He’s a homegrown local with an exceptional singing voice, who grew up to be a geologist in far-off lands, who came back home to run a campground. Now that’s a resume you don’t see every day. He’s Ryan McPeek, co-owner of the Coshocton Kampgrounds of America (KOA) in Coshocton, Ohio, according to the Coshocton Tribune.
“I didn’t really do a lot of camping as a kid,” he acknowledged. “Running a campground was certainly never in my plans as a kid.”
Interestingly, McPeek, now 33, actually grew up less than a mile from the campground (Colonial Pool at the time). He went to Keene Elementary, then spent three years at the American Boychoir School – a boarding/middle school in Princeton, N.J.
“They came to Coshocton to perform and I auditioned afterward and was accepted,” he remembered. “We toured the country, singing. We also went to Japan and sang a lot in New York City.”
He returned home for high school, graduating from River View in 2004, then went to Miami University in Oxford to study geology – which he pursued, first, in Australia.
“I heard of great opportunities in the mining industry in Australia, so I pursued that path,” he related. “This was in 2008 during the start of the recession in the United States. Australian mining was still booming, and I was very fortunate to find a great first job.
“The job took me to remote regions of Australia,” he continued, “where I worked for two years doing mineral exploration. I got to do a lot of travel during those years, getting nine consecutive days off each month. I also worked in mineral exploration in New Zealand and the Philippines, and was fortunate to be able to do a lot of travel in these areas too.
“I met my wife, Camille,” he added, “at a gold and copper exploration project in the mountains of the Philippines. She is also a geologist (and my KOA co-owner).
“After being overseas for four years,” he continued to explain, “I was ready to travel a little less and move back to the United States. In January of 2013 my first stop was Coshocton. Just a few months after coming back, my neighbor expressed interest in selling the campground. I bought it, and with the help of my parents, we got it up to par to have a full campground.”
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