New Texas Campground Near Dallas Celebrates Mother's Day

May 7, 2013

The Tyler Texas campground, which was previously known as Whispering Pines RV & Cabin Resort, joined the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort network of family campgrounds on Jan. 1.  The 30-year-old Texas campground, which has 133 RV sites and 18 park model cabins, has long been a Texas camping favorite.  Families enjoy the campgrounds’s lineup of themed weekends and special events from Easter through Halloween.

tyler texas campground pool

kids splash in the family pool

Don and Jan Tardy, who acquired the campground in May of last year with Jan’s adult children, Colt and Bree Perrin, said they wanted to join the Jellystone Park chain to expand their marketing reach.  “I like the concept of Jellystone Park and I want to emphasize the fact that we are a park that caters to families,” Don Tardy said.

Jellystone Parks are famous for offering fun, family activities that include everything from crafts and games to “hey rides,” birthday parties with the bears and daily appearances by Yogi.

The campground will celebrate Mother’s Day weekend with spa-like amenities that include special stations and supplies that will be set up so that kids can give their moms manicures, pedicures and massages.  The park is also planning a mom and kids team tournament, a scavenger hunt, and craft activities, which give children the opportunity to create memorable gifts for their moms and other special people in their lives.

“You don’t even need a tent or RV to camp with us because we have cabins and other vacation rentals,” said Michele Wisher, a spokeswoman for Milford, Ohio-based Leisure Systems, Inc., which franchises Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts.

The Tardys, who run the park with Jan’s adult son, Colt Perrin, already have a head start on the family activities and nice amenities, including two salt water swimming pools and a fishing pond, which is stocked with perch, bass and brim. But they plan to make more improvements to the campground in preparation for the upcoming camping season.

“We’re about to add five more cabins,” Tardy said, adding that the new cabins should be in place by May 15.  Whispering Pines also has four large meeting rooms with separate kitchens to accommodate large groups. Other amenities include basketball, horseshoe, ping pong, shuffleboard and volleyball courts, a camp store and a poolside cafe.

Tardy said his market primarily involves the area between Dallas and Shreveport, La.

If you are camping in Texas, visit one of five Jellystone Parks in the state. Other Jellystone Park Texas campgrounds are located in Burleson, Canyon Lake, Fredericksburg and Waller.


Oklahoma Jellystone Park Wins Award for Excellence in Camping Industry

May 6, 2013

Al and Rose Sahli, owners of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park campground at Lake Eufaula, have been recognized as Operator of the Year by the Jellystone Park franchise system.

The Operator of the Year Award is given to the individual or team directly responsible for the day-to-day operation of a Camp-Resort in recognition of excellence in management and customer service, improvement of inspection scores and growth of business. The award was presented at the annual meeting of the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort group in Cincinnati.

Lake Eufaula camping

Al & Rose Sahli

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

Located on the beautiful sandy shores of Oklahoma’s largest lake, the campground offers the best swimming, boating and fishing experience under the Oklahoma sun. Every campsite and cabin offers a view of beautiful Lake Eufaula; RV campsites are full hookup and cabins offer flat-screen TVs, kitchens and sleep up to six people. Two sandy swimming beaches, a swimming pool and a Wibit floatable sports complex and waterslide provide wet and wild fun for all ages; paddleboats, canoes and pontoon boats are also available. Kids will love panning for sparkling keepsakes at Rock Creek Gem Mining; if they have any energy left, families can check out the playground and enjoy a meal at the onsite restaurant or Snack Shack (or boost their energy at the park’s Starbucks.)

In 2013, a full schedule of themed weekends is planned, starting with the Sailboat Regatta at Eufaula Marina Cove May 16-19. Summer weekends include Father’s Day Weekend June 14-16; Eufaula’s Whole Hawg Festival July 25-29; and Totally Retro Week August 16-19.

Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at Lake Eufaula is located at 610 Lakeshore Drive in Eufaula and opens for the season on May 18.


Yogi Bear Aids Marriage Proposal

September 21, 2012

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!

Colorado Campground Offers Opportunity to Interact with Baby Goats

April 5, 2012

Campers who stay at the park from Spring Break through Earth Day may get a chance to bottle feed a new generation of Nubian dairy goats

LARKSPUR, Colorado – The Grenier family can hardly wait for Spring Break. Not only because they get to go camping at the Jellystone Park campground , but because the timing might work out to bottle feed the park’s newest members – a new generation of Nubian dairy goats! “The goats have roped us in!” exclaimed Lisa Grenier of Castle Rock, whose five children have become enamored of Jellystone’s goats, particularly her 12-year-old daughter, who got a chance to trim the hooves of one of them last fall.

Several Castle Rock families, in fact, are staying in close contact with Jellystone Park owner Ian Steyn regarding the park’s new arrivals. “We’re really looking forward to going there and bottle feeding the baby goats,” said Jennifer Sturgeon of Castle Rock, who has taken her two boys, ages 6 and 9, to the park several times in recent months to interact with some two dozen goats that live on the property.

Steyn brought what he thought were 24 male goats to his campground last year after a local dairy goat farmer expressed remorse over having to butcher the males, since they couldn’t produce as much milk. But Steyn later discovered that four of the goats were “mis-sexed,” and he wound up with four doelings, who later became pregnant does that are about to give birth.

But since Steyn bottle-fed all of his goats from infancy, the animals are unusually tame, companion goats that interact gently with guests, sometimes even jumping on their laps like cats or dogs. “They’re great entertainment for the kids, and they’re just fun to watch,” Sturgeon said, adding that they can also be trained to go hiking. “You can put a pack on them and they’ll go hiking with you.”

In addition to providing entertainment for children, Steyn uses the goats to naturally maintain and fertilize the grass on the campground’s 2-mile long disc golf course. He also uses the does to educate park guests about the benefits of goat’s milk and the cheese that’s produced from it, which is called “chevre.” In fact, the park frequently holds classes for guests who want to learn how to milk a goat and make various products from it, including cheese, butter, ice cream, pudding and goat soap.

Guests also help with bottle-feeding, since young goats need to be fed three times a day. Some guests have even adopted some of the goats, and care for them on a regular basis. “We use the goats to tow sleds in the winter, and in summer, they tow little carts that the kids can ride,” Steyn said.

Close to 20 goats are expected to be born at the Jellystone Park at Larkspur around the time of spring break and will need to be bottle fed for several weeks, potentially until Earth Day. For more information about the goats and other family activities and attractions at the Jellystone Park in Larkspur, visit

South Dakota Campground Sees Increasing Demand for Camping, But from a New Demographic

April 4, 2012

The Jellystone Park campground in Sioux Falls is seeing more local campers and fewer long-distance travelers, a change the park attributes to rising fuel costs and difficulties people have getting away for longer trips

SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota – When Ray Aljets built the campground that later became Jellystone Park Camp-Resort 23 years ago, most of his business was east-west traffic, particularly families from Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis who traveled westward to visit the Black Hills.  Today, however, 65 to 70 percent of the Jellystone Park’s business is families who live within 100 miles of the park. “We still get the east-west traffic,” said Aljets’ son, Bruce, who now runs the park with his wife, Donna, and two of their children, Ray and Christina. “But now most of our business is local.”  

Business is strong, too. Last year, for example, the park surpassed its 2010 revenues by 11 percent, and this year looks to be just as strong as last year, if not stronger, Bruce Aljets said, adding that his park opens for the camping season on April 1st.  But the dynamics are different.

Fuel costs are higher than they used to be, which encourages people to visit campgrounds that are closer to home. Today’s families also have a harder time getting away for extended periods of time. Both parents usually work and often have a harder time getting their vacations to coincide. Kids also have more sporting activities available to them in the summer than they used to, all of which encourages families to camp closer to home. The good news, Bruce Aljets said, is that camping is as popular as ever, with one caveat. “People don’t want to rough it,” he said. “They want the comforts of home when they camp. Even tent campers want Wi-Fi so they can watch Netflix movies.”

As a result, Aljets provides his guests with cabins with house-like amenities, including cable TV and Wi-Fi service and hot showers. The campground also has a jumping pillow, pedal cart rentals, a heated swimming pool and spa, an indoor theatre and a miniature golf course. And for those who don’t have a tent or RV, the park provides a dozen rental cabins. 

Aljets’ Jellystone Park also has an activities director and provides organized family activities from May through the end of October that are designed to appeal to all ages, including Mother’s Day and Father’s Day weekend events; Mardi Gras and Christmas in July celebrations; and Bruce’s favorite, the “Messy Weekend” July 27th to 30th, which includes a chocolate pudding Slip N Slide, bobbing for worms and other messy activities. Late summer and fall activities include a corn maze and Halloween-themed weekend events, including costume and campsite decorating contests. A complete listing of activities and themed weekends is available at

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

April 2, 2012

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.

Colorado Campground Hosts Disc Golf Charity Event

March 6, 2012

From Yahoo News: The Mile High Disc Golf Club in the front range of Colorado is not only making great strides in helping to spread the word about disc golf, over the fall and winter seasons they’ve worked hard to help the hungry in the region.

Their Winter Warrior Series took place starting in early November and ran through the end of January. Disc golf players came together braving especially tough conditions with the Denver area experiencing a lot more snow and extreme cold temperatures than is typical for the region. Disc golfers competed on courses like the beautiful Beaver Ranch Disc Golf Course in Conifer, and the Disc Golf Course at the Jellystone campground in Larkspur , all to help a great cause.

Proceeds from the Winter Warrior Series tournaments went to the Food Bank of the Rockies, a local charity helping to feed the hungry in metro Denver and areas beyond, such as northern Colorado, eastern Colorado and the Western Slope.

 Click here to read the full story.

Boo Boo in the Colorado Snow

March 5, 2012

Here’s a fun picture from the Jellystone Park campground in Estes Park, Colorado. 

Jellystone Campground in South Dakota Supports Local Heroes with Events & Discounts

September 12, 2011

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort of Sioux Falls, SD is honoring the true Super Heroes – police, firefighters, emergency personnel and armed forces – of our communities the weekend of September 16-18, 2011.

A number of special events and programs are scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011. A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will be donated to Operation Cares—an organization that provides support to families of service men and women who have been called away to support and defend our country.

Yogi Bear with Sanford Health Helicopter

“We’re excited to once again recognize and honor our everyday ‘superheroes’ who risk their lives helping our community,” said Donna Aljets, owner of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort. “In addition, due to the outpouring support we had last year, we look forward to hosting a number of events that will also benefit Operation Cares.”

Activities scheduled for the day include: a rocket launcher, humvee and obstacle course provided by the South Dakota Army National Guard; presentations on “Stranger Danger” by the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s office; the Brandon Fire Department’s fire truck; the Sanford Helicopter; wagon rides; visits from Yogi Bear and Boo Boo; an evening community bon fire; and other activities throughout the day.

All campsites and cabins are discounted 25% to any retired or active “superhero” with a valid ID. For those “superheroes” who are not campers, the daily admission fee at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park is also discounted 25%.

The festivities begin on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and will conclude around 10:00 p.m. The event is open to the general public. For more information, call 605-332-2233 or visit for more information.

Jellystone Park™ Gears Up For Halloween

September 9, 2011

Labor Day weekend may mark the end of the traditional summer camping season, but for the Jellystone Park™ Campgrounds that offer Halloween-themed activities; their busiest season is just beginning.

“We’re just now getting into our busiest time of the year,” Dana Gabriel, co-owner of the Jellystone Park Campground in Swansea, S.C. , stated in a news release. She added that her park offers five consecutive Halloween-themed weekends that include carnival games as well as costume contests for adults, children and pets; campsite decorating contests; and trick or treating. Halloween-themed activities have gotten to be so popular, Gabriel said, that the park ratchets up the scariness, with “no scare” Halloween events on the last weekend of September and first weekend of October, followed by three full-on scary weekends for older children and adults that also include a haunted house, which Gabriel and her family created out of an old barn.

Most Jellystone Parks now offer Halloween-themed activities. Activities typically include campsite decorating and costume contests as well as trick or treating and, in some cases, haunted houses and spooky nighttime walks in the forest.