Aug 18 2010, 08:18 PM
Wife and I are seriously considering abandoning the rat race for the greener pastures of campground ownership. I've seen a couple good discussions on this board about considerations of making the plunge. Thanks for all who have contributed! One big concern/question we have though is feasibility given that we have young children (ages 2 to 10). Any campground owners out there with kids on board have some feedback for us?
Aug 20 2010, 03:50 PM
I am a now co-owner of my families camprgound that has been in business for 40 yrs, every generation has had young children while we have ran the park. The younger the child the more challenges as you have to keep a good eye on them. As babies and toddlers we have always kept them in office or at house when we were not needed in the office. After we got a little older we were always put to work, all the kids help anything from picking up litter and cleaning fire pits, on to cutting grass and other things once we were older. I am 3rd generation to own the campground and have a 15 month old and a 4 year old but since I am co-owner my parents are still here so when I am working my wife has our children. I have always loved being raised in a campground, some kids grow out of the lifestyle and all the work involved, but like my self some like it and continue the family business. And depending on if you will allow seasonals which we do, more than likely you along with your children will build friendships with your campers that will span generations, we have grandkids of some of our original seasonals camping here now, their grandparents and parents camped here in the past and they continue to come here, and you will also build great friendships with just your overnighters as well. So I can say that raising children owning a campground can be challenging but no more than raising them anywhere else can be really.
Aug 25 2010, 10:24 PM
I would think growing up on a campground could be a great experience for kids. Depending upon the type of park you were considering, your kids would get to meet people from all over the world. There would always be summer jobs and your kids friends could become valued additional employees as they got older. Since they would live at or very near where you work and would be welcome at yourr place of business all the time, you would get to spend much more time with them than an average parent does. Campgrounds and RV parks are solid businesses, you don't have to travel and be away from home. I would think having kids would make campground ownership vs a lot of other jobs and businesses more desireable. The one assumption I am making is that your children will be attending traditional schools, not home schooled. That would be the one drawback I could see, a business where you don't have set hours and need to be available at a moment's notice (a campground for example) probably wouldn't be the ideal situation if you needed to structure in a home schooling schedule. Otherwise, sounds like a great plan for your family.
Sep 27 2010, 01:57 PM
I have to be honest. It is hard. If you aren't multi generation with family members able to watch the kids while you deal with things, life will be quite difficult. There are days that we barely get a meal in. Fine for adults but frowned upon to make your children skip meals...ha ha. We thought that it would be nice to own a campground. We love camping so why not. Unfortunately, in the peak season, someone always needs something. I guess it depends on how much staff you want to hire to take care of things. We prefer to do quite a bit ourselves. Of course, that makes things harder. In the off peak time, I try to be the only one in the office to save on wages. That is hard when you have a call or someone in the office while your two year old is having a meltdown. Our situation is a bit different because we own another business that takes quite a bit of my husband's time. If you and your wife are able to devote all of you time to the campground, then it might be a bit easier. Also, my 4 year old is already a lot easier than my 2 year old. My 4 year old loves to help and goes with the flow a lot better. Enjoy the journey if you end up going that route!!
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