The Camping Lifestyle, With A Paycheck

January 15, 2014

JoAnn and Ray Jalbert weren’t looking for jobs when they stopped at the Pueblo South/Colorado City, Colorado KOA four years ago.

But a conversation about KOA Work Kamping with owners Tim and Elena Johnson led them to Work Kamping positions at the Royal Gorge KOA that year. After that, they were hooked.

The Jalberts were recently named KOA Work Kampers of the Year for 2014 at KOA’s Annual International Convention in Austin, Texas.

Ray, a retired parts manager and JoAnn, a sales secretary, worked at the same forklift sales company in Maine for 20 years. Ray also served for 25 years in the U.S. military.

After retirement, they hit the road in their RV, intent on seeing America. JoAnn said Work Kamping has done nothing but enhance their travels.

“It’s so great to get to meet and work with the great people that own KOA campgrounds,” she said from their latest “home” at the Sliver City, New Mexico KOA, where she runs the front desk and Ray takes care of all things outdoors. “This is our fifth KOA as Work Kampers, and it’s been great.”

The Jalberts were nominated to be KOA Work Kampers of the Year by Henry and Patti Grover of the Augusta/Gardiner, Maine KOA. In their nomination letter to KOA, the Govers said, “The two phrases both used repeatedly were ‘you know where to find us if you need anything,’ and ‘no problem.’ In our opinion, they epitomize what ‘KOA Work Kamper of the Year’ is all about.”

“We’re from Maine, so it was wonderful to be able to get a job back home and see family while we still had a chance to work for KOA,” JoAnn said. “We’ve already earned four stars as Work Kampers!”

JoAnn said she and Ray keep their resumes current on the KOA Work Kamper website. That’s where they found the job in Silver City.

Neither JoAnn nor Ray can answer when asked “where to next?”

“We just aren’t sure,” said JoAnn. “We’ve got sons and grandkids in Maine, Massachusetts and Arizona, so we’re just traveling.”

If you’d like to know more about KOA Work Kamping, visit the website here.


Photo details: KOA Work Kamper veterans JoAnne and Ray Jalbert (center) were named 2014 KOA Work Kampers of the Year. Pictured with the Jalberts are two of their KOA employers, Henry and Patricia Grover, owners of the Augusta/Gardiner, Maine KOA, left, and Kris and Jon Greenwood, owners of the Silver City, New Mexico KOA, right.

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