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  • 29 Jan 2016 1:51 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    Free Yourself from Technology

    January 20th, 2016
    by Peter Pelland

    Yes, you read it right. Am I speaking blasphemy? Maybe not. I am currently reading an excellent book titled “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age” by Sherry Turkle, and it is about how smartphones, texting, and social media like Twitter and Facebook have destroyed our ability to carry on emotional and intellectual conversations. In the words of the author, “Technology gives us the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.” An entire generation of us, dominated by those under the age of 30, is uncomfortable with the unfamiliar concept of carrying on a direct conversation that involves eye contact, inflection, body language, and emotion.

    We have grown accustomed to substituting ALL CAPS for subtle inflections, acronyms like LOL for a smile or a laugh, avatars for our faces, and emoticons for our emotions. Facebook encourages us to only post comments that will be broadly “liked”, discouraging any sort of intelligent discourse or exchange of opinions with anyone who is not like-minded. The fact is that we all have much to learn, in a respectful way, from people with beliefs and opinions that differ from our own.


    In the camping experience – built upon the concept of providing people with an opportunity to get away from their routines and to commune with a more natural environment – one of the single most highly demanded amenities is high-speed Internet access. The lion’s share of my own business is the development of mobile-friendly campground websites, ensuring that campers can learn everything possible about a park using nothing but their smartphones or tablets. Camping tends to mirror society itself, and somewhere along the line society has gone astray.

    As school systems nationwide have been in a mad rush to see which of whom can install more computer classrooms faster than their peers, it may surprise some readers to learn about the growth of technology-free schools in America’s computer capital, Silicon Valley. That’s right. Back in 2011, the New York Times reported how educational alternatives like the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, in Silicon Valley, had a student body that consisted of the children of executives from eBay, Google, Apple, Yahoo, and Hewlett-Packard. It has also been widely reported how Steve Jobs limited his children’s access to technology at home, and how many of the other icons of technology follow the same course.

    In fact, one of the latest trends in summer camps (those second cousins of family campgrounds) is the development of technology-free camping, sometimes referred to as “tech detox” camps. Mind you, these summer camps are available not only for kids but for adults, hundreds of whom are willing to pay dearly for the opportunity to put aside their cell phones for a week. There is clearly a demand for device-free vacations. In fact, one of my childhood friends (with whom I am connected on Facebook, of course) just posted last week, “I wonder if there is a place on earth where there is no cell phone service, no Facebook, no TV, no computers … I would go to that place for one week and do nothing but read, write, rest, and get away (just for a while) from this maddening crowd we live within.” Is there a campground ready to step up to the plate?

    There was a recent discussion on the Campground Success LinkedIn Group that I moderate, initiated by a campground owner who wondered whether or not there might be a viable market for a pet-free campground. The general consensus was that there might be risks in suddenly implementing a pet-free policy, particularly when so many of us treat our pets like our own children; however, there is likely a demand for such an alternative. (I would consider it a far lesser risk if I was running a campground that was surrounded by 20 other parks in the immediate area, rather than a park where my nearest competitor was 50 miles away.) I believe that the time has also come for a few brave souls to experiment with running a technology-free campground, maybe testing the waters with a technology-free weekend. (Imagine the free publicity that you could garner in the press!)

    This would have to be planned well in advance, before accepting reservations from any campers with conventional expectations. Campers would agree to leave their cell phones at home or locked away and to put away their satellite dishes. The park would shut down its wi-fi routers, pull the cable on TV service, and plan an entire weekend of activities and events that will allow campers to get to know one another – and to get to know themselves – like they used to do in the “good old days”. Let’s face it: Camping is the perfect setting and environment for tech-free activities and non-activities alike! You could offer things like a book exchange, an acoustic music jam session, nightly group campfires, nature walks, parent and child activities, and a Sunday morning service with a tech-free homily.

    Sure, there are issues that would need to be addressed. What do you do about seasonal campers who do not want to participate? What do you do about people who do not easily withdraw from their technology addiction? Those are minor challenges that can be easily overcome. Think of the first restaurants years ago that toyed with the idea of going smoke-free. Today it is almost unheard of to find a restaurant in the United States that allows smoking, and we are all better off for the change.

    Who will be the first to step up to the challenge? Without explorers who risked sailing into uncharted waters, we might still believe that the world was flat. Just think of what you might accomplish. If the lessons learned at your tech-free weekend lead to just one family that returns to having dinner together each evening without the distractions of cell phones and TV, you will have just accomplished far more than you had ever intended.

    This post was written by Peter Pelland


  • 29 Jan 2016 1:39 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)


    Killer Bacon-Cheese Dogs

    Ingredients

    • 8 all-beef hot dogs
    • 8 hot dog buns
    • 8 slices Swiss cheese
    • 1/2 cup barbeque sauce, or amount to taste
    • 1 small red onion, diced

    Directions

    • Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Lightly oil grate and set 4 inches from the heat.
    • Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain on paper towels.
    • Place hot dogs on grill; cook until browned, 5 to 8 minutes, turning once, or until done to suit your taste. Lightly grill hot dog buns.
    To assemble sandwiches, place a slice of cheese and bacon on each roll. Add a hot dog, top each with 1 tablespoon barbeque sauce, or desired amount, and red onion.


  • 29 Jan 2016 1:30 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    November RV Shipments Hit Ten-Year High

    RV wholesale shipments tracked by RVIA continued to perform strongly in the final quarter of 2015 with November monthly totals hitting their highest level in 10 years at 27,329 units, an increase of 3.9% above November 2014.

    Year to date, total RV shipments grew to 346,221 units through November, an increase 4.9% over the same 11-month period in 2014.    Shipments of all towable RVs grew 4.8% to 302,672 units while motorhome shipments improved by six percent to 43,539 units.

    Seasonally adjusted shipments climbed to an annualized rate of more than 405,000 units in November, the second highest month in 2015.


  • 21 Jan 2016 12:59 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)


    Congratulations to Kyle and Tammy Boltz of Jonestown KOA for winning the 2015 We Are Family Award! 

    Criteria for the We Are Family Award includes KOA Owners Association family member(s) who help other family members beyond the call of duty as well as/or to those who consistently show special qualities that contribute to the whole KOA system.



    Diane King, Secretary-OA Board of Directors, presenting the 2015 We Are Family Award to Tammy and Kyle Boltz of Jonestown KOA, Jonestown, Pennsylvania

    Other nominees included:

    Dave and Sue Barton, 1000 Islands/Ivy Lea KOA nominated by Mike and Kristi Kuper, Thunder Bay KOA
    Diane King, Springfield/Route 66 KOA nominated by Karen McAndrew, Cardinal/Ottawa S KOA
    Donna Fout, Great American Direct nominated by Vicki Cole, Shelby/Mansfield KOA

    Congratulations to all for outstanding work!


  • 07 Dec 2015 4:57 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    2015 WINNERS & NOMINATIONS FOR WORKKAMPER OF THE YEAR AWARD

    The Awards Committee for the WorkKamper of the Year Award for 2015 received 10 nominations this year; making it very difficult to choose one winner.  Congratulations to winners Gene & Gale Fletcher pictured below with Weatherford/Fort Worth West KOA owner Gary Tatem who nominated them.  Gene and Gale were recognized at the KOA Owners Association Annual Meeting in Daytona Beach. Other nominees are listed below the picture.


    From left to right: Gary Tatem, Gene Fletcher, Gale Fletcher

    Other nominees:

    Bill & Pam Thorne by Carol & John McMullen, Daniel & Trish McMullen, Burkburnett/Wichita Falls KOA

    Bill & Linda Ward by Bill & Anita Perry, Chautauqua Lake KOA

    Christine Trafelet-Jones by Erika Zipser, Staunton/Walnut Hills KOA

    Bill & Judy Thonii by Steve & Sara Jewell, Spartanburg/Gaffney KOA

    Laurie Amundson & Don Packer by Patti & Henry Grover, Augusta/Gardiner KOA

    Mike & Marilyn LaFrenz by Deborah & David Brunovsky, Ouray KOA

    John & Susan Burch by Kevin & Jeanette Oster, Miles City KOA

    Joyce & Chuck Fagan by Barb Kuder, Salem/Lisbon KOA

    Larry & Mischa Good by Johnny Knight, Jacksonville N/St. Mary's KOA

    Congratulations to all of the nominees for doing such an outstanding job as WorkKampers!


  • 30 Oct 2015 12:47 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    ILLINOIS KOA OWNERS MEETING

    October 26 & 27, 2015

    Granite City KOA

    Hosts: John & Schelly


    ·         Arrive, chat, coffee and food. 8:00AM thank you Schelly, John and Amanda for hosting.

    ·         Represented at the meeting were all the Illinois parks to include Springfield, Casey, Benton, Chicago NW, Lena, LaSalle, Kankakee, Granite City and Rock Island.

    ·         Financial Report was provided by John and shows the association continues to carry a small balance of $300+  with all bills paid.

    ·         Minutes of March meeting approved.

    ·         Old Business

    o   John reminded the group that Rustic Cedar provides a discount for larger orders and at the spring meeting the group agreed that we should consider placing one order to be delivered to our spring 2016 meeting location (LaSalle/Peru KOA). John will coordinate the requests for the order in conjunction with, Dave and Linda so that the items can be shipped and available for pickup during the spring meeting. All parks interested in placing a combined order need to identify the items they would like to order. John will take the requests anytime between now and February 29, 2016 to allow enough time for a timely shipment. Payment can be made at the meeting once final costs are determined.

    o   Marketing Efforts

    ·         Sylvia stated that our inventory of Tri-fold brochures is depleted and the group agreed that a new order needs to be placed so that we have a sufficient quantity on hand for the winter shows. Sylvia is asking for park updates and some parks were able to confirm changes at the meeting. Sylvia will work with the designer and get a proof out soon so that we can go to print and ship by early January. The cost of the printing will be prorated for the nine parks. There will also be a proration of the $90 fee for the ICA directory design. Sylvia will coordinate the process.

    ·         Once we have the new brochures we will need to find a way to get a supply to all show coordinators.

    §  A discussion was held concerning the participation of KOA parks in the Illinois winter camping shows. Based on feedback from the prior year the group determined that Springfield should be dropped and Rockford should be added to the list of shows. For 2016 the show coordinators and show dates are as follows:

    ·         Shows for 2016

    o   Rosemont – Rob February 17-21, 2016

    o   Quad Cities-John  February 26-28, 2016

    o   Peoria – John March 4-6, 2016

    o   Bellville – Walter February 27-March 1, 2016

    o   Rockford, Sylvia March 18-20, 2016

    o   All Illinois parks will help work shows but not all shows will have all parks participating. The Rosemont show will also have the help of one Michigan Park. Any excess supplies from the prior camping year such as directories will be used at the shows to avoid waste. Any park wishing to have their park rack card distributed at a show will need to get their materials to the correct show coordinator.

    ·         John briefed everyone on the joint marketing in the ICA directory. This year 8 parks participated in the full page ad. This ad not only gives us a presence in the directory but also a place on the ICA web site. John and Sylvia both made a point that the ICA web site is the number one source of referrals to their independent web sites, sorry referrals to KOA.com cannot be determine. John also made the point that the Good Sam directory web site is the number two source of referrals. No other joint marketing efforts were discussed.

    o   Joe Long, our OA board representative, gave us a report on OA issues and topics. He said that there will be an open seat for area three and if anyone was interested they should let Bill Ranieri know so their name could be placed on the ballot. Joe said he has one more year on the board but most likely would not stay after the year. Joe also talked about the coordination of training seminars, at convention, between the OA and KOA and hoped the sessions prove to be more beneficial to all attending.

    ·        Because of the rain from hurricane Patricia the park tour could not be conducted.

    ·         At the suggestion of Walter an invitation was made to John Adams at KOA to give our group a presentation on, Kampsight 2.0. At 2pm John made his presentation in a webinar and the park owners were able to ask questions concerning, equipment, change over, date and training. The session was very informative and John Adams encouraged owners to attend training sessions at convention to get hands on with the new system. The feedback from the owners was very positive as we all seem to be looking forward to the new WEB based system.

     ·         The next meeting was scheduled for March 21 and 22 and the LaSalle/Peru KOA. Remember this will also be our pickup date for any items ordered from Rustic Cedar.

    ·         Meeting adjourned at 3:00pm


  • 28 Oct 2015 1:01 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)



    KOA Owners Association Annual Meeting Schedule

    Daytona Beach, Florida

    Sunday, November 15

    9:00am - 4:00pm - OA Board Meeting – Ocean Room

    Monday, November 16

    8:00am - 3:00pm - OA Meeting Information Handouts – East Entrance

    Tuesday, November 17

    8:00am - 3:00pm - KOA Convention Registration Open

    8:00am - 3:00pm - OA Meeting Information Handouts – East Entrance

    4:15pm - 5:15pm - OA Area Meetings

              Area 1 Meeting – 102A

              Area 2 Meeting – 102B

              Area 3 Meeting – 102C

              Area 4 Meeting – 103A

              Area 5 Meeting – 103BC

              Area 6 Meeting – 201AB

              Area 7 & 8 Meeting – Ocean Room

    Wednesday, November 18

    4:45pm - 6:00pm - OA Annual Meeting – 103BC

    6:00pm - 8:00pm - KOA Expo Opening Reception

    Thursday, November 19

    1:00pm - 2:00pm - OA New/Old Board Meeting – Ocean Room

    6:00pm - 10:00pm - Final Night Celebration

     


  • 27 Oct 2015 1:26 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    Heartland Owners Association Fall Meeting Minutes
    October 19th and 20th, 2015
    Kansas City East/Oak Grove KOA

    Meeting called to order 11:00 AM by Jodie Bartelson, President.

    Those in attendance:

    • Mary Ellen Greer, Violet and Joe Ben Stone - Kansas City East, MO (Host campground)
    • Angie Dickerson - Branson, MO
    • Paul Shepherd - St. Louis West, MO
    • Scott & Diane King, Cameron Albert - Springfield/Route 66, MO
    • Mark & Deb Wood - WaKeeney, KS
    • Chad & Jodie Bartelson - Wellington, KS
    • Linda King & Linell Knight - Tulsa NE, OK
    • Terry & Tina Haith - Oklahoma City, OK
    • Dawn Maust - Sallisaw/Ft. Smith, OK
    • Peggy Ruzicka -Checotah/Lake Eufaula, OK
    • Donna Bridges - Eureka Springs, AR
    • Rich Wardle, Quality Assurance Coordinator, KOA

    Campground introductions and park updates and plans.  Diane moved and Donna seconded that we approve the minutes of the March 27th, 2015 meeting as presented, motion passed. Deb moved and Chad seconded that we approve the treasurer’s report as presented, motion passed. We have an ended balance of $14,495.95 ; with $4,929.34 of those funds reserved for disaster relief, leaving an operating balance of $9,566.61.

    CARE CAMPS updates came from Diane. $1.5 million is the goal to donate to camps in 2016. They are currently looking for two new board members who might have financial and legal backgrounds. Be sure to send in your donation dollars as seasons are winding down. KOA is still matching dollar match from owners on Value Kards sold. Please be sure to flag those when reporting. Care Camp auction items can be sent even if not attending convention. Visit www.koacarecamps.org for more information. You can also buy your raffle tickets there. You do not need to be present to win. Vehicle donation has been successful. American Cancer Society has now endorsed Care Camps. 100% of donations from owners and guests are going directly to care camps.

    NATIONAL OWNERS ASSOCIATION notes from Diane. Peer to Peer Committee has had some success with helping parks in distress that would like assistance. Convention Committee created to help give input regarding convention ideas, set up, speakers, seminars, etc. Diane will be running again for Area 4 Director. If you are not attending convention please be sure to get your OA proxy assigned to someone who is.

    LEGISLATIVE NEWS from Scott. Be sure to review the federal ADA guidelines regarding service animals. Many are misinformed. Recent article is available on E-Kamp. Stay aware of the rules and legislations regarding the handling of sewage. Many areas, especially MO are facing some very strict rulings and changes. The concerns voiced earlier regarding HUD with cabins and the 400 square foot size to now include porches has been put on hold.

    SURVEY RESULTS collected by Jodie. The results are available on a thumb drive to those who were not at the meeting. Printed copies were handed out to those in attendance. We did not review each item in detail. Please feel free to do so at your leisure.

    TRADE SHOWS - It was decided to do four shows this winter. They are:

    • St. Louis - John Bell/Paul Shepherd (St Louis West KOA) coordinating. January 14-17, 2016
    • Kansas City - Joe Ben Stone (Kansas City East KOA) coordinating. January 14-17, 2016
    • Little Rock - Donna Bridges (Eureka Springs KOA) coordinating. February 6-8, 2016
    • Tulsa - Linell Knight (Tulsa NE KOA) coordinating. February 1-7, 2016

    Please let these coordinators know if you or someone from your park can assist in running these show booths. Be watching for e-mail from them in the near future.

    TOPICS DISCUSSED

    • Cabin experiences and maintenance issues
    • Plans for 2016
    • Revenue generating and cost reduction ideas
    • Regional marketing ideas
    • Kampsight 2.0 and what that means to us for equipment and credit card processing

    PRESENTATION from PAUL CROTEAU, Senior Sales Engineer from UTILITY SUPPLY GROUP, 800-800-2811

    National Electric Code is on a three year cycle. Next code book will be published in 2017. 100 amp service is not likely to be in 2017 NEC. Be sure to set up a maintenance program and schedule for the park pedestals and wiring. Breakers should not be on when pedestals are not in use. Hand outs with tips and pointers on safety, maintenance, highlights from NFPA and NEC and a Utility Supply Group catalog were distributed to those present. Visit www.go-usg.com for additional information, questions.

    PRESENTATION from RICH WARDLE, Quality Assurance Coordinator from KOA.

    System average for NPS score this year was 57.79. 149 parks received a 70+ NPS score. This year there were 326 park visits and 157 opt outs. Nancy and Larry Babyak, who are former owners of a KOA in Maine will be joining the Quality Assurance Team this year. A few spots are still available at convention for the Kampsight 2.0 training. You will need to bring your own computer. A new partnership is coming out with KOA and Home Depot for discount buying on products. The details should be presented at convention regarding this program.

    OLD BUSINESS - Decided to not pursue the Heartland landing page at this time. Dues motion made at the spring meeting needs to be made at the fall meeting to be in accordance with our by-laws.

    NEW BUSINESS - Marketing CO-OP proposal. Synopsis or intent of proposal: Any advertising promoting the individual KOA or KOA in general; Newspaper ads, Facebook ads, Google ads, etc or logo merchandise given out for advertising purposes. Chad motioned/Diane seconded. Motion amended by Chad/seconded by Scott:  Heartland KOA will provide a one-time reimbursement up to $250 of 50/50 co-op advertising dollars to all campgrounds whose dues have been paid by December 31, 2015. Any advertising promoting the individual KOA or KOA in general:  newspaper ads, Facebook ads, Google ads, etc or logo merchandise for advertising purposes. Receipts should be submitted to the Heartland Owners Association Treasurer for reimbursement. Motion carries.

    Donna motions to rescind dues for 2016. No second, motion dies. Chad motions/Donna seconds: Dues for the Heartland Owners Association shall be $50.00 effective 11/1/2015 for the 2016 membership year. Motion carries.

    *Action Item: Secretary to mail a dues sheet, brief explanation of advertising benefit and date and location of fall meeting to all campgrounds in the Heartland area. Treasurer to follow up in December.

    Donna motioned/Mark seconded that total proceeds from auction go to Care Camps $855.00. Motion carries. Diane motioned/Deb seconded that the $26.00 cost of Survey Monkey be refunded to Jodie. Motion carries. Deb motioned/Diane seconded that all reasonable documented travel expenses for President of the Heartland Owners Association to attend the 2015 KOA convention shall be reimbursed. Motion carries. It was decided to do away with the fund raising auction for 2016. Diane motioned/Mark seconded that we have no spring meeting in 2016. Motion carries.

    FALL 2016 MEETING will be held in Wakeeney, KS on October 24 and 25, 2016.

    ELECTIONS OF BOARD MEMBERS: Nominations opened. Donna Bridges, Joe Stone and Josh Bell were the nominees. Diane moved/Chad seconded that the slate of nominees be accepted. Motion carries.

    Joe motioned/Tina seconded that meeting be adjourned.

    Board Members: Jodie - President, Joe - Vice President, Donna - Treasurer , Tina - Secretary, Mark, Scott, and Josh


  • 12 Oct 2015 1:15 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

     

    KOA OWNERS ASSOCIATION PROXY FOR 2015 ANNUAL MEETING

    Know all persons by these presents that the undersigned, a member in good standing of the Kampground Owners Association, Inc. hereby appoints:

    Tuesday, November 17:

    4:15pm – 5:15pm – All OA Area Meetings

    (full name) as his/her proxy, to represent the undersigned at the Area meetings on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 between 4:15 pm and 5:15 pm; and at the Annual Meeting of the members of the corporation to be held on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, at approximately 4:45 p.m. in Daytona Beach, Florida or at any adjournment thereof and to vote for the undersigned on any and all matters that may come before the meetings.

    Member name:

    Franchise #:

    Campground name:

    Signature:

    Date:

    Instructions to proxy:


    NOTE:  Proxies should be in the possession of the Secretary of the Kampground Owners Association not later than 8:00 a.m. Friday, October 30, 2015 according to the by-laws.  Accordingly, proxies should be mailed to:

    Kampground Owners Association

    3416 Primm Lane

    Birmingham, AL  35216

    Please check for meeting room locations at the KOA Annual Convention


  • 12 Oct 2015 1:11 PM | KOA Owners Association (Administrator)

    OFFICIAL NOTICE

        

    In accordance with Article IV, Section 4, of the By-Laws of the KOA Owners Association, notice is hereby given that the Annual Meeting of the Association will be held on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 starting at 4:45 pm in room TBD in Dayton Beach, Florida. Such Association business as may be appropriate will be discussed and acted upon.

    For those who may not attend the Annual Meeting, an Official Proxy in accordance with Article III, Section 3 of the By-Laws is included with this letter to the entire membership.  Please submit your proxy to the Association office by October 30, 2015 if you will be unable to attend the meeting.

                                             

    KAMPGROUND OWNERS ASSOCIATION

    William Ranieri, Executive Director          

    Please check meeting room location at the KOA Annual Convention for specific meeting locations


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