Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

December 18, 2013

Santa's campers

Campers help Amazon keep up with holiday rush

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Twinkling lights, ornament-strewn trees and bustling campgrounds. Those are signs of the Christmas season in this Kentucky town, where the Amazon.com distribution center recruits an armada of RV owners as seasonal workers to help fill holiday orders.

They're dubbed the "CamperForce" by the world's largest online retailer. Hundreds of campers are assigned packing, sorting and collection duties at Amazon warehouses in Kentucky, Kansas and Nevada — roles meant to keep orders flowing during the yuletide rush.

Swarms of workers take up temporary residence in campgrounds. For many, it's another short-term stint on a nonstop journey. It's a lifestyle and mindset for retirees, empty nesters and younger parents who shuck traditions of home and work to roam from campsite to campsite, job to job.

"It's a job, it's not a career, so you don't have to take it so seriously," said Ron Dale, a college graduate with a business degree. "Go and have a good time. ... You don't have the stress of thinking, 'I've got to perform at an unbelievable level. I've got to work extra hours so the boss knows I'm dedicated.'"

It gives him more time to spend with his wife, 7-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter, he said.

Since 2010, Amazon has recruited campers for its distribution centers in Campbellsville, Ky., Coffeyville, Kan., and Fernley, Nevada — places with modest populations where the company has to cast a wider net to bring in enough temporary workers to fill its needs.

The stints last about three months, and the hours on the job tend to grow longer as Christmas nears.

Dale, who just logged a 60-hour work week, said: "I'm the guy who grabs the presents and sends them to the kids for Christmas."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • New Amish Cook introduces her family

    There's nothing quite like eating that first corn on the cob, spotting a red tomato for the first time or picking that tiny cucumber that hasn't quite matured yet.

    July 28, 2014

  • Gardening-Tiny Vegetables [Duplicate] Tiny vegetables Truman Capote famously told friends that the very wealthy eat better vegetables — tiny ones. So there's another plus for gardening: It's easier to eat the way the super-rich do. Not that smaller is always better in the world of vegetables. A cucumber

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • McCauley 02 Half a Century and Happy: The McCauleys Galveston High School freshman James “Jim” McCauley showed he had a crush on eighth-grader Carlis VerBryck by tormenting her. He would see her in the hallway, pull the sashes in her dress, and run away. Carlis was not impressed. “I was pretty aggrava

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • CARSON: Be strong in the Lord You may ask, “Brother Mike what is the point of my being faithful to God? It appears as if I am not gaining any ground. I’m faced with ‘drama,’ setbacks, heartache, illness, issues, negativity, pressure, being lied upon and talked about. I am a tithe

    July 26, 2014

  • Teens Doping [Duplicate] The rise in teen doping NEW YORK (AP) — Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new, large-scale nation

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • NYC Stacked Apartments-15 [Duplicate] Erasing the pre-fab stigma NEW YORK (AP) — In a city piled high with ambitious architecture, a seven-floor structure off the beaten path boasts a distinction of its own: It's billed as the first multistory, modular-built apartment building to open in the nation's apartment cap

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • ROSEMOND: Night training a toddler

    Q: Using your advice, I successfully toilet-trained my daughter by age 16 months. It is now three months later and we are still using diapers at naps and nighttime. At her nap, which lasts several hours, she fully soaks her diaper. At night

    July 24, 2014

  • Food 5 Flavors Alex Guarnaschelli [Duplicate] 5 Flavors: Guarnaschelli's 5 things you should try Salt and acid. Americans want more of those flavors in their foods, and Alex Guarnaschelli is ready to deliver. When it comes to developing big, bold flavors, salty and acidic ingredients are among the most basic of building blocks. It's why salt and

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Digital Life Review Amazon Phone-9 [Duplicate] Review: Amazon Fire offers new ways to use phones NEW YORK (AP) — What I find fascinating about Amazon's Fire phone isn't the gizmos such as the 3-D imagery or the camera scanner that helps you get more information about products. Rather, I like that Amazon is thinking a lot about how phones ought t

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • High-tech goodies to pack on your trip DENVER (AP) — Your swimsuit and your sunscreen are in the luggage, and your boarding passes are all printed out.But did you remember your gadgets and chargers? Did you download enough entertainment? Do you know where you’re going?In my travels, I’ve

    July 23, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller