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Camp Host/Caretaker Position

Dates taken will be posted here asap. You are welcome to submit an application for several time frames that will fit your schedule.

Since we do receive many qualified and wonderful applicants for each time frame, our best way of being fair is to review applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis - with preference going to someone that has stayed with us in the past. We do NOT guarantee the position to approved applicants until an official contract is signed and agreed upon by us and you. Mahalo for your interest in 'our little piece of paradise'!

Camp Host Schedule
Time Frame
Status
Available or Taken
May 2010 - July 2011 Not taking applications Taken
August 15 2011 - Nov 30 2011* Taking Applications:
No Deadline Announced Yet
Available
December 1 2011 - March 8, 2012* Taking Applications:
No Deadline Announced Yet
Available
*Will consider and even give preference for applications wanting both time frames. You must decide & commit up front/specify this on your application.*

Process:
1. Make sure this is right for you by completely reading this page and browsing our website. More than anything, we are looking for this to be a good "fit" both for you and for us.

2. Contact us through our contact form to ask for an application for the Camp Host Position. We are more than happy to answer questions given that it has not already been answered on our website. Please respect our time as there is a lot of interest in this position! :)

3. Email the application back to us (reviewed first come, first serve). Only send back an application if you are ready, willing & able to take the position upon approval. We may contact you with additional questions, request for a chat on the phone, etc. We do check all references.

4. If chosen, you will be emailed the official contract and asked for a refundable security deposit to prove your commitment to the position (more details about that below). Your time slot is not guaranteed UNTIL you return the completed contract and provide the security deposit. If you delay on sending the deposit or contract, we reserve to the right to extend the position to other good applicants. (In our experience, those that delay usually have no intention, for whatever reason, of actually taking the position.)

We feel this system successfully rewards those applicants who are serious and ready to make a commitment from those that are not. We have been receiving many wonderful applicants, each special in their own way (and wish we could have you all), so the fairest way to coordinate the schedule is by committing first to the applicants which are first ready to show a commitment to us (via a contract and refundable security deposit).

Description:

Looking for a responsible person or couple to live on our property and serve as a Camp Host in exchange for free lodging and free use of our amenities. (This is very similar to a ‘Camp Host’ position at a campground.) Our property is unlike any other that exists so look over our website to get a feel for if you would enjoy something like this. We like to say “expect something like camping but be pleasantly surprised when it is a WHOLE lot MORE”!

This is a barter relationship and as such will be based on trust and responsibility by all parties. In an effort to help eliminate confusion and potential misunderstandings, we have outlined more specifics below (and also in our contract). Applicants should naturally have a giving, helpful spirit and be the type of person(s) that are willing to go beyond the call of duty without being asked and without expecting something back. We strive to treat people (and guests) in the same manner so there is no room for someone only looking to 'get to most out of this' or take advantage of this lovely opportunity for their own personal gain. We have a "good karma only" rule for our property and it is strictly enforced! :)

The owners of Lova Lava Land may be onsite during some or even all of your stay (or not at all) but do need the flexibility to leave at a moments notice and to possibly be gone for longer periods of time, thus the reason for offering this opportunity.

Qualifications:

- Knowledge and understanding of our property and what we provide. Although it is not required that you have stayed with us before, we do give preference to previous guests. (Since obviously they know first-hand what it is like here and it's more likely to be a better fit for us & them, due to that.) *Please indicate on your application if you are a previous guest.*

- No ‘green’ experience required but just a willingness to learn and live on an off-grid ‘green’ property. Willing to uphold our current green objectives, which we will educate you on, if needed.

- Willing to commit to the full time period, usually 3-6 months. For the right applicant and for a good reason, we "may" be somewhat negotiable on the exact start and end date. Please indicate on your application if you have date conflicts.

- Camp Host must be a responsible adult or couple that has integrity, the ability to read and follow specific instructions, is reliable, and has the drive & ability to complete simple tasks in a timely & efficient manner.

- Ability to communicate and report back to the owner through email on your own personal laptop. Must own a cell phone (good cell phone reception on the property) and must own a laptop (free wifi on the property).

- Cleanliness and an eye for keeping things tidy.

- Ability to clean rentals after guests depart and do laundry. This is very easy & light cleaning, with all supplies provided by us and no out-of-pocket expense for you. Cleaning up after yourself at all times is a MUST and helping to keep the general resort tidy is also a requirement.
*More details on the cleaning later on this page.

- Enjoy talking to people/travelers. This is not necessarily a customer service position (the owner handles all the bookings, payments, accounting, and guest questions) BUT someone that enjoys meeting and talking to interesting travelers will get more out of the position and will be a better fit for us and our guests.

What We Offer:

- THIS IS A BARTER RELATIONSHIP EXCHANGING RENT FOR A FEW SIMPLE PROPERTY CARETAKING DUTIES. The Camp Host is technically, for all legal purposes, a renter on our property (thus the security deposit). We are offering this program to barter the rent for services to help with the property (as described).

- Free use of everything we offer paying guests including rustic lodging, 3 acres of land in beautiful Hawaii to live on, fast wireless Internet, propane stove, solar electricity, UV sterilized water for the sink & shower, flushing toilet, plus a lot more (equivalent to $3,000 - $6,000+ for a paying guest). Just think no rent, Internet bills, or electricity bills for you while you are here! If you own a home, you may be able to rent it and end up making money on the deal or if you rent, you may be able to sublet.

- A safe, very quiet, 3 acres of private land to live on while guests come and go from the rentals. 99% of our guests are conscientious, respectful, and friendly vacationers – most of them being young or middle aged couples (but definitely with a mix of all ages and from all around the world). It is quite a joy to talk to most of our guests and past Camp Hosts have formed long-time friendships with many of them. We are very lucky as our guests are much more respectful, responsible, and socially conscious than most tourists to Hawaii - this is intentional as we do everything we can to bring in quality guests and openly turn down business if we feel it will be 'problematic' for anyone. All vacation options in Hawaii are not the same and no option is right for everyone - so we strive to find the right people for our place, same as with the Camp Host.

- A private area away from the guest rentals so you can set up your own tidy, comfortable camping area.

- Use of a VW camper bus to sleep in that will be in your private area. This will be your bus while being our camp host. We are open to other ideas like bringing your own camper or VW bus. There will be some extra storage space available if needed (please inquire).

- A great opportunity to experience paradise cheaply!

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Question: What is the start date for this position?
Answer: We have created time slots as noted on the top of this page. If you are the right fit, we do try to be flexible with the exact dates, if needed for a specific reason. Please note any restrictions on your application.

Question: Does the position pay?
Answer: No, this is a barter position. We are providing a free place to stay and amenities to you in exchange for you being our ‘eyes and ears’ at the resort and taking care of guest cleaning and possibly minor maintenance issues (depending on your skill level). This is similar to a Camp Host at a campground or a housesitter position. It is a particularly unique & enjoyable position because of the location in Hawaii, a place that can normally be cost-prohibitive to visit.

If you do an extraordinary good job, reservations were high during your stay, and we know you worked hard to keep our place clean and enjoyable for guests, you most likely will find a bonus added on to your returned security deposit at the end of your stay (ranging from $0 - $500, equlivalent to a % of the cleaning fees). For those that need it, this should provide an extra incentive to help us keep Lova Lava Land as successful as possible! :) This incentive pay will be based on: how many guests were there during your stay, how many cleanings you did, how much positive feedback we received from guests during your stay, how quickly and effectively you communicate with us, if we felt you truly placed Lova Lava Land's needs above personal needs, and if you lessened our time spent on managing Lova Lava Land. If reservations were high and thus you did more-than-the normal amount of cleaning we will be glad to share some of the revenue with you via a bonus. On the other hand, if reservations are unusually low, then please don't expect much, if any, of a bonus (simply because we won't have any extra revenue to share). In the latter case, we have other special ways of rewarding you for a job well done (what those are will be a surprise). :)

Question: How does bartering work?
Answer: Bartering is the agreed upon exchange of goods or services without money being involved. It is quite understandable that a lot of people are not familiar with, or used to bartering. It was quite new to us a few years ago but has grown on us as we've realized the true joy of exchanging goods & services without the dreaded dollar being involved. We have a lot of options of how to run the resort but enjoy doing it this way because it offers a wonderful opportunity for the right people to enjoy paradise cheaply (the Camp Hosts) while enabling us to run the resort with more flexibility - and keeping the costs down so that we can offer cheaper prices for guests. We do have an actual dollar cost of having you there. To give you an idea, guests would have to pay approx. $2000 - $3000 for a 3 month stay in one of our buses (and we cannot rent the bus out while you are living in it onsite). In addition, the wear and tear of having a Camp Host living onsite is quite substantial - we have to pay to redo the dirt driveway more, have more maintenance on the common area more often, upgrade utensils more often, fill water more often, pay for Internet even if a guest hasn't booked, refill propane more, purchase more of the expensive eco-friendly daily use products like toilet paper & dishwashing soap, upgrade and pay for replacement parts of the solar electric system more often, the list goes on and on.

Question: What do I actually have to do?
Answer: You will be in charge of cleaning the rentals and doing the laundry for guests that order cleaning and minimally helping to care for our orchards (mainly just turning on the irrigation every few nights). Those are the main ongoing tasks. Otherwise, you are simply our eyes and ears and expected to be around to help guests and make sure all runs smoothly (and report to us if not, which is rare) and everything is tidy. Undoubtedly, small maintenance/fix-it type tasks come up. We'll work with you when those come up to see if you are able to take care of it or if we have to handle it later. There are no specific daily duties (besides normal cleaning up after yourself)! Just enjoy the property in whatever way you want and be there to serve as an official host for our guests. Since we are unable to be there at all times, it simply makes us feel better that someone else is (and it makes guests feel better that someone ‘in charge’ is around).

Question: Do you allow children to be part of the Camp Host position?
Answer: Our main concern here is that everyone is comfortable. The Camp Host accommodation will either have 1 or 2 full sized beds (if two, the 2nd is a bunk in the pop top, which does take away from storage space). Please think carefully if you and your child will be comfortable here before asking or applying. IF you think it will work, then we will consider it. It has worked successfully in the past, but only for the right kind of people and we will require an additional security deposit over the normal one.

Question: Can I bring a pet?
Answer: Please review the Hawaii quarantine laws and most likely it will not make sense for you to do this anyway if you are coming from out-of-state. We love our pets also and like to take them everywhere but there's a point when it's better for them to be with a pet sitter and not put through the stress of traveling. That said, we are open to the idea if it makes sense for you and us. We will ask for an additional security deposit over the normal one.

Question: Can I leave the property? How about for a weekend or even a week to visit another island?
Answer: The main idea here is that your first priority is Lova Lava Land while you are our Camp Host. This means if guests are scheduled to arrive, try to be around to greet them or at least leave a note if you need to be out. We try our best for all arriving guests to be greeted in person (or at the very least, a note left for them), which makes it most comfortable for everyone involved. We do allow you to leave for overnight stays elsewhere or even trips to other islands - but need to know and approve this in advance and it should be done when guests aren't scheduled. If we end up spending more time working around your travel schedule and dealing with guest phone calls because you aren't onsite, then this won't work out very well for us. So please do not apply for this position if your intentions are to be traveling around overnight elsewhere often. If you want to do more extensive traveling around Hawaii, it is best to do it before or after your position at Lova Lava Land.

Question: I want to learn about “green” and “off-the-grid” living. What are my opportunities here?
Answer: This experience will be different for different people – and we are open to allowing you to make it your own. Just by being here, you will see for yourself what “off-grid” living is like in Hawaii. Depending on your interest, we would be excited to explain more in-depth how our systems work and give you more opportunities for learning (including helping you make your own plans if you are doing that). We also may be able to involve you in some of our projects so you can get first hand experience. This is open-ended so share any ideas you have with us! We are starting a separate internship program BUT the two positions MAY be combined for the right person(s).

Question: Would this qualify for college credits or as a green internship?
Answer: We see no reason why not, depending your school guidelines. We'd be happy to discuss the possibility with you further and assist in any way possible.

Question: Upon completion of the Camp Host position can I put this on my resume and use you as a reference?
Answer: Most definitely! With the green economy blooming and the talk of more future green jobs, this would provide excellent experience on your resume for future paying green jobs. If you are interested in getting experience in particular green concepts please share that with us and we'd be more than happy to involve you in more in-depth projects. We did this ourselves on our resumes and potential employers have been very impressed to see what we are a part of here. We'd be more than happy to serve as a future reference for you in any way.

Question: Are there opportunities for earning money nearby? Can I work a paid position while doing this?
Answer: Yes and yes! It is completely up to you if you want to also work a full or part time job while being our camp host. There are many small businesses in our town and in the neighboring towns. I have no doubt that anyone that tries hard enough, can find some sort of employment, even if it is just working a cash register. If you are an arts & crafts person, there’s an excellent swap meet every Saturday just a few blocks away. We know many people that make a modest living or extra cash by selling items there. This is also excellent for anyone that is able to work from home over the Internet. THAT SAID, we ask that you have enough savings to sustain your stay and commitment here. We cannot accept Camp Hosts that will leave if they are unable to get other employment. With the current economy, finding odd jobs is harder on the island than it used to be. The Camp Host position is great for someone that has either saved up enough funds to sustain themselves for their time here or that can work remotely from a computer.

Question: What if I don't currently have enough money to sustain myself for the duration of the Camp Host position?
Answer: Then unfortunately this wouldn't be a good fit for you - you may want to look for paid employment instead rather than a barter position like this one.

Question: Why do you have a 3 month or longer commitment?
Answer: We have found the process to interview, find, talk with, train, and get someone reliable is very time consuming. The whole idea behind the position is that it lessens our time commitment for running the eco-resort. Thus, we ask for a specified commitment from you so we have time to find the next Camp Host. After testing this program, we are leaning towards making it even longer so see the chart for exact time slots available. We are now trying 5-6 month time slots.

Question: Will I have the opportunity to extend my time frame if it works out well?
Answer: Successful Camp Hosts are of course welcome to come back or even extend their time ONLY IF someone else hasn't already committed to the next time slot. For example, if the Camp Host has been here a month and realizes they want to stay longer than 2 more months, they are welcome to apply for the next slot at any point (or even be put on the wait list if the next slot is taken). Most likely we will fill the next time slot before or shortly after you arrive though.

Question: Can I visit Lova Lava Land before committing to being the Camp Host/How does the commitment work?
Answer: You are more than welcome to first be a paid guest at our resort before committing (we understand wanting to get a feel for things before committing). Please understand though that we will NOT hold the spot for you while this is underway. We also feel our website gives a full and accurate feeling for our property. If you have never been to Hawaii, we highly recommending reading over a guidebook (we recommend the new Lonely Planet Big Island 2008 (Lova Lava Land is highlighted in the beginning, check it out!). If you have any questions/concerns, we are also available to talk those over with you. When you accept the position, we ask you to sign a contract for the time period and to also leave us a $600 security deposit. The deposit is fully refundable on your departure given that you left the property in good condition and fulfilled your time commitment. Please understand that this is the only way we can think of to make sure the applicant is serious about taking the position and living up to the commitment. (We have had several experiences of very excited applicants that ended up wasting a lot of our time – so we learned the hard way that we have to ask for something to prove someone is really serious.)

Question: Who do you think this position would be good for?
Answer: The possibilities are endless but it would be great for a retired couple that has experience being a camp host at other campsites, for a professional individual or couple that is between jobs or looking for a long ‘break’ from the hustle and bustle of normal life, for someone studying environmental building/living and wants to see it first-hand (some schools may even consider this an internship?), for an individual or couple that is thinking about moving to Hawaii and wants to first test it out while having a free place to stay, for an individual or couple that wants a fresh start on life and needs time to think about exactly what that is, for an artist that wants to be surrounded by quiet and beauty while working, for someone that is able to telecommute from a computer while here, or for someone thinking about building or living more ‘green’ and wants the inspiration and knowledge of how to do that, to take home with them.

Question: How do I apply/what is the process?
Answer: Please contact us for an application, fill it out, and email it back. We will contact you after that and if offered the position, you will be asked to sign the contract and suppy the security deposit. We are assuming that by submitting an application that you are completely ready and able to take on this position. If you are not, please wait to submit an application until the time is right for you (possibly for future dates).

Question: How busy is Lova Lava Land?
Answer: This depends and changes often. Since we process all reservations in advance and generally do not allow walk-ins (and do not release directions until after a reservation is paid for) this considerably cuts down on traffic to the property and keeps it a relaxing, spacious area for all. We also do not allow non-registered visitors without advance permission for a similar reason.

The amount of time each vacation rental is booked changes from month to month so it's impossible to say for sure but Nov - April tends to be the busier months. The average stay is a week, with some guests only passing through for a night and others staying up to a month. If you are offered the Camp Host position we will give you an even better guess of how busy it will be for your exact dates (and access to our internal web-based reservation system, which allows you to easily check this at any time).

Question: Can I have friends or family stay here while I am camp host?
Answer: Friends or family that want to visit are welcome to book and pay for rentals just like any other guest.

Question: What about transportation?
Answer: You are responsible for your own transportation (the VW bus accommodation assigned to you does not run). See our website for some transportation options (there are several). Many adventurous guests are able to stay with us without the use of a personal or rental car BUT for a longer term stay like this, we do recommend having a car. You will need a vehicle to fulfill some basic duties like going to the laundromat, emptying trash, and misc. errands that may pop up last minute. In general, life here will be much easier and more flexible for you if you have transportation. Plus, you will have many more opportunities to truly explore and enjoy the island, which we do want you to do! In the end, we leave this up to you though. If you can fulfill your duties without a vehicle then even better for the environment! :)

Question: What are options for getting an automobile on the island if I am coming from the mainland?
Answer: There are several options:
1) Buy a used car once on the island and resell it if or when you leave (most likely the cheapest option and an option you possibly may come out even on or make money on). Craigslist is alive and active here and there is a huge used car market with a lot of good deals.

2) Rent a car from a rental agency (check travel websites for prices, usually they do it for 30 day time periods). This can cost a bit but will provide an insured, reliable vehicle with no repairs to worry about. If money isn't an issue, this is probably the easiest and most convenient. We can recommend a company we have ourselves used in the past - that runs about $500/month for an insured, new car with no worries about maintenance issues.

3) Ship your vehicle. There are standardized shipping services from the west coast and also between islands. Also, not a cheaper alternative if you are coming from the mainland (prices range from $800 - $1200 each way) but you will have a vehicle you know while on the island. We can point you in the right direction if you want to pursue this avenue.

4) Buy a used vehicle from a previous Camp Host. Some of our Camp Hosts may be trying to sell their car upon their departure - let us know if you are interested in this and we can check with the previous Camp Hosts.

Question: What do the cleaning duties require?
Answer: Besides cleaning up after yourself and keeping the property tidy in general, you will also be responsible for cleaning the rentals when guests order cleaning services (about half the guests choose to do it themselves). Our rentals are small and are very easy to clean - we take care of all the supplies so there's no out-of-pocket expense for you. In the past, this means cleaning a few rentals per month (although we can't predict how busy we will be during your stay or how many guests will order cleaning). You will have access to our online calendar that shows when a cleaning is due, etc. Since we don't have laundry capabilities onsite, you will have to go to the local laundromat to wash linens YET we have a lot of extras so you can do this when you are naturally doing your laundry anyway. You will also be given a cleaning checklist to make things even easier and to prevent confusion. All in all, although very few people enjoy cleaning in and of itself, this is not a major duty and will not take a lot of your time (and you can even view it as some nice exercise). If this is a real sticky point for you, please note that in your application and we'll go from there (we will not automatically disqualify anyone if they cannot or don't want to clean the rentals).

Question: How much time will I spend cleaning the guest rentals?
Answer: This is impossible to say before-hand because it depends on how many reservations we have and how many of those order the cleaning/linen service (as guests have the option of doing it themselves). That said, we can give you an honest guess of what to expect. So far, one month was an extreme outlier and had about 10 cleanings. A few other months have had none. The average is more like 3-5 rental cleanings per month, which would calculate out to no more than 1 full day of work per month. Our previous cleaning lady reported to us that after the initial period of getting used to our place (where supplies were, what gets dirty more often, our checklist), it took her less than 30 minutes to do a cleaning - not including doing the laundry and taking out the garbage. Since we have extra laundry, you will be able to do that along with emptying trash & recyclables when you are naturally going that direction anyway.

We’re sure more questions will come up – so if you are serious about applying please contact us for an application.

A big MAHALO for your interest and we look forward to speaking with you!

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