Campgrounds Offer Structured Activities for Guests
Watercolor retreat? Check.
Panning for gold? You can do that, too, at a campground in northern California and Nevada this season.
Campsites are planning more activities for visitors, and Verna Wiseman, communications director for the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), said the approach makes sense, the Reno (Nev.) Gazette-Journal reported.
"Yes, you can make memories around a campfire. I've done it. I love it," Wiseman said. "But these days people are almost ADD. They're used to packing in a number of things. Campsites are offering something interesting that make you say, 'Wow, I need to come this weekend.'"
Memorial Day marked the typical, if not official, kickoff to summer.
And for many in northern Nevada, summer means camping. In 2011, it comes with structured activity.
This can be a welcome development for moms and dads concerned with filling some of the quiet time camping typically affords.
"Having activities gives parents, if they want, some structure," Wiseman said. "Just because they're having the craft event, you don't have to take your kid down there. If they want it, it's there."
Sense of urgency
Events also serve as a marketing engine for many sites.
Sorensen's Resort in Hope Valley, Calif., is timing spring wildflower and fall foliage hikes to specific times during the season. Meadowcliff Lodge and RV Resort positions itself as the place to stay during the Eastern Sierra ATV and UTV Jamboree in mid-June.
Sites are spreading the word via their websites, www.camp-california.com and other aggregators and, finally, via social media. Understandably, campsites — places where vacationers go to "get away from it all" — have been slower to catch onto social media than other entities.
"Parks are being more active in Facebook and Twitter," Wiseman said. "They are active in posting stuff about what's coming up. And I think that is a trend that's going to continue to grow."
If campers have a positive experience, they're more likely to return. And part of that is about creating a lasting memory.