February Newsletter 2019

“We Flunked Retirement”:

Meet Ted and Anita Childs 

By Dale Dauten

Spend enough time around park GM Rhonda Ciacco and you realize that she’s working pretty much all the time. So it wasn’t surprising to hear how Rhonda found two of the latest team members at The Resort:

Ted Childs was working at H&R Block. Rhonda was a client. They got to talking and when Rhonda heard Ted and his wife, Anita, had been work campers (or, if you prefer, “workampers”), she reeled them into The Resort staff, with Ted a gate host and Anita the Assistant at the office. That was three years ago and, this season, she recruited Ted to run the post office, and, when health problems caused Lynn Walter to step down as Office Manager, Rhonda promoted Anita.

Now, with both of them having year-round jobs here at The Resort, they are leaving behind nearly a decade of a nomadic work life. As Ted put it, “We flunked retirement. We retired but kept working.” The highlight of their work camping experience was four seasons at Yellowstone. Reflecting on their time there, Ted said, “We had the biggest backyard in the world and I did not have to weed it and I did not have to mow it.” They also had two seasons near Glacier National Park, but that one was too remote for Anita – “it was 140 miles to buy groceries.”

Before they started work camping in 2009, both had lengthy traditional careers. Although both are from Montana, they retired in Seattle. Ted had taken a company move there, doing route sales: “I called on grocery stores and convenience stores – potato chips, bread, cookies – and at one point I was a service tech for Boyd Coffee.” Anita retired from one of Seattle’s high-tech companies.

As for the Montana connection, both were born there and the two met while attending Carrol College in Helena, a Catholic College, with the nickname of Fighting Saints, although the mascot is a dog, a Saint Bernard named Halo. (Fun fact: St Bernard dogs are not named for the Catholic saint, but rather, for the Great St. Bernard Pass, the treacherous 49-mile trek from Italy to Switzerland. The dogs were used by monks to assist travelers through the snowy pass and came to fame leading Napoleon’s troops, sparing them from what the soldiers called “the White Death.’)

Ted and Anita married in June of 1967, and for their fiftieth anniversary held a celebration/reunion at the same church where they married. The entire wedding party returned for the event. Anita pointed out that “Both the flower girls are now grandmas, but they played along and helped us recreate the ceremony.”

The wedding party back then, and 50 years later

The couple began this season’s work at The Resort last September and now, as year-round employees, they’ll soon be experiencing their first summer in the desert. We asked them if they feel ready for it. Anita seemed confident, saying that “In Montana, we had days where it was 40 below. We got acclimated to that and we can get acclimated to the heat.” Ted, seeming a bit less certain about the heat, added, “I may be sitting a little closer to the AC than Anita.”


When we asked Tim Furlong of GDS how things were progressing with the work of finishing up the internet and HDTV at The Resort, he started with the bad news: “We’re frustrated that some homes are being affected by a server issue. The problem is occurring where the feed from Cox meets our equipment. It’s not the residents’ fault. It’s not the park’s fault. It’s not the installation. It’s in the servers and the company that manages them is working to figure out the problem.


“We know of 10 homes that are affected. If there’s anyone else who’s had a signal and then lost it, we’d like them to come to the front office and report it, because that will help us get a better grasp of the problem.” As for the good news, Tim reports, “We have signal everywhere in the park, and we’re working down the backlog for new hook-ups.”

Photo RoundUp

Rhonda sent over pictures from around the park– bingo, the car show and New Year’s Eve

Car Show

New Years Eve

Bingo Big Winner