Lori Severson of the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners (WACO) was selected as the new president of Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP) during the group’s recent meeting in Savannah, Ga.
Severson replaces Rick Abare of the Maine Campground Owners Association, who served as CAMP’s president for the past two years.
Severson, who has been WACO’s executive director for the past eight years, said she plans to work with CAMP officials to focus on education, guest speakers and the positive promotion of camping.
“We’re going to focus on ROI – what is the return on investment on spending money at CAMP meetings? What are the take-backs from our meetings?” Severson asked. “We want there to be a focus on the types of things that can help association executives manage their businesses and help their members.”
Severson became a campground owner in September when she purchased the Champions Riverside Resort in Galesville, Wis., which she said helps her appreciate the value that campground associations provide from a park operator’s perspective.
The recent CAMP meeting, which was sponsored by Evergreen Insurance, AGS and Texas Advertising, included a presentation by Bev Gruber of the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA) regarding the promotions her association organized to help promote National Great Outdoors Month.
CAMP was formed in 1991 when several state campground and RV park association executives got together and formalized their meetings held in conjunction with the annual ARVC convention. CAMP also meets in the spring near Washington D.C. during ARVC’s National Issues Conference. More information about CAMP is available at www.campgroundexecs.org.
Additional information about the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners, the Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association and Champions Riverside Resort is available at www.wisconsincampgrounds.com, www.pacamping.com and www.championsriversideresort.com.
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.
Editor’s Note: Lucas Hartford, president of Evergreen Insurance, provided this account of this week’s meeting of the Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP) at Cherry Hill Park, College Park, Md.
Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP) met in Maryland at the beautiful conference center located at Cherry Hill Park on April 26 and 27. Over 30 members attended the two days of education and meetings to find ways to improve campground and RV Park associations and help their members.
The members of CAMP had a full day of work on Sunday, April 26, as they attended a first time ever event called CAMP-College. CAMP-College was put on by Evergreen USA which is celebrating 35 years of insuring campgrounds and RV parks and wanted to help the camping industry with a special educational day for its leaders.
During the morning of CAMP-College Evergreen provided the members the opportunity to learn from Bob Harris, who is a professional speaker on associations. Bob spoke to the group about best practices in the management and operation of associations. In the afternoon the members listened to Josh Hallett of Hyku about ways to use social media. Attendees learned how to better position and market their associations with tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other popular types of social media.
After a wonderful dinner put on by Cherry Hill Park, many of the members continued their Sunday networking by using the different types of social media to get their associations on-line with these tools that evening.
On Monday, April 27, members of CAMP had their annual business meeting. Members gave reports on current issues with their associations, discussed their websites and networked on ways to better help their members.
Many of the CAMP members remained in the Washington, D.C., area after the meeting for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) National Issues Conference, which lasts until today (April 29).
Lucas Hartford, president of Evergreen, said, “We were pleased to be able to put on CAMP-College for the state, regional and national associations that attended CAMP. This group of industry leaders is working very hard every day to improve the camping industry and to watch them work very hard at CAMP-College to better their associations was a wonderful thing to see. These leaders are helping our industry in many ways and I think CAMP-College gave them some additional tools to take back to their board members and associations.”
Hartford identified the following industry leaders who attended the CAMP-College meeting:
Daniel Gurley, ARVC, Donald Bennett, Campground Owners of New York (CONY), Michael Moore, Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO), Janice Atwood (Cherry Hill Park), David Tetrault, Northeast Campground Association (NCA), Linda Alcorn, Missouri Associaiton of RV Parks and Campgrounds (MOARVC), Debbie Carter, Maryland Association of Campgrounds (MAC), Charlene Barbour (Carolinas Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CARVC), Debbie Sipe, California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC), Ruth Jaxzewski, Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners (WACO), Debbie Smith, Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association (PCOA), Cyndy Zbierski (NCA), Karen Radomski (WACO), Wayne Purchase (ARVC-Michigan), Jimmy Corsentino (AANR & GARVC), Jack Carroll, Massachusetts Association of Campground Owners (MACO), Paula Carroll (MACO), Tom Garland, Colorado Campground and Lodging Owners Association (CCLOA), Marji Otto, New Jersey Campground Owners Association (NJCOA), Linda Profaizer (ARVC), Jay Otto (NJCOA), David Gorin, Virginia Campground Association (VCA), Norm Gurevich (Cherry Hill Park), Gregg Pittman, New Hampshire Campground Association (NeHaCa), Peter Daniels, Vermont Campground Association (VCA), Mark Anderson (ARVC), Rick Abare, Maine Campground Owners Association (MECOA), Kathy Frederick (CCLOA), Audrey Machowski (Evergreen) and Mike Gurevich (Cherry Hill Park).