Campground Professionals Meet in Maryland
Attendance was up 21% at the 2nd annual Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP) College held Monday (April 26) at Cherry Hill Park in College Park, Md., with 50 people representing 24 states.
Taking place immediately prior to the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) annual National Issues Conference in nearby Washington D.C., CAMP College is a one-day intensive learning program for CAMP members wholly sponsored by Evergreen USA.
CAMP members primarily consist of executive directors and officers of state associations, and these sessions give them an opportunity to meet with peers from across the country and Canada. CAMP officials spend time with the ARVC leadership, participate in joint sessions with the national association’s Council of Delegates, receive updates from industry partners, listen to CPO approved classes and discuss what is working and what is not with state associations.
An entity that largely has stayed under the radar of the press in the past, CAMP largely focuses on three things – marketing for its members, advocating for members, and educating members.
Camp College offers educational sessions taught by nationally recognized association management educators and leaders. This year’s premier speaker was Bob Harris, certified association executive (CAE) and leading authority on associations.
Harris spoke on Best Practices and Risk Management for associations. Other speakers included Cal Clemons, author of the book “The Perfect Board,” who talked about common issues seen by associations, and Gregg Melia who spoke about the CAE designation and the education that entails.
“Bob Harris brought a wealth of technical knowledge on the mechanics and operation of a non-profit that we need to know, that really make us focus on our mission statement, our vision statement, values statement, anti-trust statement and strategic planning,” explained Rick Abare, CAMP president and executive director of the Maine Campground Owners Association. “All of those things that are necessary to keep a board of directors focused on their activity so what they do is driven by their mission.”
“The attendees at CAMP College are very committed to improving the camping industry,” said Lucas Hartford, president of Evergreen USA, a Lewiston, Maine-based firm specializing in RV park and campground insurance. “They spent the entire day listening to the speakers and that evening at dinner they spent their time discussing ways to implement their new ideas.”
CAMP College simply would not be possible without Evergreen’s sponsorship.
“Evergreen means so much to us who are trying every day to help boards of directors help their members,” Abare said. “Without the level of support from Evergreen we couldn’t do this.”
A representative from Alaska Campground Owners Association attended this year’s CAMP event, and there were three guests from the Maryland Tourism Council who helped further raise the awareness of the camping industry, says Abare. The Colorado Campground and Lodging Owners Association won a $1,000 donation from Evergreen in a drawing.
CAMP College classes included: Association Management – Best Practices and Risk Management, presented by Bob Harris, CAE Non-Profit; ASAE and the Center for Resources for Associations and CAE Designation, presented by Gregg Melia, CAE vice president of member relations; ASAE Board Challenges and Solutions, presented by Cal Clemons, CAE author of “The Perfect Board,” and Setting Realistic Goals and Strategic Planning, presented by Bob Harris, CAE.