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CAMP Members Hold A Gathering In New Orleans

Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP) held its first meeting of the year this month at Pontchartrain Landing Marina and RV Park in New Orleans, according to an announcement from the association.

The May 9-10 meeting included state campground association executives from California, Arizona, Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and the Carolinas.

“It was a great meeting,” said Dee Witting, a former campground owner who took over the reins at executive director of the Carolinas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CARVC) last August.

Witting previously owned and operated Peace Valley Campground in Murphy, N.C. and converted it into a Kampgrounds of America (KOA) franchisee campground before selling the park to new owners.

But while she has eight years of experience owning and operating a campground, Witting said she learned a great deal from attending the CAMP meeting and networking with other industry association executives.

“Just the wealth of knowledge that everyone has to share is valuable and being able to ask them questions,” Witting said, adding that she is gathering as much information as she can to step up her association’s marketing efforts.

Witting said it was particularly helpful even discussing production timelines for compiling the state campground directories and finding useful ways to generate advertising support.

As the nation’s only association specifically designed for campground association management executives, CAMP is uniquely suited to facilitate this kind of networking and information sharing.

Issues discussed during the two-day CAMP meeting included “Trump Accounting” by Don Bennett of Campground Owners of New York, who discussed the new administration’s potential tax policies and their effects on campground industry associations and their members.

Kent Perkins, senior director of standards for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), also made a presentation. RVIA is the national trade association for RV manufacturers and their component parts suppliers and also works with the news media to educate the public about the benefits of RVing, both directly and as part of the Go RVing Coalition.

Ellen McDowell, a Baton Rouge, La.-based social media and marketing consultant, talked about online marketing strategies.

Other topics discussed during the two-day meeting included human resources and staffing as well as campground guide promotion at RV shows.

Meeting sponsors included Crowley, Texas-based AGS Guest Guides; Niagara Falls, Ontario-based Mission Management Information Systems Inc., which produces Astra/Campground Manager software; and Severson & Associates.

CAMP’s executive committee includes President Michael Moore of the Texas Association of Campground Owners; Vice President Bev Gruber of the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association; Secretary Joann Delvescio of the New Jersey Campground Owners Association; Treasurer Debbie Sipe of the California Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds; and Past President Bennett.

CAMP’s next meeting will take place Nov. 6-7 in Raleigh, N.C. during the annual Outdoor Hospitality Convention & Expo of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. For more information, visit campgroundexecutives.com

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