b'Key Peoplefrom page 22 But Severson didnt have a lot of moneywith a smile. Its how you say it, she said. at that time. CAMPGROUNDWe started on a shoestring, she said.WACO also provides other services, such We had no room for error. No room for aas a legal hotline, courtesy of Mark Hazel- mistake.baker,aMadison- But Severson had angels looking out forbasedattorney. her.Members can call or To me, the most awesome thing in theemailtheattorney world was the Sunday after we closed es-with questions, Sev- crow, I had Bud Styer in my parking lot,erson said. pushing stuff around.Of course, another Ieventuallyhad26unique value that Sev- campgroundownersersonprovidesto helpingme.TheyMark Hazelbaker WACOmembersis went over the seasonalher friendship and business relationship agreements,sayingwith Gilbert Brown and other retired mem- Do this. Dont do that.bers of the Green Bay Packers. I had one set up mySeversonmanagestheGilbertBrown Quickbooks,othersFoundation, and Brown helps WACO by scrubbinginmy Bud Styeronly making guest appearances at WACO- kitchen. I am so grateful for what they did.member parks. These appearances are typ- It was crazy to me how much help and sup-icallyfundraisingeventsfortheGilbert port people were willing to give when theyBrown Foundation, but they generate con- had their own things going on, she said.siderable attention because of Browns fame. But WACO members appreciate Sever-Campers and football fans kind of go son for what she has done for them and fortogether, Severson said, adding that she the association. alwaysinvitesBrownandotherretired Ive worked with Lori since her begin-Packers to speak at WACO conventions. ning at WACO, said Styer, a longtime camp-You almost have to have five or six dif- groundownerandindustryconsultant.ferent buckets, Severson said, referencing She has created an awesome network ofthe different types of benefits or services an suppliers for our WACO members and in-association has to provide to be able to credible education opportunities through-grow its campground membership base. out the years.Wegiveparkoperatorsideasthey Meanwhile, Severson has continued tohavent thought about before and a means make improvements to her park over theto implement them, she said. years, redesigning the 176 sites she had origi-Severson does strategic planning with nally into 216 larger sites, including 40 pull-the WACO board every two years. Her plan- through sites. The park now has 100 seasonalsning session includes a personality styles with the rest used for overnight campers.assessment. Thats when we match up the We have two park model RVs and fiveboard members with specific tasks, she cabins. Last year we put in a bunkhousesaid. It helps us relate better to people and that sleeps 28. I just purchased seven sleep-figure out who should do what. ing cabins made by the Amish, which weIn addition to growing WACO and help- will use as glamping cabins, she said.ingitsmembersfindwaystogenerate This year, Severson, like other camp-more revenue, WACO has scored some vic- ground association executives, has also hadtories on the legislative front, one of which her hands full dealing with COVID and allwas a 2015 lawAssembly bill 174which the related restrictions that have preventedprovides immunity to private campground businesses from operating normally. ADVERTISERS INDEXoperators from lawsuits involving a variety We had 72 counties to deal with, sheof risks that are inherent to camping, such said. It was horrible. We had daily callsas dangers caused by trees, roots, rocks, with the state at 7 a.m. Advertiser Page # Advertiser Page #mud, sand and soil as well as natural bod- But Severson got through it with helpies of water, a lack of lighting, weather and not only from her staff, but from peopleinsects, birds and other wildlife.who retired. We called back every retired Access Parks.9 Montana Canvas.20Basically, the law says that camping is person we had to come help us. They allinherently risky. If you fall on a branch, came back in to help. Our board of direc- ARVC(National Assoc. of RV Parks & Campgrounds) .25 Outstanding Tent.6were not liable, she said. tors also helped. I could not have done itWisconsins Inherent Risk Law took ef- with all of their amazing help, she said. Astra15 Pacific Yurts.4fect April 1, 2016. Severson said the teamwork she enjoysOf course, for all the work Severson has with WACOs board of directors is also criti- B&B Electrical.32 Pelland Advertising.32done to help campground operators over the cal to her success managing the association.years, many of them have returned the favor, Without levelheaded board members who Business Finance Depot8 Phelps Honey Wagon.12helping her with her own campground and work tirelessly to deal with the dramabe-bar when she suddenly found herself in the cause there is always dramano matter Cavco Industries13 Pilot Rock/RJ Thomas Mfg22position of not knowing what to do when she what organization, no executive directorand her husband became the proud owners could ever get things done, she said. CheckBox Systems.10 RMS.11of Champions Riverside Resort. Any board of directors, she added, can ei-One thing I knew zero about was inter- ther help or hinder the association manager. DOGIPOT.27 Skyweb Networks.23acting with the seasonal campers, writing I think a board that allows the organizationthe agreements. I knew nothing about run- to be successful by not micromanaging, tak- Eaton Corp12 Southeast Publications6ning a bar. This property has a very large ing responsibility for decisions, and allowingbar. Most of (the prior owners) business the exec to make mistakes and try things Fluid Mfg.14 Staylist.21came from the bar and they really didnt wins, she said. My board members knowcare about camping, she said. my style and I have board members who will Great American Direct.18 Tengo Internet2In fact, the prior owners used to charge handle the issues members come up with, sotheir guests based on how much they con- I have time to do my job. That makes the Hialeah Meter2 Tower Company.14sumed at the bar each month. Seasonals team successful. Ive always told them howwould come in with a paper bag filled with concerned I get when I see organizations Jamestown Advanced28 Utility Supply Group Inc5cash and say, How do you want to do who are divided by decisions and personali-this? Severson recalled with a laugh. ties. Divided you cant be successful. Kampgrounds of America/KOA.7 Woodford Mfg26But the park itself needed a lot of work. Fortunately, Severson added, she andThe previous owner cared nothing at herteamscoredtheirmostimportant Lancaster Log Cabins.22 Workamper News.20all for the campground, she said. I dont COVID victory early enough to make a dif-think the pool had been opened in years. ference for WACO members. Every camp- Leavitt Recreation & Hospitality Insurance.19 YESYour Electrical Solutions.24There were many things that needed to be ground was up and deemed essential priorfixed and addressed. to Memorial Day, she said. WCM30 -November 2020Woodalls Campground Management'