12 - July 2019 Woodall’s Campground Management ON CAMPGROUNDS Reports from the field: Bob Ashley Silver Springs Campsites in Rio (rhymeswithOhio),Wisc.,markedits50th anniversary in May under its third gener- ation of family ownership. “It’scrazythatit’sbeenopenthislong,” said Becky Henry, who purchased the 300-site park from her mother, Crystal Hyland, in April 2018. Opened with 100 sites in 1959 by Henry’s grandparents, Silver Springs features 150 transient and 150 seasonal sites along with nine stick-built cabins, one of which was added this year. “Overtheyears,thingshavechangedso much,”saidHenry,whooperatesthepark with her husband, Mike. For instance, the 150 seasonal sites wereconvertedfromaprimitivecamping area because“they were not as lucrative,” Henry said. “It’s amazing,” she said. “Every other phone call I get is for cabins. We have no weekendcabinsavailable.Peoplerentthe cabins with the option to rebook, which most of them do. “If we had a hundred cabins, they would be full on weekends,” Henry continued. “During the week, rentals are the cherry on top.” The Henrys, however, have no plans to expand further. “We already are big enough,” Henry said,notingthatthecampgroundalready has30employees,aworkforcethatwould have to grow along with an expansion. “We already have 1,200-plus people to dealwithontheweekends.Oneofthebig In ‘Middle of Nowhere,’ Silver Springs Sees Steady Traffic Silver Springs Campsites offers an inflatable obstacle course on a pond, along with a pool and other amenities. thingsisifyouputinmoresitesorcabins, there are more regulations and you have to hire more people.” Most of the 150 nonseasonal sites are occupiedformultiplenights.“Sometimes someonewillcallforonenightandweare happytohavethem,”shesaid.“Butthatis very rare for us.” Silver Springs, located about 35 miles east of the Wisconsin Dells and 90 miles northwest of Milwaukee, typically is full on the weekends “We are in the middle of nowhere, in the country,” Henry said. “People are literally in the middle of the woods; we’re definitely not a campground right off the interstate. Everybody who comes to us means to come to us.” The park is accessed by a picturesque half-miledriveway.Featuresincludegrass sites, a pool, playground and inflatable water toys in a 10-acre pond with a sandy beach. “Westartedputtinginwaterfeaturesin 2007,” Henry said. “It was one of the best thingsweeverdidbecauseitpulledtraffic out of the pool.” Open from April 1 through the middle ofOctober,JulyandAugustarethebusiest months at Silver Springs. A plethora of weekend activities includeongoingcraftprogramsforkids,a band or DJ on Saturday night, volleyball tournaments,scavengerhunts,cornboils, chocolateweekendsandthreeHalloween weekends. Silver Springs’ S’more Snack Shack offers an extensive offering of food that ranges from fries and chicken wings to battered cod and walleye sticks. There’s also a selection of Mexican food and a large list of ice cream flavors. Business in recent years “has been fantastic,” Henry said. “Wehaven’thadabadyear,evenwhen the economy wasn’t good,” she noted. “Peoplewerejusttakingshortervacations. I’m thankful for the consistency of our business. Most of our customers are repeats. Our best advertising is the customers who stay with us.” * * * * * Michael Kostuck and his wife, Eliza- beth,ownersofGlowoodCampgroundin Pendleton, Ind., were looking forward to the summer concerts at nearby outdoor RuhoffMusicCenter—particularlywhen the Dave Mathews Band was to play in late June. “That’s our biggest one now,” Michael Kostuck said, reporting that shows by the Grateful Dead were bigger as far as the campground is concerned when Jerry Garcia was alive. InadditiontoafullcomplementofRVs parked on Glowood’s 53 RV sites last year during the Dave Mathews performance, 75 to 80 tenters set up on part of the campground’s 14 acres. The heavily wooded park, opened in 1973byKostuck’smother,ElizabethJones, derives its name from foxfire (also called fairyfire),abluish-greenbioluminescence created by species of fungi present in decaying wood. “It used to be called Barnyard Camp- ground, but she would go out in the woods at night and see a kind of glow among the trees,” Kostuck said. “She decided that Glowood was a better name for the place.” Kostuck said that some of the park’s older sites that are tucked away in the woods are particularly popular. “People likethem,”hesaid.“They’reshadedanda little more private where you can be by yourself.” Theparkisopenyear-round,withlim- ited availability in the winter. “The last couple of winters we started getting calls On Campgrounds– continued on page 26