work’

The two months we spent as a Workamping Family gave us all a new appreciation of each other, our time, our talents and reminded us how amazing our lives are.
It was a great experience that our family will reflect on and share with others for all our years to come.  I can already hear hints of those tales starting with “remember when we were workamping at that place in Montana…”

 

Author’s Note:

As an aside, I should mention that Phil and Christine have graciously agreed to be our Charter FtF Family Friendly Campground and welcome you and your family to their beautiful resort.  If Glacier NP is in your travel plans, I highly recommend you use Timber Wolf Resort as your base of exploration.

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Christine, Owner of Timber Wolf Resort, applying her FTF Family Friendly Campground Decal.

 

Reserve Your Rally Tee Shirt Today – Fulltime Families Rally

Kimberly 1 Comments

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 12.22.47 AM Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 12.18.00 AMRally T-shirts are available at the pre-order price of $15 each. Place your order today and pay at the rally. Please e-mail Mary Beth Goff, Rally Coordinator at info@diaryofaroadmom.com with the total number of shirts and sizes needed. As I receive your orders I’ll update a doc on the Events page and send you a confirmation. Sizes can be viewed here
http://www.bluecotton.com/t-shirts/short-sleeve/3930-fruit-of-the-loom-heavy-cotton-tee.html

It’s Always a Good Time! Fulltime Families Announces 3 Opportunities to Get Together

Kimberly No Comments
Ugly Sweater Social - 2013 Winter Family Reunion

Ugly Sweater Social – 2013 Winter Family Reunion Rally

We’ve got not 1, not 2, but 3 opportunities for you to meet other FtFs in 2014!

Sign up for as many as you like!

Photo credit: Stephanie Clarke of giveuptheratrace.com

Legoland FtF Roadschool Field Trip 2013

Opportunity #1:

2014 FtF Roadschool Field Trip to Legoland, FL, January 31st, 2014
Rates starting at $6 per student!

2013 FtF Summer Family Reunion Rally Luau Night

2013 FtF Summer Family Reunion Rally Luau Night

Opportunity #2:

2014 FtF Winter Family Reunion Rally in Tampa, FL – Feb. 6th – Feb. 9th, 2014

Not to be missed weekend of family fun with both current and future FtF families.

2012 FtF Summer ReunionThrift Shop Prom

2012 FtF Summer ReunionThrift Shop Prom

Opportunity #3:

2014 World’s Best Roadschool Convention in Tucson, AZ – April 10th – April 13th, 2014

Seminars, workshops, kids’ club, exhibitors.  The convention for your lifestyle!

When we will be seeing your family?

2013 Winter Rally Wrap Up with VIDEO

Kimberly No Comments
Photo Credit: Stephanie Clarke of giveuptheratrace.com

Photo Credit: Stephanie Clarke of giveuptheratrace.com

Jan. 24th – 28th, 30 families attended the 2013 Fulltime Families Winter Family Reunion.

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On Thursday, we started with a Journal Making Craft for all ages, so kids could collect autographs and contact information from their soon to be new friends.

Kids’ Craft – Making Journals

Then it was time to party until we were purple, or many various colors as the tie-dying began.  Kids turned plain white shirts into stunning one of a kind pieces of artwork, and the Highway Hounds tie-dyed their sheet for the highly anticipated “teens vs everyone else” kick ball game the next day.

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Tie-Dying Fun!

 

At dinner time, we all met up for the Meet and Greet Pizza Party, sponsored in part by Chicks Connect.  

And then kids and adults alike went head to head in our Family USA Trivia Game, sponsored by Wright on Time Books. 

 

On Friday morning, our Appoholics (people addicted to apps) were out in full force to share breakfast and their favorite tablet / smart phone apps.  

 

After getting downloaded and fueled up, everyone hit the field for the Highway Hounds First Annual Homecoming Kickball game, where the hounds exercised their dominance with a score of 102 to 2 (according to their coach, Kimber Sparks).

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First Annual Highway Hounds Homecoming Game

 

After a short break for lunch, the day continued with a Roadschool Curriculum Convention, a Girls’ Beauty Parlor Party, and a Boys’ Scavenger Hunt.  

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Beautiful little fairies!

 

Everyone worked up a ferocious appetite for Steak Night, where grill masters cooked steaks to order and everyone brought salads, appetizers and desserts to share. 

 

That night, the kids enjoyed a movie by moonlight, while adults were able to share some grown up time around the campfire.

 

Saturday dawned to a Boondockers Breakfast, as guest speaker Marianne Edwards, of frugal-rving.com, shared her vast knowledge on dry camping with all the rally attendees.  

 

At noon, it was time for the Parade of Homes, when we get the opportunity to tour each others rv’s and see what mods / upgrades and great ideas we can steal from each other. 

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Ladies on the Parade of Homes

 

After a quick wardrobe change, the Family Talent Show, sponsored by Fodeo RV Frames began with talented family members delighting the crowd!

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One of the wonderful Talent Acts

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The dazzled audience

At 6pm we headed to the Ugly Sweater Social / Pot Luck Party and then played a rousing game of FtF Let’s Make Deal, sponsored by Workamper News where FtF’s won prizes like a TV/DVD Combo, free stays at surrounding rv parks, and even a racing package from Competition 101.  

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Winner of “The Best Fitting Ugly Sweater” TJ Muller

On Sunday morning, rally attendees got a sneak peek into what Fulltime Families has planned for 2013.  From more community building activities, to our summer rally and other meet ups around the country, we have a ton of stuff planned and hope your family will be involved!

 

We want to thank all our sponsors, our volunteers, and guests.  The 2013 Winter Rally was a huge success as a result of your efforts and eagerness to make this the best family rving event of the winter!

 

If you want to be the first to know all the details for the next rally, just fill out the form below!

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2013 FtF Winter RV Rally Schedule

Kimberly No Comments
Screen Shot 2013-01-20 at 10.32.11 AM

2013 Commerative Bumper Sticker

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to join us?  There’s still a few spots!!

 

2013 FtF Winter Family Reunion Rally Schedule of Events

Let the Fun Begin!

All Activities will take place in the common area in front of Loop 21 unless otherwise noted.

Please bring a chair and your own cup to each event that you’d like to sit and drink at.

Day 1: 

Thursday, January 24th, 2013 

1:30 Opening Ceremony 

Come get your welcome packets, your maps and other info so you don’t miss a minute of the fun!

2pm Kids’ Craft

All Ages welcome! Come make a Rally Journal / Autograph book.

3:30pm T-Shirt Tie Dye

Bring a plain white t-shirt or purchase an FtF t-shirt for $5

6-8 Meet and Greet Pizza Party, Sponsored in part by, Chicks Connect.  

Pizza, lemonade and all paper products and utensils will be provided.  Please bring a chair and your own cup make some new friends!

8-9 Family USA Trivia Game – Sponsored by Wright on Time Books.  Bring your iPhone and your knowledge of everything trivial for your chance to win some great prizes.  All ages!

 

Day 2

Friday, January 25th, 2013

10am – Appaholics Anon Breakfast and Swap Meet

Bring your own breakfast and your smart devices and let’s talk all things apps.  For the swap meet, bring out extra stuff that needs a new home.

11:30 1st Annual Highway Hounds Kickball Game

It’s the Teens vs everyone else in this rousing game of family kickball. Play or route your team on from the sidelines – your choice.  All ages welcome!

2 – 4 Roadschool Curriculum Convention

Join Gayle Bennett to discuss homeschooling curriculums.  Bring yours to show, or any you are interested in selling.

2 – 4 Girls’ Beauty Parlor Party 

Girls will have fun giving each other makeovers and manicures. Send them with any extra beauty supplies you may have (nail polish, nail polish remover, make up, etc)

2:30 – 4 Boys’ Scavenger Hunt 

Break up into teams of 5 to hunt for miscellaneous items.  Bring them all back to the Travaglino’s camper to get a prize.

 

5:30 Steak Night

Each family will bring their own raw steak to be grilled.  FtF will provide baked potatoes, iced tea, all paper products, utensils and a special treat!  Please bring your own cup and steak knives, plus your veggie or fruit dish to share.

7pm Highway Hounds Homecoming Dance.  

This is a chaperoned Teens Only event at the Lost Pavilion.

 

7pm Movie by Moonlight. 

All kids are welcome to bring chairs, blankets or anything comfy and come watch a family friendly feature film.

7:30 Adult Campfire

Bring your own chair and come relax by the campfire.

Day 3

We have the Spirit Lodge all day today! All activities will be hosted there unless specified. 

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

10:30 Boondockers Breakfast with Marianne Edwards – Join author, Marianne Edwards for an educational seminar on how to successfully boondock.  From dry camping – to Boondockers Welcome, Marianne will be sharing all her tips and tricks with us.  Bring your own drink, we’ll provide breakfast!

 

10:30 Kids‘ Coloring Contest

Stop by anytime to color!  We’ll use the artwork as decoration for tonight’s social.

12 – 1 Kids’ Craft – Come by and make a key chain or necklace.

12-1  Parade of Homes – Sign up List at Rally Central Bulletin Board

Join as we walk through each other’s homes to get ideas and inspiration to make an RV more homey.  It is not at all necessary that your RV be spotless (mine won’t) and participation is completely voluntary.

 

1:30 – 3:30 Family Talent Show / Dutch Lunch Sponsored by Fodio RV Frames

Sign Up on the List at Rally Central Bulletin Board.  Bring your lunch and your talents too.  Singing, dancing, telling jokes whatever you do.

 

6:00 – 7:00 Ugly Sweater Social / Pot Luck (Group Photo Op)

Wear the Ugliest Sweater you can find (store bought or homemade) and bring your dish to share.

FtF will supply lasagna and lemonade, all paper products and utensils.  Please bring your own cups.

Prizes will be awarded for:

Best Fit / Worst Fit

Prettiest Ugliest Sweater

Most Colorful Sweater

Most Bedazzled Sweater

All time Ugliest Sweater

 

 

7:30 FtF Let’s Make Deal Family Game Show Sponsored by Workamper News

Join us for this fun family game. Tons of great prizes but watch out for the ZONKS!!!

 

Day 4

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

10am – FtF Improvement Breakfast

Come out and tell us how Fulltime Families can serve you better.  Learn about all the facets of this unique organization and get a sneak peek to see what’s in store for 2013!
Want more info:

2013 Rally Packing List

2013 Rally Volunteer List

This event is sponsored by:

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