Groups at Jellystone Park Amboy Illinois Campground Raise Over $30,000

amboy illinois campground fundraising

Throughout the course of the 2013 camping season, various fundraising groups at Jellystone Park Amboy, Illinois campground have donated almost $30,000 to worthy charities including Relay for Life, March of Dimes, Camp Sunshine and various food pantries.

“Our campers are amazing people,” said Holli Rapp, Recreation & Special Events Manager at the northern Illinois campground. “They are very supportive of our activities and their events have become staple events to our activity schedule.”

amboy illinois campground fundraisingLeading the way is $20,000 that will be donated to Relay for Life/American Cancer Society in the name of the Jellystone Park Joggers team in Lee County. The group, including annual and weekend campers along with the support of the Camp-Resort, held various fundraisers including a silent auction, bake sales, pancake and sausage breakfast, ducks for Dads (rubber ducky) races, and various raffles.

An annual camping family, Lisa and Ken Koenen’s March of Dimes team held various activities the weekend of August 9-11 that raised over $2000. The campground also donated $225 to the team with the proceeds of their second annual Ms. Jellystone Park contest held on Father’s Day Weekend. Camp Sunshine and local food pantries have also benefited from campground wide garage sales held on major holiday weekends where guests pay a fee to be listed in the Garage Sale Listing.  Another worthy charity, Give Kids the World, received $1525 from the Kids Carnival proceeds.

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Ontario Camping at Niagara Falls Jellystone Park

Ranger Smith and Yogi Bear at Jellystone Park Niagara Falls Ontario Camping

If you’re looking for a unique Ontario camping experience for your kids, check out the Niagara Falls Jellystone Park summer camp. Niagarathisweek.com featured an article – “Spend Summer with the Bears” – about the new camps.

From Niagarathisweek.com:  Contrary to popular belief, Yogi Bear™ doesn’t spend all of his days devising ways to steal picnic baskets.

Ranger Smith and Yogi Bear at Jellystone Park Niagara Falls Ontario CampingThis summer, at Jellystone Park in Niagara Falls he’ll have a much more constructive way to spend his time:  entertaining kids in the campground’s new summer camp.

Running in weekly blocks, each with its own theme, the camp is meant to give Niagara youth a fun introduction to camp life while giving their parents a break. Campground co-owner Jim Amadio said with all of the amenities already in place, it was really just a matter of setting it up.

“We have everything needed, a full-time recreation staff, the playground and a pool,” he said. “We’d just never done it before.”

Recreation program leader Emma Christie led the charge in terms of camp development, planning out the full schedule of daily activities including sports, crafts, activities and a daily visit from Yogi Bear or one of his pals, Boo Boo™ and Ranger Smith.™

“It’s really an extension of what we’re already doing in the park anyway,” Christie explained, noting they already run programs for young campers vacationing with their families.

The day camp will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, with extended care hours available starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m.

Different themes include superheroes, survivor, ooey gooey, zoofari and more. In addition to activities in the pool and playground, there will also be wagon rides, crafts and games. Amadio noted each camper gets a take-home Jellystone Park T-shirt signed by their new friends.

Christie said in addition to getting kids out of the house for a bit, the program also gives them a unique one-of-a-kind experience.

“We have campers stay here from all over the world, they’ll get to make new friends and play with children from other countries,” she said.

The Yogi Bear Day Camp costs $150 per week, plus tax with discounts available for siblings and multiple week bookings. Jellystone Park Niagara is located at 8676 Oakwood Dr. in Niagara Falls. For more information call Christie at 905-354-1432, email YogiBear@jellystoneniagara.ca or visit www.jellystoneniagara.ca.

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Try Camping in Texas For an Affordable Family Vacation

Texas Camping Vacation Rental

Families in the Dallas/Fort Worth area have several options for an affordable staycation, according to an article in the Keene Star.  “Vacation to nearby places, staycations save money” by Paul Gnadt names camping in Texas as one idea.  According to Gnadt, “About five years ago, as rising gas prices and a uncertain economy forced families to think about nearby destinations when making plans for vacation, a new word was created: Staycation. For many families, a vacation close to home makes sense economically. With about seven weeks remaining until school starts, here are some ideas for a family staycation.”

Nestled in the pristine countryside of Burleson is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park North Texas. The camping resort is a fun-filled smorgasbord of accommodations and activities and winner of the 2010 Best Accommodations Award from the Texas Association of Campground Owners. Next to the campground is Pirates Cove, a  water play park that opened in 2012, and a large video game arcade. Both are open to the public every day.

Texas Camping Vacation Rental

Luxurious Camping in Texas

The 69-acre park has full service RV and tent sites, 37 cottages, two large pools, and four recreation halls. Each cottage is rustic-upscale, with unique handmade pine and oil-rubbed bronze furnishings from Mexico and East Texas. Many have two-person jacuzzis and stone fireplaces.

Owner and operators Ronnie and Ginger Bowyer, and manager Steve Stafford share a vision of family entertainment that continues to grow. “Currently, RV campers can choose from back-in sites, landscaped upgrades with rosebushes, flowers and greenery, or V-pod lots that provide a large shared yard for traveling groups,” Bowyer said. “Cottage choices include The Wagon Wheel Circle, where several cabins share a backyard patio, tree swing and grilling area that’s ideal for groups. Other options are private cabins and connecting room suites.”

Visitors can rent golf carts for zipping around the grounds, which are sprinkled with well-placed sculptures of horses, cattle and birds. The campground is animal friendly and has a pet park and pet island for walking furry members of the family. The Ranch house is connected to the main office and the hub for planned children’s activities. Each week, a set of themed activities such as candle making, picnic lunches with Yogi Bear, candybar bingo, ceramic painting and movie and karaoke nights. Yogi is on site daily to greet campers, pose for photos and take part in events. The park is located 2301 South I- 35W. For information call 817-426-5037.

See the full article here.

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“Death by Chocolate” Weekends at Jellystone Campgrounds

death by chocolate at Jellystone campgrounds

Jellystone Park campgrounds are known for family fun and at our “Death by Chocolate” weekends, you’ll find a messy good time. Campers can participate in a variety of chocolate activities including pudding wresting, chocolate slip-n-slide, pie eating competitions and more.  Here’s a list of campgrounds with upcoming Death by Chocolate events:

death by chocolate at jellystone campgrounds

Delaware Beaches Jellystone Park, June 28 – 30: Human sundae contest; chocolate pudding wrestling; hot chocolate and marshmallows tug-o-war; sweetheart dance with a DJ and chocolate fountain.Jellystone Park Gulf Shores Alabama, July 29 to Aug. 4: Enjoy homemade chocolate ice cream and create chocolate crafts.

Jellystone Park Eufaula Oklahoma, July 19 – 21: Chocolate Slip N Slide; chocolate pie eating contest; and an ice cream social.

Jellystone Park at Mammoth Cave Kentucky, July 15 – 21: Chocolate Slip N Slide; candy bar bingo; chocolate tug-o-war; wrestle in chocolate pudding; and paint with chocolate pudding.

Jellystone Park in Milton Pennsylvania., June 28 – 30: candy toss; candy jar guess game; chocolate Slip N Slide; and a hot fudge brownie ice cream social.

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Owners Overcome Hurdles at New York Camping Resort

Gardiner New York Camping Resort

A love of camping-but no experience running a resort-helped these neophytes turn a rundown New York camping resort into one of the top Jellystone Parks in the country.

Story by Steve Bibler, Woodalls Campground Management

When brothers-in-law Glenn Bracklow and John Lawrence and John’s wife, Heidi (Glenn’s sister), decided in the early 1990s that they wanted to go into the outdoor hospitality business, they had two choices: start from scratch or buy an existing campground.   They chose the latter and in late summer 1991 bought a rundown campground in the Hudson River Valley near Gardiner, N.Y.

Gardiner New York Camping Resort

A former barn now serves as the campground’s office and store.

The facilities were meager, John recalled. There was a single cash register in the office and a pop machine outside. “There were a couple of hookups. The place wasn’t nice,” John says succinctly. But the site had some special features. The Wallkill River bordered the mostly level campground on the east side, thick woods covered a portion of the park and a stately barn and 40-foot silo served as a focal point to the 80-acre property.

They kept the campground open that first fall but when the season ended in October, they began to gut the barn and update the sites, running water lines and 30-amp service to 100 sites. They added an inviting covered porch to the barn – which serves as the office and campground store – thereby creating a popular gathering place for guests to sit and chat.When they reopened in May 1992 as the Lazy River Campground, they had something they could be proud of.   Today, the 170-site Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park at Lazy River is one of the top Leisure System Inc.’s (LSI) franchises in the country, earning multiple awards from LSI and endearing generations of campers.

The trio was all in their 30s when they bought their campground. They were neophytes in the business: Glenn was a machinist and tool & die maker, John was a homebuilder and Heidi helped in her husband’s business. But they knew they wanted to offer a campground that was neat and tidy that would attract repeat customers. The Lawrences loved to camp and wanted to share their favorite pastime with others.

After just two years in business, the owners chose to join Leisure Systems. John explained, “We thought LSI is a quality establishment and wanted to be part of it. When we were private, people tended to skip over our park. Being part of LSI takes that doubt out of their minds. Getting new people to come here for the first time became easier. Once people have been here, getting them to come back was not a problem.”

Indeed, John figures 50% to 60% of Lazy River’s campers are repeaters. The LSI affiliation helped spread the word well beyond the Hudson Valley. Not only does the campground draw much of its trade from New York and the adjoining states of Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it also attracts campers from the South and points West.

Read the full story here.

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Texas Camping Resorts Continue Move Into Rental Accommodations

North Texas Camping Resort Vacation Rentals

Texas camping used to be synonymous with staying in a tent or RV.  But Texas camping resorts across the Lone Star State are finding they can accommodate bigger groups and introduce more people to camping by making park model rental accommodations available to them, according to Brian Schaeffer, executive director and CEO of the Texas Association of Campground Owners.

“We’re seeing a dramatic increase in the number of parks that offer rental accommodations,” said Schaeffer, whose organization launched a separate website called TexasCabinRentals.net to help people find campgrounds with park model rental accommodations.  Park models are 400-square foot, factory built units that are built on a chassis, like a trailer, but look like cabins or cottages. They come fully furnished with beds and kitchen appliances. Some even have lofts for the kids.

north texas camping resort vacation rentals

“We’re adding a dozen of them to our park this year,” said Steve Stafford, manager of the Jellystone Park Texas Camping Resort in Burleson, outside of Dallas.
Major campground chains like Jellystone Parks have joined independently owned and operated campgrounds across the country in adding park models as rental accommodations for their guests. Government run campgrounds are also investing in park models.

More information on the park model surge in Texas is available from the Texas Association of Campground Owners, the Crowley-based trade association that represents and markets campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the Lone Star State. The association’s 2013 RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas highlights the fact that Texas is a birders paradise and includes detailed information on campgrounds, RV parks and resorts, as well as old Western style maps.

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Sturbridge Massachusetts Campground Wins Camping Award

James Leaming, manager of the Jellystone Park Sturbridge Massachusetts campground, has been recognized as Operator of the Year by the Jellystone Park franchise system.

The Operator of the Year Award is given in recognition of excellence in management, customer service, inspection scores and growth of business.

“We are so excited to be recognized as Operators of the Year,” said Leaming. “We truly love taking care of our guests, and we’re proud to bring families a great budget-friendly way to enjoy each other and make wonderful memories.”

The closest Massachusetts campground to historic Old Sturbridge Village, the park features full-hookup RV camping, tent camping and rustic cabin rentals. Guests will enjoy the well-stocked private lake with its sandy beach, the Aqua Center with pools, Jacuzzi and waterslide, and an award-winning recreation program featuring movies, mini golf, a video arcade, shuffleboard, a sport court and two playgrounds. Pets are welcome at campsites and cabins (leash and proof of vaccinations required.)

Massachusetts Campground Activities

In 2013, a full schedule of seasonal entertainment kicks off April 19. Plans include live bands, nationally-known impersonators, clowns, magicians, hypnotists, record hops and more, performed live under the stars at the park’s poolside patio lounge.

Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Sturbridge is located at 30 River Road and is open year-round. For more information and reservations 508.347.9570.

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New York Camping Resort To Host Wrestling Event to Benefit Autism

Families who visit Jellystone Park’s New York Camping Resort in North Hudson on Saturday, June 22, will have a chance to see an entertaining, family oriented wrestling performance by P.A.C. Wrestling.

Proceeds from the 6 to 9 p.m. event will be donated to Upstate NY Autism Awareness (UNYAA), a non-profit group that was formed by dedicated parents of children experiencing the effects of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). UNYAA is a 100 percent volunteer organization based in Queensbury, N.Y. that provides resources and support to over 300 families and children in northern Upstate New York.

Admission to the event is by donation and is open to the public as well as guests spending the weekend at Jellystone Park New York Camping Resort. In addition to the wrestling event, there will also be a 50/50 raffle, basket raffles and concession stands.

Jellystone Park campgrounds are famous for their family-friendly activities, which also include kids crafts, themed weekend activities throughout the camping season and, of course, visits by Yogi the Bear. P.A.C. Wrestling is a non-profit group that provides family shows full of action, drama and comedy with a goal of helping those in need.

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Nova Scotia Campground Wins Camping Award

Henk-John and Mary Ann Kuipers, owners of the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Nova Scotia campground, have been recognized with the Maple Leaf Award by the Jellystone Park franchise system. The award honors a Canadian franchisee for commitment and dedication to the Jellystone Park franchise and to providing a top-quality camping experience for guests.

For more than 15 years, this award-winning Nova Scotia campground has been the prime family camping destination for the area. Situated near the North Shore of Nova Scotia, the campground is only 10 minutes from the world-famous Bay of Fundy, yet enjoys the balmy summer micro-climate of the beautiful Annapolis Valley. Scenic RV and tent sites, as well as 14 rental units ranging from deluxe cottages with electric fireplaces to rustic cabins, wait to greet guests for a fun-filled stay. Amenities include a huge jumping pillow, heated swimming pools with lifeguards, bumper boats, large playground, beach volleyball, nature trails, a dog park and much more.

“We love taking care of the families who stay with us,” said Nova Scotia campground owner Henk-John Kuipers. “Our entire team is dedicated to making sure their vacation is filled with memories to last a lifetime. This award is a credit to our staff’s hard work and devotion to our guests.”

In addition to the Maple Leaf Award, the park has been the recipient of numerous accolades over the years, including customer-voted awards for Outstanding Customer Service and Outstanding Recreational Programming, and selection as one of Canada’s Top 25 Campgrounds by “Today’s Parent” magazine. The Good Sam Club, the world’s largest RV club, rates the campground in the top 10 in Nova Scotia and the number-one campground in the Annapolis Valley.

Daily activities and themed weekends are held throughout the season.  Keep an eye out for Canada Day Circus Carnival (June 28-July 1); Christmas in July (July 26-28); and Country Western Weekend (August 16-18), to name just a few.

The Kingston Jellystone Park Camp-Resort is located at 43 Boo Boo Blvd. in Kingston, Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia B0P 1R0.

 

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Jellystone Park Campgrounds Are Going Green

Over the years, the Jellystone Park campgrounds have become more conscious of implementing earth friendly and nature-focused education programs.

Families who visit the Jellystone Park  campground in Williamsport, Md. find that the forested campground is green in more ways than one. The Maryland campground not only has several onsite recycling centers for aluminum cans, paper and cardboard. It also provides boxes for recyclable waste inside each rental cabin.

“We give our recycled materials to Goodwill and to a local non-profit center for people with special needs,” said Carrie Cerrito, the campground’s general manager.

Meanwhile, at the Jellystone Park in Fremont, Indiana, solar heating is used to provide supplemental heating for outdoor swimming pools, while the Jellystone Park in Larkspur, Colo. has integrated a goat ranch into its operations for fire mitigation and guest education purposes.

But the green initiatives underway at Jellystone Park campgrounds aren’t limited to recycling programs and infrastructure improvements. Many Jellystone Parks are also developing nature-focused activity and education programs.

“Across the U.S. and Canada, growing numbers of Jellystone Park Camp Resorts are complementing their green initiatives with activity and education programs that encourage children and adults alike to take better care of the environment,” said Michele Wisher, Director of Marketing for Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems Inc., which franchises Jellystone Parks across North America.

The 79-unit family campground chain was the first campground organization in the U.S. to join Leave No Trace, a Boulder, Colo.-based non-profit organization that develops educational programs to help children and adults take better care of the environment.

Leave No Trace provides Jellystone Park operators with information on how to develop their own nature education programs, which park operators can tailor to suit their guests’ interests. Here is a sampling of some of the nature oriented activities taking place at Jellystone Parks across North America this spring, summer and fall:

Austin, Minnesota: This campground recycles water bottles for use in arts and crafts activities.  They also have a junior ranger program filled with nature-focused activities. On Mother’s Day, children also planted a flower garden for Cindy Bear.

Bloomington, Indiana: This campground offers daily nature hikes. WildCare Inc., an organization dedicated to rehabilitating and taking in injured and orphaned animals from around Monroe County, is also bringing in three of their ambassadors to teach campers about responsible wildlife interactions and what to do if they find an injured animal in their own backyard.

Bradford, Ontario (Toronto Market): This campground offers a weekly nature walk and scavenger hunt followed by a nature craft activity.

Fremont, Indiana: This campground has nature focused scavenger hunts, craft activities involving recycled materials and Leave No Trace activities.

Indian River, Michigan: This campground offers nature crafts; nature hikes; bug hunts; and pond exploration activities. This fall, the park will also offer Northern Michigan Safaris to give campers the ability to spot as many different types of wildlife as possible.

Larkspur, Colorado: This campground has a goat ranch integrated into the operations of the campground with daily opportunities for campers to feed and pet the goats. Other nature oriented activities include brushing a miniature horse; collecting eggs from the chicken coop; and preparing the campground’s gardens. The campground also has an observation bee hive and displays on bee keeping, the history of bees and the importance of bees.

Summer goes by fast – make your reservation for a fun-filled summer vacation at Jellystone Park campgrounds today!

 

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