Winter blues….

Hi all. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is sick of all this snow and having a touch of the winter blues.  The grey skies and overcast days are really bringing me down.  Despite how beautiful the blanket of snow is over all our property.

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The few gorgeous days with sun are so few and far between I’m really wondering how much more of this I can take.  And yet, we took advantage of one of those bright and glorious days just recently.

The whole family went out – which honestly took some convincing of my eldest and of myself to slog through putting on all the snow stuff.  I actually hate winter because of all the millions of layers we have to adorn just to stay warm enough to enjoy a brief amount of time.  It doesn’t seem worth it sometimes.

And yet…… something nudged me from the inside telling me to do it.  Convince Caleb and yourself and go out and play as a family.  All four of us.

Well, that’s just what we did.  We all packed in to our snow gear.  Donned our mitts, and hats, and boots, and pants and scarves and coats and it felt like it went on forever getting us all dressed.  With at least one of us falling over trying to search for an article of clothing every minute or so.  Except of course Jason.  If you know Jason at all, he knows exactly where all his belongings are located.

Ahhhh the perfection in opposites attracting….. or, NOT!  LOL  Luckily we did finally get outside or there might have been a less than pleasant remainder of the day.

And once I walked outside in to that dazzling sunshine and saw the shimmering snow I was so pumped.  I grabbed the toboggans from off the porch and stuck both kids in and drug them as far as I could before they just wanted to get out and play in the snow mounds Jason has been developing with his snow plow.

We managed to get in a ton of great slides because the newly fallen snow made for amazing sledding conditions.  And while we don’t have huge hills here, they are perfect for our little guys.  Maybe one day when they’re bigger they’ll brave a GT snow racer down the walking trail!!!  Actually, if I’m thinking correctly it will probably be more like a snowmobile and I will be riding on the back – Oh YEAH!

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We’ve had our great snow day now, the season can shift into Spring….. who’s with me????

I truly am looking forward to a new season.  The 2017 season is proving to be as busy and exciting as 2016.  We have more than 200 more reservations this year than we did on the same day in 2016.  I can’t say for sure what’s packing in the campers so early in the season but what I can say with certainty is that if you want to camp at the Brighton KOA at all during 2017 you better book soon.

Waiting may prove only to disappoint.

I look forward to seeing your names in the computer as you begin making online reservations or having a chance to catch up with you if you call me to book.

I hope the winter is keeping you all well!

Multi-generations having fun!

When I saw the photos of this next camper experience contest submission it got me thinking.  I’ve always sort of thought of our campground as being “tailored” more for younger children.  Having two boys under 5 when we first purchased the campground I was thinking more of activities and entertainment that would keep them and other kids of that age group happily engaged all summer long.

I’m realizing now that families are so diverse that they don’t just have kids of similar ages.  They might have some young ones and some older ones.  Or there might just be teenagers and because of our proximity to the beaches parents still may want to camp at our KOA.  Therefore I can’t just focus on what would keep the under 10 crowd entertained.  I need to make sure that I am constantly thinking of all ages and what they would desire in a camping experience.

While I know I tend to still focus on keeping little ones happy and occupied so that parents can get lots of relaxation time in, it’s important for me to remember that everyone wants to have fun while they are camping – the young, the young at heart and everyone in between.

I am always open for suggestions.  I may not always have those suggestions in the budget, but the more requests I get for the same items, the more likely I am to create a budget for them.  Keep those requests coming my friends!!!

I really want to thank the lady who submitted these photos and her story.  She shared with me that it was their first weekend in the trailer and have two daughters – a 23 year old and a 6 year old.  Now that is diversity!!!

It looks like they had a fantastic time with each other on the Big Bouncer!  And doesn’t she look adorable with her face paint on?

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New addition coming to Brighton KOA……. Disc Golf

I am so stoked to announce the newest addition to our recreational activities available at the Brighton KOA.  Drum Roll please………

DISC GOLF or what used to be lovingly referred to as Frolf.

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I am saving as much money as possible this year to be able to, God willing, purchase some new cabins for our 2018 season.  But, I didn’t want to go a whole season without adding something new and exciting for our campers.

We’ve just signed the deal for a course designer to come and help us set up a truly unique and somewhat challenging 9-hold Disc Golf course along our walking trail.

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If you haven’t played, I’ve been told it can be quite addicting and fun for all ages.  For you dads out there, grab your beer (cans please around the campground) and some discs and head out for an hour of fun and competition.

Or grab the family and all head out to get some exercise and fun while chucking frisbies at baskets to see if anyone can get a “hole-in-one”.

We’ve decided not to charge green fees for anyone to play.  If you need to rent discs there will be a rental charge and deposit (the deposit being returned once the discs are safely back in our care) or you can purchase your own discs in the store and continue to play all summer at no extra charge.  If you want a score card there will be a very small charge for those and the pencil just to cover the expense.

We really wanted to add value to the camping experience without it being a major expense to families – especially if you have a large family.

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I hope this new addition will continue to make the Brighton KOA a great camping family experience.

You won’t hear Mommy I’m Bored at this campground!

One of the reasons I love owning a campground is getting to know the repeat campers better.  We are so lucky to have such loyal campers that come back so often throughout the season that it really gives us a chance to develop more of a friendship.  I look forward to seeing their kids grow up over the years.

This next camper experience was shared by one of these families I’d say was developing into a friendship.  They camped with us 6 times in the 2016 season and I am really looking forward to seeing them again in 2017.

fb_img_1473728903385One of the weekends they camped was a long weekend so you can see them having sparklers at their site in the main photo.  I LOVE the long weekends because of the fireworks.  Hearing everyone clap at the end of the show always makes the cost and effort worth it.

The mom, who sent me the email, and her husband have two small children and one of the things they love about our campground is that everything is fairly close and the kids know the campground so well that her and hubby can get a bit of down time together while the kids go and play. It’s nice to see them all riding together on the wagon!

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Here are some photos of them enjoying the pool.  I know this is a favourite place for my kids too.  We keep it heated to 84 so that the parents can enjoy getting in with the kids!

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They happen to live very close by so she alfb_img_1473728830204so mentioned in her email how great it is to pack up at home and within a very short period of time they are all set up and camping.  They never hear “are we there yet?”  In fact, they truly make their site a home away from home.

 

And then she made a comment that made my heart swell because it truly is my biggest desire that we create a campground that entertains children so that parents can take a much needed break.  She said that she never hears “mommy I’m bored” at our KOA.  It makes me so happy to hear that.

 

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.

 

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.

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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!