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