Campgrounds Find New Ways to Attract Campers
The nation's privately owned campgrounds are finding innovative ways to attract campers to their facilities.
Here, courtesy of a news release from the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and the StarNewsOnline.com, Wilmington, N.C., is what some campground operators are doing to ease former high-spending families into the outdoors lifestyle:
- Brookdale Family Campground in Meadville, Pa., offers a Thanksgiving in July celebration on July 18. The park roasts the turkeys and supplies the mashed potatoes, but invites its guests to bring the trimmings. Other activities include a Civil War encampment on June 27, which includes people dressed in period attire, demonstrations and various skirmishes. www.brookdalecampground.com
- Chain O' Lakes Campground in Bellaire, Mich., has a Halloween weekend Oct. 3 – 5, which includes costume contests for adults, children and pets, apple bobbing, a pumpkin carving contest, trick or treating at campsites and a haunted walk through the woods. www.chainolakescamp.com
- Lake Bluff Campground in Wolcott, N.Y., is one of many campgrounds across the country that offer Christmas in July celebrations, complete with sleigh rides, an appearance by Santa Claus, gifts for the children and prizes for the best decorated campsite. Other Lake Bluff Campground activities this summer include water gun wars, Frisbee throwing competitions, a children's sailboat race, a beer can stacking contest, and "a watermelon seed spittin' contest." www.lakebluffcampground.com
- Riverside Campground in Montgomery, Pa., has activities and special events throughout the summer, including a Native American Pow Wow with dancers, crafts and story telling on June 13 and 14 and a day-long Bluegrass by the River festival on Sept. 27, which is sponsored by a local radio station WQSU. www.riverside-campground.com
- Strawberry Park Resort Campground in Preston, Conn., has more 30 activities a day, including a greased pole climb, teen versus adult dodgeball, teen versus adult flag football, "men's only" pool volleyball, "ladies only" pool volleyball, adult coed pool volleyball, and karaoke sing alongs and hypnosis shows. www.strawberrypark.net
- Tall Pines Campground in Bainbridge, N.Y., has a series of special theme weeks throughout the summer, including a "Pirates and Princesses" week, from June 26 to July 2, which includes a Pirates and Princesses parade, a treasure hunt and other theme games as well as Pioneer Days, from Aug. 14 – 20, when campers will learn how to cook over the open fire along with pioneer basket and jewelry making, candle making, hooping and frontier games. www.tallpinescampground-ny.com
- Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp Resort of Estes Park, Colo., has themed weekends throughout the summer, including "Dog Days of Summer," Aug. 21 – 22, when campers are invited to dress up their pet and join the park's pet parade and other events at the park pavilion. Prizes will be awarded for best dressed pets, best trick, longest distance traveled and best Frisbee catch. www.jellystoneofestes.com
Other campgrounds are gaining a following by investing in fun games and activities to entertain children and their families. For example:
- Campland by the Bay in San Diego, Calif., opened a skate park this year. www.campland.com
- Cooperstown Beaver Valley Cabins & Campsites in Cooperstown, N.Y., has a fossil dig. www.beavervalleycampground.com
- Marble Quarry RV Park in Columbia, Calif., offers on-site gold panning for kids and their families. www.marblequarry.com
- Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park in Canyon Lake, Texas, recently added laser tag.
- The Jellystone in North Java, N.Y., added a peddle kart track.www.campjellystone.com