Brave Grandmother tries camping for the first time!

I am truly enjoying spending time reading all the emails I’ve received with stories of your camping experiences at the Brighton KOA along with seeing all the photos you’ve included.  So thank you for sending them along.  KOA gift cards are being given out for each entry I use in my blog.  They can be picked up at your next camping trip with us.

This weeks entry is from a wonderful grandmother of 2, a four year old and a two year old!jean-thomerson-photos-3

It was inspiring to read her story because she admits in the first line that she hadn’t ever been camping before and “wasn’t that keen on it” but agreed to go because her granddaughter wanted her to go.  Their mother suffers from a gout like condition and wouldn’t be able to enjoy all the activities.  So, on the September long weekend, right before school started for the eldest, this brave grandmother went on a camping adventure – tent and all!

She shared with me in her email that she was reluctant at first because she didn’t want to sleep on the ground or experience mosquitoes and especially was worried about missing out on her luxuries like a bath or a stove to make her tea.  Well, with a little preparation she said that she was actually quite warm in the tent under some extra blankets.  And she wasn’t bothered by a single mosquito while enjoying the campfire!jean-thomerson-photos-2

She also was glad she didn’t have to give up her tea because we had it available at the store anytime she wanted one.

She told me her granddaughter was excited to collect stickers in her Passport to Fun and wanted to do all the different activities we have available – from the Big Bouncer, to swimming in the pool, playing on the riders in front of the store, watching fireworks, going on the wagon ride and eating Ice Cream at the Social.jean-thomerson-photos

In her words, “I will remember this time with my grandchildren forever and by the way sleeping in a tent wasn’t a big deal after all.”

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From the sounds of it, this family packed their weekend with all that we have to offer and enjoyed every minute of it.  I’m impressed that a grandmother would take on the challenge of her first camping trip at 65 years old and I am so glad that we were able to make it so great.

 

Camper Experience: Merry Christmas

Well, I thought this next post from a camper would be well timed since he actually uses the words Merry Christmas in his email of which I am simply going to copy and paste.

I have to admit, this next one had me feeling all the feels.  Especially feeling grateful for my husband and his heart for others.  Which is the main thing that attracted me to him in the first place.  He is so giving and generous.

Hello Jackie

Several years ago we stopped at the KOA in Brighton as we were passing through. You and Jason were not the owners then but the area was very pretty and we noted it as someplace we would return to again.

As fate would have it our daughter was accepted to Loyalist College in Belleville in 2016 and your KOA was very convenient when we were getting her settled.

Now my story is from Sunday September 4th, 2016 (Labour day weekend). We had decided to spend our last weekend with our daughter, camping at the KOA, before we sent her off to college life. The weather was fantastic and we were having a wonderful time.

On Sunday morning my wife told me, as she often does, that the holding tanks needed dumping. So after my morning coffee I went out and dumped the tanks. The problem arose when I tried to close the black water valve and it would not cooperate. It seemed like something was jammed and would not let the valve close. So I donned my rubber gloves and found a piece of wire and tried to dislodge whatever was causing the blockage.

After much frustration  and a few curse words, I conceded defeat and removed my rubber gloves and went to the KOA office with hopes of getting a telephone number for an RV service repair man to help me out.

The young lady at the desk told me that she would get Jason to come and talk with me. A short time later Jason arrived in his golf cart and we discussed my problem. He gave me the number for an RV service shop but said he was not sure if they worked on holiday weekends. He also told me that he had an attachment to connect a hose to flush the black tank out that he does not use and he said I could borrow it and give that a try.

I accepted his gracious offer and he returned with the attachment a short time later. When all was said and done, my blockage was cleared and I told Jason that I would be happy to buy the attachment he had loaned me, since by that point, it was far from being new. Jason replied, “Merry Christmas. It’s yours, don’t worry about it.”

From that point I was sold on The Brighton KOA.

We were back several times during the fall of 2016. Fall is our favorite time to camp and I have attached a photo we took from site C6 on September 22. It wasn’t busy that day but it sure was pretty.

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Will we be back in 2017? You can count on it!!

I was overjoyed when I read this email and so totally excited to give this camper a gift card when they next come camping to use on either camping or in the store.

Thank you for your submission.  I have a few new ones since my last post, but there are a lot of weeks until we open and I will run this as long as I have new emails to include in my blogs.

As a reminder, we are filling up for the Opening Care Camps weekend, May Long weekend, and the Mothers Day Care Camps weekend.  We are offering Leave Your Rig from Opening weekend all the way till July 1st weekend for $20 per week as long as you have back to back weekends booked for camping.  BOOK NOW online or call me at 613-475-2186..

Merry Christmas to all our loyal campers.  Please know that we appreciate you immensely and give thanks for you often.  You are always in our prayers!

With love, Jackie.

 

Project Updates: Chip Trailer has a new home

Well, if you’ve been living under a rock or on a deserted island for the past few months you won’t have heard that Sabrina, the manager at our Brighton KOA, has purchased herself a Chip Trailer for the purpose of feeding our absolutely amazing campers and venturing out as an Entrepreneur.    Don’t worry….. she’s still going to be the incredible manager she has always been, but now she will spend much of her free time supervising her own staff and developing yummy menu items.  I’ve already joined a gym now to hopefully get myself in the habit so that I don’t gain a million pounds eating all that pulled pork poutine once we open next season.

The purchase and transfer of title of the trailer was fairly smooth and uneventful.  It wasn’t until the day of moving the trailer to the KOA that the fun began.  You see, the trailer is used and has been parked for a while so she was concerned with towing it directly behind a truck.  So instead, she arranged a friend of her fathers to bring his big trailer to the parking lot where it was parked and using a winch they planned to pull the chip trailer up and then tow it on top of his trailer.

According to Sabrina the day ended up being a total cluster *&$(*^* (you know what). And if you don’t know, good for you – you don’t have a potty mouth!

They arrived and began to get the chip trailer ready to winch up onto the tow trailer and the winch wouldn’t work.  They just couldn’t get it started.  So, they developed a new plan, which was to hitch it to the truck and use the truck to pull it up onto the trailer.

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This plan was working…. until, they got it halfway up and realized it wasn’t going to fit because of the fenders on the side of the tow trailer and the chip trailer being just a bit too wide to fit in between the fenders.  Here’s a picture of the trailer and fenders so you can see what I mean.

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Anyway, they came up with a third plan and another friend was called in.  They were going to attempt to get the chip trailer up onto the tow trailer on blocks so that it would sit higher than the fenders on the tow trailer.  Well that plan just wasn’t panning out and by this point everyone was tired, and hungry, and getting more frustrated by the minute.  The sun was starting to set so they tried one final attempt by calling CAA since Sabrina had a membership for her car.  Apparently the trailer itself wasn’t covered on her plan so they wouldn’t send a tow truck out for it.  As you can imagine, everyone was starting to feel disappointed.

Well, before they all left, Sabrina’s Dad – some of you know him lovingly as Marty – decides he’s going to be a hero and just tow the chip trailer to his friends house which was very close by.  So, they hitched it up to Marty’s vehicle and they all drove off in a convoy.  Once they were on the road, Marty, with Sabrina fully in agreement, just declares “we’re just going to go straight to the KOA”.

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So, after hours of attempting to tow the trailer in the safest way possible, they just decided to throw caution to the wind and get that puppy home using only side roads of course.  A short drive that should have taken ten minutes took them almost double, but eventually Sabrina was proud to say that her new Chip Trailer, named Fryday, is now residing at its new home at the Brighton KOA.

fryday-is-home

Stay tuned for more news of all the renovations and upgrades Sabrina has planned for Fryday before opening weekend on April 28-30, 2017.  It’s a great weekend to come camping with us – Camp Friday and for only a minimum $10 donation to Care Camps Saturday is included.  We’d love to see you supporting two worthy causes – Care Camps and Sabrina’s new business.  Call us to book your weekend now 613-475-2186 or book online.

I know 2016 isn’t even over yet and we are so close to the Christmas holidays that people may not be thinking about Camping at all.  Especially after that amazing snow fall we had this week.  It’s almost up to my knees around here!!!!  But, we’ve had a ton of reservations come in since November, so, if you want to camp with us opening weekend, don’t put it off too long to make your reservations.

Thanks for reading!

Camper Experience #1 – Mr. Skunk

I am really excited about a contest I am running all winter long.  I’ve asked my campers to send me photos and stories of their amazing camping trips from the 2016 season.  If I choose your photos and stories to include in a blog post then you get a KOA gift card.  It really is a simple way to get free camping.

I have a few submissions to peruse through but I would like some more.  Please email me with any photos and stories of why your family had such a great time camping with us this past season.

To begin with I’m going to share one of my own favourite experiences of this season.  And it all starts with a skunk.

We’d received a few complaints from campers that they had seen a skunk hanging around.  One poor lady even shared with me that she was just out for a nice, relaxing, early evening stroll when bold Mr. Skunk decides to chase her down the wagon path and raise his tail at her.  You can imagine her horror when she’s facing down the butt end of a skunk.  I really did feel for her while trying not to burst into hysterical fits of laughter.  I don’t think I would have been laughing nearly as much if she’d actually been sprayed but let’s face it.  Skunks are funny.

Well, after someone told me they think the skunk is living under the deck of one of our Basic Camping Cabins I knew we had to do something.  But what?  I’m such an animal lover, and while I wouldn’t want to get cuddly cozy with a skunk, the thought of hurting it wasn’t at all pleasing to me.  So, Sabrina told me she could bring me in a trap that belonged to her family.  Marty to the rescue again!

Well, as luck would have it, a camper checked in for the weekend who just happened to be an exterminator.  Chad got the lucky job of learning how to set a trap and catch a skunk!  I had the lucky job of telling the next campers to check in to Kabin 2 that there was a skunk living under their cabin and we had a trap set.  Honestly, one of the things I am truly grateful for is the quality of campers we get here.  They were so chill about the whole thing.  What amazing people.  One camper volunteers to help us set a trap and the others, who are even more inconvenienced, were so amazing about the whole thing.  How did I get to be so lucky?

Anyway, let’s make a long story short and skip ahead to the day that Sabrina and Chad are cleaning out the fire pits after everyone has checked out.  Sabrina sees the trap and that it has a black and white animal moving around it in and screams and runs the other direction yelling ”SKUNK!”  I wish someone had caught that on video.

Here’s where it gets hilarious.  Jason had taken the kids to visit my parents for the weekend and to go to a birthday party so I didn’t have my truck.  Hmmmmm where are we going to take this thing?  My amazing cleaning woman Nancy – I hope you’ve all met her.  She’s just incredible.  And so brave.  She throws a big cardboard box over the cage and grabs an end and drags the cage toward the black truck we use for garbage pick up at the campground.  I’m acting fairly girly at the time to be honest (you can imagine it, running around squealing like a girl) but I do manage to grab the other end and we hoist it up onto the truck at which point I run away for fear of being sprayed.  The campers watching this were probably wondering what I was doing.

Phew…. Okay.  The hard part is done.  Well, the first half of the hard part.  The next step is to drive it somewhere and then take it out of the back of the truck and open the cage.  Ahhhhhhh

Well, I hop in the drivers seat and Chad squeezes in between me and Sabrina who is in the passenger seat.  We venture extremely slowly onto Telephone Road.  And when I say slowly, I mean slow.  The truck doesn’t shift out of first gear anymore so we are literally putting along the road.    Here’s a short video of us driving – excuse the language but it’s definitely funnier with the sound ON.

driving-skunk-to-his-new-home

We finally see a deserted road with a big field a ways down the road and I pull off Telephone.  I park the truck and we all get out.    The funniest part of the day was when me and Chad were trying to grab the trap to get off the truck and Chad’s finger gets rubbed by the skunk so he starts freaking out yelling “It touched me – it’s moving!”  Me and Sabrina seriously couldn’t breathe we were laughing so hard.  Keep in mind, laughing from way on the other side of the road.

After we all catch our breath Chad and I manage to get the trap onto the side of the road and brave Chad opens it.  You can see in this video I wasn’t even willing to go near the trap so I threw a stick to him from the other side.  And Sabrina couldn’t even stick around to get the whole thing recorded because she was running to the other side of the truck once it started to move out.

releasing-mr-skunk-in-to-the-wild

I love the staff I work with.  Both because of their willingness to do every job I need them to, but more so, because what FUN we have doing them.  That day was one of my favourites because of how much we laughed.   And we were able to rid the KOA of Mr. Skunk.

So, that’s the first Camper Experience post, be sure to watch for more.  And send me any photos and stories of your fun times at the Brighton KOA and I’ll have a KOA gift card waiting for you at your next camping trip if I choose to use yours.

And don’t forget to book your reservations soon for your favourite weekends in 2017.  We are over half full for many of the ones in the Spring.

It’s finally ready!!!!!!

Okay seriously I have butterflies jumping around I feel so excited.  We have finally put the finishing touches on the calendar of events and sent it to KOA head office to be uploaded to our www.brightonkoa.com site.  It should be online in no less than 24 hours.

This is seriously the most exciting Calendar of Events yet!

And yes, I know it’s only been 3 years, but we dropped the activities that seemed to get barely any attendance and we’ve added some new ones.  And changed a few of the themes to ones that just felt funner somehow.

Pause.  I’m waiting for all you grammar freaks and teachers to tell me it should have been more fun!  But…. funner is just funner to say.  Ha

Anyway.  I’m also feeling a little nervous.  And I didn’t realize until just tonight why I’ve delayed and procrastinated at preparing it.  I really REALLY want you all to be as excited about it as me.

What if no one shows up? What if no one likes these ideas?

But as I sit here feeling excited AND nervous I’m telling myself that in my heart I know that you will.  You will LOVE these ideas.  We have debated and planned and X-Nayed (Is that how you spell that?) so many ideas that as a team we truly believe this is going to be an extremely fun and exciting and memory making season.  We worked our butts off last year to make everyone happy and it’s going to be another busy season in 2017 but oh so worth it!

This is going to be our third season as the owners and staff of the Brighton KOA.  And Third Times a Charm Right?

And just a quick note to let everyone know that during the main season, all of July and August, we do daily activities.  Not just weekend ones.  Even though the main events happen on the weekends we have other great activities and games and fun stuff planned for every single day so we can keep the fun happening all week long.

It’s always funny when strange fears pop up.  I like to poke them in the eye.  So here’s to a good poke.  Enjoy the calendar of events and call me at 613-475-2186 to make your reservations or as always go online to www.brightonkoa.com because Value Kard holders get bonus points for booking online.

With so much love to my campers and my staff.

 

Jackie.

Brand New Blogging News

Hello to our most amazing campers.  I have started a blog and I want to let you know all about it.

I feel as giddy as Isaac was when he was a baby.  Isaac is my youngest.

isaac

So first off, the reason for the blog versus just continuing with newsletters.

I tend to be long winded….. if you haven’t noticed.  I like to share more information with our campers than just what they can expect in upcoming weekends in bullet form.  When I am a fan of of a company I really like to know about the owner and the staff and what cool things they are doing.  And I’m assuming that some of our loyal campers are just like me and want to know what’s going on too.

Blogging makes me feel like I am writing a letter to each and every one of you.  Like good friends and family would.

I will still send out the newsletters with bullet form information like the theme of the weekend and the basic activities so if that’s all you want to hear from me, then I won’t be boring you with details or taking up your time.

I want to please all our campers and respect our differences and not just assume you are all nosy like me! Haha

But on this site I will be posting blog updates.  This is where I will be sharing Camper Experiences or updates on projects we are undertaking or just general useful (or maybe not so useful) information.

And please comment – share my posts on your social media if you think it will be of interest to others.  Comment here on this site.  And send me any emails with any suggestions or comments.  I truly want to hear from you.

You can subscribe so that you get notified every time I add a new post or you can just watch for my social media posts and follow along.  Whatever works best for you.

I can’t wait to see you all again!

And to book your reservations for the 2017 season click here.

Jackie.