STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The 2018 Pennsylvania Campground Owners Association Convention was held at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA on December 2, 3, 4 and 5, with the theme, “Let’s Roll to Achieve Your Goals.” It was an awesome event. The facilities were great, the workshops were over the top, the networking opportunities were plentiful, plus everyone had a great time.
New to the mix this year was the addition of the Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Campground Association, located in Camp Hill, PA. PRVCA held both their winter board meeting and their Show Committee meeting during the convention and were present for the keynote address as well as the trade show. Cooperation between PCOA and PRVCA strengthens Pennsylvania’s presence in the industry.
Keynote speaker on Wednesday was KOA President Toby O’Rourke, who spoke about the forward momentum in the campground industry. She shared some very exciting statistics and trends that show camping is growing across all demographics.
• Are Your Books Ready for a Loan? by Amy Wirtz
• Creative and Influencer Marketing by Annie Lewis
• Why Your Press Release Got Trashed – Media Relations 101 by Mike Lysakowski
• HR 101 – Employment Practices by Karen Anesi
• Being the Captain of Your Own Success Plan by Amy Wirtz
• Removing Undesirables from Your Campground by Karen Anesi
• Utilizing Google Analytics by Brian Searle
• How’s Your Mix? Social/Print/Broadcast by Michael Moore
• Handling Complaints in Your Campground by Jacob Hagofsky
• Have You Thought About Your Cyber Vulnerability by Fred Reck
• Developing Seasonal Agreements & Enforcing the Rules – A Panel of Campground Managers – Shannon Halbleib, Hersheypark RV Resort; Karl Schmidt, Elizabethtown/Hershey KOA; Jason Vaughan, Mountain Vista Campground; and Jacob Kesterke, Otter Lake Camp-Resort
• Planting and Maintaining Trees & Shrubs in Your Campground by James Sellmer
• Boosting Your Family Business by Matt May
• Eradicating Bed Bugs by Nina Jenkins
A special thank you to Matt May, Presque Isle Passage RV Park and Cabin Rentals, Fairview, PA for coordinating the AV for the seminars.
12 Round Tables
• Employee Issues – How to Recruit – Bruce Serio
• Online Booking & Site Assignments – Debby Cartmell
• Using Outside Contractors – James Kesterke
• New Activities that Draw Customers – Melinda Koehler
• Seasonal Site Agreements – Tim Cartmell
• Pet Rules & Policies – Bill Sujansky
• Dealing with Insects, Rodents & Pests – David Mull
• Golf Cart Policies – Ryan McFarland
• Time Saving Tips for QuickBooks Users – Matt May
• Security Screening & Background Checks – Jonathan Ammary
• Employee Rewards & Motivation – Stephanie Schmidt
• Healthcare Insurance Choices – Brian Kopan
A special thank you to Ryan McFarland, Buttonwood Campground, Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, for coordinating the round tables.
Trade Show – Seventy-six exhibitors were present. There was great variety: equipment dealers, shirt vendors, advertising, entertainers, food distributors, software providers, printers, online reservation systems, water treatment solutions, and souvenirs. They reported excellent sales.
Auction -The Pennsylvania Auction raises funds for educational endeavors, including the National School of RV Park and Campground Management. Thanks to the generosity of the vendors and campground owners, a total of $20,949.00 was raised. A big thank you to David Mull, Shady Brook Campground, Beavertown, PA, for all the work he put into coordinating this event.
Scholarship Winners Announced – During the Annual Meeting on Tuesday, the winners of the 2018 Scholarships were announced. Doug Garman, Pettecote Junction Campground, Cedar Run, PA and Laura Holmes, Farma Family Campground, Greenville, PA were awarded a full scholarship to the National School of RV Park and Campground Management in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Craig Repetski Jr., Hemlock Campground, Tobyhanna, PA, was awarded up to $1,000 for a college or university course and Jacob Hagofsky, Buttercup Woodlands Campground, Renfrew, PA, was awarded up to $500 for continuing education.
Convention Attendance – There was a great turn out of over 200 attendees from 88 registered campgrounds, which included 6 from out of state.
PCOA extends a big thank you to the following generous sponsors of our convention:
PLATINUM ($1000 and up)
Anderson’s Brochure Distribution Service
GOLD ($500 – $1000)
Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance
Scirocco Group Insurance
Utility Supply Group
Mission Management Information Systems
SILVER ($350 – $500)
Gary Thull Pools
Silver-top Manufacturing, Inc.
Smart Industry Products
Aqua Doc Lake & Pond Management
AGS-A Division of Texas Advertising
WINNERS – TICKET TO WIN INCENTIVE PROGRAM
• One Free Registration for the 2019 PCOA Convention – Mountain Creek Campground, Gardners, PA
• Free Featured Listing on the PCOA Website (value: $120) – Buttercup Woodlands Campground, Renfrew, PA
• Free 1/2 Piggyback Program for 2019 (value: $560) – StonyBrook Campground, Lehighton, PA
• Let’s Roll to Fun and Relaxation: $500 cash – Hidden Creek Campground, Allenwood, PA
• Free booth at the 2019 Trade Show – SkyWeb Networks, Saginaw, MI
• Quarter-page ad in one issue of the PCOA News – CampersAPP, Quechee, VT
• $200 cash award – W. S. Emerson, Eighty Four, PA
• Best Promotional Piece – Dogwood Acres Campground, Newville, PA
• Best Brochure – Rose Point Park Cabins & Cottages, New Castle, PA
• Best Apparel Item – Blue Rocks Family Campground, Lenhartsville, PA
• Best Souvenir – Bear Run Campground, Portersville, PA
• Best Camping Photo – Keen Lake Camping & Cottages, Waymart, PA
• Most Creative Activity – Foxwood Family Campground, East Stroudsburg, PA
• Best Website – Pettecote Junction Campground, Cedar Run, PA
• Best Example of Guest Service – Paradise Stream Campground, Loysville, PA
• Tourism Employee of the Year – Keen Lake Camping & Cottages, Waymart, PA
• Best Community Involvement – Bear Run Campground, Portersville, PA
The convention was held at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA. The management was wonderful to work with and the customer service of the staff was exceptional. PCOA members were very happy to return to this first-rate venue and have contracts for the next two years. The 2019 conference dates will be December 9, 10, and 11.
Annual Meeting & Election
The PCOA annual meeting was held on Tuesday night. The following were elected to the Board for a 2-year term:
Region I – Jacob Hagofsky, Buttercup Woodlands Campground, Renfrew, PA
Region II – Ron Thompson, Silver Canoe Campground, Rural Valley, PA
Region III – Tyler Grim, Canyon Country Campground, Wellsboro, PA
Region IV – Bruce Serio, Mountain Creek Campground, Gardners, PA
Region V – Jonathan Ammary, StonyBrook RV Resort, Lehighton, PA
Region VI – Stephanie Schmidt, Elizabethtown/Hershey KOA, Elizabethtown, PA
SOURCE: PCOA press release