Korns Marking 40 Years in Camping Business
When Mike and Joyce Korn were taken out to brunch by their children on Aug. 3, the owners of Korn’s Campgrounds in Middletown, N.Y., had no idea it was a ruse to get them away from the park so their seasonal campers could set up and surprise them with a party to celebrate Korn’s Campgrounds’ 40 years of operation.
According to a news release, over 130 people attended the party, where the Korns were presented with special commemorative gifts including a hand-sewn quilt that had photos from the campground printed into the fabric (made by quilter and camper Diane Edinger). Neighbor Harold Brola carved a special sign celebrating their 40 years in business. A tribute video that was shown at the party is online at www.kornscampgrounds.com. The video was created by Patrick R. Dineen, who also created the campground’s website and runs the tournaments.
The campers also started a collection jar, now bursting with coins and dollars, so that they could send the Korns on a dream trip to Hawaii. Mike Korn joked, “There’s enough there so far to get us from home to the airport!” He was quick to note, though, that that kind of generosity from their campers was humbling.
“Friends that helped us with the campground early on even came up from Florida to surprise us at the party,” he said. “We’ve met so many nice people over the years.”
Joyce Korn says the past 40 years have been filled with mostly good memories, even with the hard work. “We’ve been getting Facebook postings from some of the kids we had here back in the '70s and '80s, that are grown up now, saying how nice they remember their camping here.”
The surprise party was organized by seasonal campers Matt and Diane Edinger, Chuck and Sue Bissinger, Pat J. and Lori Dineen, Roger and Linda Miller, Bob and Harriett Hinton, Tony and Nora Sosa, Hoppy Bronner, Jeannine and Scott Decker, Lee Wood, and Charlie and Vickie Brush.
The party organizers were assisted by the Mike and Joyce’s family, who lured them out of the park during set-up. Those family members included son Todd Korn, his partner Christine and daughter Jessica, as well as son Michael Korn, his wife Barbara, and their children Michael, Brad, Fauve and Thomas.
The party organizers reached out to as many campers, community members and family members as able to invite them to the party, which Mike said could have numbered in the 300s if they had had access to their entire address book.
The future for Mike and Joyce Korn is up in the air, as they have made the decision to retire and have put the campground on the market, listing it with Herschel Realty Corp. of Wurtsboro, N.Y. But they’re looking forward to what may come.
About the Campground
Korn’s Campgrounds is located in Orange County, approximately two hours north of New York City. The 73-acre facility has 91 campsites in both open and wooded areas, with water and electric hookups. Annual events include pot luck dinners, bingo, DJ nights, karaoke nights, BBQ’s, horseshoe and shuffleboard tournaments, and more almost every weekend of the season. Guests enjoy a swimming pool, basketball and volleyball courts, recreation hall and the adjacent Shawangunk Kill River. For more information, or to book a stay, visit www.kornscampgrounds.com.