For those who happened to be braving the heat at Arapiles over the Christmas to New Year break, you would have seen the Campground Host, Lee, in place – centre in the lower Pines. The Campground Host program is a new collaboration between Parks Victoria, CliffCare and Friends of Arapiles. With less Ranger presence in the park (yes, yes…some would say this is good) many of the issues that impact the Campground and Park are inevitably going to become more so. This program will allow us as climbers and users of the park to have much more of a hand in keeping an eye on things and educating those who might not be so clear on what some of the rules are and, more importantly why they are there.
From the feedback and experience Lee received in the week she was there, it seems that the Host was a welcome and appreciated addition to the campgrounds. This program is a work in progress for us and much of the feedback will be used to develop a plan that works for the park and for its users. A few points are listed below on some of the situations that Lee had to deal with. As she noted, diplomacy is a key skill to dealing with people.
- 4 cases of dogs in the park. Some walking on leads some tied on long leads to cars. (no dogs or cats allowed at any time in the park, campgrounds inclluded)
- 2 cases of campfires as well as some enquiries re being able to have a fire (campfires are not allowed at Arapiles from November to April)
- 5 cases of campers set up in the day visitor area
- 3 administrations of first aid
As well there were numerous enquiries about the weather in the days ahead, where they could get various supplies, handling a few camper complaints about NYE party noise and general enquiries about the Campground Host role. Feeback was positive.
I would like to thank Lee for being our very first ‘host guinea pig’ and for handling each and every situation with diplomacy for a very positive outcome. She enjoyed the experience and has put her hand up for more. Thankyou Lee! I am still looking for more Campground Hosts at Arapiles so if you think it might be something you would like to try, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org