Cottonwood Camp  

Workamp Information

Organization Type:Public
Org./Park Name:Cottonwood Camp
Avarage Ratings:

Latest Reviews

  • 5.0Review Rating

    Date of Review: 12-05-2018

    Hours worked per week/person: 30 to 40 hours

    Organization Type: Public

    Job Title: House Keeping & Maintenance Work Campers

    Did you receive Wages or Stipend ?: Yes

    Please share your comments about your experience : My Wife Grace and I contracted with Cotton Wood Camp in the Summer of 2017 for the July – Nov work camping season of 2018. We were visiting our son in Billings and decided to drive the 80 miles out to Fort Smith to check the work camping opportunity out before we made a commitment to the owners, Amy and Phil Morin. At that time Amy was our point of contact. Amy met us on the day we arrived and gave us the rundown on the camp and the work requirements for the housekeeping and maintenance personnel. Amy was very up front about the physical requirements related to the housekeeping duties specifically as they pertained the making the bunk beds in the cabins. We were told that there would be additional Work Camping Couples onsite to provide the housekeeping and maintenance team for the season. We were told that we could expect to work 30 to 39 hours per week with two concurrent days off that we would be scheduled together. We felt that we would be able to perform the duties and agreed to take on the work camp opportunities as house keeping for Grace and Maintenance for me. Amy corresponded with us over the subsequent months and sent us job descriptions and the documents that we would be required to provide upon arrival for employment. The provided Site: We arrived on the 15th of July and were provided a back in, full service hook up that was recently installed and more than adequate to provide for our 45” 5th Wheel and tow vehicle. 50 amp. service provided clean, uninterrupted power over the course of our season. The water was provided by a deep well and though the water is hard, tasted good and was always cold. The pressure was never an issue. The site came with a septic hook up that worked with-out issues. The sites do not come with cable or phone service. If you have a big rig use the first access drive to the campground. Entertainment/Communication: The camp is located off of the Big Horn River and cell phone service under Verizon was not good at this location so our data plan would not provide us reliable internet browsing or streaming service. The camp has decent Wi-Fi but it does not have good coverage out to where the Work Campers sites are. If you stepped out of your RV you could get online much easier and if you walked over to the camp store you could get online and get good reception. Our TV antenna could pick up 3 or 4 of the local prime time channels. We have dish service but had to install the satellite dish across the road about 50 feet away from the rig in order to get access to the southern exposure. The campsites are on an East to West orientation and there was a row of cottonwood trees that blocked the southern exposure from the rigs. Fort Smith is surrounded by the Crow Indian Reservation so bring your own alcohol if you drink. There were no organized camp ground activities as this is a trout fishing camp and the clients are there to fish and that seemed to be all the entertainment they required. Cotton Wood Camp was a drama free experience for us. It is a beautiful location and the campground was quite, secure and safe from any criminal activities that I could detect. We felt quite safe here. We had black bears in camp as well as some cows and when we took our nightly walk on the agriculture canal next to the camp, we saw a horse herd running along the canal. That was very cool. There was only one place to get a bite to eat just prior to the BigHorn River Access Point at one of the other campgrounds. The food was absolutely awful and I would recommend you go hungry vs. eating at the restaurant, way over priced was the insult to the injury. There were two awesome restaurants in Harden off of the Main Street. The one with the statue of the buffalo has awesome food at decent prices. Across the street is another good diner but a bit more pricey. The Work: We got our paperwork taken care of and started working the next day. We met with Phil Morin who would be the onsite owner and river guide for the rest of the season. The onsite Camp Manager Ian who is also a river fishing guide was our direct supervisor and did a good job of getting us acclimated to the work requirements. We were advised that we were the only Work Camping Couple on site due to issues that had impacted the earlier 2018 season couples. I was advised that I would be primarily working housekeeping and when opportunity presented or a need was identified that I would also work the maintenance side of the camp. I agreed to the work conditions and we began our work camp season with Cotton Wood Camp. Most mornings began with our clocking in and reviewing the reservation list which told us how many personnel were arriving per unoccupied cabin so we could deliver the bath towels and kitchen towels via the supplied golf cart or Kubota. Since these cabins had no occupants we would hit them first and then do laundry until the cabins occupants that were being turned over that day departed and then they would be completely cleaned and new bed linens put on the beds. We usually would perform client vehicle shuttling in the late morning through the lunch hour and then upon return we would clock out and take our hour lunch period. Some times we would have afternoon shuttles to do. We enjoyed the shuttles as they tended to break up the cabin cleaning duties. Upon our return we would continue to clean any cabins that were turn-arounds that day and then those cabins that did not have a pending reservation would be cleaned. Those that were not turned that day would be turned the next morning. We cleaned the laundry facilities, large and small bathrooms and the camp laundry/maintenance facility. Phil and Ian told us when we started that there would be help available from the onsite fish guides to help make beds and any other heavy lifting needs that we would need. The Fly Shop Guides had the responsibilities of keeping the large and small bathrooms cleaned and provisioned and we would do a deep cleaning every couple of days. Challenges and Resolutions: We found that we were not physically able to work with some of the bunk beds that were installed in the cabins. They are built into the spaces and the top bunks are difficult to work with. We also realized that asking the guides to assist us in the cabin cleaning requirements were inadequate as we were not familiar with the amount of work required to turn multiple cabins in a single day. By the time we realized that we should have asked for help we were already behind the power curve and we just worked harder. By the end of the first pay period we were not happy work campers and had a sit-down meeting with Phil. The issue with being the only work camping couple and the need to have additional help to cover the work load was discussed and Phil was very receptive to the issues we raised which consisted of lack of additional work campers, the guides ability to jump into the work load with out having to be asked and in all truth we don't know what there responsibilities were as they were working in the fly shop handling clients and the front desk services as well as working as river guides. There was also a lack of management presence at the campground when both Ian and Phil were working as river guides. Phil ended up contracting another work camper couple to assist with the load and made sure that a camp manager was on site most times. The guides were tasked to strip/make beds and we were grateful for the assistance though we did make the beds when the work load was not as heavy. These work arounds allowed us to complete the season to the satisfaction of both us and Phil the owner. We would recommend Cotton Wood Camp as a Work Camping opportunity provided your physical health is adequate to allow you to bend, kneel, lift, stand and walk for significant parts of your day. Pay and Benefits: We were required to open a Intuit account in order to view our pay roll records. The money was direct deposited into our bank accounts with out issues.

    Did you receive any special benefits or perks while workamping? : The Benefits that we received were full hook up site. A 20% discount on Fly Shop Purchase. Free use of the drift boats. We asked at the exit interview that picnic tables and fire rings be added to the work campers RV sites and also that laundry facility use be included in the benefits for the job.If you like to trout fish your less than a mile from the river access. Phil, the owner allows free use of any unreserved drift boats to camp employees so you can take a boat out after your shift or on a day off and drift fish the river. You would have to pay $100.00 for this rental if it were not comped. The only cost would be for your vehicle shuttle should you require it. When I used this comp, Grace would provide my vehicle shuttle prior to my getting out on the river and so it did not cost me anything.

    Amenities

    FHU
    Laundry
    Cable
    Wi-Fi
    TV Antenna Reception
    Satellite TV Reception

    -- Ron & Grace Enzenbacher

  • 5.0Review Rating

    Date of Review: 01-04-2017

    Hours worked per week/person: 40 hours

    Organization Type: Private

    Job Title: Owner

    Did you receive Wages or Stipend ?: Yes

    Please share your comments about your experience : This is a response to the post by Dan/Eileen. It is obvious by their review that Cottonwood Camp was not a good fit for them. As active owners, we are on site most of the time with great success in having repeat employees each season. We do not take away benefits throughout the season. Unsure of where that comment came from. It is unfortunate that people want to slant the truth and provide false information.

    Amenities

    FHU
    Laundry
    Cable
    Wi-Fi
    TV Antenna Reception
    Satellite TV Reception

    -- Amy

  • 1.0Review Rating

    Date of Review: 12-30-2016

    Hours worked per week/person: 30 to 40 hours

    Organization Type: Public

    Job Title: All

    Did you receive Wages or Stipend ?: Yes

    Please share your comments about your experience : The owners of this business have never worked in this industry before. Not on premises 75℅ of the time. Thinks the park should run itself. They are rude and backstabbing. However we enjoyed the area and met nice co-workers, who all quit or walked off Job before end of season.

    Did you receive any special benefits or perks while workamping? : Started the season with free shuttle service, then once you were settled they took it away.

    Amenities

    FHU
    Laundry
    Cable
    Wi-Fi
    TV Antenna Reception
    Satellite TV Reception

    -- Dan/Eileen