The History of Halloween

Was that a witch whizzing through the air? A ghost peeking around that twisted tree stump? A vampire stalking you through the cemetery? Could be – the howling winds of October are upon us and with them come all sorts of otherworldly creatures and customs. Historians are divided on Halloween’s true origins; some believe the holiday is based on the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, while others take it back as far as Roman celebrations of ancestors and the dead. Just about everybody agrees that the Halloween we celebrate today is based in the old Christian holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day, which were reserved for praying for the recently departed who had yet to reach heaven.

The word “Halloween” itself is likely a Scottish variant on the title “All Hallows Eve,” the day before All Saints Day, and was first seen in the 15th century.   Today, Halloween is second only to Christmas in retail sales, and is rapidly gaining due to increasing interest in decorating our homes and yards; yet Halloween celebrations remained largely the domain of Ireland and Scotland, reaching North America in the mid-19th century when immigrants from those countries brought their traditions to the United States. From carving pumpkins to asking for candy, here’s a quick look at those traditions and their meaning.

Jack o’Lanterns

A favorite for many families, the carving of pumpkins began with the humble turnip. A British term dating from the 17th century, “jack o’lantern” literally means “man with a lantern.” Catholic children in the British Isles carried hollowed-out turnips (more likely rutabagas, not the small turnips we eat here) with carved faces, lit by a candle, as they went door-to-door begging for soul cakes on All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day. When Irish and Scottish families began settling in the United States, they traded the turnip for the more readily available pumpkin, and our pumpkin carving tradition began.

Bobbing for Apples

No Halloween party is complete without a tub full of water and apples. While potentially messy, bobbing for apples has been a traditional game for at least a few hundred years. Again originating in Ireland and Scotland, it was most likely a divination (or fortune-telling) game. Partygoers would attempt to catch an apple in their mouths, peel it carefully in one piece, throw the peel over their shoulders, and turn around to find it in the shape of the first initial of their true love’s name.

Trick or Treating

One of the most beloved sights of Halloween are the parades of children dressed in their costumes and makeup, roaming the neighborhood and begging door-to-door for treats. Trick-or-treating has its roots in the Middle Ages custom of Christmas wassailing, when people went door to door asking for food and drink. It also resembles the medieval practice of “souling,” when poor people canvassed neighbors asking for food in exchange for prayers for the dead.

However you choose to celebrate Halloween, the Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts team wishes you happy haunting!   Click here for Fall and Halloween events at Jellystone campgrounds. 

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Yogi Bear Aids Marriage Proposal

marriage.

It was time to celebrate at the Jellystone Park campground in Montrose, Colorado when Yogi helped a guest propose to his girlfriend. She said Yes!

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10 Rules for Glamping

I came across this article on aupairs.org and thought it was funny.  This list is for someone who really doesn’t like to get dirty!  For #4, at Jellystone Parks, we may not set up a tent for you, but we have plush cabins with all the comforts of home.  As for #7 on the list, Jellystone Parks are all about families so we say “Bring the Kids!” and let us entertain them while you relax around the campfire.

1.Do not make your own food.  When you go glamping you will be treated to gourmet food cooked by a chef.  Depending on the experience, the food could be cooked over an open fire on-site where you can watch or it might come on a tray already prepared elsewhere.  If you go to Las Ventanas al Paraiso in tropical Cabo San Lucas you will experience a wonderful private moonlit dinner on the beach before you sleep under the stars on the roof of the hotel.

2.Do not make your own bed.  One of the many benefits of glamping is that there are people around to take care of the work for you.  With glamping you get out into nature and enjoy the relaxing environment, without all of the work.

3.Do not make your own fire.  When glamping, the fire pit is lit before you can even snap your fingers.  Forget sitting on a rock or a stump that you pull up around the fire.  When glamping you are provided with soft comfy chairs or benches.

a "glamping" tent

4.Do not set up your own tent.  While there are resorts and other locations that make you set up your own tent because they feel that you are glamping at their facility because you can go into the resort and get a massage, work out or buy a mixed drink, take note: these places are just fancy campgrounds.  To be glamping you won’t need to get your hands dirty, unless you want to.  The tents are already set up and the bed is made with luxury linens, unless you sleep in an air conditioned RV, cabin or Yurt, of course.

5.Do not sleep on the ground.  Beds are provided for you.  Sometimes they are very exotic canopy beds and other times they are traditional beds, but they have a nice mattress for you to sleep on so there’s no need to worry about creepy crawlies or having to use a rock for a pillow.  With glamping you can enjoy luxury linens and down comforters.

 

6.You must take in your surroundings.  Some glamping areas are buried in the heart of the city, but you are sleeping out under the stars and everything is taken care of for you.  When glamping in the city it’s a little like when you were a kid and you pitched a tent in the backyard.  There are things to go and do within walking distance.  Many other glamping locations are set in perfect surroundings; overlooking a beautiful lake, high on a hill where you can see for miles, in the mountains where you need to be dropped by helicopter, or on an island where you can only arrive by boat.

7.Leave the kids at home.  Some camps don’t mind kids and there are lots of things for them to do.  In fact, places like Normandy Farms in Massachusetts have kids sized cabins that can be placed on your site for the kids to play and sleep in. Others consider glamping an adult only affair where the crowd is able to commune with nature and enjoy adult food and drinks. Be sure to know if your resort is family friendly before you pack up the kids.

8.Don’t wash the dishes.  In a true glamping experience, meals will be served on china instead of plastic or paper.  There is nothing glamorous about paper plates and plastic forks.  You don’t wash the dishes when you eat at a restaurant and the experience will be similar while you are glamping.

9.Don’t bring an alarm clock.  When you are out in nature you will wake up with the sun or whenever you feel like getting up.  If you want to take an early morning stroll just let the concierge know and he will wake you gently.  Bring a sleeping mask if you’d like to sleep past sunrise.

10.De-stress and enjoy yourself.  The most important rule of glamping is to show up ready to relax and to have fun.  Glamping is expensive and only for those that aren’t worried about the money they are spending.  Massages are often offered right in your tent.  Sometimes live music will be provided for your entertainment.  Sit back, relax and just enjoy the glamping experience.

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Campjellystone Is Now on Twitter

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Want to keep up with specials, deals, activities, news and more from Jellystone Parks? Follow Camp Jellystone on Twitter!

In addition to up-to-the-minute news on all your favorite parks, you’ll see camping tips, trends and information you won’t find anywhere else.

Follow us – where else? – @campjellystone. We’ll see you on Twitter!

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Help Stop the Asian Longhorned Beetle From Killing Trees

beetle

The following information was given to members of the American Camp Association from the USDA. We wanted to pass it along to our campers who love trees as much as we do! Visit www.BeetleBusters.info to report a sighting or for more information, or call their toll free hotline at 1-866-702-9938. If you would like more information, please feel free to email Rhonda.J.Santos@aphis.usda.gov

You may already be familiar with the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), an invasive insect that feeds on certain species of hardwood trees, eventually killing them. The pest most likely arrived in the United States unknowingly inside wood packing material from Asia. Since its discovery here in 1996, the beetle has caused tens of thousands of trees to be destroyed in Ohio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Illinois.

The beetle threatens our nation’s camps and recreational areas, our forests, and suburban and urban trees. If it becomes established in the United States, the invasive insect has the potential to cause more damage than Dutch elm disease, chestnut blight and gypsy moth combined, destroying millions of acres of our hardwoods, including national forests and parks and even our own backyard trees. The recreation, timber, nursery, and maple syrup industries alone could suffer severe losses, not to mention the environmental and ecological impacts.
It is my love of the outdoors and of trees that keeps me passionate about my work with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). I believe in the mission to save trees from this insect. Combined with your commitment to provide discovery, education, and service, I’m hoping we can stop this insect. After all, an ALB infestation is a sad tale for trees, since the trees are essentially being eaten alive. 

Here’s how this insect kills a tree from the inside out: in her lifetime the adult female chews up to 90 egg sites directly on the bark of a tree and that’s where she will lay her eggs. After the eggs hatch in roughly 2 weeks, the worm-like larvae tunnel into the growing layers of the tree. After several weeks, the larvae tunnel into the woody tissue of the tree, where they continue to feed and develop over the winter. This feeding and burrowing causes the tree to weaken and eventually die. In the spring, beetle larvae develop into an adult insect. In the early summer and warmer months, the adult beetles chew their way out, leaving dime-sized, perfectly round exit holes, starting their life cycle all over
again to then continue their devastating effects.

Now here’s the most important part. We need your help. You are our first line of defense. Staff members and campers alike: we need your eyes to be on the lookout for signs of damage and the insect itself. And of course, please be aware of the risks of transporting forest pests when moving firewood. Adult beetles are most active during the summer and early fall. They can be seen on trees, branches, walls, outdoor furniture, cars, sidewalks and in pool filters. While the pest may appear threatening, it is harmless to humans and pets. With these unique characteristics, it’s easy to identify:
• 1 to 1 ½ inches in length
• Long antennae banded in black and white (longer than the insect’s
body)
• Shiny, jet black body with random white spots
• Six legs
• Legs may appear bluish in color

In addition to looking for the beetle, you can search for signs of
infestation, including:
• Shallow divits in the bark where the eggs are laid
• Dime-sized (1/4″ or larger), perfectly round exit holes in the tree
• Sawdust-like materials, called frass, on the ground and the branches
• Sap seeping from wounds in the tree

There is a wealth of information about the beetle that can be found online at www .BeetleBusters.info. There is even curriculum available to make searching for and learning about the invasive insect a fascinating experience for young people. I urge you to make raising awareness of this pest part of your camp program.

Unfortunately, a successful eradication involves very difficult realities. The toughest of these includes the removal of the infested trees, and potentially, other exposed trees. This is not only a complicated, but an emotional issue. When the goal is to protect our nation’s natural resources from threats, the concept of removing trees is a dif ficult one. But the threat from this invasive insect is far too severe to do nothing. The 13 genera of trees the insect is known to infest make up a sizeable portion of the trees in our nation.
Ash Katsura
Birch London planetree
Elm Maple
Goldenrain tree Mimosa
Hackberry Mountain ash
Horsechestnut Poplar
Katsura Willow
We’re in this fight together. If you see something, say something. Help stop the Asian longhorned beetle’s destruction by raising awareness about the pest and encouraging campers to report any signs or symptoms of an infestation immediately.

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Take Dad Camping for Father’s Day

Have you done your Father’s Day shopping yet? This year, instead of another tie or a fishing lure, give Dad a gift he will remember forever: a weekend of camping at Jellystone Park. Fishing, swimming, scavenger hunts, family movies and even indulging his inner caveman over an open campfire – so much better than cufflinks.
 
We have more fun going on than Dad can shake a stick at! Here’s a sample of what you can expect at Dad’s Day with Yogi Bear™. Visit your favorite park’s website to see what they have planned.
 
Waller, TX – Show Dad how special he is… treat dad to a relaxing Fathers Day get-a-way! Pancake Breakfast. FREE Pancakes for Dads. Make a special gift for Dad at the Craft Center. 

Madison, ME – Come join Yogi Bear and friends as they wish all the dads a happy day! Bring your dad for Saturday breakfast and Dads eat free!  

Branson, MO – There’s no better way to celebrate Dad’s special day than a trip to Jellystone Park Branson for a weekend of activities planned with Dad in mind. How Well Do You Know Your Father? Ride the Father’s Day hayride! Bar B Que Ribs Dinner ($).

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Colorado Campground to Feature Gourmet Meals with Organic Produce Grown on Site

The Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Larkspur is planning at least five gourmet dinners from Memorial Day weekend through late September.

LARKSPUR,  Colo. – The nights are still chilly on the east slope of the Rockies.  But that’s not stopping Matt Fredell at Jellystone Park campground in Larkspur from planting his first boxes of produce. Fredell, an organic farmer, is building planter boxes with lids that can be closed overnight, protecting newly planted vegetables from frost. “We can extend the growing season to as much as nine months by doing this,” Fredell explained, adding that he expects the first seedlings to be sprouting by Earth Day.

And by the time summer is here, Fredell expects to have a garden full of spinach, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and herbs, which campground owner Ian Steyn hopes will inspire his guests to take an interest in organic farming, while learning more about how we grow our food.  ”We want to start teaching our guests about the principals of good stewardship, of taking care of yourself and the things around you,” Steyn said.

But Steyn’s efforts aren’t limited to the park’s organic garden. Steyn has also hired award-winning chefs Tom and Shari Fritz-Scholten, who will offer classes and prepare gourmet meals and wine pairing events throughout the summer months. The Scholtens, who previously owned and operated Fritz Alpine Bistro in Keystone, won Wine Spectator magazine’s “Award of Excellence” four years in a row, from 2004 to 2007.
 ”We want people to come to our events and enjoy wine pairings that match our sustainable food,” Tom Scholten said. “We also want to promote the fact that Colorado is becoming an incredible wine destination.”

The Scholtens’ summer schedule at Jellystone at Larkspur includes:

  • An outdoor food and wine pairing class on Memorial Day weekend
  • A gourmet barbecue class on June 16th in celebration of Father’s Day and to help guests prepare for their own July 4th celebrations
  • A “farm to table” gourmet weekend on July 21st, celebrating Colorado’s history and agricultural heritage
  • A wine pairing class on August 18th, which will help guests prepare for Labor Day weekend activities
  • A fall farm to table celebration on Sept. 21st.

But while the Scholtens’ food will be top notch, don’t expect it to be served on silver platters or bone china. “We plan to serve the food on recycled paper plates, which will then be fed to 10,000 earthworms that will consume the paper and any leftovers. We will then use the casings from the worms as fertilizer for our organic gardens. So everything will go full circle,” Steyn said. Steyn said his park is the first in the Jellystone chain of resorts to feature gourmet food with organic garden. “We want this to be a unique, informative and entertaining experience,” he said.

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Jellystone Park November Family Camping & Activities

Here is an alphabetical list by state of Jellystone Park campgrounds that are open in November. (All Canada parks are now closed.) We’ve included a sample of the activities they have planned. Click on each park to view details on their website.

Cobb Mountain, CA: There are no scheduled winter activities, but the campground is open all year.

Larkspur, CO: Experience Winter Wonderland activities including daily goat hikes, rare sightings of Yogi taking hibernation breaks, winter disk golf, night disk golf, bonfires, hay rides, winter archery, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, inner tubing and goat Sleigh rides!

Montrose, CO: There are no scheduled activities, but the area is a winter wonderland! Skiing, snowshoeing, Ouray Hot Springs and more!

Goodfield, IL: There are no scheduled winter activities, but the campground is open all year.

Millbrook (Chicago area), IL:  There are no scheduled winter activities, but the campground is open all year.

Portage, IN: There are no scheduled winter activities, but the campground is open all year.

Scottsburg, IN: There are no scheduled winter activities, but the campground is open all year.

Lawrence (Kansas City area), KS: There are no scheduled winter activities, but the campground is open all year.

Cave City, KY: Veterans camp for FREE on Veteran’s Day November 11! Start a new family tradition and join us for Thanksgiving.

Lake Charles, LA: There are no scheduled winter activities, but the campground is open all year.

Robert, LA: Veteran’s Day 50% off campsites & cabins. Plus, patriotic games and a red, white and blue parade. November 18 & 19 – Cruisin’ Weekend with a pot luck dinner and your favorite activities. November 23-26 – Thanksgiving and Christmas Celebration with a visit from Santa, food, and Golf Cart Poker Run.

Hagerstown, MD: There are no scheduled winter activities, but the campground is open until November 30.

Sturbridge, MA: There are no scheduled winter activities, but the campground is open all year. Visit Old Sturbridge Village for activities throughout November and December including Christmas by Candlelight.

Frankenmuth, MI: Great events in the area! November 25 Holiday Lighting Celebration at River Place, November 25-27 & December 3-4 Frankenmuth Farmers Market, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland – the largest Christmas Store in the World

Pelahatchie, MS: There are no scheduled winter activities, but the campground is open all year.

Branson, MO: Enjoy peddle carts, playgrounds, indoor cinema, use of game room, and of course Yogi Bear! Experience one of the biggest traditional Christmas celebrations in the US with an Ozark Mountain Christmas .

Elmer, NJ: The park is open for overnight camping until November 27th. Monthly camping available all winter!

Cherokee, NC: There are no scheduled winter activities, but nearby there is Harrah’s Casino the The Cherokee Indian Museum.

Gatlinburg, TN: Join us for a Thanksgiving potluck, games and crafts. Park closes November 30.

Horn Lake, MS (Memphis area): No winter activities on property, but here is plenty to do in the area: Graceland, Beale Street, Casinos and more!

Nashville, TN: Experience Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, the world’s largest drive-through, fully synchronized, LED Christmas light and music show! Plus, Opryland Hotel is down the street.

South Fort Worth, TX: November 1-30, Yogi’s Gobblin’ Good Time Weekends

Canyon Lake, TX: Nov 23-27 – Thanksgiving Weekend (3 night minimum) It’s our 6th annual Thanksgiving potluck dinner!! Wednesday afternoon starts the weekend out with pie-baking. Then on Thursday Yogi brings the turkeys… (18 cooked last year) and each family brings 2 side dishes to share.  Dec 09-11 – Christmas Celebration (Buy 1 night get 2 free!) To say Thank You to all our customers we are offering buy 1 night, get 2 nights free! If you can’t stay the 3rd night use it for a late check out on Sunday afternoon. We will be asking for canned food donations for our local food pantry.

Waller (Houston), TX: Thanksgiving pot-luck. We suppy the turkey, you bring the sides.

Emporia, VA: There are no scheduled winter activities but the park is open all year.

Gloucester Point, VA: There are no scheduled activities but plenty to do in the area including Colonial Williamsburg.

Luray, VA: There are no scheduled activities but the park is open until December 1.

Natural Bridge, VA: Fri, November 11, 2011 Yogi Bear, Boo Boo, and Cindy Bear are thankful for a fun season, but it’s time for their long winter’s nap! Celebrate with us at our 10th annual Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll supply the turkey, gravy, stuffing, salad and rolls. We ask that our guests bring either a side dish or dessert to our Thanksgiving feast. Join us after dinner for our last Bingo of the 2011 season! Fri, November 25, 2011 It’s the final weekend of our 10th season – spend your Thanksgiving around a campfire! We’ll have our very own turkey themed crafts and games, as well as candy bar bingo.

 

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Camp Under the Stars in a Bubble Tent

You won’t see one of these at a Jellystone Park anytime soon, but we think it’s a unique way for people to enjoy the outdoors. These are being rented in France for 400 pounds a night ($640 US dollars!) Here’s an excerpt from the Daily Mail article.   

Anybody trying these outdoor gadgets might want to bring a pair of curtains. For although they look and feel more like giant goldfish bowls, these latest inventions are actually totally see-through inflatable tents. With incredible panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, the bizarre transparent structures are designed to get people as close to nature as possible.

bubble tentThe transparent and inflatable bubble tent has been designed to give campers a panoramic view of the countryside
But they are far from the traditional camping trip – decked out with wardrobes, shelves and electric lights, the bubbles look more like a movable hotel room than a regular tent.

Launched this year, the structures can be now be hired out at sites across France for around £400 pounds a night. And since then British tourists have been flocking to the country to try out the new camping experience. 

French designer Pierre Stephane Dumas said his ‘BubbleTree’ creations are ‘unusual huts for unusual nights’. He explained: ‘Having a night under the stars or seeing the sun rise and set is not something that many people experience anymore. ‘A normal tent or camper van means people miss out on these things. ‘So I designed this eccentric shelter with the aim of offering an unusual experience under the stars while keeping all the comfort of a bedroom suite.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1329810/Transparent-bubble-tent-puts-campers-stars-careful-undressed.html#ixzz1d1uagXJi

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Half Off Special for Club Yogi Rewards Members

Club Yogi Rewards members with at least 1800 points qualify for a FREE night from now through February 28, 2012.

Points can be redeemed for one of eight Tiers of accommodations ranging from a tent site to a deluxe cabin. Each Jellystone Park labels their available accommodations into a specific Tier and this information can be found on the Park’s website or by contacting the Park directly.

Here are the required points for one FREE Night:

The Half-Off Redemption Special Certificates expire February 28, 2012. Your stay at a participating Jellystone Park must be completed between November 4, 2011 and February 28, 2012.

Follow these steps to redeem:
1. Make a reservation at a Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park and be sure to request an accommodation that matches the Tier you want to redeem. (Each location offers different campsites and cabins, so check your favorite park’s website for available accommodation Tiers.)

2. Log onto your account. Click on the Tier you want to redeem and hit Submit.

3. Your certificate will pop up from the website.

4. Print the certificate and present it when you register at the Jellystone Park. Note: In order to receive your Free night, the certificate must be presented at check-in.

Half-Off Redemption Special Exclusions: Jellystone Parks in Goodfield, IL and Tabor City, NC are not participating. Offer is not valid at Jellystone Park locations when they close for the season.

Questions About Club Yogi Rewards?
If you have questions, please use the Contact Us form on http://www.jellystonerewards.com/

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