Camp, connect, and contribute with Parks Victoria’s Volunteer Campground Host program

Parks Victoria

Do you love camping and getting closer to nature? Are you a people person happy to help others and share knowledge? If so, you could be a natural fit for Parks Victoria’s Volunteer Campground Host program.

The Volunteer Campground Host program is a great way to connect with nature on a deeper level, while spending time volunteering in some of the most beautiful parts of the state.

Volunteer Campground Hosts can spend up to a week camping at some of the most popular campsites in Victoria, providing a friendly face for campers when they arrive on site, helping them feel at home among the gum trees. Volunteer Campground Hosts are knowledgeable about their chosen area and provide up-to-date information for visitors about the campground facilities and nearby walks and attractions.

The Volunteer Campground Host program has run for more than 20 years, with more than 6000 people volunteering over that time, helping others make the most of their time in nature.

Reto von Gunten and his partner Belinda Girotto became Volunteer Campground Hosts last year, when they spent a week camping at Allenvale Campground in Great Otway National Park, near Lorne. Allenvale Campground is nestled on the banks of St George River where it is perfectly positioned to explore both the coast and the bush.

“Being a Volunteer Campground Host is about being a present, friendly face for campers, and being able to help out the local rangers when needed in the campground. However you’re also given time to do what you’d normally do and explore away from camp,” Reto said.

Volunteer Reto von Gunten

Photo: Volunteer Campground Host Reto von Gunten at Sheoak Falls while exploring the beautiful Great Otway National Park.

“The experience is one that you very much get out of it what you put into it. You talk to lots of people about all sorts of things. For some people, it might be their first camping experience and they’re thrilled to have someone knowledgeable nearby they can ask questions of.”

“And it’s great to be in one area so you really get to know it. You see people come and go and enjoy themselves, and you provide advice on things like the good walks nearby,” Reto said.

Volunteer Campground Hosts receive comprehensive training beforehand, a uniform, and, best of all, free camping for the duration of their stay.

The presence of campground hosts enhances the overall visitor experience, fostering a sense of safety and camaraderie within the camping grounds. From offering guidance on local attractions to helping others make the most of their time in nature, hosts play a multifaceted role in ensuring that visitors make the most out of their time in Victoria’s national parks.

“It’s a great, flexible program to help the rangers out, and help other visitors out, while spending time in nature yourself,” Reto said.

Volunteering in nature is a rewarding experience and is a great way to help conserve Victoria’s special places. There are hundreds of exciting volunteer opportunities across Victoria, regardless of your age, skill or ability.

Click here to find out how you can volunteer in a park near you

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