Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Current Location: Tualatin, OR

How boring would life be if things went always as expected?

Tracy found out yesterday that her job would be coming to an end on Friday. This was not totally unexpected. Over the last few weeks, her workload had diminished to the point that she was struggling to keep busy. But we were still disappointed. We were hoping to have an income for a couple of more weeks, but once we got past our initial reaction, we realize that it's actually working out just the way we need it to.

The bigger piece of news we received came late last week from the owners of the campground that we will be returning to this summer. We were informed that the year-round caretaker/maintenance manager would be leaving before the beginning of the season. Uh oh, what does this mean??

Just a quick recap on how things left off last Fall. We had agreed to return this summer as assistant managers, primarily in charge of running the store/office, managing the seasonal workampers, and handling guest relation issues. It was not expected that we'd be too involved in the maintenance side of the operations except to help out when needed. This position was well within our comfort zone because while we would be taking on additonal responsibilities, we felt it would allow us to learn the aspects of campground management at a more relaxed pace.

Well, Randy's sudden and unexpected departure put a huge gap in the staffing structure. I think it was quickly apparent to the owners, as well as us, that having assistant managers wasn't going to be enough to fill that gap. We were asked whether we were interested in taking on a more elevated role as full-fledged managers over the entire campground.

My initial reaction was there's no way. We weren't that involved with the maintenance work last year and we certainly don't have the technical expertise. Randy's departure doesn't just mean that we're losing a body, but the multiple years of knowledge he has is going with him. The thought of taking all of this on was very daunting. And I questioned whether we were really the right people for this role. We've never managed a campground before.

So we did what we do best. We analyzed. We listed the pros and cons. We did a little soul searching on what it was we were really looking for, both in the short and long term. And we discussed whether we thought we were really qualified. If we didn't truly believe we could be successful, then it wouldn't be the right position for us, no matter how much we wanted it.

I think in the back of our minds, we both knew what our answer would be. One of the reasons that we originally decided to return this summer is because we believed that our skills and experiences could help make a difference in the campground experience for the owners, our fellow workers, and the guests alike. That motivation and passion still exists. Throughout the winter, we've frequently talked about the campground and our excitement about what lies ahead.

So although it is a lot more responsibility than we had originally planned to take on, we also realize what an amazing opportunity this is. And it's not like we haven't jumped in with both feet without really knowing what we were doing before. After all, look at our lifestyle change. Quitting our jobs, selling our house and hitting the road with no idea what was ahead of us or how we were going to make a living. If that doesn't qualify as daunting, I don't know what does!

Although the initial feeling about Randy's departure was "oh no, what are we going to do?", as time has passed we've started to see the silver lining. We realize this is a chance to start with a clean slate. Although we liked and worked well with Randy, he was challenging at times and definitely worked at his own pace. We had some minor concerns about how well he would accept us as managers, especially when our responsibilities overlapped. We now feel like we can move forward without worrying about bruising someone's ego.

The other factor that really helped make our decision was the faith of the owners. If they didn't feel that we were qualified, they wouldn't have asked. They have addressed our concerns about lack of technical knowledge by ensuring us that they plan on hiring people with those skills. They have told us that they want us to have the freedom to do things our way. That type of empowerment is huge and knowing that they have that level of trust in us gives us the confidence to believe in ourselves.

That's not to say that we aren't scared sh#*less. We are. We know that we have a lot of work ahead of us, tons to learn and no doubt, we will make some mistakes. But we also know that you have to take risks to grow and if you don't allow yourself to fall down occassionally, then you're not trying hard enough. From the start of our journey, I've had a feeling that there's something wonderful out there waiting for us but that the only way to reach it was to trust our hearts. I don't know that this is it, but perhaps this is the next leg which will ultimately lead us to where we're supposed to be. I am a believer in fate and destiny and I do think everything happens for a reason.

This new role means that we will need to be at the campground sooner than expected. Originally, we were due to arrive at the end of April, but now we will be reporting at the beginning of April, possibly sooner. So Tracy would have been wrapping up her contract within a week or so anyway. And with the extra free time, hopefully we'll be able to do a little traveling before settling down for the summer. Now the only question is, where to?


  1. Wow! Big things in store for you! I have a feeling you'll both thrive in that environment. It helps that the location is so great too. Congrats to you both!

  2. Congrats on having the courage and confidence to take on this job. I'm sure you'll both do a great job. It looks to me like this was meant to be.

  3. Things always have a way of working out if you just make a decision and go with it. You've got good experience in doing that. Sounds like this will be an excellent opportunity for you guys. It's exciting.

    Will there be any sunshine at this campground you will be moving to? If so, let me know where it is and we will come visit you there!

    Probably better than Tualatin for sun. Now that we have our new Lazy Daze, we're itching to get it loaded up and ready to go.

  4. Best of luck to you, I'm sure you'll do a great job. Hopefully you will get more sun than we have been having here lately. I love Oregon but I sure get tired of the rain. Yes, let us know where you will be and maybe we can get there.

  5. Connie and Tracy,

    Over my many years of working, I've worked a lot of positions where I was either a supervisor or a manager and I have dealt a LOT with customer relations. All of that has given me an ability to judge people pretty well. I've even amazed a law enforcement special agent with an assessment of an individual once, without even meeting that individual.

    With that in mind, I have NO DOUBTS in regards to your abilities. I would be surprised if you didn't do well. Remember, as you've mentioned in the past, the last couple of years has led you somewhat into unchartered waters. You've done well.

    Don't be concerned. I have complete faith in the two of you. If you get a chance to look at the very first thing at the top of my blog page, you can certainly relate to what I wrote. The two of you are pioneers in your own right and you have grown in your new experiences.

    Let the "barking dogs" of doubt fall behind.

  6. Way to two will be fine!!!

  7. Things ALWAYS happen for a reason...Congrats!

  8. We say "GO FOR IT"

    You guys will do a great job. Never know when we might make a reservation and stop in!

    Travel Safe
    Dawn and Denise

  9. What a great opportunity and great timing - must have been meant to be. :)

  10. Connie and Tracy, you are both competent and smart people. You will do just fine.

  11. Good for the two of you - things always work out. It is a great opportunity and we are confident that you both will excell at this. Many thanks for your extremely kind words at the loss of our wee dog. Who knows, perhaps we'll stop in on our way north......

  12. Congratulations you two!!!! You all will be fantastic at this position and the campground is lucky to have you both! Good luck and we'll be reading of your summer adventures in your new positon!

  13. Congratulations! You are up for this! Have fun you two! You'll do a bang-up job for the owners!

  14. Wow, I leave the RV blogging world for awhile and look what happens!! You guys will do fine, hell maybe I'll make out that way and be one of those pesky campers you'll have to reel in! :-)

  15. congrats and I am sure the two of you will do a great job...

  16. What an opportunity! Your job quits sooner then you thought and you're on to another great one! I can't wait to see the blogs on what you do.