The following story about the death of Allen Beavers of West Hartford, Conn., appears in the current issue of the arvc Voice. Beavers died May 31.
Funeral services were held last week for Allen Louis Beavers Jr., CPO, 82, a former executive director of the Connecticut Campground Owners Association (CCOA) who had a profound impact on the campground industry in his home state and across the country.
“I can’t imagine anyone having a bigger impact, at least at the state level,” said Pete Brown of Lone Oak Campsites in East Canaan who was president of CCOA before Beavers retired.
Beavers, who earned arvc’s Pioneer Award in 2010 as well as the Curtis Fuller Service Award from the Northeast Campground Association (NCA) in 2006, was at the forefront of some of the most significant changes in the campground business in recent memory. He helped remove a state tax on camping in the 1990s and developed one of the first websites for any campground association. He also helped change the laws in Connecticut to make it legal to submeter electricity.
“Many other things were done by Allen that were firsts for the campground industry,” Brown said, adding, “I think one of the most important accomplishments was the fact that almost every campground in the state was a member of the association — usually 51 out of 52 or 53. Allen had a way of persuading people.”
Beavers was appointed executive director of CCOA on Aug. 1, 1985, and continued to serve the association until December 2010. In addition to serving at the helm of CCOA and working as a campground industry consultant, he held numerous leadership positions during his lifetime, including executive director of YMCA Camp Jewell. He also worked as a private consultant regarding all aspects of YMCA’s operations from 1977 to 1982, including operations and camping services, financial development and general programming.
He was president of the American Camping Association in New England from 1971 to 1981 and treasurer of the New England Camping Association in 1973. In 1969, he co-authored a law licensing youth camps. He was also involved with numerous community organizations, including the Hartford Host Lion’s Club, the Masons, DeMolay, the Shriners, the Campfire Girls and the Governor’s Tourism Council.
Beavers earned a Master’s degree from Boston University, a diploma from the Bliss Electrical School in Washington D.C., and was involved in advanced studies at the University of Michigan. He received a Master Radio and Television License in 1967, a degree as Certified Camp Director in 1974 and completed an IBM course in computer concepts and language in 1980. He was also a staff sergeant in the U.S. Armed Forces Security Agency during the Korean conflict.
In terms of his personal life, Beavers was an avid roller coaster enthusiast. “He rode more roller coasters than anyone,” Brown said. Other passions included travel and making friends wherever he went.
Beavers’ family has asked that donations be made to: Camp Jewell YMCA, 6 Prock Hill Road, Colebrook, CT 06021, care of the Allen Beavers Memorial Fund or to Sphinx Shrine, PO Box 310157, Newington, CT 06111, care of the Allen Beavers Memorial Fund.
Click here to read his obituary courtesy of the Molloy Funeral Home in West Hartford.