Crater Lake Park Popular Working Place in Summer With College Set
Walla Walla, Washington
July 12, 1967
CRATER LAKE, Ore. (AP) – Working at Crater Lake National Park Is a little like college without the book work.
The boys are where the girls are.
“I like it, especially after working hours,” says Sharon Yates, Portland, a student at Portland Museum Art School.
“At the end of the summer there is sometimes the broken hearts bit,” says Lee Nueman, Hillsboro University of Oregon senior.
All of the commercial activities «t the park—the lodge, dining room, cafeteria, gift shops, boat and bus trips—are under a concession company by Ralph Peyton and James Griffin.
They have 150 employes and 130 are college students.
Peyton is aware of the appeal that summer jobs at Crater Lake have for college students and he has built this into a surefire supply of help.
“We got 5,000 applications for this year, we interviewed 1,000 and picked 130,” he says. “We love college kids because they learn so fast.”
He says he pays the girls on most jobs $1.10 an hour for a 44-hour week and the boys $306 to $336 a month with a bonus on some jobs. Each employe must pay board and room—the regular guest rate for board — and gets a 40 per cent discount if he stays through the season.
Peyton says this means a bigger net saving at the end of the summer since there is less inducement to spend than if they worked in town.
The collegians scoff at this but say it isn’t money that takes them to Crater Lake and keep them there.
Neuman, head bellhop in his, second year at the lodge, says last year he had summer savings of $800. “I could have mad $2,000 in a cannery or a mill,’ he says, “but this job is part of my development.”
He is a personnel management major and says he considers exposure to visitors from all parts of the United States a valuable experience.
Jo Peper, Portland, senior at Oregon College of Education, is a waitress in the lodge dining room and hence is among the elite of the staff. She was here two years ago, worked last summer in Montana in a program for retarded children, and is back at the lodge this year in the biggest money-making job. She says it’s fun as well.
Pay Plus Tips
The waitresses get the same basic pay as the others but they also get tips. Peyton says this can be enough to pay for an entire year of college.
He says those working this summer at lower paying jobs will be able to try out for the dining room or for other of the letter jobs if they want to come back next summer. This, he says, is the way much of the supervisory help is recruited.
Joseph Ling, sophomore in chemical engineering at Washington State University, is one of four Chinese students from Hong Kong working as dishwashers. Peyton says it is policy to get Chinese for these jobs because the Chinese chef, whose English is imperfect, wants to be able to talk with his kitchen help.
Ling says, “I like the job. Everything is fine.”
He says he came to Crater Lake because he could not find another summer job although a the last minute a cannery job in Walla Walla turned up. “I decided this was more stable and would probably mean more savings,” he says.
Another Washington State student, Anne Lager, Edmonds Wash., works in the gift shop in the lodge. She’s pleased.
“There’s so much fun in the concentration of college students,” she says. “That’s how you can get them to work for so little.”
How little is it? “I’ll clear maybe $500.”
That’s a good deal more than Virginia Jenkins expects to save. She says she’ll be lucky if she has any money at all after laying her expenses from her home in Madison, Ga.
Money Not Object
She didn’t take the job for money primarily. She works in he cafeteria gift shop and in addition is a volunteer Sunday School teacher under the program of the Christian Ministry in the National Parks.
She’s having a good time but thinks there needs to be more social activities like cookouts. ‘But,” she adds, this has to be outdoors and “there’s still snow n the ground. I never saw so much before.”
She is a senior at the University of Georgia and has a mild complaint: At 21 she is older than most of the boys here. However, she says she understands that as the summer wears on the park rangers, who are over 21, help balance this.
Social life includes movies, an occasional jaunt to Klamath Falls or Medford, and a dance once a week. A special tour group, such as Danish farm youths who came recently, sometimes inspire impromptu dances.
Peyton encourages this but keeps social life under tight rein: There is a dormitory house mother and an 11 p.m. curfew. Twice a week they can stay out until midnight. This control assures wide awake attention to customers next day.
But friendships and romance flourish. Miss Lager says she hears that five couples who met for the first time last year on their Crater Lake jobs are now married. And Neuman says that memories are kept alive by winter reunions.