The board of directors of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (CalARVC) may undertake what it is calling “Operation Reconnect” to help U.S. armed forces upon their return from overseas deployment.
In today’s (July 14) issue of Coffee Talk & Updates, CalARVC outlines its proposal to help the vets returning from active duty.
According to the article, California has thousands of military personnel deployed overseas. When these personnel return home after a year or longer, it is often very difficult for them to “reintegrate” with their family. The military branches have even established a “reintegration” program for these men and women that includes counseling and special services. “Operation Reconnect” would utilize camping as the main tool to help these families reconnect. In addition to providing a valuable service for our military, this activity would also provide valuable elements to our association.
What Operation Reconnect hopes to achieve:
For military personnel:
- An opportunity to reconnect with their family through an outdoor experience on neutral turf.
- An opportunity to travel with their families and make discoveries together.
For individual campgrounds:
- A way to give back to their industry and community.
- A way to develop new loyal customers and future revenues.
- A way to gather participation and recognition from their community for a worthy cause.
- An opportunity to reach the serviceperson’s extended family.
- An opportunity to do something significant that only a team of parks can accomplish.
- To establish a common goal that CalARVC parks can rally behind.
- Create positive PR that highlights the value of camping. Both the association and individual parks will benefit.
- Introduce camping to new families and children to the outdoors.
For Camp-California Marketing:
- Increased traffic to camp-california.com as stories are posted about soldiers reconnecting with their families.
- Increased awareness of Camp-California Marketing as the media’s “go to” source for California camping information.
- Develop relationships with new advertisers and corporate sponsors in a mutually beneficial effort.
Operation: Reconnect – The basic program components:
Donations are solicited from campers and corporate sponsors. These funds are used to host military families at participating RV parks and campgrounds in a rental RV or a park model for a period of one week. The family can choose to stay at a participating park for a full week, or stay at a combination of parks along a route that totals 7 nights.
Procedurally, the newly formed 501(c)3 company will receive requests from qualified military personnel and then facilitate their request matching their needs to available campgrounds and resources.
While discounting or comping your sites is not required to participate, doing so will greatly extend the reach of the program and the contributions received to serve more military families.
CalARVC is surveying its membership to gauge their interest in the proposal.