GoCampingAmerica.com | Posted July 7th,


    Industry Organizations United to Advocate for Campers During
    the Shutdown


    Happy Camper Blog



    The COVID-19 crisis has impacted virtually every
    type of business, and campgrounds are no exception. If you’re an avid camper,
    you may have wondered if and when your favorite
    campgrounds would be open for business during these unprecedented times. What
    you may not realize, though, is that there were many
    industry organizations working diligently throughout the
    crisis to advocate for your best interests as a

    The National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds (ARVC)
    was part of an industry-wide effort that
    included Kampgrounds of
    (KOA), the Outdoor Recreation
    (ORR), the Canadian RV
    (CRVA), Marshall & Sterling
    , the RV Industry
    (RVIA), state campground associations and
    other industry partners. The goal was to keep campground
    owners continually updated on the latest news, advocacy
    efforts, resources, government policies and Centers for Disease
    Control (CDC) health guidelines as conditions evolved. ARVC
    also served as a critical clearinghouse for updated information on
    restrictions, executive orders and closures by state, county and

    Deb Carter, owner of Buttonwood Beach RV
     in Earleville, Md. and executive
    director of the Maryland Association of Campgrounds (MAC),
    relied on the regular updates she
    received from ARVC to keep her members informed during the
    crisis. Being able to tap into the expertise of industry
    organizations also helped her with important advocacy initiatives.  

    “We wrote to Governor Larry Hogan
    asking to be considered as an essential business after his Executive Order
    closed campgrounds at the end of March 2020,” she says. “We were able to
    write over 10,000 letters in a very brief window of time,
    to all of our members’ representatives, by using
    RVACT.com (RVIA’s action center where industry
    members can make their voices heard). Our letters centered
    on the need for campgrounds to be open to help with accommodations for
    essential workers in the health, safety and construction

    “Many of us received several responses from our various
    representatives, with offers of support, understanding and offers to work
    with Governor Hogan to help with our requests. On May 7, campgrounds
    in Maryland were allowed to re-open, with
    restrictions.  Most restrictions have now been
    lifted, such as use of the beach, pool and
    playgrounds.  We still encourage everyone to practice
    safe-distancing, face coverings, small groups, etc. 

    “Maryland’s Governor Hogan (Chair of the National Governors
    Association) is a strong supporter of small business in Maryland
    and was not only aware but concerned about the need for campgrounds
    to re-open before Memorial Day in Maryland,” Carter
    says.  “We can’t thank Gov. Hogan enough, as well as our
    friends at ARVC and RVIA.” 

    The advocacy efforts Carter led for her state camping association
    are one example of the many proactive measures that
    were taken to ensure that campgrounds would be open to serve
    full-time RVers, healthcare workers and others who depend on the
    camping lifestyle. 

    Jason Vaughan is the
    managing director of Mountain Vista
     in East Stroudsburg, Pa. and the incoming
    executive director for the Pennsylvania Campground Owners
    Association (PCOA).  

    “We were active from the beginning and the
    association went to bat for the members,” he says. “We got an initial
    exemption to be open, which got changed three
    weeks later to be residential only. Then
    we fought hard for the next couple of weeks to get open. In
    order to do that, we had to submit a lot of information to
    the state and we worked with the governor’s office on what the
    campgrounds could do to mitigate the spread. We were certainly very
    active, answering questions from the
    community and the membership and then working with
    different legislative bodies to come up with what
    the campgrounds can do.” 

    After PCOA submitted detailed plans outlining how social
    distancing would be accomplished and how safety measures
    such as masks and face shields would be implemented, campgrounds in
    Pennsylvania were given permission to open on May 1, which was welcome news
    for campers.  

    If you can’t wait to get out and start camping again, you’re not
    alone. According to a special report commissioned
    by Kampgrounds of America on North American Camping on the effects
    of COVID-19, leisure travelers rank camping as the safest form of travel to
    resume once restrictions are lifted and that camping, glamping and road trips
    may replace other types of planned trips in 2020. After all, camping
    is the ideal (and fun) way to practice social

    So, go ahead and start planning your
    summer and fall camping trips. You can rest easy, knowing that there
    are many industry organizations watching out for your best
    interests. Listen
    to the message of GoRVing in
    its nationwide campaign dedicated to promoting the joys of