Posts Tagged ‘Camping Season’

Campers in Michigan State ParkThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced it wants to hear from residents interested in spending their summer enjoying Michigan’s great outdoors while providing a valuable service, serving as hosts at Michigan state parks and state forest campgrounds for the 2013 camping season.

Hosts direct visitors to their campsites, answer questions about the park or state forest, arrange campground activities and perform light maintenance and other services, depending on their talents and interests. In return for their volunteer service, hosts are allowed to camp in the state park or state forest campground at no charge.

Hosts can be individuals or teams. They must be at least 18 years old, provide 30 hours of service per week (including weekends and holidays), serve a minimum of four consecutive weeks and furnish their own camping unit, equipment and personal items. Some host assignments will begin as early as April, with some assignments lasting through October.

Successful applicants are chosen by park and forest managers, who may require an interview or request additional information. Selection is based on the individual’s familiarity with the state park or state forest system, his or her camping experience, special skills, availability, knowledge of the area, and the needs of the specific park or forest campground.

Host training for the 2013 camping season will be held sometime in middle to late April 2013 at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center in Roscommon. Special arrangements can be made for those who cannot make the training dates.

Applications and information about the host program are available on the DNR website,www.michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers. Those interested in serving as campground hosts at a state park should apply directly to the park of their choice.

For more information on the DNR’s campground host program in state parks or state forest campgrounds, contact Miguel Rodriguez at (517) 241-4129.

Story Source

In North Dakota, the usual start of the camping season is the Memorial Day weekend, still a couple of months down the road. But then nothing about this year, at least weather-wise, has been usual.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced the Downstream Campground will open for the season May 4 and East Totten and Wolf Creek camping areas will open a couple of days earlier, on May 1.

The wing walls at the Tailrace are now open for fishing. The West Tailrace access road will undergo some repairs later this year and is now gravel. It is an improvement, however, over the crater-sized potholes.

With the price of gas these days, campers will most likely be sticking closer to home. It has been a trend in recent years that when gas prices get close to the $4-a-gallon mark, campers tend to stick closer to home, go less often and stay longer.

Another trend is a lot of campers take advantage of the seasonal sites at some of the campgrounds that are maintained by local park districts.

The bottom line for camping enthusiasts is planning will be important, so it will be a good idea to take advantage of reservation systems.

State parks offer reservations by phone or online. The toll-free number is 800-807-4723 or visit the state parks website at www.parkrec.nd.gov.

Many other camping areas are first-come, first-served, so that makes the planning process more important.
Story Source

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – 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 their children, Ray and Christina. “But now most of our business is local.”

South Dakota Jellystone Park Camp-Resort

Jellystone Park Camp-Resort

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 www.jellystonesiouxfalls.com.

 

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