b'BY JEFF CRIDERState Campground Association ExecutivesWork All Hours of the Day Advocating forMembers During COVID-19 RestrictionsIts safe to say that state campground as- numbers of full-time RVers on the road at anysociation directors across the country have given time and that private parks must be al-nevercommunicatedasmuchwiththeir lowed to continue operating to accommodatemembers as they have since the COVID-19 them.pandemic began. These parks, which provide water, elec-Some associations are sending out email tricity, sewer and, in most cases, LP gas serv-updates every day, or every few days, to keep ices, cannot be allowedmembersinformedabouthowshelter-in- to close for health andplace orders and travel restrictions apply to safety reasons becausetheir businesses. many of the people stay-There is no question that campground ing at these parks areand RV park operators are better informed sheltering in place andFrom conference calls to webinars, impromptu meetings and more, state association and, in many cases, still operating because of have no place else toexecutives have been fighting to ensure park owners can reopen their parks.the hard work of state campground associa- go, said Dyana Kelley,tion managers, said Michael Moore, who presidentandCEOof Dyana Kelleyserves as general man- CampCalNow RV Park and Campground Al-ager of the Texas Asso- liance, adding, The last thing we need rightciation of Campground nowistohaveahumanitariancrisisonOwners (TACO) and as wheels.past president of Camp- Dee Witting, executive director of the Car-groundAssociation olinas Association of RV Parks and Camp-ManagementProfes- grounds (CARVC), said her association hasMichael Moore sionals (CAMP), whose scored some initial suc-membership comprises cesses.campground association managers across CARVC started earlythe country. on reaching out to gov-Indeed, as the COVID-19 pandemic has in- ernment officials in bothtensified, state campground association man- NorthCarolinaandagers have been working overtime; engaging South Carolina to recog-in conference calls with state governors, state nizecampgroundsasoffices of emergency services, and health of- essential,shesaid. Dee Wittingficials at both state and county levels. The board then drafted letters for both NorthCampground association managers have Carolina and South Carolina and, with the helpalso been participating in frequent confer- of one of our member campground owners,ence calls with government relations and we were able to get (the letters) into the handsmarketing officials from the National Associ- of several government officials in both states.ation of RV Parks and Campgrounds(ARVC), The CARVC board also created talking pointsthe RV Industry Association(RVIA), as well as for members to use in its efforts to have privatestate tourism associations. They have been parks declared essential businesses.sharing information, ideas and talking points CARVC notified its members about an op-on how best to position campgrounds and RV portunity to reach out to state officials in Northparks as essential businesses that must be Carolina and to register online as being es-allowed to stay open. sential. Within a couple of days, WittingThe most important thing we are doing for said, several campgrounds got notice ofour members is keeping them up to date on the being essential and were able to remain opengovernors orders, proclamations and financial in some capacity.assistance programs that may be available to The Pennsylvania Campground Ownersthem, said Kathy Dyer, Association (PCOA) has submitted an appli-executive director of the cation to the governors office detailing theMaineCampground procedures private parks can implement toOwnersAssociation mitigate the spread of COVID-19.(MCOA). We continue All of this is in the governors hands. How-to work very closely with ever,wearelobbyingARVC,andtheyare pretty heavily and work-doing a fantastic job of ing on creating a grass-Kathy Dyer keeping their members rootscampaigntoinformed as well. We are attending weekly encourage the governormeetings with (campground association) ex- to allow private parks toecutive directors across the country. openforthesummerDyeraddedthatMCOArecentlybuilta camping season, said Jason Vaughanmembers only section on CampMaine.com Jason Vaughan, the in-that includes a COVID-19 section with all relevant coming executive director of PCOA and a sec-updates and information. ond-generationoperatingpartnerofIn many cases, state campground associ- Mountain Vista Campgroundin East Strouds-ation managers have either succeeded in burg, Penn.(Parks in both Pennsylvania andconvincing state and county officials that pri- South Carolina opened on May 1.)vate parks are essential businesses or they TheVirginiaCampgroundAssociationhave found other ways to work with state and (VCA), for its part, hired an attorney to helpcounty officials to ensure that these parks can communicate the need to keep private parkscontinue to accommodate existing long-term open to state officials,guests, even if they are not allowed to accom- said Emily Peck, VCAsmodate overnight travelers. executive director.While no statistics are available to docu- Here in Virginia, wement the percentage of RV owners who enjoy are focusing on gettingthe lifestyle on a full-time basis, private park short-term stays of lessoperators and campground association man- than 14 days back in ouragers tell Woodalls Campground Manage- parks. We were not re-ment (WCM)thattherearesignificant ceiving any responses Emily Peck22 -June 2020 Woodalls Campground Management'