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Campground Hosts

Campground host at Lincoln State Park

Most Indiana State Parks and State Forests offer opportunities for campground hosts. Hosts work a minimum of 20 hours per person per week in exchange for free camping for a specified period of time. The time period varies at sites, based on the number of applicants and on the amount and type of work required. See below for detailed information about each property’s host program. Contact the property of interest to check the status of its host program.

A volunteer application and agreement will need to be filled out and turned into sites. Download forms here. Background checks will also be done.

  • Campground Host Program details per property

    To serve as a campground host, contact the property to check on the status of its host program. By early summer, most host schedules are full but waiting lists are available.

    Brookville/Whitewater Complex, Brookville, 765-5647-2657 or kridgway@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Quakertown SRA one electric site; Whitewater State Park three electric sites; and Mounds SRA one electric site and one full hookup.
    Length of stay: Variable.
    Duties: Check shower houses and pits for cleanliness and toilet paper; pick up trash; clean out fire rings after campers leave; provide information and be a helpful host; assist with campground registration.

    Brown County State Park, Nashville, 812-988-6406 or phaulter@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of sites: Electric only sites, one VIP in Horseman’s Camp and one VIP in Family Camp; 3 possible campground host spots.
    Length of stay: Minimum one month, April-October.
    Duties: Painting and other simple maintenance; staff the nature center; maintain flower beds; direct traffic at campground registration booth; check shower houses and pits for cleanliness and toilet paper; pick up trash; clean out fire rings after campers leave; provide information and be a helpful host; assist management and be a good ambassador for the park and campers. Hosts are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week per couple. Availability on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays is mandatory.  

    Cagles Mill Lake/ Lieber SRA, Cloverdale, 765-276-0194 or kgeiger@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: One electric only site
    Length of stay: 1 month minimum
    Duties: Clean and stock comfort stations; assist gatehouse attendants with camper registration and traffic control on Friday evenings; be a goodwill ambassador and provide information for campers; clean campsites and fire rings; report issues to park staff; use skills such as painting, electrical, plumbing, etc.; staff nature center; promote events; conduct site occupancy checks; assist with severe weather procedures; spray weeds; do trail trimming; maintain flower beds; mow. Host duties are required Friday, Saturday, Sunday, holidays and one or two other days of the week. Litter pickup; take/deliver messages; housekeeping; provide security; clean fire rings; make minor electrical repairs; traffic control; volunteer and staff nature center; assist with special events.

    Chain O’Lakes State Park, Albion, 260-636-2654 or ccornhill@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two electric only sites.
    Length of stay: 30 days minimum with extensions possible, April-October.  
    Duties: Traffic control on Friday evenings and Saturdays; provide information and be a helpful host acting as a liaison between the campers and management; assist naturalist with special events and interpretive programs; stock toilet paper at comfort stations; pick up trash; clean out fire rings after campers leave; deliver non-emergency messages; and volunteer every weekend at the Stanley Schoolhouse or Nature Center. Host duties are required Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.

    Clark State Forest, Henryville, 812-294-4306, clarksf@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two. One at primitive family camp, no electric, water and dump station nearby; one at primitive horse camp, electric hookup, dump station and water nearby.
    Length of stay: One to seven months, April-November. Weekend and holiday hours required  
    Duties: Serve as eyes and ears of the campground; act as liaisons between the campers and the management; provide informal security by reporting problems; pick up litter; clean out fire rings; notify campers of severe weather and emergency procedures; keep pit toilets clean and stocked with toilet paper; do occasional mowing; assist with campground registration and payment.

    Charlestown State Park, Charlestown, 812-256-5600 or dspanton@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two full hookup sites with water, 50amp electric, and sewer
    Length of stay: Thirty days minimum with extensions possible, April-October.
    Duties: Daily: Campground restroom checking and cleaning with the assistance of park staff.
    Weekly moving of campsite tables to campsite pads. As needed: Clean out fire rings, assist with camper registration; pick up litter; act as "information site" where campers can stop and ask questions. Assist in repairs and maintenance if able to. Hosts must be on site on weekends and during busy times in the campground.

    Clifty Falls State Park, Madison, 812-273-0609 or kleach@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two full-hookup sites.
    Length of stay: Thirty days minimum with extensions possible, April-October.
    Duties: Check shower houses and pit toilets for cleanliness and toilet paper; pick up trash; provide information and be a helpful host; assist management with campground registration; sell firewood and ice; assist naturalist with special events and other interpretive programs. Assist in repairs and maintenance as able. Hosts must be on site on weekends and during busy times in the campground.

    Deam Lake State Recreation Area, Borden, 812-246-5421, deamlakesra@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two electric campsites; comfort station nearby; water hookup available. (One equestrian campsite and one family campsite.)
    Length of stay: 1-7 months, April-November. Weekend and holiday hours required.  
    Duties: Serve as eyes and ears of the campground; act as liaison between campers and management; provide informal security by reporting problems; clean comfort stations; help patrons locate campsites; pick up litter; clean out fire rings; sell ice and firewood; collect camping fees when gatehouse is closed; promote special events and interpretive programs; notify campers of severe weather and procedures; and volunteer at nature center.

    Falls of the Ohio State Park, Clarksville, 812-280-9970
    No campground on site; volunteers accepted for resource management, interpretive and other special projects.

    Fort Harrison State Park, Indianapolis, 317-591-0904
    No campground on site; volunteers accepted for resource management, interpretive and other special projects.

    Greene-Sullivan State Forest, Dugger, 812-648-2810, greenesf@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: One electric campsite. Water and electric hookup available. Dump station nearby.
    Length of stay: One month minimum, April-October.
    Duties: Provide campers with information; help with check ins/checkouts, cabin lockouts and camping fee payments; clean restrooms and stock toilet paper; pick up litter; clean camping cabins and campfire rings after campers leave; provide information to general public; do light maintenance.

    Hardy Lake, Scottsburg, 812-794-3800 or ahenry@dnr.in.gov
    Number of hosts: Three, (two full hookup, one electric sites).
    Length of stay: One month to seven months, April 1- Nov. 15.
    Duties: Check shower houses and pits for cleanliness and toilet paper; housekeeping duties at the beach; move tables for the mowing crew; pick up trash; clean out fire rings after campers leave; provide information and be a helpful host; assist management with campground registration; assist in repairs and maintenance; assist naturalist with special events and interpretive programs; Hosts must be on site and accessible on weekends and during busy times in the campground.

    Harmonie State Park, New Harmony, 812-682-4821 or zclark@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Three campground host sites and two VIP sites.   All are full hookups
    Length of stay: Minimum of two weeks and maximum of four weeks for campground hosts.
    Duties: Be a goodwill ambassador; answer camper questions; report camping infractions to security personnel; assist with traffic control; pick up litter; clean the comfort stations; clean trash out of the fire rings; assist with staffing the nature/interpretive center. Campground hosts and VIPs will be required to work a minimum of 20 hours per week.

    Indiana Dunes State Park, Chesterton, (219-926-1952 or jamcevoy@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: One electric/water only
    Length of stay: One month, time extensions possible. Require 20 hours/week for the VIP site for the first person and 10 hours for each additional person (i.e. a married couple would be required to work 30 totals hours/week).
    Duties: Clean out the fire rings once a week; be available in the campground on Friday and Saturday from 4-9 p.m.; pick up litter; clean comfort stations; assist with Nature Center events, staffing, and duties; assist campers and visitors by answering questions and reporting concerns; provide and disperse information to campers; other duties assigned.

    Lincoln State Park, Lincoln City, 812-937-4710 or dknox@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two electric/water sites —one campground host and one VIP.  
    Length of stay: One to seven months.
    Duties: Provide information to campers and relate their concerns to property staff; assist with severe weather procedures; electrical troubleshooting; collect firewood left by campers; check restrooms and vault toilets throughout day; pick up litter; clean fire rings; assist with firewood sales when camp store is closed; assist gatehouse attendants with camper registration and traffic control; run messages; perform campsite occupancy checks; and assist naturalist with special events.
    Number of Work Camping Sites: There are two Class A sites with water and electric available at a greatly reduced rate.
    Length of stay: Two to seven months
    Duties: Looking for a motivated individual to work 40 hours a week. Will receive a Class A campsite at a greatly reduced rate and will be paid for all hours worked. Positions available include housekeeping, labor/groundskeeping and gate, beach, boat and store attendants. For additional info please call the park office or email.
    How to Apply: Applicants must apply for seasonal labor at workforindiana.IN.gov and specify work camping in application.

    Martin State Forest, Shoals, 812-247-3491, jkush@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: One primitive campsite.
    Length of stay: One to seven months.
    Duties: Provide informal security; clean restrooms and stock with toilet paper; pick up litter; assist with campsite registration; clean fire rings after campers leave; provide information; be a helpful host; assist employees on various property needs and projects.

    McCormick’s Creek State Park, Spencer, 812-829-4344 or dbennett3@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two electric only sites
    Length of stay: One month required.
    Duties: General light labor and cleaning in the campground.

    Mississinewa Lake, Peru, 765-473-6528 or jepp@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Six full hookup sites.
    Length of stay: One to seven months.
    Duties:
    Program 1 - Provide informal security; clean restrooms and stock toilet paper, pick up litter; provide information to the general public; assist employees when requested.
    Program 2 - Provide 20-24 hours of mowing per week in the campground. Mowers are Dixie 60-inch riding mowers.
    Program 3 Provide general support for property staff, including helping in office; staffing front and campground gates; helping with night security; performing general maintenance to abilities of host. Position asking for 20-24 hours of work.

    Monroe Lake, Bloomington, 812-837-9967 or jvance@dnr.IN.gov.
    Number of host sites: One electric, 30-amp site at Paynetown SRA.
    Length of stay: Host Commitments are for roughly once calendar month. For 2022, check-in and check-out dates are…

    • June: Check-in between May 23-26, check-out on June 29.
    • July: Check-in on June 30, check-out on Aug. 1.
    • August: Check-in Aug. 2, check-out Aug. 31.
    • September: Check-in on Sept. 1, check-out on Sept. 28.
    • October: Check-in on Sept. 29, check-out on Oct. 31.

    Availability: Hosts must be available to volunteer on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays for the duration of their commitment, as those days will almost always contain scheduled volunteer duties. Non-scheduled volunteer duties may be completed at any time during the week.
    Duties: Duties will include campground check-in, beach attendant, campground roving, trash clean-up, cleaning in beach house and Activity Center, staffing activities for children, and special projects assigned by the maintenance/interpretive staff. Projects assigned will depend on both need and the skills/interest of the host, but may include: painting, weeding, mowing, library research, craft prep, animal care, etc.
    Requirements: Hosts must be at least 18 years of age, successfully pass a background check, and be approved by all property management staff. Both individuals and couples are eligible. Individuals are expected to provide 22 to 26 hours of volunteer work each week for duration of their host commitment. If you are hosting as a couple, each person is expected to provide 18 to 22 hours each week. Hosts must be physically capable of working outdoors for 3+ hours in varying weather conditions, okay with walking/standing for an extended period, and be comfortable talking to and working with people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.

    Mounds State Park, Anderson, 765-642-6627 or scrossley@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: One site, full hookup, water and sewage
    Length of stay: One month.
    Duties: Provide information to campers and relate their concerns to property staff; assist with severe weather procedures; clean camp sites; clean and check modern comfort station and vault toilets; sell firewood.

    O’Bannon Woods State Park, Corydon, 812-738-8232 or sbaelz@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: 10 (electric only) in the Class A Campground; 2 (primitive) in Horseman’s Hideaway.
    Length of stay: April-October, two weekends a month (Thursday, Friday & Saturday) and three out of the four holiday weekends (Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day & Halloween).
    Duties: Communicate concerns and issues of campers directly to management; clean comfort stations; assist at gatehouse during peak times; helping patrons with campsite location; pick up litter in the park and campground; clean fire rings; help with light maintenance; and promote special events and interpretive programs at the nature center.

    Ouabache State Park, Bluffton, 260-824-0926 or tjessup@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two full-hookup (water/sewage) sites.  
    Length of stay required: One month.
    Duties: Sell firewood and collect firewood fees; provide information and assistance to campers; clean comfort stations; pick up litter; clean fire rings; and other light maintenance.

    Patoka Lake, Birdseye, 812-685-2447 or dreckelhoff@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Three (Electric only with paved pads)
    Length of stay: Two-four weeks.
    Duties: Check restrooms and stock toilet paper; close electric boxes after campers leave; pick up trash; ensure fires are put out after campers leave; notify campers of severe weather procedures and alert them as storms approach; promote interpretive programs; update information on campground bulletin boards; host the nature center; assist with interpretive programs and special events; help with display installation and special projects at nature center, help gatehouse staff with traffic and registration; provide information for camper inquiries.

    Pokagon State Park, Angola, 260-833-2012 or niball@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two (Electric)
    Length of stay: Two weeks with extension possible.
    Duties: Provide informal security; clean restrooms and stock toilet paper; pick up litter; provide information to the general public; help with campground registration and traffic control; host at the nature center on Saturday from 2-5 p.m.

    Potato Creek State Park, North Liberty, 574-656-8186 or adegroot@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of sites: Three host in the family campground, Multiple VIP; One host in the horse campground, multiple VIP.  All electric only sites.
    Length of stay: VIP length varies; Host minimum one month, 25 volunteer hours per week.
    Duties: Clean and stock comfort stations; assist gatehouse attendants with camper registration and traffic control on Friday evenings; be a goodwill ambassador and provide information for campers; clean campsites and fire rings; report issues to park staff; utilize skills such as painting, electrical, plumbing, etc.; staff nature center; promote events; conduct site occupancy checks; assist with severe weather procedures; spray weeds; trail trimming; maintain flower beds; mowing. Host duties are required Friday, Saturday, Sunday, holidays and one or two other days of the week.

    Prophetstown State Park, West Lafayette, 765-567-4919 Ext. 503 or jparks@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of sites: One full hookup
    Length of stay: One month  
    Duties: sell firewood; tidy campsites once campers leave; ensure fires are put out after campers leave; clean fire rings; clean and stock comfort stations; pick up trash; work with security; assist with special events; close electric boxes; notify campers of severe weather procedures and alert them as storms approach. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays are mandatory.

    Raccoon SRA/Cecil M. Harden Lake, 765-280-4012 or rplotkin@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two. One full hookup (electrical, water, sewage) One electric
    Length of stay: two – four weeks
    Duties: Clean and stock comfort stations; pick up litter; Cleaning fire pits and preparing sites for campers; weed and water flowerbeds; deliver messages; assist with interpretive services and special events as needed; approx. 25-30 hours per week per person.

    Salamonie Lake, Andrews, 260-468-2125 or shamilton@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two electric only sites and one primitive site in horsemen’s campground.  VIP weekenders also encouraged. Horsemen camp host must have horse and must be a horse rider. Contact property for more information.
    Length of stay: One month minimum or approval from manager.
    Duties: Clean restrooms and vault toilets; pass out information; litter pick up; mowing may be required; greet campers and answer questions; report issues to staff; other minor duties as assigned.

    Salamonie River State Forest, Lagro, 260-782-0430, asmith1@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: One primitive family campsite and one primitive horsemen’s campsite.
    Length of stay: One month minimum (May-November) Weekends also available (four weekend minimum).
    Duties: Provide informal security; clean and stock bathrooms; pick up litter; check campsite posts for display of receipts; clean fire rings; provide information; and help employees on various property needs and projects.

    Shakamak State Park, Jasonville, 812-665-2158 or kduguay@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: One site electric only, pull through corner site
    Length of stay: One month at a time or longer depending on demand.
    Duties: Clean and stock restrooms; report issues; close electric boxes; pick up trash; clean fire rings; ensure fires are put out after campers leave; notify campers as severe storms approach; promote interpretive programs; assisting with interpretive programs and special events; and help gatehouse staff with traffic and registration.

    Spring Mill State Park, Mitchell, 812-849-3534 or cprewitt@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: Two electric/water VIP sites.
    Length of stay: One month minimum
    Duties: Clean campsites, fire pits, shelters and grills; assist campground gate with traffic. A total of 22.5 hours per week, per person required. To reserve a VIP site at Spring Mill State Park contact Coletta Prewitt at springmillstatepark@dnr.IN.gov.

    Starve Hollow State Recreation Area, Vallonia, 812-358-3464, cstilwell1@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: One full hookup site.
    Length of stay: One to seven months (March-October)
    Duties:
    Core Duties: Sell firewood; ensure camping fees are collected when office and gates area closed; assist with after-hours cabin check-ins; pump boats after rain; provide informal security; pick up trash; lock beach house after hours.
    Other Duties (if applicable): Assist at the education center; assist at the office with clerical work; assist staff with minor troubleshooting or general maintenance.

    Summit Lake State Park, New Castle, 765-766-5873 or howalker@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: One electric/water only and one VIP with full hookup
    Length of stay: One month minimum.
    Duties: Greet campers; promote and assist with interpretive and special event programs when needed; host the “Saturday Morning Brew” sessions; pick up trash; clean and stock restrooms; clean campfire rings once a week; sell firewood and ice; maintain flower boxes at comfort stations; notify campers of severe weather; provide information and receive concerns when full-time staff is not available. Hosts are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours per week/couple. Availability on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays is mandatory.

    Tippecanoe River State Park, Winamac, 574-946-3213 or aokray@dnr.IN.gov
    Number host sites: One, electric hookup only  
    Length of stay: One month.
    Duties: Sell firewood, ice and bug spray; answer questions; check Comfort Stations and pits for cleanliness and toilet paper; pick up trash as needed; clean fire rings once a week; report problems to park staff; and give out information on weather, special events and local attractions.

    Turkey Run/Shades State Park, Marshall, 765-597-2654 or adouglass@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: One electric only at Turkey Run; none at Shades.
    Length of stay: One month
    Duties: Two main responsibilities- 1) Answer guest questions and provide exceptional customer service for the front desk located in the Nature Center. Assist with special events and programs as needed. 2) Welcome campground visitors via the host site and information table provided there. Replace toilet paper in bathrooms as needed. Hosts may also help with other projects that fit their interests, skills, and available time.

    Versailles State Park, Versailles, 812-89-6424, dschrage@dnr.in.gov
    Number of host sites: Three sites – full hookups
    Length of stay: One to seven months.
    Duties: Welcome and assist campers; clean and stock restrooms; remove trash from restrooms; pick up trash throughout campground; clean out trash from fire rings; provide information and be a good ambassador for the park and campers.

    Yellowwood State Forest, Nashville, 812-988-7945, yellowwoodsf@dnr.IN.gov
    Number of host sites: One host site; electric and water hookup. Dump station nearby.
    Length of stay: One month minimum.
    Duties: Provide informal security;  clean and stock restrooms; pick up trash; clean fire rings after campers leave; provide information; help with campground registration and payment; sell firewood, ice, bait, and rent boats/kayaks. Host will be on site Thursday Friday, and Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The campground area and host site are close to Yellowwood Lake.

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