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Be A Saddleback Butte Campground Host!

Saddleback Butte State Park is always looking for qualified, outgoing volunteers to host our beautiful desert campground.  The site has full hook-ups, a shade ramada, picnic table, fire ring with barbeque, and a mature Joshua Tree.  The position is for three to six months, and the host must provide their own maintained motorhome or trailer. 

The camp host is primarily responsible for greeting visitors and providing assistance and information, encouraging compliance with park rules and regulations, housekeeping of park facilities, and opening and closing of entrance gates.  In addition, the host may assist with children’s programs if interested.  For detailed information, see the full description of the Saddleback Butte State Park Camp Host program below.

How to Apply
Download the Saddleback Butte Camp Host Application and email it to along with a current photograph of your RV or Trailer. You may also call (661) 946-6900 to have one mailed to you. 

If we have your requested time frame available, we will send you the complete application packet. Upon return and approval of your application packet, camp hosts must clear a background check (live scan fingerprinting) before beginning service because the camp host is viewed as a trustworthy representative of the Department. Previous background checks cannot be applied. Processing time varies and can take from days to weeks, so it is recommended that applicants submit their applications as far in advance as possible.

For more information, email Jean Rhyne at, or leave a message at (661) 946-6900.

Saddleback Butte State Park Camp Host Program Information

The goal of this program is to assist park staff by providing quality visitor service and facilities, opportunities for the public to enjoy our unique park resources, and visitor safety presence. This volunteer position is primarily responsible for visitor services and light janitorial duties, but in addition, the host may assist with children's programs if interested. Please review the qualifications below to be sure that this position is right for you.

Who is the Camp Host?
Camp hosts are volunteers with a variety of levels of previous experience and backgrounds, ranging in age from the young adult to the senior citizen. Hosts must be in good health and physically able to carry out their duties, be interested in learning, and have a positive, friendly attitude. Applicants with physical limitations may contact the camp host coordinator to discuss if duties may be altered to accommodate, or if the limitation is not compatible with the camp host position at this park.

Daily duties include opening and closing day-use gates at dawn and dusk, tending to light housekeeping duties such as restroom upkeep and emptying trash cans, and greeting campers and hikers. Training will be provided by staff.
Weekend duties include staffing the park visitor center, if staff is not available. Hosts must also be available for the occasional late-night inquiry from park visitors or campers. If interested, hosts may conduct weekend campfire programs or lead tours.
Hosts do not engage in law enforcement duties or janitorial duties beyond basic housekeeping. Hosts are covered by worker’s comp in the case of injury while conducting assigned duties. A State vehicle is provided for housekeeping duties when available.

California State Parks provides an information manual for camp hosts, covering duty instruction and basic aspects of the natural and cultural history of the Mojave Desert. Answers to frequently asked questions from the public and expected situations that you may encounter are covered in the manual. As a representative of California State Parks, hosts need to be aware of all regulations, protocols and updates. 
The host is expected to read the complete manual and be aware of where to reference information immediately after beginning service.

Job Performance
Camp Hosts are expected to promptly complete daily duties and assigned tasks, to treat Park staff and visitors with courtesy and respect, and to assist park staff with projects when necessary and able.  A duty schedule will be provided.
Hosts must be expect to be contacted by visitors at any time during their work days, and must always be presentable in case of emergencies or unexpected situations.  All volunteer service, whether scheduled or unscheduled, is credited to the volunteer.

Time Commitment
The camp host position is a minimum of three months, and a maximum of six months.  In some circumstances the limit may be reduced, or extended up to two months. Camp hosts may work a maximum of five times at the same State Park.
Hosts are on duty five days/week. Regular days off are flexible, but must be on weekdays. Arrangements may be made for time away for special occasions.
Saddleback Butte State Park camp hosts are typically occupied with volunteer duties for an average of five hours per work day, which varies widely depending on the season. Weekends require longer hours due to Visitor Center staffing (when park staff is not available) and higher park attendance, and weekdays have low visitation much of the year so most housekeeping duties are easily completed during the week.

Host Camp Site
The host must bring their own maintained RV or trailer. A designated campsite at Saddleback Butte State Park is provided for the camp host with full hook-ups, a shade ramada, picnic table, fire ring with a barbeque, and a mature Joshua tree. There is no shower at the park. The parking slot is 55’ long with open space at the back for rigs that extend beyond the back wheels. A State vehicle is provided for authorized use while on duty.
Hookups include water, sewage, and a 30-amp electrical outlet.
As a department representative in a public area of the state park, the host site may be treated as a “home,” but must be kept clean and neat.
The park has moderately good cell phone coverage but no public wi-fi at this time. Hosts often use a Verizon aircard for personal internet access at the host site, or plug in at the visitor center.
Temperatures at the park occasionally dip below freezing at night in winter or early spring, with a light dusting of snow in some years. Winterizing is necessary for stays that include the months of December through February. Late summer daytime temperatures can reach 110°, with occasional thunderstorms and warm, clear nights.

Local Amenities
The park is four miles from a small town with a market, gas station, library, four restaurants, and a hardware store. A very small store is located a half mile south of the campground.  The city of Lancaster, containing all other amenities, begins around 14 miles west of the park. Propane is not provided at the park but may be purchased in Lancaster.

Pets are allowed at the camp host site. Outdoor pets must be physically confined to the site, and not impede or inhibit park visitors from accessing the camp host resident's door. A fenced-in pet area may be constructed by the camp host around the residence. Pets must conform to the same rules and regulations as park visitors' pets regarding noise, leash laws, and restricted areas.

Early Arrival
Hiring paperwork and background check must be approved before host applicants can occupy the Camp Host site. The live Scan (fingerprinting) must be completed at any live scan facility in California and can take a couple days to a month to clear. If applicants are traveling from outside California and cannot submit their live scan prior to arrival at the park, we will allow camping at a general camp site for a reduced rate until the background check clears.

Camp hosts must be neat, clean, and conservatively dressed and wear the provided volunteer identification items in conformance to department appearance standards. Hosts will receive a State Parks volunteer hat, name badge and vest with a volunteer patch. As representatives of the department, uniform items may only be worn while participating in approved camp host activities, and the vest/name badge must be returned upon separation.

The camp host must maintain a pleasant attitude and act in a professional manner when in front of the public. As a full-time resident of the park, behavior on and off duty is subject to the utmost of standards.
Camp Hosts must also follow all rules and regulations governing public conduct in the campground when off-duty. Inappropriate behavior, loud noise, public intoxication, and unauthorized personal use of park property will not be tolerated and may result in termination from the program.
Private businesses may not be promoted unless specifically approved by the camp host coordinator. As a government representative, promotion of personal religious beliefs and expression of political opinions is prohibited both on and off duty, for the duration that the volunteer is residing in the camp host site. The camp host will read and be in compliance with department information on sexual harassment, violence in the work place and cultural sensitivity.

Spouse/Family Volunteering
All host site occupants are viewed by the public as department representatives; therefore all adults residing at the host site must complete volunteer hiring paperwork and clear a background check before arrival. Families with minors are generally not compatible with the Camp Host program, but will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Camp Host Guests
Occupancy of the Camp Host site is limited to the currently registered host(s). Arrangements must be made for guests to stay in another campsite.
Camp Host Passes
Through the VIP program, camp hosts receive a District-Wide State Parks Pass to explore other State Parks in the District during their service period. A State-Wide Annual Pass is earned after 200 hours of service in one year.