b'SMART OPERATIONSIs it a Rule, a Policy or a Guideline?The best rule of thumb when it comes to rules is to presume that un-less you clearly define what can be done and what cannot be done, at Peter least some of your guests will presume that anything goes. Choose Pellandyour words carefully and avoid trouble before it even starts. Wordsmatter.Alltoooften,we the word guidelines implies that the Notdiscriminateagainstteen ifyourcampgroundisunderwatertend to say things and use terminol- rulesarebothoptionalandunen- parents or get into the whole debate due to flooding, that is another story.ogy either out of habit or without giv- forceable.Ononehand,nobody over what constitutes a family unit, Pets. Doyoulistspecificdoging sufficient thought to how those wants to vacation at a campground particularly after 11 seasons and 22 breeds that are prohibited, or do youwords might be interpreted by an- wheremanagementsoundslikea PrimetimeEmmyAwardsforthe useablanketstatementthatpro-other person. Just recently, one of my penitentiary warden (as is often the popular TV series, Modern Family. hibitsdogswithaggressiveordis-campgroundclientswasupdating case if a parks rules have been writ- Wefinallydeterminedthatthe turbing behavior? Be sure to list anyher activities for 2021 and added a so- ten by its attorney). But you do not followingtextseemedthemostlimitations to the number of pets, anycalledChineseAuctiontothe want your expected standards of be- appropriate:Allregistrantsandassociatedfees,areasoftheparkschedule. It wasnt until we paused to havior to be ambiguous. A good anal- occupants must be 21 years of age where pets are prohibited and the re-give this term a bit of thoughtrein- ogy is to recall that God did not hand orolderunlesscampingwithasponsibilities that the owners are ex-forced by a search on Googlethat Moses the Ten Guidelines. parent/guardian. pected to take with regard to leashes,werealizedhowthisinadvertently In another recent instance, one of There are other rules (or policies) pickingupwasteandmaintainingperpetuates the use of a racist phrase my companys clients was trying to that generally require more than ca- control of their pets.that is offensive to Asians. The client find the right words to clarify that her sual thought, particularly if your goal Alcohol and Marijuana. The con-thenrealizedthattheterm silent park was not the place for a group of is to avoid confrontations at the time sumption of alcoholic beverages hasauctionwasamuchbetterand young people to come for a weekend of registration or in the instance of a been legal in all 50 states since themore accurately descriptiveuse of party. Her first inclination was to say necessary eviction. In fact, without end of Prohibition and recreationalwords. that everyone has to be over 21 to clarifying the grounds for taking such marijuana is now legal for use in 16When it comes to choosing words rent or occupy a campsite and that action, an eviction might not even be statesfromMainetoAlaska.Thatcarefully, there is probably no more theparkcaterstofamilies.We possible. Here are a few rules that can said, you have the right to fully regu-important instance than the compo- needed to think this through more often be problematic: late how and where either may besition of a campgrounds rules. I often carefully,settlingonwordingthat Cancellations, refunds and evic- consumed within your park. You mayfind that new campground owners, would: tions. These need to be spelled out even totally prohibit the use of alco-perhapsnaively,tendtohaveveryPrevent one person who is over very clearly, including cancellation hol and/or marijuana, as long as thesimple and basic rules of behavior for the age of 21 from reserving a camp- timeframesforcampsitesand termsareclearlyoutlinedinyourtheir guests to follow. Almost afraid to siteforhimselfandfivepartying rentals, nonrefundable fees, process- rulesand you are willing to sufferscare away business, they even shy friends from Delta Tau Chi (the frater- ing fees, cancellation fees and fees for the likely loss of business from other-away from the use of the word rules, nity in Animal House.) changes.Youalsoneedtodefine wise respectable guests.watering their rules down as either Avoidconfusingfamilieswith when cancellations or refunds are not FirewoodandCampfires. Thepolicies or guidelines. Long-time children into thinking that the park is allowed, such as foul weather or in DontMoveFirewoodcampaigncampgroundowners,ontheother for adults only. the event of eviction for violation of has been very effective in recent yearshand, have learned from experienceAvoid implying that a single par- your rules. You need to cover yourself at explaining how transporting fire-to cover all the bases with an extensive ent could not take a five-minute walk against loss of business, but it is also woodfromstatetostate(orevenset of rules that cover just about every to the parks store to buy a cup of cof- necessary to exercise common sense within a state) can spread pests andsituation and aspect of behavior. fee or the morning newspaper with- in certain special circumstances. For diseases that are killing entire forests.Although I am comfortable with out having the entire entourage in example, you will not provide refunds Insomeregionsofthecountry,calling rules policies, I think that tow. because of a rainy weekend; however, drought and windy conditions canlead to burning bans or restrict firesto portable grills. You may also wantto mention that guests may not cutany treeseven if they think they aredeador move fire rings. Whateverthey may be, you should make yourstandards very clear in advance of thearrival of your guests.ProhibitedItems. Whetherfire-works, firearms, drones, skateboards,clotheslinesormotorizedrecre-ational vehicles, spell out whatever isprohibited. This might include non-emergencyrepairsofRVsorthewashing of vehicles on site.Thebestruleofthumbwhenitcomes to rules is to presume that un-less you clearly define what can bedone and what cannot be done, atleast some of your guests will pre-sumethatanythinggoes.Chooseyour words carefully and avoid trou-ble before it even starts.PeterPellandistheCEOof Pelland Advertising, a company thathe founded in 1980 that has beenserving the family camping industryfor nearly 40 years. His company spe-cializes in building fully responsivewebsites, along with producing a fullrangeoffour-colorprocessprint advertising, for clients from coast tocoast.LearnmoreaboutPelland Advertising at https://pelland.com/or see their ad in this issue. WCM10 June 2021 Woodalls Campground Magazine'